When I started to plan our trip to Rapid City, South Dakota I knew we were going to need a place to stay. Traveling with two kids, I had some specific amenities and qualities I was looking for in a hotel. Here are a few things I was looking for –
- It had to be family friendly.
- There needed to be a pool.
- Wireless internet was a must.
- Restaurant on site.
- Easy access to freeways.
I was prepared for this search to take a while. But I was not prepared to find out that so many hotels in South Dakota close after the summer season is over. I ran into several hotels and motels that had closed September 30th for the year. Then I came across the Hilton Garden Inn. I went down my checklist. Family friendly. Check. Poo. Check. Wireless internet. Check. Restaurant on site. Check. Easy freeway access. Check. It had everything I desired plus more.
Besides having everything on my checklist they also had a little kitchenette area in each room, laundry facilities on every floor, a full workout room and a little store on site. It looked like the Hilton Garden Inn was the option I had been looking for.
Our drive from Minnesota to South Dakota was long. It took us all day to make it to the hotel, after 12 hours of being in the car we finally arrived! I was so grateful be out of the car and eager to check in. So, I left everyone in the car, while I went and retrieved our room key. Check in was a breeze. All you need is a credit card and photo id. Then within a few minutes, we were done and I was on my way. On my way back to the car, I grabbed a luggage cart. There were several of them in the entrance of the hotel for guest to use.
My family does not know how to pack light. I loaded up the luggage cart with 4 suitcases, 2 backpacks, a purse and 2 tote bags. I was impressed with how much one luggage cart could hold. And I was also grateful I would not have to make a second trip back to the car. I pushed our cart, through the lobby to the elevators and then to our room.
We were a hungry bunch so we did not stay long in our room. Just long enough to put the suitcases in the closet and head out in search of some food. Though I did notice how nice the room was. When I first opened the door I could see the two queen size beds, desk, dresser, television and little kitchenette with a microwave, fridge and Keurig. They even stocked the area with K-Cups for coffee and tea as well as to go cups.
As we headed to the hotel restaurant, I dropped the luggage cart back at the main entrance. This was the first time I was not rushing through the lobby and I noticed how peaceful and inviting it was. There is plenty of couches and plush chairs to relax in. Plus they have a refreshment station full of flavored water and coffee for guests to enjoy any time of day. But I had hungry children so we headed towards the restaurant.
The restaurant has an open floor plan. It right off the lobby but yet it still felt like part of the lobby. We found an open table next to the windows so we sat down and waited to be greeted. Our server was very nice. She knew we had been traveling all day so she tried to get us our meals as quickly as possible. I was impressed with the selection on the children’s menu. They had chicken strips, burgers, grilled cheese with tomato soup and macaroni and cheese. Plenty of choices for little ones. And for the adults, there were about 6 entries to choose from as well as salad and soups. Not a huge menu but more than enough to choose from. There was such variety that I felt anyone would be able to find something to enjoy. Peyton was very excited when saw they had grilled cheese and tomato soup. But when they brought her dinner out Peyton was even more pleased. They cut the grilled cheese into strips so it’s the perfect size for dipping! And that is exactly what Peyton loves to do.
After dinner, the kids had a fair amount of energy so I told them to go get their swim suits on and we’d go check out the pool. Don’t forget to grab your room key. The pool is locked so the only way in is with a room key. As soon as they had their suits on, off we went. The pool is a little over 4 feet deep so it’s perfect for kids to play in. There is also a hot tub. The kids would switch back and forth from the pool to the hot tub. With they way they were acting I didn’t think the pool was heated. I took a few minutes to sit quietly on one of the lounge chairs by the pool. There is ample space to relax while your children play. They even have a patio table in the pool area. Don’t worry about bringing towels with you to the pool, they whole a whole cart full of pool towels! Plus, there are two restrooms in the pool area too. I had the kids change into their PJs after swimming each night so we would only carrying back wet swimsuits. I didn’t want them walking through the hotel in wet swimsuits and catch cold.
Our first evening at the Hilton Garden Inn was fabulous. Check in was a breeze, the room was lovely, dinner was scrumptious and the pool was lots of fun. No one had any trouble falling to sleep that night.
The next morning we woke up early so we could get a start on our day. I also wanted to see what the breakfast was like downstairs. The dinner has been so yummy I could only imagine how good breakfast would be. There was a fairly large crowd at breakfast but we did manage to find a table in the back corner. The choices for breakfast were impressive. Not only did they have the buffet but they also had a menu to choose from with things like pancakes, French toast and Belgium waffles. There were also omelets and daily specials! And that was on top of the buffet which offered scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, pastries, fresh fruit, bagels, assorted breads, cereals and yogurt. Plus there was a juice bar too! But my favorite things was that kids eat free! So for the cost of taking the four us to a fast food restaurant for breakfast I could have the kids eat a real wholesome meal. This was by far the best way to start the day. The kids looked forward to breakfast every morning. They always had pancakes or waffles with bacon. I think they became a little spoiled while we were there.
I was really impressed with the housekeeping. I know we are not the cleanest bunch but I try. Every day before we left the room for the day, I would make everyone put their belongings in drawers or back in their bags. Then we would put all the suitcases in the closet. Every night when we returned the beds were freshly made, the coffee restocked, trash taken out and the floor vacuumed. They did a wonderful job. Each night we returned it looked just like it did the night we arrived.
If you are looking for a family-friendly hotel, you should look into the Hilton Garden Inn. We enjoyed our stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in Rapid City, South Dakota.