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“Avoid the Restaurant”
Review of Blue Bell Lodge

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Blue Bell Lodge
Ranked #3 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Custer
Certificate of Excellence
Centennial, CO
Level 6 Contributor
251 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Avoid the Restaurant”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

We were staying in the nice Blue Bell Campground and on our first night we decided to have dinner at the lodge. What a mistake that was. I ordered the buffalo meatloaf and found it to be VERY dry and only only acceptable with lots of gravy and mashed potatoes. I also ordered a margarita which was served in a tall beer glass...strange sight. The place was empty but the decor was pleasant and the service from Carlos was great. Because of a powerful overnight thunderstorm we decided to return for breakfast and found the food to be worse than the prior evening. My tomato juice had that tin can taste and the eggs and potatoes just didn't taste right. My western omelet was cooked with bell peppers when I specifically asked for no bell peppers. There was only one variety of packaged jam (grape) available on the tables. If you must eat at a restaurant, head into Custer, 17 miles west.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Triumph1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, October 16, 2013
Thank you for your review. We strive to make everyones experience a positive one but it seems we missed the mark with you. It is regretful that you had a meal here that you did not enjoy. We strive for quality food and atmosphere and I hope the next time you are in the Black Hills you will give us another chance to impress you. Your experience is not the norm for Blue Bell and I hope we can prove that to you sometime.
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238 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
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English first
Maynard, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2013

We recently rented one of the renovated sleeper cabins for 4 days. Having never visited South Dakota, we were excited about what the park had to offer and we were not disappointed. First off, the cabin was just what we needed - comfortable bed, a small fridge, microwave and AC. Really enjoyed the campfire pit next to the cabin, and every night we sat around the fire and made s'mores for a lifetime of childhood memories. We did stock up on milk, eggs, bacon, bagels, fruit, and Bisquick to cook breakfast every morning in the fairly small kitchen area. It was acceptable, but it could have been a bit more furnished. We did get a take out lunch from the restaurant, and it was very tasty. The onsite convenience store, little gas station, and the stables makes this place so unique. Although there are more "central" locations for what the park offers - this little gem was just enough off the beaten path to give you that authentic western experience. I highly suggest the horse trail ride. We did not do the Chuck Wagon - although we did experience people coming back from one and they all seemed to have enjoyed themselves. I have teen age boys, and I don't know if they would have appreciated the Chuck Wagon - but to each their own. Would recommend to anyone staying in the Black Hills. I did however wish that they had some more activities for the kids there - including possibly a swimming pool.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Maynard_Marc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, October 16, 2013
Thank you so much for you great revirew. You spent your vacation exactly how I like to spend mine and I am very pleased that you had a wonderful time. On behalf of the Blue Bell staff, we hope you come to the Black Hills again and stay with us. Thank you again.
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Crystal Lake, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

"Blue Bell Lodge is as comfortable as a pair of old blue jeans. This hideaway retreat with a guest ranch flavor offers a Western experience that's sure to charm." This quote from the lodge website perfectly describes our stay at the Blue Bell. Staff was friendly, the general store was very convenient and horseback riding was one of the highlights of our trip. Food at the lodge was authentic and delicious; buffalo eggs Benedict, buffalo meatloaf, buffalo burgers... my dad was in heaven!The biscuits are also a must! If we ever go back to South Dakota, you can be sure to find us all cozied up in one of these beautiful cabins!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Emily R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Wow, great review, thank you. I am very pleased that you had a fun time here. I am proud of my staff and will pass this along to them. I am very fond of the horseback riding as well. You get to see parts of the park that no one else does and it sure is beautiful. If you haven't had the pleasure, I suggest the Chuckwagon Cookout next time you're here. Our entertainers are superb, the food is great and a good time is had by all. Thank you again and hope to see you next time your in the Black Hills!!!
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Leawood, Kansas
1 review
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Our accommodations were perfect. We'd not been to the Black Hills since we were children - 58 years ago! Blue Bell was idyllic, peaceful. The only "glitch" is in the reservation system, as we know of 3 other families who had to move from one cabin to another during their stay. Maybe this could be avoided by reserving earlier than we did? Our 4 nights (end of June into July) were the right amount of time to use Blue Bell as a home base, and tour the Black Hills at our leisure. Dining room : good food, need some additional smaller portions available for us "more mature" patrons. Look forward to another visit. We wanted to adopt Molly, Devin, Anna, Maria and Denise - but Chad said he couldn't get along without them!

