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Reviews (195)
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Reviewed August 21, 2017

Even though SD (South Dakota) is not as famous and well known for its tourist attractions as its neighbor Wyoming (Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks), still it has many splendid and interesting sites to offer, which are worthwhile to visit and experience.

While preparing the itinerary for our family trip, I came to the conclusion that if we want to enjoy all that SD has to offer: visiting the Black Hills, hiking some of the many trails there, and explore with no rush its unique character and treasures - we will need to consider a longer stay.

Since we all preferred a rural accommodation, and thanks to TripAdvisor's praising reviewers, it was quite natural to choose Shady Rest Motel.
These charming cabins in the small town of Custer, run by Ann and John Dvorak, were going to be our home for 5 consecutive days.

The pleasure of being Ann's guests started already 6 months prior to our actual visit, when I booked the 2 cabins. Her warm corresponding welcome was for me a great promise, which was completely fulfilled once we arrived there.

Both Ann and John did everything to make our stay enjoyable and successful.
They immediately responded and reached out to any request or question we had.
Thank you so much, John. We will always remember your smile and heartwarming empathy, dear Ann.

We liked our cabins for all that we got, but further more for their fantastic location.
Close enough to various needed services in Custer (laundry, minimarket, pharmacy, gas station), but still far from the traffic noise of the main road, which was 2 blocks away.
It was a very quiet accommodation - a real, wonderful, green tranquility.

Shady Rest Motel was also a perfect starting point for many of the attractions around: Jewel Cave National Monument, Spearfish Canyon, Deadwood, Badlands National Park, Storybook Island amusement park (if you are traveling with kids), Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park and its wildlife, not to forget the two ingenious engineering masterpieces: the Iron Highway and the Needles Highway, and so much more.

Take me back to the Black Hills, the Black Hills of Dakota…


Yossi Kimhi
Mevasseret Zion, Israel

  • Stayed: June 2017, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Yossi K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2017

Very clean and furnished with the necessities. Owners were very friendly and accommodating. My only suggestion would be to update the furniture - especially the couches. Maybe add a hot tub for the lodge only. Plus find a way to eliminate the creaks and groans when someone is walking around in the loft. Otherwise, we enjoyed the four deer that would visit us each night.

  • Stayed: July 2017, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank GrimesMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2017 via mobile

We just returned from a week-long motorcycle trip to the Black Hill's and are so glad I found this motel for our stay. We booked three cabins, #4, #11 and #12 and we all loved our choices. The owners, Anne and John Dvorak, could not be better hosts. We immediately felt at home. Each cabin is slightly different but all are so clean and have all the essentials. Ours, #12, was at the top back and we loved the location. So quiet among the trees. We saw deer both morning and evening. Ours had a queen bed that was so comfortable, I was amazed how well I slept all week. We had a beautiful view of a mountain from our large porch. Each of us had a swing and two chairs on the porch, along with a grill which we used several times.

They are two blocks off the main street but you hear no real noise. Easy access and great location to visit any of the many attractions.

One thing that really impressed me was that, wherever we went, talking to the locals in Hill City, Keystone and even Rapid City, when they discovered where we were staying, they had nothing but glowing words for John and Anne. Definitely recommend the Shady Rest Motel in Custer for your next Black Hill's visit.


Stayed: July 2017, traveled with friends
Thank Cathy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2017

We stayed at the Shady Rest for 5 nights/6 days July 10-15, 2017. We were very satisfied with our choice.

The Shady Rest is owned by Ann Dvorak and her husband John. They have made the Shady Rest into a great place for a vacation. Ann has got to be the nicest person in the world. Upon our arrival, she helped us take our baggage to our cabin and just could not do enough for us. She is simply wonderful.

The Shady Rest consists of several cabins on a hillside just off the main drag of Custer. It is not far at all to the main street, but you would never know it by the quiet here. our cabin (#5), was a two level cabin with a queen size bed and a sleeper sofa in the main room, and up six steps to another level, there was an open room with a queen size bed, and a third room with another queen size bed. the beds were very comfortable, and we all slept very well. The kitchen is small, but has a full size refrigerator, a microwave, a four burner gas stove, a coffee maker, and all the cooking and eating utensils one could need. The linens and towels were clean and there was plenty of them. There is also a gas heater, but being as we were visiting in July, we certainly did not need it. The only thing about the cabin that did not work was the ceiling fan, but John brought us a couple of fans that worked just as well.

The cabins have a good size front porch with a charcoal grill and a plastic table and several plastic chairs. we enjoyed sitting on the porch in the mornings and evenings.

The Shady Rest is very close to The Crazy Horse Memorial, and Mount Rushmore. It is situated just about in the middle of the town of Custer, but several blocks off the main drag, and there is no bothersome noise. It is also within easy driving distance of Deadwood, Hill City, Hot Springs, and Rapid City.

All in all, we had a very pleasant stay at the Shady Rest, but there is one thing I need to caution folks with knee or back issues. The Cabins are on a hillside, and my wife and I, who both have bad knees, had a not too easy time walking in the parking lot. And the Cabins all have some steep steps that we both had difficulty navigating. It was not impossible by any means, but with our knees, it was difficult. And, while we all had plenty of room (we were travelling with two of our grandsons, 20 and 17 yoa), THere was not a great deal of privacy to be had.......and there is only one bathroom in the cabin.

Other than those few items, our stay at the Shady Rest Cabins was simply wonderful. The owners are absolutely great, and see to it that their guests are satisfied. If you are looking for a great place to spend a few days in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, I highly recommend the Shady Rest Hotel in Custer!

  • Stayed: July 2017, traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank DmwRam16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2017 via mobile

This is such a neat place to stay. Ann, one of the owners is amazing! Very clean and comfortable. Just a block or two from downtown. Would stay there again! You have to check it out when you are in the area.

Stayed: June 2017, traveled with family
Thank annmagruf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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