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“What a great place” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blue Bell Lodge

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Blue Bell Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
on the road
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“What a great place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2014

I was a little leery about staying in a cabin (city boy) but my wife insisted we try something a little different. Wow was I impressed--modern, roomy, clean, quiet--definitely exceeded my expectations. Better than a hotel room. Close to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse--Deadwood and Sturgis a scenic drive away.
Make sure you drive the wildlife loop in the park--buffalo everywhere.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mgdriver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 23 May 2014
Thank you for that very positive review and thank your wife for talking you into it. We find a lot of people to be pleasantly surprised but what they find here at Blue Bell and throughout the park as well. The beauty here is unmatched anywhere else and I am fortunate to work here. Thanks again and we hope you will come back sometime.
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224 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
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English first
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
408 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2014 via mobile

We stayed here two years ago and really enjoyed it so didn't even think of staying anywhere else. The newer cabins are very clean, comfortable and provide unexpected ammenities such as coffee, shampoos and firewood. Definitely have a fire in the fireplace, it makes for a great image to fall asleep to. Daily service includes having your garbage emptied, getting supplies and towels replenished and a new bundle of firewood. We love the cabin decor such as the mounted buck above the fireplace and the log furniture. Wildlife on the grounds can include anything from deer to bison - we even heard a mountain lion cry one night while sitting around the outdoor fire pit - makes for a great wilderness adventure. Can't wait to go back!

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank christine102262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 23 May 2014
Thank you so much for your review. We are pretty proud of our little lodge in the woods. The rustic western features really give you that old west feel but with modern amenities and comforts. We hope to see you again in the future.
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Stillwater, Minnesota
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

My husband and I had stayed at Legion Lake in Fall of 2012, and were really looking forward to going back to Custer State Park for a short vacation at the end of April 2014. After talking with the folks on the reservations line, hubby decided to book three nights in a sleeping cabin at Blue Bell. (There are good discounts in the off season.) We were not disappointed. The spacious, super-clean cabin was in a beautiful wooded setting, the fireplace made for great relaxation at the end of the day, the lodge food was delicious, and all the staff were extremely welcoming and helpful. If we needed anything or had any questions, they were willing to go overboard to make our visit the best. We liked it so much, we added an extra night. Kudos to Molly, Chad and all the staff at Blue Bell!

Room Tip: Let the reservations agent know what you want, and they will do their best to accommodate you---they...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Carol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 23 May 2014
Well I couldn't ask for a better review than that. We enjoyed having you very much and it was our pleasure to make your stay one to remember. Thank you so much for your review and we hope to see you again!!!

Chad
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Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed four nights a Blue Bell. A country girl I am not (sunburn easily, asthma, bugs love me, allergic to everything), though I found the hiking and the canoe opportunities very fun. We also did the camp song hay ride and I found that to be really, really entertaining - little ones on the trip seemed to love it - but the actual destination, where you eat, was SWARMED with yellow jackets. If you have a child with a bee allergy, this. is. not. safe. Stick to the lodge and the wildlife drive.

The cabin was mostly clean, but I had a lot of difficulty breathing because there was some visible mold growing on the shower ceiling. And the wifi and satellite TV? Forget about it. (To say it is "unreliable" is a great overstatement of the availability - we had perfect weather, up-to-date technology, and still no service at all.) The restaurant was adorable, the staff very friendly, and the surrounding wildlife was always impressive. The good news is that it is so peaceful at night you won't have one bit of trouble sleeping - if you can breathe. The cabin was a great size for two people and extra blankets are available if you get a bit chilly.

Overall, it would probably be a great family vacation, but for an early 30s/late 20s city couple, four nights was way too long - everything shuts down at like 7 PM and once you've done the nature stuff and visited the little towns, there's nothing to do. (Which is not any sort of dig against the Lodge - just trying to make sure everyone's aware of what they're getting themselves into, because nothing is close if you have bored kids!)

