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“Great place to stay in Rapid” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel

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The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   523 6th Street, Rapid City, SD 57701   |  
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Ranked #21 of 52 Hotels in Rapid City
Lincoln, Nebraska
1 review
“Great place to stay in Rapid”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013

I had a great experience staying here over a Saturday night. I got a nice quiet corner room that was well appointed. The window coverings are not blackout, though, so bring your sleep mask if you need it totally dark to sleep well. Access the the rooftop restraurant/lounge is a huge perk of staying here. It was fairly cold but the big fire pits on the outside decks made for a very memorable experience sitting around warmth with a terrific view of the city lights at night conversing with the nicest couple while enjoying a glass of wine. This hotel has loads of charm. The front lobby has a huge fireplace and comfortable couches. Just off of the lobby is a great coffee shop as well as an Irish Pub, so in bad weather you wouldn't need to leave the premises to still have a great stay. The hotel is located, though, in the heart of the historic district with many food/drink or entertainment options within easy walking distance. I used the exercise room the morning after my overnight stay and found the equipment to be in good working order. I will definitely be staying here on my next trip to Rapid City.

Room Tip: If you need a very quiet room, ask for a corner room away from the elevators.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMAlexJohnson, General Manager at The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel, responded to this review, December 13, 2013
Thank you for your recent stay at the Hotel Alex Johnson and for taking the time to write this review. The Hotel Alex Johnson with it's location in the heart of downtown gives our guest a multitude of dining and shopping options. But as you said with the Vertex Sky Bar and Paddy O'Neill's Irish Pub and Grill located inside the hotel as well as Seattle's Best Coffee Shop there is no need to if the weather is bad or if you just prefer to stay in after a long day.
Thank you and I hope you can make a return trip in the near future.
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643 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (177)
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English first
San Diego, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

I stayed one night at the Alex Johnson in early November. The location is right in the center of Downtown Rapid City. There are shops all around, a nice little diner across the street, and a big Seattle's coffeehouse attached to the hotel. My room was very comfortable and the bathroom was large and clean. I also had a good view of the famous painted alley outside.

The parking structure is down the street, and guests of the hotel are asked to park on the roof, but the short walk to the hotel is close and pleasant because you get to see some of downtown. I'm sure that elderly or grumpy people may not prefer its distance from the hotel, but don't let that discourage you. The neighborhood has lots to see.

If ever again in Rapid City, I will return to this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMAlexJohnson, General Manager at The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel, responded to this review, December 13, 2013
Thank you for the time to write about your recent stay at the Hotel Alex Johnson. The Hotel Alex Johnson is located in the heart of downtown and is walking distance to a plethora of amazing dining and shopping opportunities. Thank you again for your recent stay and I do hope you can make a return trip in the near future.
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Sandpoint, Idaho
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

Foremost, I liked the downtown location. Rapid has a lively vibe that is enticing. The room was fine; everything worked. I would stay here again. We asked for the hair-dryer to be looked at twice - no one ever showed up. Not a big deal, but if you want a good review you have to perform.

I looked on-line before arriving to ferret out the price. When we arrived the price was significantly higher. When I inquired about the internet price that I could step outside and book, the desk help immediately lowered the quoted price. Sound like a car salesman?

All in all, a pleasant experience. This is not at all the hotel's issue, but a senior tour group was staying at the hotel. They were louder than a high school soccer team in the lobby!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMAlexJohnson, General Manager at The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel, responded to this review, December 13, 2013
Thank you for telling us about your recent stay at the Hotel Alex Johnson. I will follow up with the front desk about the constrictive criticism you have brought to our attention.
I am glad to hear that overall you enjoyed your stay with us. The Hotel is centrally located right in the heart of our revitalized downtown area and is a great place to headquarter out of when you are in Black Hills.
Thank you and we hope to see you again in the near future.
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Rapid City, South Dakota
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

My stay was great! The staff was very accommodating. The room was perfect for a romantic evening. I loved the Vertex!!! My wife and I have made the Alex Johnson our hotel to stay in for our anniversaries. It is in a great spot if you are planning on going out that evening and enjoying down town Rapid City.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMAlexJohnson, General Manager at The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel, responded to this review, December 13, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write this review about your recent stay at the Hotel Alex Johnson. I am very humbled and happy to hear that you make the Hotel Alex Johnson your hotel of choice for your Anniversary every year. Congratulations on your Anniversary and Thank you for staying with us! I look forward to your next visit to the hotel.
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Fairport, New York
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

Mount Rushmore was on our bucket list of places to go and we tied that in with our 29 wedding anniversary. We decided to stay 'in town' as usually there is more there to see and do and we were only there for a long weekend so using our time well was a priority.

