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“Very nice cabin in idyllic setting” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sylvan Lake Lodge

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Sylvan Lake Lodge
24572 Highway 87, Custer, SD 57730   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Custer
Fort Worth, TX
Top Contributor
348 reviews 348 reviews
66 hotel reviews
Reviews in 134 cities Reviews in 134 cities
310 helpful votes 310 helpful votes
“Very nice cabin in idyllic setting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2010

We stayed in a 2-queen cabin and were thrilled with it. The room was spacious and even though the bathroom was very small, no one cared becuase of the great location. These cabins are clustered into the woods of Custer State Park and it is extremely quiet, especially towards the evening. We loved that every cabin had their own picnic table, outdoor fire pit and fireplace in the cabin. For city-slickers like me it was fun to build a fire outside, roast hot dogs and make smores, but still have have a comfy bed and working bathroom 15 steps away. We stayed there on July 6th and the temperature got down into the 40's so we took full advantage of the fireplace. The main lodge itself is incredible and was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. After our hot dog dinner we went to the main lodge for a cup of hot chocolate to hang out by the massvie fireplace. We would defintiely stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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236 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    51
    76
    51
    40
    18
See reviews for
86
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (61)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado, USA
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2010

Located on Sylan Lake, although can't see the lake from the Lodge, need to drive or hike to lake, which is a beautiful setting. Very short drive, 5-10 minute walk (not really a hike). No one can see the Lake from the Lodge or cabins. Lodge rooms are fine, have A/C, large showers (w/weird faucets, play with them, they work), beds are fine, were on 3rd floor, was quiet. Small coffee pot, no frig, cable TV with enough choices. Breakfast buffet was wonderful, good value, great service, nice dining room. Nice outdoor patio area. Very nice lobby area with comfortable chairs. No AT&T coverage for anyone in area, limited wireless in lobby. If in the Black Hills, would stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
longmont
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2010

Made reservations early based on a travel book. I should have read reviews here first! Overpriced, over-hyped. Did not get close to what was promised in advance.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Black Hills
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2010 via mobile

My family lives in Custer, and we enjoy eating at the lodge. The Sunday brunch buffet continues to decline in variety and quality year after year, though the (high) prices does not drop. I think we have finally had enough, and we don't plan on returning. If I am going to drop $75 on lunch for my family, I expect a great meal. Sylvan Lake Lodge does not provide one.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Thomasville, Georgia
Top Contributor
422 reviews 422 reviews
95 hotel reviews
Reviews in 151 cities Reviews in 151 cities
318 helpful votes 318 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2010

My husband and I spent 3 nights at Sylvan Lake Lodge in a king suite. The room was spacious, clean and had a private balcony. We loved everything about it but the room is only the beginning. The main area of the lodge has a seating area with a large fireplace, perfect for relaxing with a glass of wine or cocktail. The entire room oozes charm and character, and I felt like I could have stayed for a month. The restaurant food was very good with friendly and efficient service. The manager, Mr. Larsen, was also very nice and we enjoyed our conversations with him very much. The hotel overlooks Sylvan Lake (although there are many beautiful trees blocking the view but that's not a big deal) and it is a short walk to the lake and the path around it. The walking trail is really wonderful and gives you great views all the way around the lake. You can also hike to Harney's Peak from the lake, using one of two trails. We especially liked the Wildlife Loop and saw lots of different animals. The Needles road is beautiful but very narrow...not sure I'd want to be on it at night. There is also a general store by the lake with lots of souvenirs and necessities...very, very handy. We also visited Rushmore and Crazy Horse: enjoyed them both but did not like Deadwood at all. The historic buildings are very beautiful but all of them are full of casinos..very touristy so I'd just recommend staying in your car and driving through to look. Deadwood restaurants offer very limited menus for lunch, sandwiches, etc...not exactly what we wanted to eat but we did find a good Chinese restaurant (upstairs at Miiss Kitty's) where the food was actually quite tasty. To sum it up, Custer State Park is absolutely gorgeous and Sylvan Lake Lodge is the perfect place to stay and unwind. Fabulous!

