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“A room with a view ... on bisons!”
Review of State Game Lodge

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State Game Lodge
Ranked #9 of 18 Hotels in Custer
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 22, 2010

In May 2010 we stayed 3 nights at the State Game Lodge in Custer State Park. Unfortunately not in the beautiful and cosy old hotel but in a kind of motel room close to the old hotel. The bathroom seemed to be fitted for older or disabled persons and the sleeping room was pretty small. But the view was amazing: wonderful trees and we watched deer, mountain goats and ... bisons, four old bulls were slowly walking across the road towards our room, only 20 meters away from us, how thrilling! The pleasant service in the restaurant was done by people from outside the USA, in our case from Indonesia. They were very glad we could speak some Indonesian words and knew a lot about their kitchen (that's because Indonesia was a Dutch colony in the past). The food was decent, no more or less. Our main reason to visit the State Game Lodge was to do the Buffalo Jeep Safari (the start is from there), due to the heavy rain it was a bit disappointing but the nature is wonderful. We were very close to bisons and the driver was very friendly and helpfull. During our stay we enjoyed the splendid nature, I even had a very close encounter with a huge bull bison, I was only six meters away from him! When he started to become annoyed, I immediately took my escape route behind a lodge, then he became very quickly quiet ... and I had my awesome camcorder footage! We loved our stay at the State Game Lodge in Custer State Park (we also did two day trips in the park with ABS Travel), it's a very peaceful and clean place to relax and enjoy the lush nature and wildlife (I just missed a cougar a Park Ranger told me when I did one of my early morning walks). Recommended.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Neuteboom
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 reviewResponded February 1, 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 am sorry the weather wasn't more cooperative for you during the Buffalo Jeep Safari Ride but it sounds like you enjoyed it regardless. I appreciate you taking the time to write the review and I hope you can make a return trip to the Black Hills.

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375 - 381 of 456 reviews

Reviewed October 19, 2010

We stayed at Creekside - a new building of rooms a short walk from the State Game lodge. The room was very well appointed (Queen beds, flat screen TV, etc.) and looked new. Very clean and comfortable, with a little couch and sitting area. My experience of lodging in State/National parks is not great (typically expensive and not much to look at - you pay for location). In this case, the location was excellent and the room was very nice. It was not exactly cheap, but the value was good for what you get. We ate meals at the Game Lodge and the food was better than I expected - not haute cuisine, but quite good.

Access to the Park and the wildlife was outstanding (there were Buffalo grazing on the lawn when we woke up, and then a herd of antelope walked by). My kids (ages 11 and 13) absolutely loved the experience.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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Thank GK12650
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 reviewResponded February 1, 2011

Thank you for your recent review. Custer State Park and the State Game Lodge and the Creekside Lodge Addition 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.

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Reviewed October 12, 2010

The Creekside is a great new addition. Last time we went down to the Game Lodge, we stayed in the old cabins. The Creekside is quite an upgrade. The fireplace in the lobby is quite nice, and it is extremely quiet. The rooms don't have much charm, but are certainly very comfortable. Except the pillows. It took forever to get to sleep, because the pillows were ROCK HARD. Worst pillows ever. Wi-fi worked OK, it broke on the last day of our stay. It was very clean, especially for being a pet-friendly room (We brought our dog). Overall, this is a good lodge, though they should replace the pillows.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled on business
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Thank rapidcitytraveler98
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 reviewResponded February 1, 2011

Thank you for your recent review. Custer State Park and the State Game Lodge and the Creekside Lodge Addition 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 update our pillows with new ones every year so on my next order I will get some more fluffy pillows. I appreciate you taking the time to write the review and I hope you can make a return trip to the Black Hills to try out our new pillows.

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Reviewed October 1, 2010

I was totally disappointed in the cabins at the Game Lodge this stay. I am a repeat visitor, but won't be selecting the cabins at this location again. The cabin was dirty. The shower had a major drip that was loud. I found a spiders in the cabin (I understand, this is a cabin in the woods), but one was in the bedsheets. The TV service wasn't working, I could not get most of the channels listed on the TV guide listing the channels. The checkin was horribly slow, and the young man checking us in was rude and seemed much too interested in just getting rid of us. And there was no WIFI. When several of us asked why we couldn't pick up the WIFI, the response was "well, you are sitting right over it". Rude, dirty, needing maintenance. And not cheap.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled solo
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Thank texastraveler22037
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 reviewResponded February 1, 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.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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Reviewed September 18, 2010

While this was not, by far, the worst accommodation I have ever stayed in; I was exceedingly disappointed in the lodgings. I chose to stay in a room in the historic lodge, itself, instead of a motel room or cabin, because I thought it would be great to be in the historic lodge. I paid a premium to have a room overlooking the front lawn because I thought it would give us a great view, and we were here for several nights. Based on the minimal descriptions of the room on-line and the photos of "a lodge room" on the website, I had high expectations of staying in a charming, historic room. What we got, instead, was an exceedingly tiny room, appallingly under-furnished with literally no free surfaces upon which to put any necessary items, and practically no space for luggage. The bathroom was tiny, with just a shower (nice one, though) and toilet. The tiny sink was in the bedroom itself. There were no surfaces anywhere which could be used for personal toiletries.