We booked the hotel Alex Johnson as our base. As this was in the historic hotels of America book and we naively thought that would mean a wonderful hotel experience which the price tag being charged seemed to fit.... How wrong were we!!!!!,

There is standing only outside the front for your car and the carpark is the top floor of a multistory carpark a block away, with only stairs..... Great for the elderly... I suppose we could have had the car valet parked but at the price they charge for that I really think is just taking advantage......

As an historic hotel I can say it does have a foyer which has Indian painting on the roof and they explain the history behind the hotel. I can also say as a historic hotel one evening none of the lifts/elevators were working and I was not planning on walking all those flights of stairs up to our room on the fourth floor,

We booked an executive suite based on the photographs they showed on their website. I would like to find that room in the hotel as the one we had did not look anything like it.

Ancient huge air conditioners were in place in the rooms - we are talking like 3ft by 3 ft - in fact in all my life I had not seen air conditioners that big so I photographed them! The door into the room just missed the end of the bed - yes this was a suite but we struggled to get into the room with our suitcases.

Half the lights did not work in the room. Is replacing a light bulb that difficult. The carpet was dirty. The Art Deco style wardrobe shown in the photograph of a suite room, turned out to be an alcove with a stainless steel rod and no door....there was no in room safe.

The bathroom was very small but had been 'modernized'. It had grey laminate, very cheaply done, around the sink and the faucets were from either Lowes or Home Depot as they are there same as we just put in our house- so, not so 'historic' as they make out. The toilet did not flush properly, the shower was over the bath, but it was the rot in the window in the bathroom that showed this hotel was an 'historic' hotel in more ways than one - and confirmed to me that it certainly did not deserve the $250 a night price tag they were charging for the room.

The second room to the suite had a sofa, which was not very comfortable and an armchair, but again there were some lights in in the room where the bulbs had blown and had not been replaced, and a desk, which did resemble the desk in the photo they used for advertising. But the room was so dark even with all the lights on - yes we made sure they rectified the problem- that you really did not want to be in there.

The Alex Johnson has a rooftop bar/nightclub and was clearly busy on the Saturday night when the lifts/elevators broke down. On a Sunday they also do a brunch breakfast which had just been extended to people who were not staying in the the hotel' according to the notice board in the foyer. This opened at 9.30am. We arrived just before 9.30am and asked for a table and were greeted with 'hmmmmm ' they then looked around the totally empty nightclub as we were the only ones there and then asked 'did you make a reservation?' No we replied but we are staying in the hotel. 'Hmmmmm" they said again. Clearly this was going to cause them a problem as to where to seat us, plus apart from one table none were reserved, and the paper schedule they were holding certainly did not have names listed on there for people who had booked!

Why do restaurants do this, they only make themselves look silly. They managed to find us a free table on the next floor above, a flight of stairs away from the food. They told us that they would tell us when they were ready to serve, which means we serve ourselves. The view from the top is not what you would see in a big city, but you are in one of the tallest buildings in Rapid City so you can look out towards the hills, though it was raining hard and the aircon was so cold we actually put bags on top of the vents to stop getting too cold. We had to ask them to turn the music down, which was blaring very loudly, after all this was brunch, not the nightclub at 11pm!

They finally told us they were ready, and I have to say it was a disappointment. The food although in food warming trays, was cold, and I would guess borderline on safety, if someone from environment health arrived to inspect. They had spread the food stations around the room, there was no particular order to the arrangement, and it was so dark in there that we did not even see the person who would have cooked us a fresh omelet - and I dare say he was wondering why no one was going to him to cook their eggs for them, as well.......

This was supposed to have been an anniversary weekend. We did all the sights in the area and that was great, but the hotel was a huge disappointment and clearly is trading on the 'historic ' aspect of the building. Sadly in places where they have high tourist numbers almost all year around, then hotels like this feel they do not need to update rooms or think people will accept it for what they are.

I have stayed in numerous historic hotels around the world and this particular one was a huge disappointment. It is overpriced for the amenities it offers and if I had known better then I would have chosen to stay at a better priced chain hotel where I know exactly what I will get, can park easily and okay so I might have to go out for an evening meal to a restaurant.... Oh wait I had to do that anyway......