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2010

My boyfriend and I were making a cross-country road trip in May 2010 and decided to stay at the Sylvan Lake Lodge for two nights, after staying a few nights in Yellowstone. I had seen mediocre reviews online and feared I had made a big mistake putting us here for two nights of the trip. After arriving, interacting with many staff members, eating in the dining room twice and thoroughly enjoying every aspect of my stay, I completely disagree with the negative reviews. I have a feeling that in the high season, the staff and amenities may occasionally reach a breaking point, but this is true of any national/state park facilities, and really shouldn't dissuade anyone from going to this great lodge!

What I liked most:
-The lodge's beauty: It is incredibly pretty and really has some old world charm that most modern lodges lack. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the great room is simply gorgeous. We enjoyed G&Ts before dinner in front of a roaring fire. We had stayed at the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone the night before, and though that hotel is huge and has its own unique beauty, I would definitely prefer the lodge for its quaint, quiet atmosphere and tasteful decor. Also, the scenery is just gorgeous and there are tons of hikes and activities within walking distance, not to mention that Mt. Rushmore is a short drive away.

-The staff: We were set for a late arrival and I feared that we wouldn't be able to check in, or that the staff would feel annoyed that we were getting to the lodge so late at night. When I called, a very nice lady at the front desk answered and assured me that we could show up at any time, and then told me that, if we were concerned we wouldn't have time to get food/food wouldn't be available so late, she would be happy to place orders for us in the dining room and would have our food ready to be taken to our room. So nice and totally unnecessary! When we checked in, the same lady was extremely friendly and helpful; I wish I knew her name, so I could give her a personal shout-out! Our whole trip was filled with pleasant interactions with staff: everyone was very friendly, approachable, and helpful in providing help, activity recommendations, checkout, etc.
-The room: We got the cheapest room, so it was small, but not uncomfortable or poorly set up. When we walked in, it had a pleasant clean smell that's often hard to find in well-worn hotels. Also, it was meticulously cleaned (and I'm super picky about this). The bathroom has pretty stone tile and the towels and toiletries had been tastefully placed. The bed was very comfortable (as opposed to the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone, which was lumpy and old), and the room had a beautiful view of the pine trees and lake. The only downfall perhaps was the shower, as it was a little on the old and cheap side. But, it worked well and really wasn't a big problem.

-The dining room: Some people didn't like the food at the dining room. Again, compared to Yellowstone, the food was much, much higher quality in taste and presentation. (It must sound like I hate Yellowstone! I LOVE Yellowstone, but our stay there was not as pleasant as this, unfortunately, and had been the night before). Also, our waiter knew a great deal about the wines on the menu, and made good recommendations for pairings for the food. I ordered the buffalo steak, and thought it was delicious and perfectly cooked. I have had several buffalo dishes before and found this one to be the best I've had.

Overall: Highly recommend this place. If you want to have the same quality and comfort of the Four Seasons, then stay there or don't be a baby about a few rustic aspects of a great resort. But, if you want a well-priced, beautiful hotel set in one of the prettiest places in the country, with a friendly, helpful staff, then definitely give Sylvan Lake a try. We have already talked about planning another trip through South Dakota in the future to be able to return to this lovely lodge.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rebeldrew
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

Service was ok. Food was over priced. Stayed in a cabin near the lake which was nice but very bare minimum ammenities. The view and lake were amazing but better off saving money and staying outside the park on the north side and drive the 20 minutes to the lake. Not missing much by not staying at the lodge.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sylvan Lake Lodge

Address: 24572 Highway 87, Custer, SD 57730
Location: United States > South Dakota > Custer
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Custer
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This accommodation is located on Custer State Park's Sylvan Lake. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sylvan Lake Hotel Custer

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