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Review of Battle Creek Lodge

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Battle Creek Lodge
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Keystone
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 24, 2013

The Battle Creek Lodge is a must stay. Everything you could ask for and more. A locally owned and operated gem. They treat you so well you will never want to leave. Tucked away just off of the main street, quiet, quaint and comfortable!

Room Tip: Just tell them when you call what you have in mind, they will seriously take the best care you have...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Lucy609471
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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161 - 167 of 296 reviews

Reviewed November 6, 2013

We chose this hotel after reading the reviews on Tripadvisor. The owners were very friendly and the lobby atmosphere was much like a B&B, especially at breakfast. The breakfast was good too. However, our room was not very impressive. It had a broken light hanging over the bed (bare bulb), the AC/Heater made a lot of noise, and the mattress needs to be replaced. Overall, a very tired and well worn room. If it wasn't for the wonderful ladies who operate the hotel, we would have rated it a poor. This being said, Keystone is all abut tourism and the Battle Creek did seem to stand above the other options.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank PVR75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2013

Due to the great reviews, this is the hotel we decided to stay at for our trip through Mt Rushmore next year. When I first tried to book the date, I was told they weren't booking the 2014 season until October. That was fine. I put it in my calendar and called back in the beginning of the month. Then I was told that they were putting in a new computer system and that they would call back in a couple of days. OK. I waited a few days then called again. This time, I was told they were having a storm and to call back in another couple of days. I did. Then I got an answering machine that said they were closed, but that my call was very important to them and to leave a message and they'd call back. I have now left several messages and they have NEVER called back. I will take my business elsewhere. I have never written a poor review before, but I thought people should know. I have tried to book this hotel for about 3 months now. This is a busy area and this delay could make it hard to find a place to stay. Thanks a lot.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Service
8  Thank LisaLiannM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TammyInKeystone, Manager at Battle Creek Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 4, 2013

Dear J74andL76,
Thank you for taking time to post your review. Although we disagree with your evaluation of our property and guest service, it allows us an opportunity to get our side of the story out.
First, Battle Creek lodge is a seasonal property. We are open from May 1st-September 31st. We take reservations (to the best of our ability) during the off season. It should be noted that we both work other full time jobs in the off season. That does limit our availability to return calls in other time zones. We spend an avg of 20-25 hours a week returning guest calls and making reservations. This being said, we have looked into other options for reservation making, such as on-line (Expedia, Bookings.com, etc) We have mad the decision that the 15% that these booking agents charge would not be something our guests would want to have passed on to them. It has been our choice to make our own reservations, speak to our guests, and spend the time and energy it takes to make sure we have the personal contact that we feel works for us.

This past year, we made the decision to not start making reservations for the coming season, until the conclusion of the current season. This decision was made so that we could pay attention the the guests on the property and not be focused on reservations as much.

Unfortunately, there have been a string of events at the conclusion of this season that left us unable to take reservations until recently. Those events include a Blizzard that shut down our entire region for over a week. Dumped Feet of snow, left us without power for 6 days, and damaged both of our properties. Following the clean up and recovery from that storm, we had a flash flood, that again left us evacuating both properties and unable to attend to business as usual. Due to the Blizzard (Which is the worst in South Dakota's History) and the events following, we were unable to get together with our business associates to set rates and take care of other details that needed to be addressed PRIOR to taking reservations. This meeting took place last weekend, a full month later than usual. We are currently taking reservations for 2014( excluding the Sturgis Rally Bike Week - reservations for that week will not be open until January, except for returning guests)
Certainly we understand your frustration with not being able to get your reservation and firm up travel plans. We have been just as frustrated. Even so, we were not willing to risk giving our guests information that would not be correct or current in the coming season. We made the choice to not take reservations until we had met with our business associates, gotten our rates set and made other business decisions that could impact our guests. Trust us, we certainly wish things would have gone as planned, but they didn't. We did the best we could with what we had.
That brings me to my last and final comments on this situation. I find it a little odd that you feel so strongly about our inability to take your reservation when you called when most of the places in Keystone close for the season and don't take reservations in the off season. I can assure you that although things didn't work the way you (or we) wished, we would have gotten your reservation made and we would have gotten your call returned in the order it was received. We regret that we were unable to meet your needs, but we are confident that you will enjoy your time in the Hills.

