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“The ONLY thing good about staying here was the location”
Review of Sylvan Lake Lodge

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Sylvan Lake Lodge
Ranked #9 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Custer
Reviewed September 25, 2012

The overall appearance is old and run down. The bathroom inside our room was dirty and dusty. The water pressure was pathetic and it felt like our neighbors were inside of our room.
The carpets needed to be vacuumed and it just was poorly managed. The front receptionist was friendly and cheerful, but our dining room was lackluster to say the least.

If you feel like driving out of the park to save $80, get a decent continental breakfast and hot cup of coffee that is drinkable, I would say "do it."

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 17, 2012

My wife and I were just wandering South Dakota with plans to stay in the Black Hills. We searched for lodging as we traveled, the beauty of the internet. We found this place and booked 2 nights, when we arrived and saw the location we added another night. The first room in the old wing was terrible and we changed to 2 different rooms with differing views. The new wing or the king suite int he old wing were nice, sparse but very nice. Now we id not have great food in South Dakota but the lodge restaurant was quite good, and certainly better than going to Custer or Hill City. Grab some coffee in the morning and walk around Sylvan Lake, wow. The location is a good as it gets to get to Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Wild life, Caves or any of the Southern or Central hill cities. The lodge is dated and could use some improvements in the older areas but it is a very pleasant place to stay.

Room Tip: Go for the new wing with a balcony
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rdelott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2012

We stayed here with another couple for 3 nights in one of the housekeeping cabins, which are suprisingly closer to Sylvan Lake than the main lodge. The cabins don't look like much from the outside. They kind of look like camping in the woods. However the insides are very nice, basic, comfortable, and quiet. They even have AC units which are very quiet, and we certainly needed ours the first day or so. The maid service was great. Even though we hung up our towels to reuse them, they replaced all of them every day anyway. Sylvan Lake was a short walk down the hill from our cabin and the main lodge was a mile drive away by road. Can't see the lake at all from the main lodge. We heard that it's a quarter mile down the steep hill from the lodge to the lake but we never found that trail. The common area and the dining room of the main lodge are beautiful, with the national park lodge style log beams and wild animal heads on the walls. They had an artist in residence for the month of September in the common area that made and sold beautifully and uniquely carved gourds. The dinners in the dining room were excellent, so much that we ate there every night and had the same meal (angus steak filet mignon). It was that good. And the lemonade here tasted better than any we have had. We think this is the nicest and
most refined of the lodges and the best location in Custer State Park. It was a welcome haven from the proliferation of tacky tourist traps in the Black Hills area. We would definitely stay here again.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
2  Thank 2windsurfandski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

We chose the Lodge because of the proximity to the area trails that we planned to hike. We spent 4 nights. Overall, it was a fairly expensive disappointment. Location was nice...central to the Black Hills attractions. The room was quite small, complete with broken windows and window blinds. It was very dark...thanks to the ridiculous "eco" lighting. The bare walls decor was downright monastic. The "shower" was more like a "trickle." Cleanliness was suspect...we found quite a collection of "things" under our queen bed.
The lobby and dining room were attractive. Meals were pricey and ran the gamut from excellent to mediocre. "Uh, we're out of spoons today." Pretty much "faded glory" going on at this historic property. South Dakota would be well advised to invest a little capital in its state lodging.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ToughGuy4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

This resort was beautiful. We had a lovely King suite with a view of the lake. The front desk was very accomodating to our needs. The common area was in the the grand lodge tradition and most impressive. Although the walk to the lake was a bit of a trek you could easily drive down. The lake was beautiful as was all of Custer State Park. We traveled easily to the Badlands, Hot Springs,Wind Cave, Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse. This was a wonderful jumping off place for all these excursions.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Diane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2012

We stayed 5 nights in a house keeping cabin with a small dog. Although kind of pricey it was very nice. Close to the beautiful lake and plenty to do without having to go anywhere else. There are neighboring cabins but not to crowded. Being on top of the hills most things were down hill from there. The lake and store were an easy 1 min. walk from the cabin. Staff and park officials very friendly. We visited the park labor day just after the busy season and bargins every where. Not so sure about the lodge/motel/resturant. Important to know the lodge / check in office is a mile from the lake and cabins almost as if they weren't connected at all even better if staying in the cabins.

Room Tip: Some cabins are near the lodge I would not like that.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank nighttripper_09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

I just returned from a 6 night stay at Sylvan Lake Lodge. Overall I was happy with the lodge. Having wifi in my room was a pleasant surprise, it was not available in my Grand Teton or Yellowstone lodging. We were on the first floor and near the lobby, so foot traffic noise was expected and wasn't an issue past 9 at night.

Our biggest complaint would be the wedding reception on Aug 17. The noise was so loud so I called the front desk, something I don't think I've ever had to do. I was not happy with the response of the desk clerk which was "good luck trying to sleep!" He said the reception would be over at 11. We were planning to get up early the next morning to for a hike, so I put my ear plugs in and tried to sleep. Thankfully, he was right and at 11 all was quiet.

I thought the breakfast buffet was a poor value at $12. It didn't include coffee or juice and there was no yogurt or bread for toast. We ate there once and never went back to the dining room. There were many good restaurants in Custer.

Staying in the park gave us lots of opportunity to drive the roads in the park. Everyone knows about Needles Highway and the Wildlife Loop, but don't miss Iron Mountain Road. There are a couple of tunnels that dramatically frame Mt. Rushmore.

All in all, for about $150 a night, including tax, this was a good value. I would stay there again.

Room Tip: We were on the 1st floor and could hear the room above us, would ask for higher floor if we stayed a...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Cheri80
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 Sd Highway 87, Custer, SD 57730-5201
Location: United States > South Dakota > Custer
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Custer
Hotel Class:3 star — Sylvan Lake Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This accommodation is located on Custer State Park's Sylvan Lake. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sylvan Lake Hotel Custer

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