My wife and I stayed at Sylvan Lake Lodge for four nights in late July 2014. We had stayed there some 35 years ago and had a great experience but this time we did not. The room was small and on the first night the shower head flew off the wall when my wife turned on the faucet. They fixed it but there was no explanation of how this could have been just dangling there until it was turned on and the only person who offered an apology was the person who fixed it and he could not understand how the housekeeping staff could have cleaned the bathroom without noticing it. The staff was generally not very pleasant or helpful and I would not expect much from them. I think it was a management problem because they seemed not very well equipped to do their job. We went to the dining room for lunch one day and we were turned away because the staff told us that they were expecting a group of ten and they could not seat us at that time. We were surprised because there were only 3 tables occupied at that time. They were very much under staffed. We ended up never eating in the dining room. The veranda was very nice with a great view but chairs and tables were strewn everywhere and service was difficult to obtain.
The Sylvan Lake Lodge is an older building with a lot of charm and it is in a beautiful location and a short distance from Sylvan Lake and hiking trails. We had booked our room several months ahead and it seems like it is solidly booked well ahead throughout the summer. Unfortunately, it seems like it is not well managed and maintained. (For example, when my wife bought a candy bar, the staff person was literally not able to make change and had to be helped by a supervisor.)
It is difficult to see the lodge in this condition and difficult to believe that it will continue to operate in the future. I do not think our experience was unique. We met a family with small children and they said that their tv, air conditioning, and refrigerator did not work. We helped them because their room key did not work in letting them into the building. Needless to say they were very upset.
I would not book a room here until they can demonstrate over time that staffing and management have vastly improved.
- 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