Thank you for your comments, we take our guests comments seriously and we will certainly use them in future planning.
Respectfully ~
Tammy M. Gilbertson

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2013

Hubby and I were here due to flooding in Colorado, spent one night in upstairs room, with 4 pieces of luggage tuff to haul upstairs, but one of the ladies did help us up stairs. Nice Clean room, very small, Nice firepit but could not sit around it due to other guest smoking there. ONly problem i can said about this lodge is they need to replace the towels, the next morning when taking a shower they were thread bare. The morning breakfast was good, sausage buscuit with fruit and yogart. Front desk acutally made a can of chicken soup for the hubby which we really appreciated.

Room Tip: Try to get a downstairs room
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank dkwill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TammyInKeystone, Managing Partner at Battle Creek Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 9, 2013

Hello Dkwill ~

We wanted to thank you for your business and your review of our property. We appreciate it, more than you know. It sounds as though you had a few "detours"~ and unexpected twists during your vacation. We hope it turned out to be enjoyable even if it wasn't quite as you had planned.

Just to touch on a couple of things from your review -- I don't know what our availability was when you booked the room -- but we do have ground rooms available. In addition, we can always assist guests with luggage. With 9 rooms total (and only a few on the top floor) - and a grand total of 16 steps, it simply isn't realistic for us to add an elevator. Again, I am not sure if our ground floor rooms were full when you were staying with us, or if we just didn't know that was what you were looking for. Either way, I regret that we were not able to assist you more.

You said that you were not able to use the fire pit because there were guests smoking around it. I wanted to let you know that all of our rooms are non-smoking. We do allow guests to smoke outside. We do have more than one sitting area for this reason. There are several different sitting area's around the property, so guests can sit together in different area's and enjoy the beautiful Black Hills and the great company -- with or without other guests. We regret that you were unable to enjoy the Fire Pit when you were here, but wish you would have checked out one of the other area's that we have available.

Lastly - the towels -- You are the second person who has brought this up in the last couple of weeks. Our goal is to keep up on our linens and get rid of towels, bedding, and any items that are worn as they are washed and folded. If they are "worn out", they go into the rag and "Sturgis bike cleaning" basket. We purchase new towels each season are generally diligent in our efforts to keep them in good shape.
After reading your review, and looking back at another review that mentioned the same thing, I decided we needed to do an inventory -- piece by piece. I must say, I was very disappointed to find that there were a LOT of towels that were very worn and needed to be in the "rag bin" several washes ago.
We dropped the ball on this one a couple of times. First, we should have gotten a better grade of towel for what we paid for them. Second, our cleaners and laundry (us) should have been paying more attention when we were folding and getting rid of the ones that were wearing out.

Bottom line -- This one is totally our fault and there is no excuse. We have done our inventory, gotten rid of ALL of the towels that even look like they MIGHT get a little thin and we will be opening with new, thicker, better towels in the spring.

We REALLY appreciate you bringing this to our attention ~ and giving us the opportunity to make things right for future guests. I truly believe that one of the best "compliments" someone can give you is constructive feedback, advice, or input about your business and the experience they had with it. Being fairly young and still pretty new to this industry, we still have a lot to learn. The best way we can do that is by listening to our guests and hearing what they liked, didn't like, need, want, etc - etc-. So, when we have guests that care enough about our business to take time to share their thoughts, idea's, criticisms, and more -- it means they care enough to want to see us do better and be more successful. What better compliment can someone give than that?
With that said -- Thank you AGAIN for your input, your time, and your review. We hope that you will visit us again if you pass our way. We will try to make sure you get a ground level room and that your towels are EXTRA fluffy! Until then -- we wish you Safe Travels!
Tammy and Cine ~
Battle Creek Lodge

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Reviewed October 2, 2013

Such a lovely place to stay on our bike trip! Clean ,comfortable, homey. We are planning another trip next summer can't wait to take advantage of the hospitality only Battle Creek Lodge has to offer.

Mary McCluskey

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank Mary418
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013

Whether it's the location - just off the main drag in Keystone - or the owners and staff, this is one of my family's favorite places to stay. Within a short drive of all the places to see in the Black Hills this is the perfect place for a long weekend or a summer vacation for the family. It is as good as, or better than, every place I have ever stayed. I would recommend it to anyone, and I do to everyone. We'll be back soon!!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Baend B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

ONLY advantage was close location for Mt. Rushmore. Room was run-down, very low bed, window blinds and towels very poor. Disappointed given what we read on Trip Advisor.
Breakfast was nothing special at all for us.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank trrose662
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TammyInKeystone, Manager at Battle Creek Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2013

Hello trrose66 ~

Thank you for taking time to post a review on our lodge. Obviously, we are very disappointed to learn of your experience with us and regret that we were not made aware of it until now. I have sent you a private message so I can better understand when you were here and what room you were in so I can better address the issues you speak of.

