Mount Rushmore was the farthest point on our Midwest road trip. With plenty to due to in the Black Hills of South Dakota, we decided to spend two nights in the area. I chose Keystone as our home base due to its proximity to Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Here’s my review of the Holiday Inn Express Mount Rushmore/Keystone.
Booking the Holiday Inn Express Mount Rushmore with Points
The Holiday Inn Express Mount Rushmore is an IHG property. We booked two nights for 42,500 IHG points worth $422.99. Given the hotel’s proximity to Mount Rushmore, rewards nights are sometimes limited so be sure to book early.
Holiday Inn Express Mount Rushmore Location
The Holiday Inn Express Mount Rushmore is located in Keystone, South Dakota less than 15 minutes away from Mount Rushmore. The hotel is walking distance to many restaurants and shops in Keystone. However, you will need a car to visit nearby attractions like Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park.
Dining and Amenities
As a limited service hotel, there aren’t too many amenities at the Holiday Inn Express Mount Rushmore. Your hotel stay includes a free breakfast buffet and coffee in the lobby.
I was surprised that the hotel was still serving a full buffet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We stayed at two other Holiday Inn Express’s earlier in our trip. One had a limited grab and go continental breakfast and the other had a staff member serving the buffet items.
People in South Dakota as a whole seemed unphased by COVID, so I’m not really surprised there were no extra precautions taken.
The other main amenity was the indoor pool which is open daily from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. There were no limits on the number of people allowed in the pool due to COVID-19 as other hotels were doing. However, it didn’t seem that the pool was used much so it was less of a concern than the breakfast buffet.
The lobby was a good size and was decorated festively for the 4th of July. It was nice to see that the lobby had lots of touches that represented the Black Hills. Our check-in process went smoothly. They offered cucumber flavored water at the front desk which was a nice touch for a limited service hotel.
Also in the lobby was a small business center aka a computer and a printer.
Holiday Inn Express Mount Rushmore 2 Queen Beds Room
Taking the elevator up to our room was an interesting experience. Most of the lights in the elevator were out giving it a strobe light effect.
My first impression upon entering the room was that it smelled damp. I think it may have been that the room was recently cleaned, but not the best start to our stay. The room was also super dark. I had to turn on every single light to lighten it up.
At the foot of the beds was a TV, microwave, and mini fridge.
To the right of the TV, was a small writing desk and a coffee maker.
There was an armchair next to one of the beds. Oddly, the ottoman was stacked on top of the chair when we arrived. It was probably moved to vacuum and never replaced.
Instead of a closet, there was a nook with hangers near the bathroom. There was also an iron and an ironing board.
The bathroom was a good size with a large vanity.
The shower and tub were nothing special but I appreciated that the shower curtain seemed new.
As with all Holiday Inn Express hotels, there are bulk size toiletries in the shower provided by J.R. Watkins. I’m on a “natural” kick so I was glad to see these produces are paraben free.
The vanity was large which made the small display of toiletries in the corner look extra sad.
Our stay at the Holiday Inn Express Mount Rushmore/Keystone can be described as okay. While the location was excellent for our itinerary, the hotel itself left something to be desired. Having stayed at a newer Holiday Inn Express a few days before, I couldn’t help but feel this hotel felt old and a bit dirtier. I also wish there were more precautions taken around breakfast due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, I’m not confident we would have found a nicer property in Keystone so I still would recommend this hotel for those visiting the Mount Rushmore area.