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“No power, endangered and deserted by the staff”

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Hillside Country Cabins
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 October 2013

We went to stay at HIllside Country Cottages with the intention of having a relaxing weekend. We ended up being snowed in for days with no power, and no staff members helping us, and not even an apology.

These people have no idea how to run this type of business. Stay away, or at least consider yourself warned.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Brandon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Valerie L, Owner at Hillside Country Cabins, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Again, these are the facts:
In October, the Black Hills endured the second worst blizzard in this area's history. Heavy wet snow as much as 55" Unexpectedly fell. This was not predicted in any form. More than 28,000 of us had no power for days/weeks in this area, including Rapid City.
Access to 911 services was not used. Someone on dialysis warrants a 911 call when power is out. Snow removal personnel got stuck 3 times to get here to get everyone out, and spent 24 hours in the ditch afterwards to get home. I cannot control the circumstances that occurred at this time nor for personality troubles. Again, Hillside Country Cabins is not accountable for weather conditions. We were out of town for family obligations and could not get back, all roads were closed.

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39 - 45 of 45 reviews

Reviewed 11 October 2013

I've stayed here a few times and have never had a problem until this time. I had originally booked a cabin for Friday & Saturday; it was supposed to be a nice little romantic getaway weekend. By the time we got to Rapid City (we were planning on staying elsewhere that night), the weather had worsened and had been upgraded to a blizzard warning. I called the new owner, Val, and asked if we could get out of our reservation due to the blizzard, we felt safer staying in RC. She refused, stating that the weather wouldn't amount to anything...I asked what happens if we get snowed in? She replied "then I guess we'll just hire someone to clear the snow". So we decided rather than stay in RC, possibly get snowed in and end up paying 2 hotels, each for a 3 night stay, that we'd come to Hillside a night early.

The first night (Thursday) was ok, woke up cold but we could handle it. The blizzard had moved in by Friday morning, we lost power that morning, trudged through knee high snow to get to the office to request additional blankets, the office was closed, and there is no cell service so no calls could be made. After walking around the cabin wearing 2-3 layers of everything for a while, I remembered I had another phone number for Val, took a chance and texted, she replied. Later, the lone employee on duty brought 2 blankets (Val was out of town for a family obligation), Eventually, Taya (sp?), the only employee on the property, came to our cabin and said we could move to the big cabin, where there was a fireplace. So we packed up a few belongings, trudged back through mid-thigh snow (by now) and 50 mph winds to move to cabin 18. There were only 4 cabins occupied, us and cabin 2 moved to the big cabin, cabins 10 & 4 stayed in their own.

Over the course of the next 3 days, the guys (K and B) scooped what seemed like miles of paths from cabin 18 to various other cabins, including the office, hauled in wood, scooped a path to grill so K could make us supper. I melted snow, teapot by teapot, so that we could flush our toilets. Taya napped in a chair for most of Saturday, complained about the people in cabin 10, even using the “f” word when talking about them. She didn’t seem to know or care when we would get shoveled out, and every time we asked her questions, we never got straight answers. Highway 16 was open by Saturday afternoon, yet we were still sitting there. The only scoop shovel they had got broke Friday from all the scooping; they had no one to plow us out, no generator, and no alternative heat source. There were several oil lamps, but no lamp oil, no candles, no backup plan and nothing to clear the snow out, despite the fact that they plan to stay open for the winter.

On Sunday, they guys from all 4 cabins banded together to get us out of there. Two started scooping out the vehicles with the broken shovel, the other 2 stood on the highway and flagged down a state trooper because there was a gentleman in cabin 10 who was in need of dialysis, and although they’d been doing it manually, it was time to get him out of there. Taya was napping in the cabin. Once the trooper finished talking to us, there was someone there to clear us out within 30 minutes and we were able to leave shortly after that. I understand that the facility was without power for a few more days. When the owner called later in the week to get my credit card, I asked her if we could get some sort of discount since we’d done the scooping, the wood hauling, kept the fireplace going, melted the snow so that we could use the toilets, did the cooking and since she wouldn’t let us out of our reservation in the first place. She refused, so I ended up paying the $90 per night for 3 nights, although I’m not sure what that money will be used for. The electricity it took to light and heat our cabins??? She said we should have just called 911 and asked that someone come dig us out. Last I knew, that situation would not warrant a call to 911.

