The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel Rapid City
Great place to stay!
I truly loved my stay at the Alex Johnson Hotel. It is such a unique property and with so much history! Our room was comfortable, clean and the service was friendly and efficient. I will be back!
Bad Enough to Remember 4 years later
In the midst of planning this year's national park trip, I thought back to the first one we took our son to in Rapid City, and the awful hotel experience we had. Just for kicks, I checked to see what other people thought of the Alex Johnson. I'm sorry to say things haven't changed much in 4 years. When we stayed there in 2001, we had roaches on the floor of our room, one of which stowed away home with us. With a crawling baby at the time, we were horrified. Our room had 1970's brown shag carpeting and looked like it was fit under a dormer. Nearly the entire room was low-ceiling, and like others have said, dingy, musty, and kind of scary. We had booked it because our guide book had said it was where a famous celebrity always stayed when he was in town, so I figured it had to be the best. We would have been much better off at a chain, even a 1-star one. It was awful. I didn't find anything particularly fantastic about the historic lobby, either. Don't bother.
I think it is unfair to make these statements about our Hotel without having been here in the last four years based and on reviews of few other people. There are many guests that have experienced a great stay and I personally receive several positive comments a month that never reach tripadvisor.com. For this persons information (and yours), we have not had shag carpet in our rooms since 1989. The ceilings in our rooms are the standard 10 foot high. I have worked for the Hotel for over 6 years and have never seen or heard of any cockroaches in our property. Please check out our web site for pictures of our rooms with the hand stitched bedspreads and pillow shams, and of our beautiful historic lobby and judge for yourselves.
In spite of the mixed reviews, I was willing to give the Alex Johnson a chance. I normally prefer staying in older properties which may be a bit rundown, but still have lots of historic charm.
Having made our reservation several weeks in advance, I called ahead to confirm it several hours before we arrived. Upon our arrival at 6:00 pm our room was not ready, and we had to wait while they sent the ONE housekeeping employee on duty prepared our room. The front desk staff seemed untrained and very disorganized.
Our room was quite dingy. The pictures on the website do not compare to what we saw in the room. I will say that the linens were clean, and the bathroom was clean. The mattresses and pillows were absolutely horrid though- they looked and felt positively ancient, with loud squeaky bedsprings and the mattress was bowed in the middle and you could feel the springs sticking through. As other reviewers said, the carpet is rumpled and peeling up in the bedroom, and felt slightly moist in our room.
I would have felt comfortable paying $35 for this room, because this is certainly not a $95 room.
After some debate we checked out the first evening and moved to a different hotel. The manager was kind enough to give us a refund when we explained that the hotel was not quite what we had expected from the website.
HOWEVER, as an historic landmark the Alex Johnson is totally worth seeing, and I highly recommend that you stop in to check it out!
Our tour bus pulled in front of the Alex Johnson and to our surprise we found the place quite refreshing. After staying at many name brand hotels during the trip, we found the Alex to be an interesting escape from the mundane. The lobby took us back to when history and ambiance mattered. Many hotels these days have no character but the Alex made up for all of them. The high backed red leather chairs were a welcome respite from our tour bus seat and the wonderful rich wood accents throughout made us fall in love with the historic place. The customer service was impeccable; greeted by a bellman at the curb reminded us that class was still available in the Midwest. We found our rooms to be quaint and comfortable with a great view of down town Rapid City, not the freeway like most of the other hotels. I am certain that some people wouldn't appreciate the charm of the Alex; these days they just don't take the time, but we will certainly be back and encourage our friends to visit as well.
Think twice about the Alex Johnson Hotel
My girlfriend and I went to the Alex Johnson Hotel and it was my girlfriend that recommended the Alex Johnson Hotel since she was a repeat customer. Well we were very disappointed. My girlfriend had not stayed at the Alex Johnson Hotel in 4 years and she noticed that it has gone down hill. When we arrived to the Alex Johnson after a 14 hour trip we were not greeted by anyone and we had to bring in our own luggage. When asked for the bell person we were told that they had other errors to do and they went to the baseball field. We finally got to our room and I was very disappointed with the suite. It was old and not very clean at all. We went down stairs for diner and that was bad. I order a fish that was recommended to me by the waitress. The salad was not fresh and the bread that was given to us was stale, and the fish was bad. The taste was very bad and you can tell that the fish was not fresh. We went back to our suite and next door to our suite was a indoor football team called the Red Dogs. These people were having a party in the hall way and making all kinds of noise. We reported this to the front desk and they took care of it. Same problem the next night and the Red Dogs knew that we were the people that complained and they made more noise and again we called the front desk and they did take care of the problem. We did not feel confortable so we requested that they change our suite and they did. This suite was a little bit better but again it was not very clean. The parking was bad, we had to park down the street and we did not feel confortable walking down there since there was many street people and one of them approach us and asked us for money. The best, that week they had bikers come to the hotel and there was bikers everywhere. I will not stay here again and my girlfriend will take the Alex Johnson off the her list. One thing I most say is the staff was very nice and they did try to make us happy, but the way the hotel has gone down hill and the people that they rent there rooms to are not the choice of people that I would like to be around. They hotel is very old and needs to have many repairs done to it. One more thing, when we finally left the hotel again we did not have help with our luggage after we requested help many times. We had to put our own luggage in the car. Glad that we were not there anymore. We went to Spearfish Canyon Resort and that was wonderful and a very class act place.
