We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Great place to get away - Sleeping Cabin review” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blue Bell Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Custer
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Blue Bell Lodge
Ranked #2 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Custer
Certificate of Excellence
Franklin, TN
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great place to get away - Sleeping Cabin review”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2012

My rating of this cabin not only includes the elements of the cabin but the entire atmosphere it is set in. We stayed here on the spur of the moment having to leave our hotel due to dishonestly regarding fees. We got the last cabin available and it was a wonderful surprise. We've stayed in state park cabins before and this one was really tops. Cozy, cute, quiet and clean, it was everything you want in a "rustic" cabin. It had satellite TV that lost signal occasionally but that kind of added to the ambience in the seclusion of the Black Hills. The beds were comfortable and clean. The porch was huge. We hated leaving and will stay here the next time we come back. It is right across the street from the lodge/restaurant and very close to the General store, stables. There is so much to see and experience in this awesome state park and area!!!! We will be back!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelingFranklinFam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, August 19, 2012
I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but I'm glad you found us through it! Looking forward to your next trip out our way! Thanks for coming!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

224 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    127
    60
    18
    12
    7
See reviews for
117
73
1
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
67 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2012 via mobile

We spent a lovely weekend at the Blue Bell Lodge. We booked the largest cabin (the Commissioner's Cabin) because we thought we were getting the BEST cabin. Not so. After speaking with the Manager, Jim Bob Layng at checkout, he told us that there are plans to renovate this cabin. Presently this has not been done and Jim Bob encouraged me to write an honest review, warts and all, so here goes...

The Blue Bell Lodge is a wonderful getaway that was chosen as the site of our family reunion. There were approximately 50 of us staying at the lodge in various cabins. When we went to visit some of the other cabins we found that everyone had a nicer cabin than us, yet we were paying for the "best" cabin. Our cabin did not have any closets at all. We had to lay our large suitcases on the floor and it was very inconvenient as the master bedroom had NO available floor space. Very inconvenient. The kitchen is right next to the only bathroom, again VERY inconvenient and a poor layout when you are sharing the cabin
with other people. Who wants to eat where you ....? LOL, but it was NOT funny.

Had we known that all of the other cabins had been renovated, we would have chosen one of those cabins. With that being
said, once we acclimated to our cabin, the rest of the experience was heavenly. The staff at the Blue Bell Lodge is GREAT. A
special shout out to the Chef and his wife, Mary who makes the BEST apple cobbler! The food was excellent, which was a
special treat since I am a bit of a food snob. The bartender makes a fabulous margarita and her mixer skills cannot be
denied! Don't miss her special sangria.

The grounds of the lodge are well kept. In short, a stay at the Blue Bell Lodge is a very pleasant experience that should not be missed. I hope the Manager lets us know when the Commissioners' Cabin is renovated, as once that is done then the Blue Bell Lodge will be perfection personified.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank JovanV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, August 19, 2012
Thanks for staying with us. We're glad you a great time in the lodge! Sorry you found the Commissioners cabin so unpleasant. I agree it is kind of old and needs to be rennovated. Those cabins were built by the CCC in the 1930s so we have been working on updating them throughout the years. When indoor plumbing came into play, houses had all the plumbing installed at one time in one place. I know that's weird to us today, but it sure beats the outhouse on a cold, windy night!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
49 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2012

We booked the housekeeping cabin 4 months in advance for our summer road trip.

At check-in we could not understand the thick accents of the counter staff. I had to ask them to repeat themselves several times. We had called previously and spoken to the same gentlemen about pots and pans for the cabin, and were assured that the kitchen would provide anything that we needed. However, once we were in the cabin we were told that it was not possible. It's a good thing that we had bought a fry pan in Rapid City because there were no pots and pans in the cabin kitchen. Zero.

Entering the cabin, we immediately found that the phone was DEAD. I traced the wires behind the cabin and found a part that had been broken for a long time, judging from the corrosion and dirt. I spent an hour of my special vacation with my Swiss Army knife repairing the broken wires. Then the phone worked fine.

All three nights we were woken up by mice chewing, squeaking, and running back and forth in the kitchen counter area. On the second day we contacted the office, who did nothing about it. And it was a surprise to the (different) counter staff when we mentioned it upon checking out.

There were positives of course. The basic furnishings were good, and the heating/cooling worked well. The hotplate, microwave, fridge, and TV were fine. The bath and shower were acceptable for a refurbished old cabin. We did not expect luxury.

But rankles were raised again upon check out. You cannot imagine how many creative fees and taxes were added to our bill! The taxes for city, county, state, etc totaled 8.5% and there was a "donation" included for a conservation group! Well I objected to that. I will give a donation if I know about an organization and approve of their work, but I find it offensive that I was not given the choice. It took the counter staff 15 minutes and a phone call to figure out how to take the "donation" off my bill. At the end I was told "There, you go!". To which I answered "your welcome". Yes, they did not have the courtesy to say "thank you" even when I prompted them. I am not impressed.

