When we made reservations at Blue Bell Lodge, we picked it above all the others we researched because we were assured that all cabins were newly renovated and clean and could handle all 6 of us. Such statements are even made in their literature touting that ALL cabins are newly renovated. We stayed in cabin B12…now I’m not sure what passes for newly renovated anymore, but something that looks like it hasn’t been maintained or renovated since the ’60’s just doesn’t seem to qualify. There were some nice looking cabins as we pulled in (I even went through one of them 2 days later after the patrons had left and the cleaning crew was there) but ours was not among them. The condition of this cabin would have embarrassed me if I were management and tried to pass this off as newly renovated.
As we pulled up to the cabin my wife and I looked at each other and said, “Ok well maybe it’s new on the inside”. Sadly we were wrong, it was worse on the inside. When we opened the front door, it smelled so badly we called the front desk to tell them we wanted to move but they were not very helpful - they just told us all other cabins were booked. So we were stuck there. We told them of the smell to which maintenance called and told us to turn on all the water everywhere because it was probably sewer gas!
We were new to the area and didn’t want to spend our limited vacation time hunting down new accommodations, in hind sight we should have. The floor in the kitchen had something sticky on it and because we have young children, I got a sink full of warm soapy water and proceeded to clean both the kitchen and the bathroom floors. I could not believe how dirty they were, they were FILTHY, that sink water was a putrid brownish gray after I washed the floors and it’s not like these floors were that big. We both wanted to leave, but again, where would we have gone with 4 kids in tow in an unfamiliar setting and it being later at night. We actually left the cabin at check-out in a much cleaner condition than we received it.
There's a LOT more but I don't want this review to be too long. We contacted their manager Jim Bob Layng who did absolutely nothing and when we reported it to Visa as a dispute, since we didn't have pictures of the place for proof(evidently Blue Bell lied to Visa about the condition of the cabin as well as it being newly renovated) our dispute failed. Our next move is to file a complaint with the South Dakota Better Business bureau as well as the South Dakota attorney general’s office. I'm not optimistic, from reading some of these reviews, seems Blue Bell is use to ripping people off and getting away with it. I wish we had checked Blue Bell out here 1st, we would have picked somewhere else to stay. In our travels in the area we got the numbers of a few other places that look promising and will use them instead the next time we are in the Custer area…BE WARNED, Blue Bell is not a place to stay at or to be trusted for they lied to us blatantly about the condition of their cabins… Good Luck!
- 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