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“such a cool experience!! the hotel is haunted!”

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Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City, Curio Collection by Hilton
Ranked #10 of 51 Hotels in Rapid City
Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“such a cool experience!! the hotel is haunted!”
Reviewed May 9, 2012

I just did a cross-country road trip to help a friend move from Vermont to Oregon. We randomly stopped in Rapid City, SD so that we would be close to Mt Rushmore the next morning. We saw the Alex Johnson Hotel as we drove into downtown and assumed it would be way too expensive! We called anyway and were shocked to find out it was only $39 for the night! The room was gorgeous and very nice. Of our entire trip this was the least expensive room we stayed in but by far the nicest! We also got vouchers for some free appetizers with purchases of cocktails. The staff was very nice, the food and drinks at the rooftop bar were delicious, and the view from up there was amazing! As we ate a lovely dinner we did some research on the hotel on our phones and found out that it is a known haunted hotel! Our first though was well no wonder it was only $39! We found out that the 8th floor is haunted, particularly room 812. Luckily we were on the 6th floor! But the curiosity got the best of us and we decided to go on a small ghost hunting tour! We went to the 8th floor and took some photos outside the haunted room. As we were leaving I turned to take one more photo and in the last photo a shiny floating orb showed up! I showed my friend and we got a little freaked out and ran back to the elevator, suddenly feeling creeped out! We ran inside the elevator and tried to close the door behind us but none of the buttons would work and the door would not close! We were stuck there for a couple minutes, giggling and screaming and being scared but thrilled at the same time. The elevator finally worked and we went back to our room and definitely laughed about our ghost experience all night! We did hear some weird sounds throughout the night, but it may have just been our over-active imaginations! We woke up the next morning well rested and excited to share our experience! I have always wanted to stay at a haunted hotel and it was awesome! As we drove away and talked about it we kept thinking that everyone we encountered in the hotel was a ghost. Each person was a little strange and very quiet, the place was almost completely desserted, and as we drove away it felt like "wow, did that really just happen? or was that whole thing a dream?" I would definitely stay at the Alex Johnson hotel again! For an exciting, thriling ghost hunting experience, or just for a nice night in a nice hotel room for a great price!

Room Tip: don't stay on the 8th floor if you don't like ghosts, but you should be fine on any other fl...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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2 Thank KRPS30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Washington
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9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2012

Moving from North Carolina to Seattle with two cats, my daughter and I needed a "vacation" from our road trip, so we stayed two nights in this historical hotel. The hotel is pet friendly (at $25 per animal per night they should be!), has a great location and comfortable rooms. We stayed in one of the suites, and the reasonable price for the room made up for the pet charges. Both the rooftop bar and adjoining Irish Pub were fun and appreciated. Rapid City is a charming city with very friendly people and we would like to go back.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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1 Thank haroach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
61 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2012

We stayed here around Thanksgiving. We were looking for someplace nice downtown (there aren't many options) and this fit the bill. The hotel itself is good and fairly inexpensive, but the reason you reserve a room here is for the location and walking access to the surrounding area. It is a landmark in Rapid City, easy to navigate to because it is one of the tallest buildings in town and has large red lettering that is illuminated at night. The rooms are comfortable and adequate, and the suites spacious with a view of "the city". One worthwhile diversion is their sky bar to get a panoramic view of the city and bordering hills. The Alex is a historic building located conveniently next to the new town square, some boutique clothing stores, the always amazing Prairie Edge Native American "shop" that in our opinion is an attraction unto itself. The store spans 3 floors with its local and heritage artwork, Italian bead gallery, bookstore, and showroom full of amazing pieces from artists working around the Black Hills.

Rapid City has been built up over the last decade in a planned and caring manner, complete with restored building fronts and even the new square that offers plenty of benches, a firepit, locally mined granite sculptures, a small stage for performances, an ice rink in the winter months or a elaborate set of fountains that families can play in and enjoy in the heat of the spring and summer. The downtown area now has plenty to offer both tourists and business travelers with local, upscale restaurant options, shopping for anything from Native American art, chic (albeit not high fashion) clothing options, organic food stores (Staple & Spice being a standout), a cigar/wine store, regional antiques, outdoor gear, and even a comic book store (also located across the street from the Alex). A multi-story parking garage is located on one side of the square and a small shopping center filled with non-chain, local stores (a cute toy store, art galleries, a gaming hangout, a snowboard/skate shop, and a really great bookstore that's perfect for lounging) and a top notch hamburger/malt/soda fountain joint that sources its food from only the best suppliers which is must if you are in the area.

