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Holiday Inn Spearfish Convention Center (South Dakota, USA)

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Address: I 90 Exit 14 / 305 North 27th St / Po Box 399 / Spearfish / SD 57783 USA / Tel: 605-642-4683

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      31.07.2011 22:10
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      Great hotel in a handy location with a good bar next door

      Holiday Inn
      Spearfish
      South Dakota

      WHY SPEARFISH?
      We hadn't planned to stay in Spearfish but the weather made us alter our plans. We had wanted to drive up to North Dakota to have a meal at Kroll's Diner as seen on Stephen Fry's travels across America. The rain was bad and the drive so long with not a lot in between that we opted for a couple of days in Spearfish so we could explore some the attractions around there. We thought we were being a bit silly driving seven hours each way just to go to a diner that Stephen Fry thought was novel but even so it was rather extreme so Spearfish it was instead.

      We chose the Holiday Inn as it looked the nicest of the hotels in the area and also I get loyalty points when I stay at a Holiday Inn. The hotel is outside Spearfish itself on one of those out of town places with a few hotels of the same kind just off the Highway. This is a perfect place for exploring Spearfish Canyon, close to Belle Fourche (the geographical centre of the nation) the Black Hills, Deadwood, Tatanka, Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse and also Devil's Tower to name but a few attractions around.

      THE HOTEL:
      The hotel is quite high and has a good view of the surrounding area. It is actually a big Conference Centre for the area and there were a number of different meeting rooms available for businesses to use. From the front it looked quite small but it went back an awful long way and had a sort of leisure centre in the middle so the hotel rooms were in a rectangle around this huge space in the middle.

      As usual in America there was o problem with parking as there was a huge 0parking space all around the hotel and we always managed to get a spot very close to our room. It was very easy to get out of the hotel entrance onto the side road which fed onto the highway too which was handy.

      The Reception area was quite light and welcoming with a few sofas and the desk on the left. Straight ahead was a room used for the buffet breakfasts and then to the right was a restaurant/pub which was physically part of the hotel but in reality was a completely separate business as you could not charge any meals or drinks bought there on to the room. This was called 'Lucky's 13' and we did enjoy a couple of meals in there.

      We discovered that it was much easier to park our car at the back of the hotel and use the door at the back to access our room rather than walking through the long corridors and through the leisure area which seemed to always be full of shrieking kids having parties. The door at the back could only be opened with your room card so it was very secure. Once through this door our room was on the ground floor so we only had to walk round to the right and along the corridor to the room which saved haling the cases up stairs or through too many heavy fire doors.

      We also worked out where our room was from the outside and parked our car just at our window as my husband liked to be able to keep an eye on it and thought he would also hear anyone breaking in to it at night!! No comments please.

      THE ROOM
      The room was the usual Holiday Inn standard with very clean looking carpets, two queen sized beds with big pillows and nice fresh cotton sheets. There was a lovely big window and curtains that you could open fully so if we were in the room during the day it was really good and light. I hate dark dingy hotel rooms with inadequate lighting so I was pleased with the light in here.

      Apart from the big beds made up with white sheets and a pale greeny cover at the end of the bed which all added to the light fresh feel of the room, there was a desk and free wifi. I love the Holiday Inn as the wifi is free all around the USA with them. There was a flat screen tv and coffee maker, drawers and adequate clothes storage for a short stay.

      The bathroom was a good size with bath and shower and a good long shelf area by the sink to put all the toiletries that I seem to carry around with me to my husband's mild irritation. Strangely it seems to get heavier as I pick up more from the hotels we stay in! The toiletries here were very nice Pantene shampoo and conditioner, soap and body lotion too. The room was decorated in pale tiles with big white fluffy towels which were changed daily despite us carefully hanging them upo as we were happy to re-use them.

      CALL ME WIDOW TWANKY!
      We were going to spend two nights here so unusually for me we took a big load of washing to the guest laundrette. This would be the big wash to take us till we reached Las Vegas and hopefully hot weather where we could use all the summer clothes I had brought and not used.

      The laundry was a small room which you gained access to with your same room door card. You had to buy soap powder which was $1 or so then the washer took $2 and then the dryer was the same. This was a lot cheaper than the usual hotel laundry that you send off in a bag where they charge $1 for underpants and so on. We did a pretty big wash and dried it all for $5. We put it all in the washer then went and enjoyed a drink or two before returning to move it to the drier, we then had our evening meal and when we finished all our stuff was ready to be folded.

