We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Overpriced tourist trap”
Review of Blue Bell Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Custer
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Blue Bell Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Overpriced tourist trap”
Reviewed 14 August 2011

Cabin was had an odd odour and the bathroom door wouldn't close. A/C wouldn't turn on. Some mould in the shower. Would be fine if it was a cheap place to stay, but at more than 50% higher than most of our other stops it left something to be desired. The restaurant was pricey with meager portions though the live cowboy music was nice. We thought we would buy some cereal and milk at the store for breakfast but the selection there was also meager so back to the pricey restaurant.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Keith F
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, 19 August 2011
I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your stay with us. Would you consider giving us another chance? I would recommend one of our newer sleeping cabins. There are three other lodges in the park also that aren't quite so remote. I hope to see you again!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

224 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    127
    60
    18
    12
    7
See reviews for
117
73
1
1
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2011

We stayed in a cabin with a kitchenette, which was great so we didn't have to spend any money in the restaurant (we had already spent quite a bit along our 2-week drive out west). Our cabin (#15) was clean, air conditioned and just secluded enough where it was quiet on the porch at night. In fact, we pulled up there was a deer out front, which delighted the kids. We had our own fire pit which the kids loved for roasting marshmallows. The lodge offers a chuckwagon dinner, which is great for the kids BUT, it's expensive ($43 EACH!). And, they didn't mention that it takes an hour to get to the dinner on the wagon, so make sure the little ones have had a snack or they'll be cranky. It's an ideal location to see Custer State Park and a 30-minute drive to the Wind Caves which was great. We'll definitely try and come back in a couple of years. It's worth the extra money to splurge for the cabin with the kitchenette, bathroom and air.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Riggsy1
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, 19 August 2011
So glad you enjoyed your stay! Sorry the kids were so hungry on the ride! See you next time; the deer will be waiting for you!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MN
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2011

The Chuckwagon Dinner was a bit pricey, but was worth it! Really fun entertainers, good food. We all enjoyed it.

Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank nemofishMn
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, 19 August 2011
Thank you for trying our chuchwagon dinner hayride! And yes! The performers are professionals who truly enjoy their work! See you next time!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa Florida
Level Contributor
57 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2011

Chuckwagon Dinner is excellent. It is pricey ($40 per adult) but well worth the money. It is run by a dedicated group of professionals who have been doing it for a long time and seem to genuinely enjoy their work, as opposed to just going through the motions. A memorable experience for kids and adults. Definitely one of the highlights from our 7 day road trip to Mt. Rushmore.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank TravelCheapskate
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, 19 August 2011
Thank you for trying out our chuckwagon dinner! The entertainers really do enjoy their jobs! See you next time!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2011

Stayed at the Blue Bell Lodge over a long weekend. We stayed in a 4 person housekeeping cabin which was equipped with air conditioning, microwave, mini fridge and a hot plate. Wish there had been a toaster. I had read the reviews ahead of time and tried to come prepared, but there were still things I forgot. If you plan on doing any of your own cooking, you really need to bring everything!! Don't forget all cooking pots, pans and utensils, dishes, dish soap, paper towel etc. There is a little store that carries the basics, but at very inflated prices. The restaurant was pretty good, good service and average prices. The cabin itself was nice and relatively clean, a few cobwebs and spiders around, but it is a cabin in the woods. A little pricey, but they obviously can get the prices they are asking because the park was full. Overall it was a very pleasant experience and would stay again.....I would just try to be a little more prepared.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lynn8587
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! Your post described our place very nicely-rustic, but enjoyable. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palatine, Illinois
Level Contributor
58 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
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!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago, usa
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
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!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Custer
7.4 mi away
Holiday Inn Express Custer
9.5 mi away
Gold Camp Cabins
Gold Camp Cabins
#14 of 17 in Custer
4.5 of 5 bubbles 30 reviews
7.3 mi away
Comfort Inn & Suites Custer
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
15.7 mi away
Best Western Golden Spike Inn & Suites
7.4 mi away
Bavarian Inn, Black Hills
12.8 mi away
K Bar S Lodge
K Bar S Lodge
#1 of 14 in Keystone
4.5 of 5 bubbles 847 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Blue Bell Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing