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“Dumpy cabins”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Blue Bell Lodge

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Blue Bell Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Palatine, Illinois
Level Contributor
58 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Dumpy cabins”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2011

We stayed here on our way to Montana and wanted a place to stay while visiting the famous monuments in SD. We chose Custer state resorts because of the location. The only 'resort' they had available for the 2nights,was the Blue Bell Lodge. I made a bad choice for my family on this location. The old cabins need refurbishing badly. The cabin stunk inside of a major cleaner,like they were trying to cover up something else. The carpet was in foul shape and smelled. The blankets in the small 'dbl' beds were stained and had hair on them.the bed sheets barely fit the beds and were multi years old and bumpy. Our 10 year old was grossed out sleeping with them on. We spent $255/night(incl tax) to stay in a 2bdroom incl kitchen to make it comfortable. What a waste of money! Thankfully, I had read a previous 'advisor' and was aware that the kitchen includes 0! They have no silverware , plates etc. Are you kidding for this price! It was too late to back out of our reservation,so we brought our own. Why would someone rent a kitchen w/out a sitocked kitchen?
We also had a infestation of carpenter ants right by the front door. I think the cabins have rotting wood outside in the siding. We did have the manager come to our room that night with a can if bug spray. He along with the front desk young girls were very nice. I wasn't expecting much that night,as the other cabins looked similar to ours.
All 'n all, I could go on about how nasty we felt this place was, but I think you all get the idea. The park is beautiful, however.
I can't recommend any other place to stay,as the two closest cities only have motels I didn't check into.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mjb00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 20 August 2011
I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your visit with us. We usually try to give our guests a little nicer introduction to the wildlife than ants, etc. We apologize, but with the rustic personality of the Blue Bell Lodge, critters are a part of the enviroinment and unfortunately sometimes those critters are not always the cute or exciting type! The cabin you stayed in was built back in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps. We hope what they lack in modernity, they gain in historical significance. We do not stock the kitchen with dishes since there isn't room for a high powered sanitizing dishwasher to clean them in. When you come back to enjoy the beauty of Custer State Park, may I suggest staying in one of our historical lodge rooms at the State Game Lodge or the modern facilities at the Creekside? Stop by and say hello when you do visit us again! Once again I apologize that your stay with us wasn't what you expected and we would like you to give us a second chance!
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224 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
chicago, usa
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2011

My family and I stayed at the Bluebell around the 4th of July. It was wonderful. The log cabins and lodge were perfect for the area. Nicely appointed, clean and comfortable. The food at the lodge was very good - some of the best we had on our trip, although a little slow. The Chuckwagon Dinner was a hoot and the musicians were quite good. Finally, the 2 hour trail ride we went on was beautiful and quiet. You really got a sense of what it might have been like riding in that beautiful country a 100 years ago. The whole family loved it. An added bonus - we woke up in the morning and had a wild buffalo outside our door. The kids could not believe it. My boys were 7 & 10 at the time. We'd love to go back!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelingmom024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 20 August 2011
Thank you visiting us! We paid that bison extra grass to show off for your boys! I'll be sure to give him a raise. See you next time. Glad you enjoyed your stay!
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Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2011

We stayed in a housekeeping cabin. Cabins are nicely spaced so you aren't in your neighbors business, but close enough to walk between if you are going with other families. There is a small general store on premises and the restaurant in the lodge was good. Actually, that was the best cornbread I have ever eaten! The staff was very friendly and helpful. 30 minutes from Crazy Horse and 45 from Mt. Rushmore. Showers were small but adequate. Would stay again.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hilltoppermom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 20 August 2011
Thank you for staying with us! I'm glad you enjoyed your stay! See you next time!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2011

Highly recommend Blue Bell's Chuckwagon!! Our whole family just had a ball. Entertaining musicians, beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife. We saw buffalo, deer, fork horn, wild turkeys, prairie dogs. Food was excellent. Authentic experience, definitely worth the price!

  • Stayed June 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mischiefmaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 20 August 2011
Thank you for staying with us! I'm glad you enjoyed my friends on the hayride. They really enjoy their jobs! See you next year!
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Homer Glen, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2011

My brother & I enjoyed a nice quiet stay at the Blue Bell Lodge and would stay again. The location is great for the local attractions. Service at the restaurant was excellent, the staff was very friendly. We only wished there were more steak options available. The cornbread with honey butter was divine! We stayed in a sleeping cabin. Outside we had a picnic table and a fire pit. I was surprised to see the bathroom was a good size. Sometimes hotel bathrooms are so small! Our cabin had a fireplace with plenty of wood stocked up. It was even re-stocked the next day and the fireplace cleaned out. We had a 2 burner stove, microwave, small fridge and a small sink in our kitchen area. Didn't use the stove or microwave so I'm not sure if there were any issues with them. Early in the mornings we saw wild turkeys, deer and even a buffalo which came within 15 feet of our cabin. We got the impression from our waitress (Ade, who is a wonderful, pleasant gal...thank you Ade for your excellent service!) that buffalo don't come to the lodge very often. She was as excited as we were about the buffalo. The thing I didn't like very much about the area were the roadways. It was hilly with LOTS of winding roads, but that is something that cannot be helped. Custer State Park also had buffalo safari jeep rides, a cowboy supper, horseback riding, and paddleboats. Sadly we didn't do any of these due to the weather...too cold and rainy, but you are sure to see buffalo on the Wildlife Loop drive.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank brab314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 20 August 2011
Thank you for staying with us! I agree-June was too cold and rainy this year! It was different with all the flooding and such. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit with us in spite of the cold weather! See you next year!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
brazil
Level Contributor
148 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2011

We took a family road trip with 3 generations through the Badlands , Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park.

We stayed at the Blue Bell for three fantastic days. Although we were there for the 4th of July , we had nice moderate weather.

The Lodge is a charming group of log cabins . We rented 2 for our group ( total of 9 people). The cabins were spacious and clean , with fireplaces and kitchen areas , which had cupboards , microwaves and a smalli fridge. We had a delighthul porch , a fire pit and a picnic table.

Every morning , the children would wake up to " critters" right outside our door. Deer , rabbits , chipmunks , wild turkey and even buffalo! They loved it.

Our cabin was very close to the general store and the nice onsite restaurant , which served tasty food.

Our family had an amazing visit and we´d love to go back.

Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank brazilgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 20 August 2011
Thank you for staying with us! I'm glad you enjoyed your stay!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Appleton, Wisconsin
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2011

We had an "older" lodge, but lodge was clean and the service was great. Enjoyed our breakfast and dinners, and Cowboy Keith (he made our evening) and the group were fantastic for the Chuckwagon dinner. We had bison within 20 feet of the dinner - exciting! Lodge is perfectly set near Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Wildlife Loop, Needles Highway etc. Just stayed for 3 nights and loved it! Quiet Quiet sleeping.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nkraft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, Guest Relations Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 20 August 2011
Thank you for staying with us! Wow! A bison came to dinner! How cool!! I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. See you next time!
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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 Blue Bell Lodge

Property: Blue Bell Lodge
Address: Custer State Park, 25453 Highway 87, Custer, SD 57730
Region: United States > South Dakota > Custer
Amenities:
Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Custer
Hotel Class:3 star — Blue Bell Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 240
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A historical lodge offering horseback riding and camping trips through Custer State park. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blue Bell Hotel Custer

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