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“Cramped and disappointing” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of State Game Lodge

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State Game Lodge
Ranked #6 of 17 Hotels in Custer
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
150 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 351 helpful votes
“Cramped and disappointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2011

I stayed in a 6 person housekeeping cabin with my 3 teens for one night in July. I made the reservation on their website a couple of months in advance.

I do not consider the Game Lodge a good value because we slept very poorly; the room was cramped, the beds were uncomfortable, and we were too close to the main road.

Sleeping Arrangement:
The 2 queen beds barely fit in the room, both up agains the walls. The sleeper sofa, when pulled out, took up all of the space in the kitchen. There was no place for luggage.

Bathroom:
Nice and spacious and also very clean. The bathroom was much nicer than the rest of the cabin.

Beds:
The queens were very soft and sloped down in the middle. I shared a bed with my daughter and it was really uncomfortable, in part because the bed is against the wall.

Cabin Location:
We were in cabin #1. We were next to the convenient store and right along the main road. It wasn't an ideal placement...perhaps the worst location of all the cabins. We could hear noise from the street.

Summary:
There aren't many choices in the Custer area. I still think this is probably the best bet. If I returned I would get a bigger cabin and try to get one a bit further away from the road - or stay in one of the historic lodge rooms. The main lodge is attractive and the lobby is appealing. The staff is friendly.

Note:
The best part about the Custer Game Lodge is their buffalo safari. This is absolutely a must-do activity. Call in advance for reservations.

For Reference:
We drove to Mt. Rushmore for dinner and the night light show. It took us about an hour each way...it looked like it was closer than that on the map but the road is windy and it is very dark at night so you can't drive fast.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pricklypoppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sglmanager, General Manager at State Game Lodge, responded to this review, October 31, 2011
Thank you for your recent review. Custer State Park and the State Game Lodge is a great place to headquarter out. The Buffalo Safari Jeep Ride is a great way to see the interior of the Park and the wildlife. I'm sorry that the cabin you booked did not meet your expectations. We strive extremely hard to insure that each and every guest to our lodge receive the highest quality service and products, returning home with a very favorable impression of Custer State Park and our facilities. However, on occasion we fall short of the high standards we have set for ourselves and we appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to bring this to our attention.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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412 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
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English first
Slangerup, Denmark
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2011

We stayed creekside lodge. Compared to other lodge stays - even in national parks - this stay did not include breakfast nor internet access in the lobby. As the lodge did not offer cooking facilities you were bound to dine at the next door state game lodge. No problem in getting a reservation, however this is a pricy option for a family of 5 and the quality of the food does not quite match the cost - it is not bad at all, however you would expect more looking at the place and the prices. The nearby shop - the only one in the park - offers some food however, the variety is not grand and pricy. You have to shop in Custer or outside the park for groceries. The guy front desk at the state game lodge was extremely helpfull in suggesting sightseeings and helped us out getting our park fees sorted. Excellent and friendly service which was the highlight of our stay

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Birgitte S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sglmanager, General Manager at State Game Lodge, responded to this review, October 31, 2011
Thank you for your recent review. Custer State Park, the State Game Lodge and the Creekside Lodge Addition are a great spot to headquarter out of to see the abundant wildlife and natural beauty of Custer State Park and the Black Hills. I apologize that the internet was not working when you tried it. We do have free internet available in both of the lobbys and if the wind is just right also available in the rooms. I appreciate you taking the time to write the review and I hope you can make a return trip to the Black Hills in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2011

We stayed in the Creekside Lodge in August 2011, and had a wonderful time! The room is very elegant and updated, certainly better than your average chain hotel/motel room. It has a rustic-chic feeling, with plenty of in-room amenities including a microwave and mini fridge. Also, there's a small seating area and a little two person table. From our window we could hear plenty of birds and the sound of the creek bubbling by, a great noise to wake up to.

As far as location, this is the place to be. In the Rapid City area, everything is very spread out. Staying in Custer State Park puts you in the thick of the action, and it's much easier to drive to popular attractions like Mt. Rushmore than it would be if you were staying in other local areas like Deadwood or Rapid City. Also, you feel tucked back into nature, and you'll see plenty of wildlife just walking to your car. However, be careful when driving in the park. We made it a rule to never drive back to the hotel past dark, as the roads are very narrow, and wildlife just wonder out into traffic. We saw buffalo every single day, and trust me I would not want to hit them in a Camry at 2am.

While there, we also enjoyed the Buffalo Jeep Ride, and the restaurant at the Game Lodge. Staff is nice, but not amazingly outstanding, but at The State Game Lodge, nature is really your host and she does a fine job.

