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“A breath of fresh air”
Review of Shady Rest Motel

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Shady Rest Motel
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Custer
Certificate of Excellence
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A breath of fresh air”
Reviewed 7 August 2013

We stayed at the Shady Rest Motel on August 4-5. What a pleasure to stay there! The cabins are in a quiet location, away from the main street of Custer yet close enough to walk into downtown. We only had one full day to see the main attractions of the Black Hills, and this motel was in a perfect central location to be able to do just that. The cabins are very basic, comfortable, and clean. We appreciated having a kitchenette so we could make our own breakfasts. The WiFi was great, always with a strong signal. Several of the cabins have a front veranda with a swing, and we enjoyed relaxing on the veranda, conversing with guests in neighboring cabins. We liked having easy access to our car, which we could park right in front of the cabin. We so much prefer that to a chain hotel where one’s car could be most anywhere in the parking lot, or worse yet, it’s hidden away in a parking garage by a valet. Owners John and Ann were superb hosts--always available, attentive to guests’ needs, and such a pleasure to talk to. You can tell that they love what they do.

Most of the cabins are older, and although they have been modernized, some have little idiosyncrasies, which for us just added to the charm. If you are looking for luxury lodging with all the amenities of a five-star hotel, this may not be the place for you. But if you want comfortable, affordable lodging with rustic charm, and hosts that make you feel like family, then look no further!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank annieways
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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181 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
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English first
Columbia, Missouri
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2013

We liked it. That sums it up. My wife, two daughters and I stayed 4 days here. This was a great spot to get to the sites in the area, and priced very well compared to other locations in the area. The owners do a great job of making you feel welcomed. They live on-sight with their kids, so they are living with the same conditions their guests are. We had a great view of the Black Hills. The owners did a great job in directing us to different activities. They made sure we knew what things they had actually participated in and what things were word of mouth. You are just a couple of blocks from Downtown Custer. You are close enough to walk, but far enough away that we never heard the traffic. The original cabins were built in the 1920's, and the owners try to keep the historic feel, right down to keeping the yellow and red paint scheme. However, even though the cabins are old, they are kept to high standards. I have never stayed at a cleaner place before. The kitchen was a little cramped, but we easily overcame it. If we find ourselves in the Black Hills again, we will be staying here.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank boconorm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bolingbrook
Level Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2013

I booked this cabin (#5) back in October 2012 because I thought Shady Rest was going to be charming and great based on other user reviews (ranked #2, there are not too many other places to stay in Custer). I was trying to look past the yellow paint with red trim and admire the knotty pine interior only to be disappointed by the dim and dank interior. What I mean is that the windows are small and even with the "curtains" pulled back and windows open, you still needed to turn on lights to see what you were doing during the day time, worst at night. Like Keatyp wrote "funky" "odd" would sum it up. The TV (CRT) was missing all the knobs, the shower head aimed at mid-chest, air conditioning and ceiling fan that would barely circulate the air, duck your head as you walked up the stairs or your noggin will pay the price, only a weak deadbolt to secure the front door. Odd pieces of wood nailed into places to cover up what was probably mistakes in engineering which create great places for bugs to hide and dwell as we discovered spiders in the shower and main living area. The view overlooked some type of electrical station so you got to look at wires and towers. This location is really not as close to some of the attractions as I thought and if we came this way again we would stay in Hill City or the State Park as they both have more to offer for just a few more bucks. On the plus side pricing is reasonable and, John and Anne were very nice and helpful. Upon check-in John told me that local restaurants would give a 10% discount to retain business in Custer if we mentioned that we were staying at Shady Rest (show the receipt) but some said that they never heard of the place and congratulated me with "nice try", only the pizza place complied. I know that their hearts are in this but I would not recommend this place to my family or friends. You can stay elsewhere and get better location for just a little bit more $$. I know that other people like this place, but my family was disappointed. We stayed here July 15-19, 2013. Sorry John and Anne

Room Tip: Cabin #5 had a blocked view because of the proprietors house and the best view was the electrical st...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Timothy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
johndvorak777, Owner at Shady Rest Motel, responded to this review, 5 August 2013
Thank you for allowing us host your vacation in the Black Hills. We are very sorry that you were dissatisfied with your stay.

