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Reviewed July 18, 2012

Shady Rest Motel

My husband found this place on the Internet last year. Unfortunately by the time we decided on our vacation days they were booked. This year we planned in advance. We planned our vacation for June 24-June 30. We booked about 2 months in advance. We got the cabin we wanted (#3) for 5 days. We had an absolutely wonderful time. We didn't want to leave. We got lucky and were able to book 2 more days at the cabins. The only downfall of this is we had to change cabins twice. We changed from #3 to the bunk house and the following day we changed from the bunk house to #6. Anne and John are fantastic. They made us feel very welcome and were very helpful with ideas of things to do in the area. They made the move to different cabins very easy.

My run down of the cabins:
#3 - Our family consists of 3 people (my husband, myself and our 6 year old son). The cabin is small but it worked out just fine for us. It has a queen bed and a pull out couch. We love that it has a kitchen and a full fridge because we cooked all of our meals except 2 while on our trip. Our son slept on the pull out couch and by the end of the day he was so tired from all the activity any noise we made before going to bed didn't disturb him a bit. The cabin has a lounging swing and we used it every night. John and Anne also provide charcoal grill for cooking outdoors. The deck on this cabin is covered and that turned out to be great for a couple of nights of rain.

The Bunkhouse - This cabin is also a one room cabin although it is larger. It has a table that can be converted to a bed and it has a bunk above the table. There is also a kitchen in this cabin although the fridge is alot smaller. We had a cooler for extra stuff so we were ok with the fridge being smaller. The deck on this cabin is not covered. There is no swing at this cabin but there are chairs

#6 - This is the biggest cabin of the 3 we stayed in. It is situated behind Anne and John's house so the view isn't as good but it was still nice. It is surrounded by trees and closer to the hot tub which made up for the lack of view. It has 2 beds (one is in another room) and a pull out as well. My son had gotten so used to sleeping in the pull out he didn't want a room to himself. This cabin also has a full kitchen and the fridge was medium sized although plenty of room for our stuff. The deck on this cabin also is covered. There isn't a swing but there were a couple of chairs and a bench.

There are Tv's provided in the cabins but we didn't use them at all. We really wanted this to be a vacation to get away from the hustle and bustle. They do have Wifi and we did use it to keep tabs on things at home. We are from Colorado and there were some pretty nasty wildfires going on.

All in all I cannot say enough nice things about these cabins and the wonderful hospitality of John and Anne. We will definitely go back if our travels take us that way again.

Room Tip: Each cabin is very different. Take time to look at the diagrams Ann and John have on their website to help pick the cabin for you.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank twimom1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

Spent 3 nights here in late June and had a wonderful stay. The owners are extremely welcoming and offered great suggestions for off the beaten track places to visit. Loved the location of the Shady Rest because it wasn't on the Main street of town. It is nestled up against a hillside with a town park across the street and a good view to be had while sitting on the front porch. The kitchen in our cabin was quite cramped. You couldn't open the draws because the stove was n the way but owners said they were going to redesign it. Regardless, it was a great place. Wish we had spent more nights.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank CAGardenGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2012

My wife and I enjoyed two nights at cabin 3 and one night at cabin 9. John and Ann are some of the nicest hosts you will meet. Cabin 3 is the cozy, comfortable, affordable, and wonderful cabin for two to enjoy. The Black Hills were set up to drive slower, enjoy the views, relax, no cell phones and no emails, and this cabin helps you get there. Oh yes there is cable, wi fi, electricity, water, hot tub, grill, refrig, BUT, the Shady Rest reminds us of yesteryear when things were not so fast.
We really enjoyed cabin 9 and the extra space, so it is a toss up which is more fun. We didn't use the hot tub only because we ran out of time in Custer. For people who don't know, the Mickelson Bike trail is 100 feet from your cabin. Great for hiking and biking, the trail head to pay at is only a block away. What John and Ann don't tell you is from your porch, you can see the path (area) that General Custer and his men traveled as they entered and camped in Custer in 1870's. Another best kept secret is the Lower French Creek which is 100 feet from the Shady Rest, is where gold was discovered and started the whole Gold Rush in the Black Hills. Did I mention this is viewed from your porch? If you follow the Rotary Club trail just to the north of the Shady Rest, the perfect hill climb for us out of shape people, is a frisbee golf course and gazebo. The View on top of the hill is a milliion dollar view and yet, you are all alone. Did I mention this is free and an added benefit of staying at the Shady Rest? We found more varieties of rock on top of that hill then we found all week.
As you can see, we loved it, the views were spectacular, quiet, peaceful, relaxing, and all that history can be seen from our porch swing at both cabin 3 and 9. For the mountain bikers, we kept our bikes there and no one bothered them, and the Shady Rest is a great starting place for a days ride. Definitely get over to Rochford and/or Mystic, GEORGEOUS country.
For the married guys, pack a picnic, plenty of water, your favorite beverage, cheese/snacks. Hike up the hill just a block north of the Shady rest, put your stuff in a hidden spot, come back down and get the wife/family. Catch your breath and tell everyone about a trail you read about and tell them they are all going. Proceed up the hill and take your time, you have plenty of time and enjoy everyone. Get to the gazebo and take pictures of Cathedral spines, Harney Peek, and all the other granite structures you will have full view of. Surprise them with the beverages and snacks, gather some rocks, take some pictures, and head back for a hot tub or ice cream. You just hit a home run with very little effort. Thank me later.
Enjoy your time at the Shady Rest.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank slider710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2012

We just got back from our stay at Shady Rest. It was a very nice experience. The cabins were as advertised. We stayed 3 days. We went to several of the beautiful attractions in the area. None are far away. Custer is a very nice small town. You can walk to main street from the motel. We walked to the city pool. The owners were very pleasant and helpful. There is a wonderful walking trail at your door step for that morning walk. It worked great for us.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Silkey51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

We live in the busy Philadelphia suburbs, and the Shady Rest Motel was the perfect lodging experience for our first 2 nights on our South Dakota vacation!

Ann and John are friendly and helpful. The cabins are small, but give you the real feel you are in the woods in a small town- it's not just a feel; it's a reality! Cabin 3 was perfect for 2 people. During the summer, you're not spending a whole lot of time indoors, but this place was so fun to come home to at night- your own little house!

Yes, the bathrooms are tiny. A 'big guy' or other 'large' person would not enjoy showering in this setup, but we don't fit either of those categories, so it was fine for us! You can sit on the porch, look out at the mountains in the distance, talk to your neighbors, and enjoy the peace. The price was great, and the place was so clean and well maintained.

I would absolutely come back here some day and bring a group of friends! The hot tub outside the cabins is a great perk too- we enjoyed it!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JeepGirl19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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