A Step Above, Affordable Upscale Adoba Eco Hotel, Rapid City, South Dakota

In a sea of budget motels and hotels lining Mt. Rushmore Road, the Adoba Eco Hotel is a refreshing step-above-the-others option. Housed in the former Radisson, the 9-story Adoba Eco Hotel towers above the mostly low risers of downtown of Rapid City.

Adoba Eco Hotel located on Main Street in downtown rapid City

In the past, tourists kept this Midwestern town on the map for its easy access to the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park. However, the newly developing Main Street Square with its restaurants, fountains, ice-skating, artwork and special events is attracting more travelers to stay and enjoy Rapid City.

As its name implies, the Adoba is eco-friendly with an array of sustainable programs in place, including water-saving features, energy programs, and a “green” Bee Kind amenities. The Adoba is an independent hotel, part of a “Green From the Get Go” LEED designed hotel brand.

Arrival Experience
Begin with free parking adjacent to the hotel and then step into an oversized vaulted lobby area with a beautiful inlaid floor. My visit was in low season (January), and the staff seemed scaled down. However, the service I received wasn’t sacrificed – from an immediate greeting to a staff always willing to make restaurant recommendations.  Within minutes, we were checked in and pointed to the lobby elevator with wood-inlaid doors.

Welcoming lobby of the sustainable Adoba Eco Hotel, Rapid City

Past the elevator to the left is their hotel lounge, the 445 Martini Lounge and next to it a small casino and a gift shop. To the right is their organic restaurant Enigma.

The eco-friendly hotel is 100% smoke-free offering 177 comfortable guestrooms, with city-views.  We made our way to the end of the 8th floor corridor, and opened the door –and bam!  It hit us! The stampeding buffalo mural is the highlight of the room with soft lighting, fluffy white down comforters, with a stampede going on above your pillow.Stampeding buffalo mural on renovated 8th floor of Adoba Eco Hotel

At first it’s a bit overwhelming, but as we settle into the room, we discover the South Dakota themed wall murals to be soothing, especially after exploring the Black Hills.  We learned that the hotel is striving to comply with LEED standards to earn the sustainable title. The murals (Terralon) are part of their eco-friendly footprint, made of recyclable materials.

Bright colors in bathroom of the sustainably built Adoba Eco Hotel's 8th floor rooms

Other sustainable designs include the shower curtains, lamp shades, bedding and carpeting. The guest room redesigns are currently limited to the 8th floor, soon to be enjoyed in other rooms.

I always value work space in the rooms, and the work desk was at the foot of the bed. A little distracting was the big screen TV directly above the desk. Complimentary high-speed, wireless internet access is available in the room and throughout the property.

From 6-10am, hotel guests can feast on an organic, hot breakfast buffet, including fresh fruit, pastries, bread bacon, potatoes, and an omelet station at the Enigma Restaurant. The public is also welcome to dine at Enigma, open 6 am to 10 pm, and locals frequently do to enjoy an organic menu.

Complimentary hot breakfast for guests of the Adoba Eco Hotel

Although we only enjoyed breakfast each morning, Enigma’s menu items include tantalizing lunch sandwiches: Black Hills Organic Bison Burger and Organic K.C. Strip Streak. For dinner, the menu becomes inspiring organic cuisine: Baked Potato Gnocchi, Duck Confit Salad, Seasonal Salmon, and the “Mystery Dinner,” a four course dinner for two inviting you to sit back and enjoy – no decisions necessary.

After a long drive from Denver in my smooth-as-silk new ride, a 2013 Ford Taurus, once we dropped our bags off in our room, we immediately pointed our bodies to 445 Martini Lounge for a rewarding pre-dinner drink.  We had the undivided attention of our bartenders Angelynn and Jessica, and both recommended several martini concoctions. I settled on my standby, Cosmopolitan, and it was perfectly shaken and chilled.  Our timing was spot on as we sat down during their happy hour, Monday through Saturday at 4:45pm, enjoying discounted drinks!

Nightly amenity at Adoba Eco Hotel cures the sweet tooth.

One Small Problem
Our first night (Saturday), we returned to our room, ready for a good night’s sleep before exploring the Black Hills. Unfortunately, our room was directly across from a super loud party that frequently made its way into the corridor directly outside of our room, approaching the after 2 am mark. For the first time ever, I called downstairs to security to complain. Security immediately came to our floor, asked the group to keep it down. Unfortunately, within 15 minutes, the guests did not listen, and the partiers became even louder.  However, security did re-visit them shortly thereafter, and we were finally able to sleep uninterrupted.

In the morning, I spoke to the front desk who apologized for the disruption, and informed me that they did ask the guests to leave. Bravo to security for their resilience in a very sensitive situation.

I admit – I didn’t know what to expect. After all, Rapid City isn’t on many travelers bucket lists. I’ve traveled to Rapid City numerous times with groups, overnighting in other budget motels. I was pleasantly surprised at the affordability of staying at the upscale Adoba Eco Hotel, and the friendliness and willingness to accommodate me, not only with making my stay better, but offering tips and information to explore downtown Rapid City and the Black Hills.  Kudos to the staff at Adoba Eco Hotel as they won me over!

Check prices online at Adoba Eco HotelHotels.com or Priceline.

Photos ©  Diana Rowe

Accommodations courtesy of Adoba Eco Hotel.

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