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank St_Louis_Ladybug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 23 May 2014
Thank you so much for your review. I am pleased that you had a good time at the Chuckwagon cookout. The yellow jackets were a problem, however they were wasps, not bees. Being a Michigan native myself I was unaware that yellow jacket wasps existed. That being said, initially we were using techniques for bees. When I realized they were actually wasps, we treated accordingly and it got much better. Custer State Park is a rather quiet and rustic place and for someone looking for nightlife well, there are the frogs and nocturnal animals but not much else I'm afraid. We like to think of ourselves as a persons chance to escape from the riggers of city life and soak up the serenity. Thank you again.
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Leland, Illinois
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013

We spent 4 days in the Black Hills area, but only our last night at the Blue Bell lodge. It is more costly, but we wanted to splurge for our last night. We weren't disappointed! The cabin was wonderful. It was clean, spacious, nicely decorated, and had lots of windows for looking outside. The cabins were also spaced apart nicely for privacy. The staff in the general store were friendly and we had a good meal in the lodge. We arrived early in the afternoon and went horse back riding from their stables, and it was a nice, scenic ride.

The best part were the 2 buffalo bulls we spied relaxing 2 cabins over. We watched them thru the window and from the porch for at least 2 hours. Unbelievable! When we drove to the lodge for dinner we went right past them. If you can afford to stay at the Blue Bell, its a great place and not too far from Custer City for shopping and other dining.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank dianeteaches2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 10 December 2013
Thank you very much for your wonderful review. We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. The horseback rides are a great way to see areas of the park that most do not get to. I myself am a huge fan of the Buffalo and could watch them all day. We have a variety of cabin types to choose from with different price points to help fit into most budgets. Again, thank you for your review and we hope to see you again in the future!!!
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Minneapolis
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013

We staying in one of the newer sleeping cabins. We chose it because we wanted an indoor fireplace, which we used every evening we were there. The cabins are nicely spaced apart in the woods yet all close enough to the main lodge. My complaints about the room: there were a number of deferred maintenance items that would have been easy to fix (e.g., broken closet door handle, broken door stop, broken curtain pulls, chipped paint in bathroom) and the amount of dishes and food preparation tools was minimal. You really can't plan on doing any serious cooking in the kitchenette. We loved hanging out in the bar in the lodge. Great bartender (Jayme). The rest of the staff was not that helpful or well informed. The dining room is great, but they rarely use the beautiful fireplace there - a missed opportunity. We ate one dinner at the lodge. Not great food and a bit pricey. Also, beer selection is pretty limited if you want anything other than a macro brew. Overall, though, we really enjoyed our experience at Blue Bell and would stay there again.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HappyinMinneapolis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 10 December 2013
Thank you very much for your review of the Blue Bell Lodge. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. We are working on fixing the maintenance issues you mentioned and making general improvements. Jami is our dining room manager and a very valuable asset to the Blue Bell team. We strive to teach our staff about the park and local attractions as most of them have never been to Custer before working here. Thanks again and we hope to see you in the future.
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Lumberton, Tx
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2013

Just added to the enjoyment of our trip! Comfortable bed, everything we needed for somewhere to sleep. Tv but no cable but wasn't a big deal for us. Only downside at blue bell was the chuck wagon! Cowboy Keith was great but the yellow jackets were horrible. One of the cooks told us that during aug thru sept. they come around only. The man next 2 us got stung on his lip when he went to wipe his face a yellow jacket was in it. They were so bad on sons food that he couldn't eat . For the price they charge they should at least tell u about this but they don't so Here IS YOUR WARNING! But stay at blue bell lodge every morning we woke up 2 different wildlife! Buffalo, deer, rabbits, and goats!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank live4him97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueBellLodge, General Manager at Blue Bell Lodge, responded to this review, 16 October 2013
Thank you so much forn your review. Yes the Yellow Jackets were very bad this year for some reason. Being from Michigan, I thought they were bee's but they were actually wasps. We were treating for bees at first trying to find nests in trees and such. When I did some research, I found out they were wasps that built their nests underground. We immediatly had a company come out and fine the hives. They told us that they were unusually bad this year but typically dont cause that much issue. Now that we know what to look for we will be very proactive in the future to keep their numbers down. Thanks again and we hope to have you back in the future.
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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 #2 of 23 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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