We chose this motel based on the excellent reviews here on Trip Advisor and because the words "clean" and "very clean" appear in nearly all reviews. I have to admit I was skeptical because of the low rate (we traveled in early November, 2012, and the rate seemed low, even for off season), but Big Sky Lodge exceeded my expectations. Granted, it looks like a 1950's motel and the rooms are dated, but I knew this place was not your ordinary budget motel when I walked into the room and saw the homey, colorful, hand-stitched quilt on the bed.
Liked the location on the hilltop, away from the main highway, so was quiet at night. Spectacular view of the Rapid City lights at night and sunrise in the morning (we were there the weekend the time changed, but the sunrise would be worth experiencing even without the extra hour of sleep). Also liked that our car was parked right outside our door.
Great service, too. The light outside our door was out, and Jay (the owner) was there immediately to fix it. Security latch didn't work....fixed. Refrigerator not cooling.....replaced the next day while we were out exploring. Requested more coffee packs for the morning.....delivered in 5 minutes.
Two caveats. We didn't realize that breakfast is not included in the off season, but I can't really complain about that because of the low rate. And there are numerous breakfast options just a short ride away. Don't know if it is true of the shower heads in all the rooms, but in our two rooms, they were positioned very low, and I don't think they could be adjusted. Not a problem for a short person like me, but my son said it was a bit awkward for him. Just a minor inconvenience, given that the water was hot and the pressure was fine.
Can't end this review without confirming what other reviewers have said....this place is CLEAN, comfortable, and ideally located for visiting Mt. Rushmore and exploring the Black Hills. Would highly recommend Big Sky Lodge as a great budget option (keep in mind that it's not the Hilton, but you're not paying Hilton prices) and would stay here again if we return to the area.