      THE LEISURE AREA

      This was a huge area in the centre of the hotel with a really high roof. There was pool in the centre with a fence around it and all the surrounding area was carpeted with that astro turf sort of stuff. There were a few tables and chairs but mostly it was a big empty space. Often there was a group of children with a few adults enjoying the pool and they looked like a local group rather than guests because of the adult/child ratio. I did feel the pool water but it felt a touch cool for me so I didn't bother testing it further. On one side of this covered over area there was an open roofed atrium area with a few tables and chairs which would have been nice had the weather been warmer but we opted for the cosiness of the onsite pub instead.

      BREAKFAST:
      The breakfast here was a variation of the same buffet style fast food, plastic plates and cutlery job that we had enjoyed at every hotel we stayed at in the USA. They obviously have an aversion to washing up even with dishwashers and so every person uses at least four plastic bowls or plates plus cutlery and cups which I found quite shocking. Just imagine how much waste must be created by the millions of hotels nationwide in the States by this wasteful use of resources.

      Choices offered included fresh bananas and apples which were not as tasty as the ones in the Marriott in Salt Lake City. Cereals and yogurt, instant porridge stuff, muffins and Danish pastries, toast which you made in a normal toaster and a choice of spreads, hot stuff I think was scrambled eggs and the bacon patty things that look a bit like small hamburgers, my husband seemed to enjoy them but they are not my taste. It is a functional breakfast rather than a meal that you sit and relish.

      LUCKY'S 13 PUB:

      As I said this was not officially part of the hotel as you couldn't bill meals or drinks to your room but it was physically a part of the hotel in that you could enter it from within the hotel just to the right of the reception area.

      This was like an American pub/bar which also served food. We went in to have a drink when we first arrived as we had had a long day driving. The young man who served us was absolutely delightful and stayed chatting to us for quite some time. Initially he was explaining the beer pump at the table which my husband was quite intrigued by. It is filled with about 5 litres and you pump what you want and drink then when you have finished they come and see how much you have drunk. Switch off the tap and you are charged accordingly. My husband had found a beer called 'Fat Tire' which he was quite taken with so he had a pint or two of that. White wine spritzers don't seem to have come to the USA so each time I ordered a glass of white wine and a glass of fizzy water and made my own. Quite often I was not charged for the fizzy water which was even better. I had to remember to say no lemon though as this was not so good with the wine.

      We discovered a few places to visit by talking to the waiter and he suggested a drive through Spearfish Canyon which turned out to be a great drive and a different way to get to Deadwood which we visited the next day.

      We returned to our room for a couple of hours to rest and recover from our drive and then returned there for a meal later. The food was tasty and freshly cooked and the portions much more normal, in fact I almost finished my meal here which was unheard of in most places we ate. The fact that the food was good, the beer great and the service also excellent as well as the fact that it was on site and neither of us needed to drive made us decide to eat here on both nights we stayed here.
      The atmosphere was good too in that there were a lot of locals in the place too so it had a happening sort of feel. They also played great music which we enjoyed too so all in all this made the stay in this hotel one of the better ones while we were on this trip. In fact apart from the Las Vegas hotel which was a Diamond Resorts place and we had a family self catering suite I would say this is the hotel that we remember most favourably and that is largely because of this pub and the lovely staff there.

      SUMMARY:
      If you are thinking of a place to stay to explore this area you could do a lot worse than this hotel which was the same sort of price as the others we stayed in about $125 a night, the taxes made it leap from $105 which included the buffet breakfast and the wifi of course too. It was perfectly located to visit the attractions that I listed in the start of my review. It so easy to drive in America and petrol is so much cheaper that distances seem much less so that this hotel is a very central point for all these attractions. We drove about 4000 miles and it cost us about £300 we calculated. Our daughter and son in law drove from Derbyshire to Arisaig in Scotland in April and spent well over £250 and that was before the recent price hike so we really do pay a lot for our petrol here.

      This was a very welcoming hotel which had a number of conference and business meeting rooms but was obviously used by local for the pool and the pub which gave the hotel a much more homely feel. The rooms were light, fresh and clean and the pub was just the icing on the cake with great service, good food and the beer pumps at the tables.

      Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user.
      ©Catsholiday

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