I Would NOT Recommend This One!
We knew the moment we drove up to the hotel we would be unhappy. There were street people sitting at the entrance the first evening. I felt unsafe leaving the car. The room was in poor condition - the bathtub faucet dripped, the shower window to the outside was cracked. The floor had not been vacuumed prior to our arrival. The elevators were small, slow and dirty. The second evening at least 30 bikers were parked at the unloading area. Not only were people unable to unload/load their luggage efficiently into their vehicles, the noise was constant the entire night. I would NOT recommend this one!
What a dump
I won a one night stay at the Alex Johnson at a fundraiser in Rapid City. I finally decided to use it and was quite anxious. The desk employees were very friendly and helpful. The room was a dump. I felt like I was in a '70s porn movie. The decor was renovated in the seventies sometime. The bed looked slept in. The place just gave me the willies. Next morning I went to the restaraunt. Service was horrible!!! Meal was tiny. I would recommend anywhere but here to stay. As a Rapid City resident, I am terribly embarrassed.
Couldn't be better
Had a wonderful relaxing experience at the Alex. We were treated to valet and bell service as soon as we arrived. Found the staff and hotel to be so warm. We will wothout a doubt be back.
A real delight!
I was amazed by the wonderful decor. As my wife and I like to stay at historic hotels we were a bit leery of this one as a result of the other comments listed on your site. We couldn't have been more impressed. The staff was delightful and the management attentive. We found our room to be spacious and comfortable. The view was also great.We further enjoyed visiting the pub called Paddys, what a delight. And the owner was quite a gentleman as well. We spent several minutes visiting with him as he seemed to be genuinely interested in our comfort.The whole stay was delightful. We will be back. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions
I have stayed at the Alex several times and have never had anything but pleasant experiences. The staff in the gift shop is especially friendly and truly seem to enjoy what they do. The only downside is that tour groups tend to stay here; if a tour is checking in or out it is very difficult to get the attention of the front desk staff. Location is excellent, and the hotel is very beautiful. I love to stay here because there is no question I am in Rapid City, South Dakota, not at some generic chain hotel.
TripAdvisor Reviews The Hotel Alex Johnson, an Ascend Collection hotel Rapid City
Travel Blogs from Rapid City
Just a quick note to say we are still hunkered down.
We got an inch of slush last night and it's cold with 25 MPH gusts out of the North. So, we are chillin. Sadie seems back to her mellow self and has an appetite.
Doing some house keeping on the X and gear. Drying out. Camping makes you appreciate soap. I'm clean, but wind …
This place made my head hurt. And my head is very fragile.
And there is this... My eye doesn't work properly. I don't always trust it. This place really messed with my damaged optic nerve. Not to mention messed with my balance.
Weird and strange? Sure? Fun? I ...
... people so it was hard to maneuver on the small boardwalk but still spectacular. It looked like a small pond with several colors and just gorgeous. On the other side of the park it was called the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The difference in landscape was incredible because one side you have geysers and springs and the other side are huge cliffs and waterfalls. We stopped to do some hiking at an area that went closer to the Lower Falls but sadly the trails ...
... into Wyoming and we couldn't help notice the miles and miles of snow fences protecting the highway along Hwy 85. After passing Four Corners and Buckhorn, we were back in South Dakota heading to Deadwood. We had a coffee break in Deadwood and I did some shopping. Then we headed home via Hwy 385 South and Sheridan Lake Road which took us back to Rapid City and eventually ...
... to come.
Then it was on to Mt Rushmore. Interesting video and museum and a great walk around the bottom of the sculpture which includes a stop at the workshop. Every one pretty much knows about this place so I will leave it at that and a picture later.
Will send a few pictures in another separate email until I can upload more from a PC sometime soon.
On to Devils Tower tomorrow. ...