Room Tip: Ask to view your room before you accept it - the photos shown on the website do not correlate to wha...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMAlexJohnson, General Manager at The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel, responded to this review, November 26, 2013
I want to thank you for sharing your comments concerning your recent stay with us, your comments will help us improve our future guests stay by showing us what areas we need to improve on.

We strive extremely hard to insure that each and every guest to our hotel receive the highest quality service and products, returning home with a very favorable impression of the Hotel Alex Johnson and our facilities. However, on occasion we fall short of the high standards we have set forth for ourselves and I appreciate you taking the time to let us know about our recent shortcomings concerning your recent stay.

Please accepting my apologies for the experiences that may have caused your visit to the hotel to be less than memorable.
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Fairfax, Virginia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

I stayed at the Alex Johnson for a business meeting. The hotel's location can't be beat. It's in the heart of downtown within walking distance of everything you could possibly need -- used book store, grocery, organic grocery, comic book shop, restaurants, hair salon, gift shops, absolutely everything. The hotel itself is fun with its decor and stairways that don't quite go up to the floors you'd like to get to so you have to find and switch stairways. The staff are pleasant and nice. The room was very clean and fresh the first day (but seemed to get only a cursory swipe the rest of the days). The bed was way too soft, even in the middle where there's usually a firmer patch, and I woke up stiff and sore every morning. The wooden shades on the window don't block out the city lights, so the room had too much light for sleeping well. If you're five feet tall or shorter, the shower is fine. Any taller and you have to do a backbend to get your hair wet.

Much of the problem with meeting there is simply a matter of layout, available ammenities, and staff training. It is a great hotel for family events, wedding receptions, banquets, and things of that nature. It is not for business meetings. The largest room was cold and dark; there was nothing that could be done for either issue; many of our participants (old and young) had difficulty seeing in the ballroom. Meetings were on two floors, separated by stairs or extremely slow elevators. While for me personally the little staircases were fun, getting from the ground floor to the third floor required a stairway switch -- annoying to others. We were able to switch to a brighter, warmer room for one of our plenary sessions, but it was too small and narrow for the group. Coffee for our first morning meeting was set up in the room we would meet in during the afternoon; the reasoning for that was that there would be a meeting in that room later. Yes, but that's in the afternoon, and we needed coffee for the morning meeting in the morning meeting room. The business center consisted of two computers, only one of which could be used for printing.

The only thing that the hotel really could possibly fix for offering meetings is staff training. The young staff were full of smiles and sweetness (very much appreciated), but the ability to think on one's feet and think independently when asked something is also of value. During business meetings, things need to happen quickly, on time, and in an orderly manner, and that just didn't happen without a lot of leading and explaining and repetition.

It's a charming hotel, but it's not functional or comfortable for meetings.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMAlexJohnson, General Manager at The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel, responded to this review, November 26, 2013
Thank you for your recent review and I want to let you know since your stay with us that we have totally remodeled our meeting rooms and we are currently working on updating the lighting in our Ballroom. We also have made some changes to our Banquet Staff that has really helped improve that department.
Thank you for taking the time to write about your stay, your comments help us learn from our mistakes. I hope we get chance to show you our recent improvements and upgrades.
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Newcastle
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

I recently stayed at The Hotel Alex Johnson. I must say the accomodations and hotel staff were great. We were in Rapid City for a medical emergency and they were so helpful and understanding. The hotel is located right in the middle of downtown Rapid City and so convenient. Next time I am looking for a hotel in Rapid City, this is where I will stay!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMAlexJohnson, General Manager at The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel, responded to this review, November 26, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write this review about your recent stay with us. I am happy that we were able to accommodate and help you out in your time of need. Hopefully your next visit to Rapid City will be for pleasure.
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Additional Information about The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel

Address: 523 6th Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Dakota > Rapid City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Business Hotel in Rapid City
#18 Family Hotel in Rapid City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 143
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1928, the historic Hotel Alex Johnson has welcomed visitors from around the globe. Located at the heart of Downtown Rapid City, the Hotel Alex Johnson is an easy 25-minute drive from Mount Rushmore and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Hotel Alex Johnson includes 143 rooms and suites and houses the Vertex Sky Bar, Paddy O'Neills Irish Pub, Seattle's Best Coffee, Chubby Chipmunk Hand-Dipped Chocolates, AJ's Wicked Salon and the Alex Johnson Mercantile. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alex Johnson Hotel
Alex Johnson Rapid City

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