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“Vacation saver” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shady Rest Motel

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Shady Rest Motel
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238 Gordon St, Custer, SD 57730   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 19 Hotels in Custer
Sterling, Colorado
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Vacation saver”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013 via mobile

Thank goodness for this little place. We had reserved a cabin in Custer in November for our August vacation and on the day we are leaving the cabin's owner called because there was no power leaving us without a place to stay. I found this place on Custer's website and because we are a large group we had called a bunch of places and this was the best option. All 7 of us (3 adults and 4 kids) stayed in one cabin #5. It had 3 beds a small loveseat and a roll away. A nice little kitchenette. Ann has been fabulous and very accommodating and this was way cheaper than a hotel. It is probably not for everyone but we have stayed in all kinds of cabins and there is definately a cute little charm. Staying for3 nights on no notice! Thanks again Ann!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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107 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    72
    29
    5
    1
    0
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48
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
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English first
Mpls
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

We have stayed here many times and always enjoy the personal welcome from owners Ann and John. They are carrying on the tradition of a well cared for historic cabin resort from the Tuckers before them. Each year we notice new enhancements. This year each cabin has its own covered grill on the deck. If you need extra pillows,blankets, etc. just ask and it's yours. The morning coffee is always ready at 6:30 and my husband is there with the other early birds for his first cup and then brings one for me. There are two new cabins this year and they are in keeping with the original design and interior decor. This is a safe, clean and friendly place to stay that's got a great view of Custer State Park and is close to everything you would want to see in the Hills.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

This review comes from adam ill that will usually steer towards the chains, because you "usually know what you're gonna get." I am so glad my wife found the Shady Rest for our family vacation to the Black Hills. We stayed in the hunting lodge for most of our stay and switched to Cabin #1 for the last night of our stay due to a previous registration that they had for the lodge.

The hunting lodge, in a word, was "awesome!" So clean and so much room, for our family of four it was just perfect. It could fit a lot more than four due to the loft area, which we never used (we did peek up there). The cabin and grounds are so clean, and Ann is so welcoming and friendly...it is very obvious that her and Jon take pride in ownership. I loved sitting out on the deck in the evening, grilling and relaxing. Kids played a lot in the park just across the street, and we used the hot tub a few times. Fast wi-fi too for web surfing! Downtown is a short two block walk, but the grounds are very quiet.

We moved to cabin #1 the last day, and Ann was kind enough to move our luggage over for us so we didn't have to tote it with us for the day. What a nice touch!

It's been said that every review should have at least one criticism. So o.k., here it is. The pillows are thin. I'm a thick pillow guy. These were thin. I had to search for something negative. Thin pillows. That's it!

In short, book here, you won't be sorry!

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

All things being equal, I am an independent traveler who would always choose a charming, free-standing, cabin over the boring and box hotel rooms. These cabins were extremely clean and comfortable in a very safe area. If it were my "home", I wouldn't even feel the need to lock the doors. Nestled on a hillside and close to Main St. Custer. Ann and John were the best of hosts and did everything to make our stay one of being welcomed and comfortable. Ann even made sure I had milk for my morning coffee (a must for a New Englander). The cabins are non-smoking but the little porch was perfect for me. We came for Sturgis Bike week and stayed in the Northern Hills for the first four nites and came down to Custer and to explore the Southern Hills and see friends for the rest of the time. These cabins were perfect for our needs and I would highly recommend them. I do believe they are "pet friendly" as well, which I usually require on my travels. I loved the yellow with red trim--very 30's which is probably in keeping with historical accuracy. Ann and John had been forest rangers so their love and respect for nature was evident, which did my soul good! I will definitely stay there again on my next trip back to the Hills. They also had a jacuzzi for use but never got around to it myself.

Room Tip: My fellow traveler had a huge Ford truck and luckily we had Cabin #9 that had a larger space for it...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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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Minneapolis
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

We stayed at the Shady Rest Motel on August 4-5. What a pleasure to stay there! The cabins are in a quiet location, away from the main street of Custer yet close enough to walk into downtown. We only had one full day to see the main attractions of the Black Hills, and this motel was in a perfect central location to be able to do just that. The cabins are very basic, comfortable, and clean. We appreciated having a kitchenette so we could make our own breakfasts. The WiFi was great, always with a strong signal. Several of the cabins have a front veranda with a swing, and we enjoyed relaxing on the veranda, conversing with guests in neighboring cabins. We liked having easy access to our car, which we could park right in front of the cabin. We so much prefer that to a chain hotel where one’s car could be most anywhere in the parking lot, or worse yet, it’s hidden away in a parking garage by a valet. Owners John and Ann were superb hosts--always available, attentive to guests’ needs, and such a pleasure to talk to. You can tell that they love what they do.