I didn’t expect or WANT a freebie, however, I think paying full price for a private cabin and amenities we never experienced, is a bit much. We didn’t even receive a “thank you” for keeping HER employee comfortable, while she napped and trashed the other customers. Over all, I’ll not be going back, which is sad because the former owners always treated me well and they were friendly.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Annette S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Valerie L, Owner at Hillside Country Cabins, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

These are the facts:
In October, the Black Hills endured the second worst blizzard in this area's history. Heavy wet snow as much as 55" unexpectedly fell. More than 28,000 of us had no power.
Access to 911 services was not used. Our employee opened our home; provide fire heat and food for everyone. Also, helped with dialysis on someone here, which again 911 should have been called immediately. Snow removal personnel got stuck 3 times to get here, and spent 24 hours in the ditch afterwards to get home. Again, Hillside Country Cabins is not accountable for weather conditions. Fact: those who did not pay in full and left a mess are the ones who left bad reviews. We were out of town for a family funeral and could not get back, all roads were closed.

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Reviewed 16 September 2013

My husband and I need somewhere to relax....to get away from staying in a motel. The owner was wonderful. The staff was very friendly. It was so nice to get away and grill a few meals, why we were in the area. We plan to return each time we are that way.

Room Tip: A little hard to see as you pass by on the highway, but does have a sign back off the road. It was i...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank cowboycapital
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2013

Lovely new owners. We got held up in Rapid for a week due to car troubles. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the cottages (we stayed in two different cabins).
It was great to be able to cook while we were there and it had all the amenities we needed.

Room Tip: We loved cabin 3, it was back from the road and lovely!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Katy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2013

We spent a week at Hillside in July, 2013. New owners have have done a fantastic job turning the property into a clean, hassle free vacation location. A family operation that makes you feel like family. They go the extra mile. Doris & Tim Guion

Room Tip: Avoid the cabins close to the road.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Tim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2013

When I booked a cabin I had no idea that it was almost on top of the busiest road in the Mt. Rushmore area. The website makes the location look bucolic, but the noise of semi's roaring by at all hours of the day and night is a major negative for this place. Sure, the cabins are cute. There is a nice common area where you can build a fire and roast marshmallows. The pillows are old and flat. Blankets had large holes in them. The stove was filthy. Light was out in the bathroom. The owners were accommodating and cleaned the stove and installed a new light. Location was convenient to the sights, but I would never stay here again.

Room Tip: Look elsewhere. This is not the place to stay.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Joanne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2013

We stayed in "cabin" #18 over the fourth of July weekend. This beautiful and very adequately equipped home easily accommodated our group of 12. The beautiful and nicely stocked kitchen provided a great area for meal prep without the temptation to feel the need to go out to eat (if only my kitchen at home were so nice!). New management indicated they had just redecorated the place and the decor was nearly perfect in our opinion. We enjoyed spending time on both the front and back decks and the views are beautiful. The outdoor hot tub also was a nice retreat. The kids and even some adults also made good use of the pool table located in the third floor loft in the evenings and a couple rainy spells. The bedrooms being dispersed through the three levels and three and a half baths gave generous privacy and prevented congestion concerns. Val was very helpful in providing information about local attractions, restaurants, etc. and the location is very convenient.

The primary negative we noted is that the cabins are located directly off Hwy 16. While we didn't find the road noise overly disruptive, it definitely is there and the entrance/exit to the road requires driver care. While I wouldn't state these as negatives due to the very quick and effective action taken by Val, the grill did need gas and the hot tub needed some additional chemicals. Again these issues were immediately addressed when mentioned. One suggestion for groups staying in cabin 18 with more than 10 people would be for an airbed(s) to be provided or for the group to bring their own. We would definitely come to Hillside again. It's a beautiful and relaxing getaway in the very beautiful Black Hills.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Julie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hillside Country Cabins

Address: 13315 S Highway 16, Rapid City, SD 57702-7402
Region: United States > South Dakota > Rapid City
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 19 Speciality Lodging in Rapid City
Price Range: £48 - £138 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 17
Also Known As:
Hillside Country Cottages Hotel Rapid City

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