The queen bed had only one small side table with a lamp and clock, and barely any space for reading glasses, book, or anything else. The other side had nothing. There was one chair only in the room--I used that as my bedside table. There was one very tall, narrow dresser, on top of which was a coffee-maker, but you could not use the coffee maker effectively up on that surface--we had to put it on the floor. Our two small carry-ons fit on the luggage rack, but there was no closet, nor any other space where we could have put larger pieces of luggage, had we needed to.

The furniture was poorly made--we were sitting in bed one evening reading and the bed frame suddenly fell apart. In addition, the window of the room immediately next to ours faced into our room at an angle, so for privacy, we had to keep the blinds drawn. From the other window, we had a view of the lawn and wooded area across the road, but with the windows open, there was a fair amount of road noise.

The room had a wall-mounted TV and the hotel has free wi-fi. The hotel plays host to large bus tours and sometimes seems overrun with those tour groups, although they ate in a separate dining room.

The food at the hotel was excellent. We enjoyed the a la carte breakfasts (there is also a large buffet) and delicious dinners, with choices including game and local fish. It was quite convenient to be staying in the lodge and have our meals there.

There are many other lodging opportunities in Custer State Park, but be aware that the park is quite large, and the lodging in other areas are not close by. The State Game Lodge is in a central location within the park, and if I had to do it again, I would stay in one of the motel rooms attached to the main lodge, or the Creekside Lodge right beside it, both of which would be convenient for dining at the lodge. In addition, before booking, I would ask for a more precise explanation of exactly what the room is like, how big, how furnished, etc.

Custer State Park is a great park, and we saw lots of buffalo and wonderful scenery while there. The jeep tour is fun. Try to drive the scenic Iron Mountain Road from south to north, which takes you through beautiful scenery and through three tunnels which frame the Mount Rushmore faces in the distance--quite spectacular.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ssgtravel
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 reviewResponded February 3, 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.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.
I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the restaurant and the Park.

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Reviewed August 25, 2010

Location can't be beat, just off of wildlife loop in Custer State Park. We saw tons of wildlife including bison, deer, antelope, coyote, begging burros, praire dogs and bighorn sheep. Good base to explore Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse and surrounding area. The cabin itself was nice, quiet. Had tv which we never used. Supposed to have wireless internet, but did not work at cabins. Had to walk halfway to the Game lodge to pick up their signal.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank PhotomattTampa
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 reviewResponded February 1, 2011

Thank you for your recent review. The State Game Lodge is a great place to headquarter out of to see Custer State Park and the entire Black Hills area.
We provide free WiFi to our guest in the State Game Lodge and at our Creekside Lodge addition. We also try to provide access to the WiFi to our cabins but that goal sometimes fall short due to our technology. We will continue to upgrade our technology and improve the reach of our WiFi.
We strive extremely hard to insure that each and every guest to our lodges receive the highest quality service and products, returning home with a very favorable impression of Custer State Park and our facilities.
Thank you for you for staying with us and we hope you return again next year.

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Reviewed August 25, 2010

We were so excited to get to Custer State Park and this leg of our trip. When we pulled up, the State Game Lodge was set back from the road by a well manicured lawn, looking so elegant. Finding parking was a little tricky, once we did find parking we went inside to check in.
We were greeted by a very nice desk clerk. He was willing to help us with our bags, provided us with directions, and gave us a little background about the whole area. We had reserved a room in the main lodge on the President Coolidge floor. I loved the room when we went inside!. We had a two room suite that faced the front of the hotel. The front room had windows all the way around, providing an awesome breeze in the room. Climate control was available. The bed in that room was a pullout. My son said it was comfortable. Our bed was gigantic! Fluffy and comforting, slept like a baby through the night. Keeping in mind that this establishment is historic, it is a bit on the small size, especially the bathroom. However, the overall regal feel to the place makes up for the small spaces. The dinner was superb! I bravely had the buffalo filet, it was outstanding! Our whole experience the Custer area was just fabulous. The abundant wildlife and pristine views will remain with me forever. Thank you for a great adventure!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Christopher M
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 reviewResponded February 1, 2011

Thank you for your recent review. The State Game Lodge is a great place to headquarter out of to see Custer State Park and the entire Black Hills area.
We strive extremely hard to insure that each and every guest to our lodges receive the highest quality service and products, returning home with a very favorable impression of Custer State Park and our facilities.
I hope you and your family make Custer State Park and the State Game Lodge a annual vacation spot!

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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 State Game Lodge

Address: 13389 US Highway 16a, Custer, SD 57730-8351
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 #9 of 18 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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