Most of the cabins are older, and although they have been modernized, some have little idiosyncrasies, which for us just added to the charm. If you are looking for luxury lodging with all the amenities of a five-star hotel, this may not be the place for you. But if you want comfortable, affordable lodging with rustic charm, and hosts that make you feel like family, then look no further!

  • Stayed August 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

We liked it. That sums it up. My wife, two daughters and I stayed 4 days here. This was a great spot to get to the sites in the area, and priced very well compared to other locations in the area. The owners do a great job of making you feel welcomed. They live on-sight with their kids, so they are living with the same conditions their guests are. We had a great view of the Black Hills. The owners did a great job in directing us to different activities. They made sure we knew what things they had actually participated in and what things were word of mouth. You are just a couple of blocks from Downtown Custer. You are close enough to walk, but far enough away that we never heard the traffic. The original cabins were built in the 1920's, and the owners try to keep the historic feel, right down to keeping the yellow and red paint scheme. However, even though the cabins are old, they are kept to high standards. I have never stayed at a cleaner place before. The kitchen was a little cramped, but we easily overcame it. If we find ourselves in the Black Hills again, we will be staying here.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolingbrook
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

I booked this cabin (#5) back in October 2012 because I thought Shady Rest was going to be charming and great based on other user reviews (ranked #2, there are not too many other places to stay in Custer). I was trying to look past the yellow paint with red trim and admire the knotty pine interior only to be disappointed by the dim and dank interior. What I mean is that the windows are small and even with the "curtains" pulled back and windows open, you still needed to turn on lights to see what you were doing during the day time, worst at night. Like Keatyp wrote "funky" "odd" would sum it up. The TV (CRT) was missing all the knobs, the shower head aimed at mid-chest, air conditioning and ceiling fan that would barely circulate the air, duck your head as you walked up the stairs or your noggin will pay the price, only a weak deadbolt to secure the front door. Odd pieces of wood nailed into places to cover up what was probably mistakes in engineering which create great places for bugs to hide and dwell as we discovered spiders in the shower and main living area. The view overlooked some type of electrical station so you got to look at wires and towers. This location is really not as close to some of the attractions as I thought and if we came this way again we would stay in Hill City or the State Park as they both have more to offer for just a few more bucks. On the plus side pricing is reasonable and, John and Anne were very nice and helpful. Upon check-in John told me that local restaurants would give a 10% discount to retain business in Custer if we mentioned that we were staying at Shady Rest (show the receipt) but some said that they never heard of the place and congratulated me with "nice try", only the pizza place complied. I know that their hearts are in this but I would not recommend this place to my family or friends. You can stay elsewhere and get better location for just a little bit more $$. I know that other people like this place, but my family was disappointed. We stayed here July 15-19, 2013. Sorry John and Anne

Room Tip: Cabin #5 had a blocked view because of the proprietors house and the best view was the electrical st...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
johndvorak777, Owner at Shady Rest Motel, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Thank you for allowing us host your vacation in the Black Hills. We are very sorry that you were dissatisfied with your stay.

It is true that most reviews from our guests highlight their positive experiences here, for the Shady Rest Motel is different. Built over 80 years ago, these enduring cabins have strengths and weaknesses that are inherent in their history. They have all been renovated and offer wooded interiors and modern conveniences, but being that they are nestled in the trees and bordered by city park before and behind, they sometimes attract spiders, bees, flies, etc—though (thankfully!) rarely mosquitoes. We do our very best to keep such unwelcome pests to an absolute minimum.

We are located on a hill two blocks from downtown Custer. From our property, we overlook not only the town and its businesses (and yes, that includes some wires and a power station), but Harney Peak, the Cathedral Spires, Buckhorn Mountain, the Michelson Trail, Big Rock Park, and French Creek as well.

We do apologize for any embarrassment you may have experienced in regard to dining discounts. Several local restaurants, but not all, will reduce their regular menu prices for guests staying in Custer itself. These include the Bakers Bakery, Purple Pie Place, and the Buglin Bull.

Finally, it is an integral part of our history that the original cabins on our property were smaller units that have been redesigned and expanded over the years to include both kitchenettes and bathrooms. These additions have made for some innovative use of space—and sometimes quirky quarters. While some may not appreciate these characteristics, these are the very features that separate us from the “box hotels” and make each cabin totally unique.

There are some lovely, modern vacation rentals and regular hotels that are in the area--and some people may prefer them. That’s OK. Our niche is to offer comfortable beds in clean, affordable, historic cabins with the very best service we can.

We do wish you and your family the very best.

God bless!

Ann and John
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shady Rest Motel

Address: 238 Gordon St, Custer, SD 57730
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Dakota > Custer
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Spa
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Custer
#2 Romantic Hotel in Custer
Number of rooms: 13
Also Known As:
Shady Rest Hotel Custer

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