Room Tip: Sleeping Cabin was ideal for us. Plenty of space, lighting adequate for reading - but we would'v...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MAH1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Thank you for your review. Glad that you were able to make it back to the Black Hills all these years later and found it just as enjoyable. I suggest as well to make your reservations early. People are always surprised to hear how fast we fill up. Every year gets a little busier so getting those reservations in early is key. Thank you again for your kind words and don't wait so long to come back and visit us!!!
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Centennial, CO
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2013

We recently stayed at a cabin at the Blue Bell resort in Custer State Park in South Dakota. The cabin was amazing--many amenities, clean, modern--with good housekeeping services daily. We also enjoyed the restaurant & bar there; staff was friendly and food was reasonable and good. The chuckwagon supper & entertainment is well worth the price. Scenery is beautiful!!!

Room Tip: Some cabins have been updated and some have not.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kristi Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Thank you for your kind words. I am very happy that you had a wonderful time with us. I feel that the Blue Bell Staff is top notch and I am pleased you felt the same. The Chuckwagon Dinner is a great time, I suggest to anyone coming to the Black Hills to come out with us. A good time is always had by all. Thanks again and we hope to see you next time your in Custer State Park.
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ojai
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2013

The Blue Bell Lodge cabins (the newer ones) more than exceeded our expectations. Our cabin had 2 queen beds, a fire place, dining table and chairs, 2 extra chairs, galley kitchen, large bathroom and nice front porch. Because the lodge is historic and quite old, I was expecting something a bit run down. What a surprise it was.
Also the lodge has a nice dining room. We had 2 breakfasts, lunch and a special wedding reception dinner. The food was excellent, especially the chicken quisadillas with roasted corn.
At the reception we had buffalo tips with mushrooms, buffalo sausage and pheasant tartlets that were all excellent.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for the newer cabins. Not all have a fireplace. It all depends on the price you wan...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank madjack247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Thank you so much for your wonderful review. The staff and I enjoyed serving you and being a part of your wonderful occasion. The sleeping cabins are newer and have more to offer than the older cabins. My favorite part are the fireplaces, they makes for a cozy stay. Thanks, and if you find yourself in the Black Hills again, please stop in and say hi!!!
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Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2013 via mobile

We stayed 3 nights in the lodge. We had dinner in the restaurant the 1st night. It was empty because the food is terrible, Mac and cheese without cheese, a tough steak not properly cook, etc. Too bad they don't have a cook because the place is pretty and the staff was great. Breakfast was terrible too. Bring your food because there is a BBQ outside and they supply plenty of wood. Our cabin, which was priced like a hotel in NYC but didn't have enough pillows and the one we had were flat, the bed was uncomfortable, they forgot to clean the room, the TV remote was missing, the fireplace poker was missing, the light burned out in the kitchen, etc. I think it is best to pay 1/4 the price and stay in the camping cabins. They service the lodge like the camping cabins so save the money!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rahcg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
Thank you for your review. I am sorry that you had a dissapointing experience here at Blue Bell. We strive to make everyone's stay enjoyable but we obviously missed the mark with you. I make no excuses for your meals but to say that is not the norm for us at Blue Bell as we have had many compliments on our menu. I can only say that I wish I had known of your issues and had the opportunity to correct them for you. I hope that you will consider giving us another chance to serve you should you come to the Black Hills again.
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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 #3 of 24 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

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