While visiting the Black Hills of South Dakota, there are many fine places to stay, and while exhaustively searching various websites, I sent e-mails inquiring about accommodations.
I received a very friendly and informative e-mail back from Jim Johnson, owner & operator of the Battle Creek Lodge in Keystone (gateway to Mount Rushmore).
I was so impressed with Jim's willingness to supply all facets of information, that I eventually booked 3 nights there in September, 2005 (off-season).
With only about 20 rooms, modest but very comfortable, Jim will personally cook a complimentary breakfast, taking the time to introduce his guests to each other, all in the comfort of his own parlor/living room/dining room. After my first night, there was a pot of coffee outside my room the following 2 mornings, not wanting to disturb my sleep. In the early evening, Jim offered a nice wine & cheese get-together to all who cared to partake.
There's a large deck with a refrigerator, lots of tables & chairs and a hot tub. Though it was a bit chilly, the hot tub was a popular spot. Keystone is a great town with lots of character; The Battle Creek Lodge is just enough off the beaten path to be quiet & restful, and close enough to walk anywhere and have an endless choice of shops, restaurants, etc.
All credit should go to the wonderful Jim Johnson, who, with imagination, aplomb and a most pleasant personality,
made this experience one of my favorites.
You can keep your fancy and expensive lodges and motels. I prefer the humble simplicity of places like the Battle Creek Lodge.
The Lodge is in close proximity of all the touristy places (Custer State Park, Badlands NP, Wind Cave NP, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, etc.), and at the end of the day, there's Jim to provide hospitality that is so very personal and delightful.
These out-of-the-way places are ALWAYS more fun than the "Tourist Traps".
I can't say enough about my pleasant and relaxing experience at Battle Creek Lodge.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Battle Creek Lodge is a quaint Lodge located just minutes away from Mt Rushmore, in the beautiful and Historic Keystone South Dakota. Just blocks away from the Keystone "strip"' Battle Creek provides you the benefit of being within walking distance to all of the local attractions, restaurants, and bars- without the noise and chaos to keep you awake at night. A gas fire pit to enjoy on the cool evenings and a Breakfast that will jump start your vacation though the hills are just a few of the things Battle Creek has to offer. Owned and operated by locals, you are sure to get an insiders guide on what to see and do during your stay, by people who REALLY care about your vacation and are committed to making your time in the Black Hills enjoyable and memorable. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Battle Creek Hotel Keystone