One note, however, there is no pool or fitness center here. Also, bring a flashlight with you to dinner in the main building, as the walk between the creekside lodge and the main building is short, but pretty dark past sundown.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SeveraAsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sglmanager, General Manager at State Game Lodge, responded to this review, October 31, 2011
Thank you for your recent review. Custer State Park, the State Game Lodge and the Creekside Lodge Addition are a great spot to headquarter out of to see the abundant wildlife and natural beauty of Custer State Park and the Black Hills. I appreciate you taking the time to write the review and I hope you can make a return trip to the Black Hills in the near future and I do have it in the budget this year to add lighting to the path from Creekside to the main Lodge.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, MD
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2011

We stayed here while attending a family reunion in Custer State Park. The hotel is convenient to reach from the Rapid City Airport and is in a great location within the park. Some of our family stayed at the nearby campground and some in the cabins. We chose to stay at the lodge in one of the traditional lodge rooms. The room was clean and nicely decorated. The only complaint about the room is how small the shower stall is. The staff of the lodge are very friendly and helpful. We ate in the dining room but only for breakfast so I can't speak to the quality of the other meals, but the breakfast buffet was sufficient.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank akimbok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sglmanager, General Manager at State Game Lodge, responded to this review, October 31, 2011
Thank you for your recent review. Custer State Park and the State Game Lodge is a great spot to headquarter out of to see the abundant wildlife and natural beauty of Custer State Park and the Black Hills. I appreciate you taking the time to write the review and I hope you can make a return trip to the Black Hills in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas USA
Level Contributor
240 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2011

Very nice accommodations right in Custer State Park which is magnificent. Buffalo roaming around. Creekside Lodge has more hotel type newer rooms with Historic rooms in main Lodge.
Restaurant and bar in main Lodge building along with a gift shop.
Rooms are a bit pricey but location, location ,location !!!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Steve48Texas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sglmanager, General Manager at State Game Lodge, responded to this review, October 31, 2011
Thank you for your recent review. Custer State Park and the State Game Lodge is a great spot to headquarter out of to see the abundant wildlife and natural beauty of Custer State Park and the Black Hills. I appreciate you taking the time to write the review and I hope you can make a return trip to the Black Hills in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich Switzerland
Level Contributor
128 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2011

We recently spent one night at the State Game Lodge. We had a two room suite that faced the front of the hotel. The suite was very dark and the bathroom/shower tiny and in my opinion way overpriced at $260. Dinner was better than we expected. The area around the State Game Lodge is outstanding. It's not far to Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Both attractions are not to be missed. Two very nice drives are the Needles Highway and the Iron Mountain Road. I would stay here again but would book a different room.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rosa1213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sglmanager, General Manager at State Game Lodge, responded to this review, October 31, 2011
Thank you for your recent review. I am sorry that the lodge room did not meet your expectations. The Historic lodge rooms at the State Game Lodge were built in 1920 and the the expectations of the traveling public were alot different than they are today.The orginal rooms did not have bathrooms only a small sink and over the years the rooms have been remodeled to include a private bathroom albiet a small one hile keeping the historic feel to the room. We strive extremely hard to insure that each and every guest to our lodge receive the highest quality service and products, returning home with a very favorable impression of Custer State Park and our facilities. However, on occasion we fall short of the high standards we have set for ourselves and we appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to bring this to our attention.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2011

It's not cheap to stay at the cabins at Custer State Park, so it's easy to assume that you're walking in to a cute, pristine cabin. Well, you're not. A few hours in to our stay, I concluded we were paying for the location and the cost is inflated through simple supply and demand. If you enjoy camping, you can handle these cabins that are pretty small, have a few (7-10) bugs to kill a night, and a bit of a musty smell. If you can't handle these things, then pay the extra money to stay in one of the hotel settings in the park.

Whatever you do, definitely stay in the park!! It's absolutely beautiful and served as a good home base as we visited Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and the Badlands.

We ate both breakfast and dinner at the Lodge and found
the food above average. We also went on the Buffalo Jeep Safari which I highly recommend. Be ready for a bumpy ride at times as we went off road. Saw over 100 bison and several pronghorn while learning much more about the area.

I would not recommend these cabins to all my friends, but I would recommend it if a friend were on a budget and knew what they were getting into.

P.S. Everyone at the Lodge itself was wonderful and very nice! We felt very welcOm

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Chi-mommie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sglmanager, General Manager at State Game Lodge, responded to this review, October 31, 2011
Thank you for your recent review. Custer State Park and the State Game Lodge are a great spot to headquarter out of to see the abundant wildlife and natural beauty of Custer State Park and the Black Hills. I appreciate you taking the time to write the review and I hope you can make a return trip to the Black Hills.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about State Game Lodge

Property: State Game Lodge
Address: 13389 Us Highway 16A, Custer, SD 57730
Location: United States > South Dakota > Custer
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 17 Hotels in Custer
Hotel Class:3 star — State Game Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 101
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Custer State Park, this family accommodation once served as housing for the state's game keepers. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
State Game Hotel Custer
State Game Resort

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