There's some other excellent places to eat within walking distance of the Alex, the Firehouse which is a local brew house with tasty food and live music several nights a week, Tally's Silver Spoon is across the street which is one of the more "gourmet" options in town with a creative menu and good service, Delmonico's is another that is praised for its steak, Botticellis serves quality Italian food, and there's even the option to have Indian food just a block away as well. For a great fine dining experience in the Black Hills, the Corn Exchange is my favorite with its candle lit tables, simple but expertly arranged menu and wine list, and attentive service. Their sister store, the Potted Rabbit is a great place to stop in as well. It hasn't been open for long, so it's still adding to its stock list, but it's definitely worth a stop if you are a foodie. For coffee lovers, there's plenty of hangouts. Bully Blends is one of the more popular ones with free wifi, plenty of family style seating and also good breakfast and lunch food, but it is more on the expensive side. Sanford's is a great place to hang out, get some creative menu choices, and grab a beer or three with friends, and it's located just past the Radisson if you are walking from the Alex. There's even a vintage candy/soda shop across from the new square as well, but again a bit pricey.

If chain restaurants are more your style, there's plenty that have sprung up recently, but you'll need to drive a few minutes to get there. Most of the venues are near the mall side of town, which is spread out over several miles along the highway. You can choose from Famous Daves, Outback, Chilis, On the Border, Fuddruckers (in the Rushmore Mall), and Texas Roadhouse.

Another great entertainment option within a block of the Alex is the Elks Theatre, which has the state's largest viewing screen. It plays second run movies at only 4 dollars per person, one of the best movie deals you will find. It's clean, has pretty decent staff as far as movie theaters run, and they did an excellent job in the restoration of the stage and entryway. The theater was originally built in the 1800s and it was almost torn down in the late 1900s during the push to improve the downtown area, but with enough local support, it managed to get spared and underwent a dramatic facelift to be what it is today. The Dahl Fine Arts Center is another great place downtown to go for local drama performances and a rotating art gallery.

For nightlife and the bar scene, the main place to go is near the Radisson (the only other real option if you want a nice hotel in downtown Rapid City). There's a whole street several blocks long if you want to do a pub crawl and several of them have local bands playing a few nights a week. Dublins, Murphy's (just renovated and usually the younger college crow hangs out here), and the 445 Martini Lounge of the Radisson are the most lively with the best drink options and entertainment.

Throughout the year, the Rapid City Civic Center has no shortage of plays, sporting events, festivals, and other diversions. The Stock Show is one of the largest in the country and takes over the entire civic center complex with rodeos, buffalo auctions, livestock competitions, and even a petting zoo. The summer Pow Wow is a spectacle to behold as well and a great cultural event for the entire family. And there's the local semi-pro hockey team, the Rapid City Rush, which plays every week when they are in season at the state of the art ice rink that packs in over 5,000 people each match and is sold out most games each year. You can look up any number of the places I mentioned on the tourism website for Rapid City, which has some great coverage of things to do, places to see, and where to stay and eat http://www.visitrapidcity.com/

Of course if you are looking for places to go outside of Rapid City, there's Mount Rushmore about a half hour away in the Southern Hills and if you want check out Reptile Gardens (one of the largest collections of reptiles and birds in North America, and they take great care of their animals with the help of a great staff and plenty of room for the wildlife to roam) and Bear Country (a huge natural wildlife preserve that you can drive through) along the way. Hill City is just past Mount Rushmore with a great collection of fossils and real and replica dinosaur bones in the Hilly City Museum, going farther south you have Jewel Cave if you want to go spelunking, Custer State Park with the Needles for avid rock climbers and Sylvan Lake to enjoy the same area that they filmed the latest National Treasure movie and do some family camping. Up to the north is Sturgis about 20 minutes away, and farther into the central Black Hills is Deadwood and Spearfish Canyon, which are both well worth a visit. And, in the winter, there's two main ski resorts, Terry Peak and Deer Mountain with an elevation rise of over 1,000 feet.

