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“Just ok”

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High Country Guest Ranch
Ranked #10 of 12 Hotels in Hill City
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Just ok”
Reviewed 1 September 2014

I booked this hotel thinking that it would be fun to stay in the country versus a chain hotel for a family vacation to SD. We stayed in a cowboy cabin. The cabin was fine. Small and no amenities (we brought our own linens) but it worked. The pool was ok. I cleaned/skimmed it each time we swam...it needed a good cleaning. Had breakfast onsite the first day and was not worth it. Packaged donuts and standard waffle maker. Did a trail ride and the guide did not say one word during the ride. Would have loved to learn about the plants/trees and area that we were riding through. We're told not to pet the horses which made my kids sad since that is one of the main reasons we stayed.

It was beautiful countryside but I just didn't feel overwhelmingly welcome. They just didn't seem to try hard enough. Probably should have stayed in town with a little more amenities.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank offtohawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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125 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Dimas, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2014

Being members of a popular hotel chain, normally we choose one of their hotels, but none were in the area. I prefer a sleek and modern style and almost made that choice, but soooo glad I didn't this time. We were on a 6500 mile road trip between California and the East Coast. This was on our return home and the family wanted to go see Mount Rushmore. We were only in the area for two days and High Country Guest Ranch's location seemed the best and they had availability. It was just 17 miles from Mt. Rushmore, 10 miles from Crazy Horse, and Custer was close by.

Kozy Getaway Cabin #8 was my choice, and it fit our family nicely - a self-contained rustic style cabin with carport, veranda, nice size living room area, a small dining table area, fully equipped kitchen, with attractive decorative touches. Local tea bags and candies were provided as samples of what could be purchased at the on site store. There were two small bedrooms with a double beds and a bathroom on the main level, and a loft with twin beds, television, VCR, and movies. There was also a TV & movies as well as games on the main level, and a small electric fireplace that put out immediate heat at the flick of a switch. Throws were provided on the large sectional couch, and it was a pleasant place to relax. We got all of that for a good price!

We enjoyed it as we knew what type of location we were coming to in the first place. It is not designed to be a luxury venue where one is waited on hand and foot. It felt good to be left alone. We were in our own self-contained place and woke up to a peaceful setting on 17 acres surrounded by blue sky and pine trees. I was debating between a sleek hotel in the city that would have been beautiful but just one room, and High Country Guest Ranch that turned out to be perfect for our family at that point in our journey. We easily drove to Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park (don't miss Needle Highway!), Custer City, and Crazy Horse Memorial. We were able to pack a lot in for the short time we were there. It was so nice to go back to "our" place at the end of the day.

The person I spoke with when investigating the Ranch was very nice and informative. While there we met the owners Barbara and John Majchrzak who were wonderful people. Barbara is an author and she personally signed my copy of her book that I purchased. In a small binder in the cabin, she wrote about their story of becoming owners of the property which was inspirational. Our stay there was meant to be! The day we left it rained. That carport was great to have as we packed the car!!! If we were to return to the area, High Country Guest Ranch would be our choice of place to stay.

Room Tip: There are options to choose from. Talk with Guest Ranch staff to determine what's best for your...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Psyched2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
65 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2014

We stayed at the Guest Ranch for two nights because we had reservations to go to the Circle B Chuckwagon Show and Brule Show. Location was great and easy to find. When we got there, our "Native American" cabin wasn't perfect, but staff was helpful and cleaned up what we had noticed was dirty. We had booked the chuckwagon dinner through the ranch rather than the actual chuckwagon company and had some issues with our reservations because of this. However, the owners were great and really did make it up to us with a free dinner of wood-fired pizza elsewhere on the ranch. We slept well in the cabin (it's bring your own bedding) and were kept cool by a very efficient air conditioner. The only issue we had was a lack of space for our luggage! The staff was great and helpful throughout our stay.

Room Tip: Native American cabins are small with little room for luggage if you're using all of the beds.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NEntzminger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

40 y/o father/husband: This place was just wonderful! We stayed in a camping cottage, which was a good value and easy to swing, as we had camping stuff in the car. The space was comfortable and well-maintained and in a beautiful setting. Staff were very friendly, and I really appreciated the stated mission of reconciliation between native and white culture. Brule was wonderful and in a beautiful venue.

41 y/o wife/mother: Really enjoyed our stay. The location is beautiful and convenient. Staff were very friendly and helpful. My kids and I loved going on a horseback ride, and the Brule show is not to be missed. I wish the kitchenette had offered at least a burner. There was only a microwave and a sink so there was really no way to cook.

13 y/o daughter: It was super-nice that the cabin was heated and the bunks were spacious and comfortable. The pool, though a bit small, was in a great location and was actually pretty nice. The horseback ride was super fun and the staff were super helpful and knowledgable about the landscape.

