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“Best place in Custer State Park”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Blue Bell Lodge

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Blue Bell Lodge
Ranked #3 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Custer
Certificate of Excellence
Leland, Illinois
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Best place in Custer State Park”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2013

We spent 4 days in the Black Hills area, but only our last night at the Blue Bell lodge. It is more costly, but we wanted to splurge for our last night. We weren't disappointed! The cabin was wonderful. It was clean, spacious, nicely decorated, and had lots of windows for looking outside. The cabins were also spaced apart nicely for privacy. The staff in the general store were friendly and we had a good meal in the lodge. We arrived early in the afternoon and went horse back riding from their stables, and it was a nice, scenic ride.

The best part were the 2 buffalo bulls we spied relaxing 2 cabins over. We watched them thru the window and from the porch for at least 2 hours. Unbelievable! When we drove to the lodge for dinner we went right past them. If you can afford to stay at the Blue Bell, its a great place and not too far from Custer City for shopping and other dining.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank dianeteaches2
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, December 10, 2013
Thank you very much for your wonderful review. We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. The horseback rides are a great way to see areas of the park that most do not get to. I myself am a huge fan of the Buffalo and could watch them all day. We have a variety of cabin types to choose from with different price points to help fit into most budgets. Again, thank you for your review and we hope to see you again in the future!!!
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224 reviews from our community

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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)
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English first
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2013

We staying in one of the newer sleeping cabins. We chose it because we wanted an indoor fireplace, which we used every evening we were there. The cabins are nicely spaced apart in the woods yet all close enough to the main lodge. My complaints about the room: there were a number of deferred maintenance items that would have been easy to fix (e.g., broken closet door handle, broken door stop, broken curtain pulls, chipped paint in bathroom) and the amount of dishes and food preparation tools was minimal. You really can't plan on doing any serious cooking in the kitchenette. We loved hanging out in the bar in the lodge. Great bartender (Jayme). The rest of the staff was not that helpful or well informed. The dining room is great, but they rarely use the beautiful fireplace there - a missed opportunity. We ate one dinner at the lodge. Not great food and a bit pricey. Also, beer selection is pretty limited if you want anything other than a macro brew. Overall, though, we really enjoyed our experience at Blue Bell and would stay there again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank HappyinMinneapolis
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, December 10, 2013
Thank you very much for your review of the Blue Bell Lodge. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. We are working on fixing the maintenance issues you mentioned and making general improvements. Jami is our dining room manager and a very valuable asset to the Blue Bell team. We strive to teach our staff about the park and local attractions as most of them have never been to Custer before working here. Thanks again and we hope to see you in the future.
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Lumberton, Tx
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

Just added to the enjoyment of our trip! Comfortable bed, everything we needed for somewhere to sleep. Tv but no cable but wasn't a big deal for us. Only downside at blue bell was the chuck wagon! Cowboy Keith was great but the yellow jackets were horrible. One of the cooks told us that during aug thru sept. they come around only. The man next 2 us got stung on his lip when he went to wipe his face a yellow jacket was in it. They were so bad on sons food that he couldn't eat . For the price they charge they should at least tell u about this but they don't so Here IS YOUR WARNING! But stay at blue bell lodge every morning we woke up 2 different wildlife! Buffalo, deer, rabbits, and goats!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank live4him97
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 forn your review. Yes the Yellow Jackets were very bad this year for some reason. Being from Michigan, I thought they were bee's but they were actually wasps. We were treating for bees at first trying to find nests in trees and such. When I did some research, I found out they were wasps that built their nests underground. We immediatly had a company come out and fine the hives. They told us that they were unusually bad this year but typically dont cause that much issue. Now that we know what to look for we will be very proactive in the future to keep their numbers down. Thanks again and we hope to have you back in the future.
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Thunder Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2013

My daughter has wanted to see Mount Rushmore since she watched National Treasure with Nicholas Cage... The Blue Bell is located inside Custer National Park and it is the perfect place for a family vacation... Our first night we had dinner in the Chuck wagon complete with a great horse drawn wagon ride with live music and storytelling... Dinner was the best steak I've ever had under the stars... We also joined a trail ride where my daughter rode her first horse... The food in the Blue Bell Lodge is second to none and the staff are fabulous! Biscuits and gravy for breakfast is the best! I could live on the bread pudding and the apple cobbler... We spend a couple of nights in one of the cabins and my only regret was that we didn't book early enough to get a few extra nights... Our drive to Mount Rushmore was "interrupted" by a herd of about 500 head of bison that decided to cross the highway ahead of us... Breathtaking moment... There is nothing like watching the full moon rise over the Blue Bell Lodge in August from the porch of our cabin.

Room Tip: the camp grounds are great but spring for a cabin... its worth every penny
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Brian W
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
Wow, sounds like you had the perfect stay and we couldn't be happier about it. The Chuckwagon dinner is a must if you have kids, they will have that memory for a lifetime. Getting the chance to see a herd of that many Buffalo is a lucky experience and really an impressive site. I love Blue Bell at night for the stars, moonlight and quiet. We fortunately don't get some of the heavy traffic that other areas get so it stays pretty quiet. Thanks so much for your review and we hope to have you back again sometime.
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Lakewood, Colorado
Level Contributor
60 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

We had a wonderful evening at the Blue Bell Lodge. The cabin we stayed in had two double beds and a bunk bed. It was new and clean. In the morning, there were two buffalo outside our cabin. The only downside to this lodge is that it is a bit pricey. It's worth it for a couple of nights but might not be worth it for more than that.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michele W
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
Thanks for your review of The Blue Bell Lodge. I am pleased that you had a good time and enjoyed your cabin. The Buffalo are my favorite and I just love it when there down by the cabins. If you come early or late in the season we do give disocounts for multiple night stays. These discounts are typically in late April to mid May and then pick back up again in September. Hope to see you again!!
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Mountain Home, Arkansas
Level Contributor
135 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2013

two nights at the cabin was not long enough! cabins have rabbits and chipmunks all around that were fun to watch. Lodge restaurant is good. State game lodge is superb. About a 15 minute drive. Buffalo were all around the lodge.
Cabin was nice. We stayed in cabin 22, and it was updated. Some did not look as up to date.

Room Tip: cabin 22 was very nice
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lynn M
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
Thanks for your review and I am glad you enjoyed your stay. Yes, some of the cabins are older. They were built in 1933 by the CCC when they were building the park. They have all had renovations and feature somewhat the same set up as the new cabins without the fireplaces. However, they are a little more rustic than the sleeping cabins but a lot of people like myself enjoy that atmosphere as well. Maybe your next stay can be for longer so you can enjoy more of what we have to offer inside the park. Thanks again and take care from the staff at Blue Bell.
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Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2013 via mobile

Chuckwagon offered a cozy wagon ride through Custer Park before dinner in a off-road location. Wonderful entertainment provided by a one man cowboy show throughout ride and meal time. Our guide (who played the guitar, harmonica, and fiddle) was a great musician and story teller who made every effort to include the children, which made it a perfect family outing. Dinner was good; perfectly seasoned, grilled steaks and all the fixings. I highly reccommend the Chuckwagon!

Stayed August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Somethingtosee
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
Thanks so much for the great review of the Chuckwagon. From your review I can tell you had Cowboy Keith on your wagon. He is a marvelous entertainer and all around good guy. He makes it fun for everyone. People are often surprised at how much they get and what a good value it is. I hope that you come back again someday and maybe we can connvince you to stay with us as well. Thanks 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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