It is true that most reviews from our guests highlight their positive experiences here, for the Shady Rest Motel is different. Built over 80 years ago, these enduring cabins have strengths and weaknesses that are inherent in their history. They have all been renovated and offer wooded interiors and modern conveniences, but being that they are nestled in the trees and bordered by city park before and behind, they sometimes attract spiders, bees, flies, etc—though (thankfully!) rarely mosquitoes. We do our very best to keep such unwelcome pests to an absolute minimum.

We are located on a hill two blocks from downtown Custer. From our property, we overlook not only the town and its businesses (and yes, that includes some wires and a power station), but Harney Peak, the Cathedral Spires, Buckhorn Mountain, the Michelson Trail, Big Rock Park, and French Creek as well.

We do apologize for any embarrassment you may have experienced in regard to dining discounts. Several local restaurants, but not all, will reduce their regular menu prices for guests staying in Custer itself. These include the Bakers Bakery, Purple Pie Place, and the Buglin Bull.

Finally, it is an integral part of our history that the original cabins on our property were smaller units that have been redesigned and expanded over the years to include both kitchenettes and bathrooms. These additions have made for some innovative use of space—and sometimes quirky quarters. While some may not appreciate these characteristics, these are the very features that separate us from the “box hotels” and make each cabin totally unique.

There are some lovely, modern vacation rentals and regular hotels that are in the area--and some people may prefer them. That’s OK. Our niche is to offer comfortable beds in clean, affordable, historic cabins with the very best service we can.

We do wish you and your family the very best.

God bless!

Ann and John
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Macon GA
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2013

Funky little cabins with charmingly odd architecture, furniture placement can be odd, jammed into alcoves and bends in the cabin - but scrupulously clean, and little kitchen area had small refrigerator, toaster, dishes, etc. for vacation needs. Would have loved more seating on the front porch of the cabin, but overall the owners obviously work hard to anticipate the needs of their guests. Very friendly, informed about the area, will answer any questions but don't impose. This place is a real bargain, excellent value.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Keatyp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2013

We are just completing a five day vacation in the Black Hills. We originally hoped to stay all nights in Custer State Park, but were unable to book cabins there for our first and last nights. We were fortunate to stay in cabins at Shady Rest for those nights. The cabins are modest, extremely clean, well maintained and comfortable. Shady Rest provides a very unique experience that is a wonderful contrast to traditional hotels and motels.
The owners/managers are delightful and live on site. They are obviously committed to insuring guests have a wonderful stays. The Shady Rest exceeded our expectations in all regards.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jpm1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 July 2013

We stayed at Shady Rest for three nights in June 2013. It was a great place to stay for price and location. We are a couple in our late twenties early thirties so we weren't looking for a town that was geared heavily to the kids and we found that in Custer. Having the coffee in the morning before we adventured out was nice.

The cabin itself was very spacious. I believe we were in Cabin 9. The bathroom shower was an ok size since we are fairly in shape, but it did feel like a tight squeeze because we are so tall. It was nice to just leave the windows open during the day and the cabin was comfortable when we came back. This is coming from a couple from South Carolina where 77 and 90% humidity is the summer norm at 8am. My only complaint was that the pillows were a little flat.

I will definitely suggest these cabins to friends that come to the area.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank mcatp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gracemont, OK
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2013

The managers are excellent and do their very best to please you and the cabin was extremely clean. Beds were pretty comfortable. The arrangement and make up of the beds in each room would suit a family very well. There was also a small kitchenette, we didn't need it but it would have suited us just fine if we would have had the need for it. Would I stay there again? Yes.

Room Tip: Good for a family. The cabin we stayed in had three full beds with one bedroom. The living room ha...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FreidaKay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shady Rest Motel

Property: Shady Rest Motel
Address: 238 Gordon St, Custer, SD 57730-1820
Phone Number:
Region: United States > South Dakota > Custer
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Spa
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Custer
#3 Family Hotel in Custer
Number of rooms: 13
Also Known As:
Shady Rest Hotel Custer

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