Rapid City has a lot more to offer than it did 10 or 20 years ago, and there's plenty to do in and around town whether you are there on business or on a family road trip. You can look up any number of the places I mentioned on the tourism website for Rapid City, which has some great coverage of things to do, places to see, and where to stay and eat http://www.visitrapidcity.com/ . Take a few days to see the main sights, eat some great and comparatively cheap food (if you are used to being in a big city), and enjoy the company of the friendly locals who will be more than happy to tell you about their favorite places to go.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank Steph_Richardson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redondo Beach
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2012

My family and I just got back from a trip to Rapid City, SD. I chose this hotel because for $99 a night, I could get a two room suite. Which is essential for my 2 & 4 year old, and our sleeping sanity :) The two room "suite" was two rooms ( 1 king bed/2 queens ) separated by a tiny bathroom. Each room had a flat screen tv (one didn't work, when I asked the front desk about it, they told me to unplug it and plug it back in...that seemed to do the trick). A refrigerator and microwave in one room. Two huge mistakes the hotel made. One: the furnace was FILTHY! The vents were covered in dust and rust. I asked the housekeeper on day one to PLEASE clean them...she didn't. Day two, I asked the front desk: could you please have housekeeping clean our heating units...it didn't get done, again. We left the morning of day three. Two: just outside our window (one the 4th floor) was a LARGE group of pigeons that called the hotel home. Poop everywhere! The 5 a.m. wake up calls with pigeons sitting outside our window ledge was annoying!
Positives: Seattle's best coffee in the lobby. The hotel gives you a discount card when you check in - it gives you two for one coffees, loved it! The location, downtown area, on the up & up. They recently redid the "town center" with a nice grassy area, water fountains, and seating. The kids loved the water. We became very familiar with that area since that is where the hotel parking it located. Yes, you park a block away from the hotel, on the top floor, of a parking structure. The new hotel bar/restaurant called Vertex - It's pretty cool. A few of the staff were a little less than friendly - come on guys, it's a cool place, but you're not working at the Four Season's downtown Denver :( Not that you would have a reason to be so snooty then either. The food, fantastic! We had the crab cake, a caesar salad, and hummus. All were well prepared and tasted delicious!
Although the hotel was said to have been recently renovated, I think they still have lots of work to do! It's not of horrible, disgusting motel quality...but definitely needs some more TLC. I liked the charm of staying down town and the fact that it isn't a chain hotel. I would stay here again, but would be insistent on the cleanliness next time around.

Room Tip: Ask for a newly renovated room away from the gaggle of pigeons, it's an awful sight! The higher...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank kenziegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
56 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2012

Set your expectations realistically for an old hotel in South Dakota and you will be pleasantly surprised. Great location for downtown activities. Pleasant staff. Small bathrooms but everything worked. Check out the roof top bar if weather permits.

Room Tip: Corner Suite, higher up to avoid street noise.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank pdxhurdler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here for 2 nights on our tour of S Dakota and Wyoming. While the staff were friendly and helpful and the main lobby of the hotel looked fantastic, the room left a little to be desired. It was clean and the bed was comfortable but the air conditioning was ineffectual and the room was very cramped. With temperatures in the low 70s we would have liked to be able to open a window. Saying that the location is fantastic, it couldn't be more central.

Stayed May 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank AliMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2012

Be aware that an additional charge of $6.95 will be added to the advertised price of your room. The charge will appear on your bill as “Historic Maintenance Fee”. This money stays with the hotel. It does not go to local government. I asked about the charge at the desk at check out and I was told that the same amount is charged for all rooms and it does not make a difference if you book online, by phone or in person.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank MarshallMinnesota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City, Curio Collection by Hilton

Property: Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City, Curio Collection by Hilton
Address: 523 6th St, Rapid City, SD 57701-2725 (Formerly The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel)
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 ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Rapid City
#10 Business Hotel in Rapid City
#18 Family Hotel in Rapid City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City, Curio Collection by Hilton 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. The Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City is now a part of the Curio Collection by Hilton and welcomes Hilton HHonors guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alex Johnson Hotel
Alex Johnson Rapid City

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