I would not recommend Blue Bell Lodge cabins. I think there are much better options outside of the park with local businesses who will appreciate your patronage and give you superior service.

Room Tip: Newer cabins probably are better than older.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank trekkin_1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2012

We stayed in the camper cabins in the campground. In a word, Awesome! $47 a night and an incredible view. Really new 'family style' shower house and bathroom was great. Staff were great and everything was so clean. Really liked these little cabins. We did the 1 hour trail ride at the stables with my two kids and the college age staff there were great with them. They are both still smiling talking about riding 'Daisy' and 'Moom Beam'. Such a beautiful area of the park, tons of wildlife, buffalo all over the road on two occasions. So much fun!

Room Tip: Go for camper cabin #15-19 for an awesome view. We had #4 and #5, #5 had much better view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MNRV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, August 19, 2012
Glad you had a great time with us. I'm sure the kids will be talking about their horse ride for years to come! Thank you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
74 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2012

We spent 3 nights camping in a rented RV and the sites were great. The shower facilities were fantastic! Hot, clean and private showers. We went to the Blue Bell Lodge for drinks and appetizers one evening and they were great. Prices were reasonable and good variety for the kids too. They have a nice outdoor patio area off the restaurant bar. The general store across the street has basic provisions and souveniers, but the prices for provisions were outrageous. I bought one snack there with regrets. A 12-16oz. travel size milk for my son set us back about $2.50!! All in all, the lodge is very nice, with a great setting and great sites for campers.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Julie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, August 19, 2012
Thank you for visiting with us. We are glad you had a great stay. Glad you had a great time at the lodge. Sorry about the milk. Bluebell store is pretty remote!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2012

After my GPS getting us lost when entering Custer State Park we arrived late (GPS is not always reliable in this park). Staff was personable and helpful and had everything ready for us when we arrived. Stayed in a housekeeping cabin (#4). The cabin and bathroom are small, but we spent very little time with all of the attractions surrounding the Blue Bell (Wind Cave National Park to the south, Jewel Cave to the east, Mt. Coolidge just up the road, and all of the other attractions surrounding Keystone). Watched both deer and turkey from the cabin. Custer State Park is beautiful! There was a burn ban at the time that we stayed which prevented us from using the fire ring to cook or sit around the campfire. The kitchenette is too small to be very useful and we gave up trying to use the hot plate provided as it took all of the counter space and heated slowly. If I were to come back to the Blue Bell I would opt for a cabin for a larger kitchen as we would not have had to eat out as much. Housekeeping replaced towels, but the carpet did not appear to be vacuumed during our stay. If you are looking for a new and spotless hotel, this is not your place, but bedding was clean and comfortable and the peace and quiet was wonderful. Previous reviews that complained about mice and despite being in the middle of a forest this didn't appear to be a problem. I didn't see any mice droppings and you can see where they have worked to fill in the space between the logs inside the cabin. Glasses, coffee cups, silverware, a pot and pan and plates for four were provided. Also, I had no problem understanding the staff at the resort. There are more than a few staff working at the Blue Bell and the other Custer State Resorts that speak English as a second language and do it well. Appreciate the diversity of the staff and disregard bigoted rantings in other reviews.

Room Tip: If you plan on cooking, choose a cabin with more than a hot plate.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelingIowaMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, July 18, 2012
Thank you for your gracious comments. We try to make every stay a pleasant one and we are so happy you enjoyed your visit with us. Next time ask for a sleeping cabin; they are a bit larger!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California, Maryland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2012

What a nice cabin! It is in the heart of Custer State Park, and was very nice. We stayed in the Housekeeping cabin. The best part was that it was very quiet and clean. Understand that it is a cabin and not a luxurious hotel room. We received fresh towels each day. The bathroom is small, but again it is a cabin! Kitchenette with refrigerator. The people at the front desk were very nice. It is in a great location. This was our favorite part of our "West Trip." Would recommend this to family and friends. Great getaway!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Cropper2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, July 18, 2012
Nothin' like a stay at Bluebell to round out your old west vacation! So happy you enjoyed your stay with us! See you next time!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Custer
7.4 mi away
Holiday Inn Express Custer
9.5 mi away
Gold Camp Cabins
Gold Camp Cabins
#14 of 17 in Custer
4.5 of 5 bubbles 29 reviews
7.3 mi away
Comfort Inn & Suites Custer
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
15.7 mi away
BEST WESTERN Golden Spike Inn & Suites
7.4 mi away
Bavarian Inn
Bavarian Inn
#3 of 17 in Custer
4.5 of 5 bubbles 429 reviews
12.7 mi away
K Bar S Lodge
K Bar S Lodge
#1 of 14 in Keystone
4.5 of 5 bubbles 830 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Blue Bell Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Blue Bell Lodge

Property: Blue Bell Lodge
Address: Custer State Park, 25453 Highway 87, Custer, SD 57730
Location: United States > South Dakota > Custer
Amenities:
Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Custer
Hotel Class:3 star — Blue Bell Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 240
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A historical lodge offering horseback riding and camping trips through Custer State park. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blue Bell Hotel Custer

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing