Ramkota Hotel ~ Pierre, South Dakota

For Spring Pastor’s Conference, all the pastor’s in our district met in Pierre, SD. They had set aside a block of rooms at the Ramkota, so we decided to take advantage of the group price and stay there. As we neared the date of conference, I began second guessing this as reviews on TripAdvisor were less than flattering. While our stay wasn’t horrible, it was filled with odd and interesting moments that would make me think twice before staying here again.

The whole hotel is basically sprawled out on one or two levels, depending on where you are in the hotel. It took us awhile to check in as they kept taking other phone calls during our check in process. Then they were “nice” and gave us a room in the back that opened to the outside, even though we already had our hands loaded down with all the luggage we had brought in. So we carried our luggage back to the car, moved our car to the back, and attempted to enter the outside door…..no luck. Turns out the room has both an inner and outer door and could only initially be opened from the inside door as the outer door was dead bolted. We just wound up leaving it that way.

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The room was quite spacious upon entering, but oddly set up. As you can see the outer door was straight in front of us with a chair nearly blocking the walkway from one door to the other. There was a closet directly to our right upon entering (shown below) with a fridge/counter area next to it and the sink just a little further ahead that also had a small hall leading to another room that contained the toilet and tub/shower and another mystery door….more on that later.

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The bathroom was small and cramped and you basically had to be standing in the shower to get the door to close. When the shower was on, we also would have a mysterious dripping come from the ceiling, which didn’t make much sense.

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I mentioned another mystery door. At first thought I figured maybe it led to the next room as some hotels offer that kind of set up, but as I tested the knob and it opened to…..a giant closet! Not sure why on earth you would need this much space unless you were staying for longer than a week, but in my opinion Pierre is not a place you’d spend that much time!

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The actual bedroom area contained what they claimed to be a queen bed, but which I deemed a full and quite possibly the most uncomfortable bed I’ve ever slept in! There also were two nightstands, a desk, a recliner and TV stand. We did have to awkwardly angle the TV if we wanted to watch it from either the bed or chair though.

The one plus side to the room setup, was that similar to our Hampton stay in Bloomington, the bed was against the sink/closet wall so that you didn’t have as much sound from the next room as you tried to sleep. The downside of this room was that the outer door really messed with temperature control in the room.

Our first night there, a group of people were having a kid’s birthday party in the pool area (and the adults seemed to be heavily taking in the alcohol) so we avoided the area. I decided to check it out during the afternoon the following day when Andrew was in meetings. The pool area was quite large and the hot tub allowed you to set it for up to half an hour on the timer, something you don’t find at a lot of hotels. However, about ten minutes into my hot tub relaxation time, 9 kids showed up, so my relaxation time was short lived.

On top of all the issues we had with weird room issues, after hanging out at the pool, I had a long fight with my room key to get back in. It took me about ten tries, but I finally made it in. Following that debacle, I also went to check out the vending machines and couldn’t get back in that time at all, having to go down to the front desk to have it fixed, only to have them blame me for putting it next to my phone, even though I never put my hotel keys near my phone as I’ve had that issue before.

I know I’m not the only one who had issues with their keys and room as after I checked out the following morning, I was still hanging out in the lobby waiting for the morning sessions to get over and go to lunch, and three people came with three different complaints. One was that their room had no hot water, one was that a toilet broke, and another had issues with her key, the same issue I had the day before! Needless to say, I would not recommend this hotel to anyone! They need to fix a lot of issues before I’d stay again!

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