7 y/o son: Nice pool, nice place, very convenient for Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore, and other attractions. Very spacious. Great staff. Very friendly people and a nice playground.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ben S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottumwa, Iowa
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014

We stayed here out of desperation. We hadn't really decided what to do that day, and then we were trying to figure out where to stay. I had no phone reception and we were there for the Circle B Chuckwagon Show. On a whim, I decided to see if they had anything available. They did, so we booked it. It was rather expensive for what we got. $189/night and the cabin was about the same as a hotel. 2 queen beds and a bath. Same size and everything. I think the biggest disappointment was the beds. They were highly uncomfortable and I got hardly any sleep. I was not alone in feeling this way either. Also, the bathroom was kinda dirty and they had a thing for shampoo in the shower, but it was empty. I've stayed in worse places, but for that type of money, I'd expect at least a little better.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank parsonad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
55 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014 via mobile

We recently spent 5 days and 6 nights in one of the Native American cabins at High Country Guest Ranch which is in a great location to all the sites and attractions that we wanted to visit in SD. However, there are a few concerns/complaints. First of all one has to remember that it is a CABIN on a RANCH. It is not a hotel or resort. We are not really campers at all but were willing to give the ranch a try upon recommendations from a friend. The pros of the ranch are the location and the friendly staff. Everyone we came in contact with was friendly. The horseback riding was fun and the wranglers were also friendly. The only other onsite attraction we took advantage of was the Brule' performance which was AWESOME!!! We were very busy sightseeing so did not have time to take in our own campfire or the Chuck Wagon dinner and show. And now for the Cons at least for our family. The beds were INCREDIBLY uncomfortable. So much so that we went into a Walmart in Rapid City and picked up some inexpensive mattress pads. Still we did not sleep well for six nights in a row! There could have been extra hooks in the bathroom for towels and an extra mirror outside the bathroom to speed up getting ready in the morning but again it is only a cabin. The cabin was not the cleanest but then again...The price for the breakfast at $5 per person was not worth it for what was offered. Would we stay here again? Probably not. It just wasn't right for our family as we tend to like more of the comforts of home. In fact if the beds were more comfortable we would have given a higher rating. Would we recommend it to friends that like a ranch atmosphere? Most likely.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Nancy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fishers, Indiana
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

After our 5 day stay here at High country Guest Ranch we will not be coming back nor will we recommend it to anyone. This is more of a working Ranch where we do all of the work. From cleaning our own rooms with the vacuum left in each room to bagging collecting our trash to set aside in our room until we left/ No housekeeping was provided. We could have stayed in a nicer hotel and found a place to go for a trail ride for much less.
Everything you do here is an extra charge from a la cart continental breakfast to the firewood for your camp fire.
We enjoyed a guided horseback trail ride which was a very nice walk in the hills, We also rented their ATV's which turned out to be UTV's . We were given a map and directed to the designated trail. It seemed like a fun afternoon. The fun came to an early hault when one of the UTV's got a flat tire. We were at the cabin when it lost air so we stopped back at the Office to see about getting it fixed. We were then told that they didn't have a spare tire and we would not be able to finish out our afternoon rental. We were told that we would not get our $2,000 deposit check back and would possibly have to purchase a new tire for about $200. At this point we didn't even know if it had a hole in it or it just leaked air from improper inflation. The vehicles were not ready to go when we got there so I suspect they hadn't had time to check them over . The employee even asked my teenage son if he was going into Rapid City 45 min away so he could send the tire in with us to go and fix it.
All said and done the tire was plugged for $13 which we had to pay for. We didn't get to finish out our ride which we paid for in advance and we had to wait around for a large part of the afternoon while they tried to figure out what to do with a flat tire. We were not able to check out early and get on the road the next morning because they still had our deposit check hostage until someone brought the fixed tire back . Our vacation next day was delayed as well.
I was wondering if something really broke down with those machines if we would have to pay for that as well/ and if a horse had thrown a shoe on the trail would we have had to pay the blacksmith to replace it?
You would think that their "Guest's" Experience at their Ranch would be top priority , but not here.
I hope they do read this review and make some serious changes in their mission .

Room Tip: The Cowboy cabins are just a room with 1 bathroom just like a hotel stay.No housekeeping. The cab...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jess a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about High Country Guest Ranch

Property: High Country Guest Ranch
Address: 12138 Ray Smith Dr, Hill City, SD 57745-8802
Phone Number:
Region: United States > South Dakota > Hill City
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 12 Hotels in Hill City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — High Country Guest Ranch 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
High Country Guest Ranch offers a variety of lodging from a fully furnished vacation home to authentic log cabins and camper cabins. Our place will make you feel right at home while allowing you to experience the excitement of the outdoors. If you are looking to get closer to nature, we also have a number of tent and RV sites that include full hook-ups. And best of all - there is no nightly minimum when you stay! High Country Guest Ranch is a great place for your next family vacation or corporate event. We welcome groups of all sizes. Create memories that will last a lifetime, we've got something for everyone. All cabins are non-smoking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
High Country Guest Ranch Hotel Hill City

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