As I have shared in earlier reviews and with many of our guests as they have stayed with us, our guests are our number on priority. We have never claimed and never will claim to be anything we are not. We are a simple, family ran, local operation. We run our business like we run our lives -- we are honest, work hard, and do the best we can with what we have. We don't sell what we can't back up and we take things at face value. This way of doing business has worked for us, and like my mentor and business adviser has always told me -- if it isn't broken, why fix it?

That said, if something is broke - or isn't working, you can bet that we want to fix it right away! We count on our guests to let us know if they are not happy or unsatisfied so we can make things right. It remains one of my BIGGEST frustrations when guests have a problem, something is broken in their rooms, or we simply are not the experience they are looking for -- and they don't say a word to us while they are here -- but they say lots of words about it when they leave. We understand we can't be everything to everyone - -and that we are going to have issues that need fixed or things that we can make better. We are still pretty new to this business and we have a lot to learn -- but we know one thing for sure, we can't fix it if we don't know about it.

I am not sure we could have changed anything about your stay. Our prices are among the lowest in the area - and include all of the amenities at no additional cost. We don't claim to be the Ritz, Our rooms are our rooms and something we are very proud of.

We purchase new bedding and new towels every season and we try our best to get rid of anything that is sub standard through the laundry process. If you had any linens that were not up to your standards, we would have gladly replaced them. We do as much upgrading as time and money will allow. This includes new carpet a year ago, painted rooms, new chairs for the rooms, flat screens in the rooms, new refrigerators, etc. We would like to replace the light fixtures and do a little updating to make the rooms have a little more space, but we are getting there.
**We did have it brought to our attention by a guest last week that the pull down blinds in 2 of our rooms had been broken. We are in the process of getting them replaced.**

You also speak about the breakfast not being anything special. This brings up a very valid point that I would like to make about expectations. We advertise an "Upgraded Continental" breakfast. We advertise and tell guests that means a basic continental breakfast with hot and cold items and then a "Featured item of the day" -- something like biscuits and gravy or French Toast. THAT is what WE are selling.

The breakfast has taken on a bit of a life of its own though reviews and our great community. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that our guests love the breakfast ~ and we will continue to make sure that our breakfasts are fantastic -- BUT -- Please take other people's experiences and make that your expectation. Your expectations should be based on what we, as the business are telling you - not on what other people are saying.
TripAdvisor and other review sites are fantastic tools for travelers and for businesses. They give people an idea of what the property is like and a better well-rounded picture. They are great for business owners because they are a tool in seeing what you are doing well - what you can improve on - and other idea's that will help build your business. What is important to remember is that these sites are TOOLS -- not the end all be all and they shouldn't be what you base your "expectations" on. What is a great breakfast to you, might be a terrible breakfast to me. What is a great bed to you -- might be the worst bed I have ever slept in. It is all relative.

The bottom line is that we are sorry you didn't enjoy your time with us and that we fell short of what you were expecting. We wish you would have said something while you were still on site, so we could have better addressed your concerns or helped you find accommodations that would have been better suited for you. We do thank you for taking the time to post your review and we will follow up on the blinds in the rooms. We also will be doing FULL Inventory on all of our linens in the coming week and anything that is "sub-standard" will be thrown away in preparation for the 2014 season.
We hope you enjoyed your time in the Black Hills~
Safe Travels ~
Tammy Gilbertson
Battle Creek Lodge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Battle Creek Lodge

Address: 404 Reed St, Keystone, SD 57751-4101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Dakota > Keystone
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Keystone
Price Range: $89 - $129 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Battle Creek Lodge is a quaint Lodge located just minutes away from Mt Rushmore, in the beautiful and Historic Keystone South Dakota. Just blocks away from the Keystone "strip"' Battle Creek provides you the benefit of being within walking distance to all of the local attractions, restaurants, and bars- without the noise and chaos to keep you awake at night. A gas fire pit to enjoy on the cool evenings and a Breakfast that will jump start your vacation though the hills are just a few of the things Battle Creek has to offer. Owned and operated by locals, you are sure to get an insiders guide on what to see and do during your stay, by people who REALLY care about your vacation and are committed to making your time in the Black Hills enjoyable and memorable. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Battle Creek Hotel Keystone

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