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“Lunch at the Lodge was excellent & affordable”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Sylvan Lake Lodge

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Sylvan Lake Lodge
Ranked #11 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Custer
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
410 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
“Lunch at the Lodge was excellent & affordable”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2014

I also posted a review of the restaurant under the Sylvan Lake page so just a quick recap. Not busy during the week in June, so very prompt service and friendly. Surprisingly affordable, $12 for the pork loin with potatoes and veg. There are tables outdoor too but not a view of the lake, just of trees.

No idea what the hotel is like but I would recommend their restaurant. Of course, in summer it might be very crowded.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter_K_B_Toronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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330 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Red Bay, Alabama
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2014

This lodge is very nice, but very difficult to get to. We went through tunnels that were so small, we had to fold in the mirrors on our pick-up truck. Our room was nice, but the carpet was wet under the window, don't know if the previous guests had left windows open during a rain, or if this was from the air-conditioner.

Room Tip: Our room had a view from the back side, don't know if they all do, or not
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NeeCeegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014 via mobile

Clean, newly renovated rooms. (New wing features larger rooms.) Extra large bath towels. Close to Sylvan Lake with kayaks, paddle boats, canoes, and bicycle boats available for rental. Scenic location among the trees overlooking beautiful Sylvan Lake.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Shamrocker52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Millington, Maryland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2014

We were having a girl trip and wanted to see S. D. Plus do some hiking and eat locally. The lodge was perfect because it was on the mountain and had lots of trees and lake close by. The staff were awesome (Josh, John, Clara) and rooms very nice plus clean! We came between seasons so it was very quiet. We had great service but not much evening entertainment. Look out for Sunday Gulch Trail: lots of ice on the trail end that provided us amatures with quite a challenge! Would suggest some gentle trimming of the trees by the balconies so guests can get the awesome view! Who taught those deer to wander so close to the lodge? We loved it!

Room Tip: No fitness center or pool. Hit the great out of doors! Second floor might have best view.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sherrie477
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sturgis, South Dakota
Level Contributor
52 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2014

This is a beautiful, beautiful area - and the lodge itself is gorgeous as well... but with that said, I was disappointed that with a $200 night room, the room was rather small (and I didn't get the room I'd reserved, which was supposed to have a pull-out sofa bed and be in the historical section.) The room I was given was in the new section, did not have a pull-out sofa, and had a broken screen door on the patio. The front desk didn't seem concerned when I asked about my room not being the room I'd gotten a confirmation for, and didn't seem concerned that the screen door was broken. The TV didn't work well; all stations were fuzzy with static and lines. I was pleased with the dining room; nice menu and good service. There was a large wedding group staying at Lodge the same night as I was and they were very loud, seemed very intoxicated, and that really interferred with my group's ability to sleep. The loud guests were very disruptive late, late into the night and again early in the morning. Again, really lovely scenic area, but for the price of the night's stay, I was overall disappointed with the room. The one big plus was strong and easy to use WiFi.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Dakotapeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California Central Coast
Level Contributor
183 reviews
102 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2014

We stayed here for two nights on a tour of the Black Hills. While we booked six months ahead of time for a September visit, there were not many choices. We chose the large room in the newer section, and it turned out to be wonderful. We had a large room with king bed, sofa and chair, and nice bathroom. We were on the second floor and had a balcony that overlooked trees and the lake. We parked toward the end of the hotel, and there was a ramp leading up to our level, making it easy to move luggage and a cooler. We had dinner and breakfast in the dining room; while a little pricey (not unexpected), all the meals were huge and very good. For example, I ordered fish one night and got two big pieces along with all the sides. The front desk staff were pleasant but seemed like college students, friendly but not overly efficient. The wait staff in the dining room were very professional. The lodge is not close to the rest of the park but the drive was interesting. I saw several reviewers complain about the extra fees for park entrance; we knew about this ahead of time and so were not surprised. We would stay here again.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PalmSpringsVisitors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
62 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2013

This is one of your four lodging options inside Custer State Park, so it is going to fill up for the annual buffalo roundup. What that means, is that you will have to book far in advance, and if you do so during the winter off-season, you may have no idea whether or not your reservation is in. This was my experience when submitting an inquiry, being charged for the cabins, then not receiving a confirmation email or being unable to reach someone at the lodge during the winter months. It wasn’t until spring that I was able to get a hold of someone, who could confirm my reservations and discuss my accommodations. At that point, they were very helpful, but those first several months were a little frustrating, not being certain as to whether or not we actually had a booking at the property.

Another potential consideration when staying at the lodge during the roundup may be the cost. You will pay a premium for this choice location during this annual one-of-a-kind event. I’m not certain of the rates during other times of the year, but during the roundup, you’ll be paying big city prices for some slightly dated cabins, with minimal amenities.

This is not to say that the cabins are run-down or unclean, but they may be a bit of a disappointment to someone expecting more luxurious resort-type lodging. I had no expectations, so I was not let down, but travelers should be aware that these truly are cabins, which, while having been maintained over time, have not necessarily been upgraded. They remind you of something a relative may keep as a personal vacation property. Fixtures all work, but are a little older. The heating system may not take temperatures up to where you are used to. The odor from a recent fire in the hearth may permeate the cabin. The bathrooms are small, but there is plenty of hot water and pressure.

Should any of this turn you away? Absolutely not. If you are looking for an authentic, historic, Black Hills experience, why would you want to stay in the sterile, cookie-cutter accommodation of a chain hotel. Go for the charm and the ambience, and stay right in the park. Just be aware that Jacuzzi baths and terrycloth robes are not provided!

Which brings us to the location. Getting to the lodge from just about any direction will be one of the most beautiful drives in all of North America. Anyone who has not experienced the Needles Highway must experience it for themselves to understand. And keep in mind that regardless of how far things appear on the map, the lodge is within an hour of Rapid City and its airport. Just try to keep your commutes to fair-weather, daytime, sober driving. At night, in a fog, this will be one of the scariest drives in all of North America.

No evaluation of the lodge would be complete without a quick shout out to the restaurant. I’ve read some digs about the service, and I guess you could say if you are used to urban dining, in which tables are turned over quickly, this place is not for you. Things work on a relaxed pace here. You’ll have to make a reservation, and you may wait for some time, but the wait is worth it. The prices will appear steep for a restaurant in a rustic setting, but the quality of the food will justify the cost. The bison steak was one of the best – if not freshest – I have ever had. And the character of our visiting waiter made it well worth our time and money.

So set your expectations for relaxed and rustic charm, and you’ll find your stay at Sylvan Lake Lodge to be exactly what you wanted.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank rwckennedy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sylvan Lake Lodge

Property: Sylvan Lake Lodge
Address: 24572 Sd Highway 87, Custer, SD 57730-5201
Region: United States > South Dakota > Custer
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Custer
Hotel Class:3 star — Sylvan Lake Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This accommodation is located on Custer State Park's Sylvan Lake. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sylvan Lake Hotel Custer

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