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“A Dining Disaster”

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Benbow Historic Inn
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Garberville
Certificate of Excellence
Hilo, Hawaii
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A Dining Disaster”
Reviewed 22 August 2014

The Benbow Inn is truly a fantastic 1920's hotel in every respect except dining.
The problem is with the evening meal service. A server brought our appetizers to an adjoining table to a couple just finishing their dessert in a rather uncrowded dining room. She also mistakenly brought a cocktail to our table after we started on a bottle of wine. Uncalled for irritation.
We ordered the $45 entree of rack of lamb, which was undercooked, as were the carrots. The starch was barley, which to my mind, is a fairly unimaginative, bland choice.For the amount of money we paid for the meal, we expect a much better result. (They do however have an excellent wine list.)
Too bad this otherwise wonderful experience could be tarnished by culinary incompetence.

Room Tip: The cottage off the terrace is wonderful, with a private patio.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kaiwikikane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DOSMManager, Guest Relations Manager at Benbow Historic Inn, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
Dear Kaiwikikane,

We appreciate your constructive feedback and have addressed your service issues with our restaurant management and server. It is always our goal to make each guest's experience memorable and enjoyable, and we apologize for falling short on this occasion. We sincerely hope you will give us another opportunity to earn your business.
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689 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (194)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014

wonderful historic hotel in the Redwoods. unexpected delight in a remote location. the staff couldnt have been more pleasant and helpful we booked a room at the last minute and they put us up in a large room with a pull out sofa and another foldaway bed. my 6 foot plus sons thought the fold up beds uncomfortable and i agreed, but my king bed was a dream.

the patio in the back was a welcome respite after driving up from San Francisco and the well stocked bar offers half price drinks at happy hour.

the restaurant is the only game around; very good food but pricey. during the dinner hours, a small combo plays soft music with the lights around the patio, it seems like a magical night.

although a pool and spa were advertised, they are located off the property on the golf course. disappointing because i wanted a cool dip after a hot drive

if you are heading up 101, make time to spend the night here

Room Tip: if you dont want to be serenaded in the evening, get a room in the front of the property. you may p...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mikeinsocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DOSMManager, Director of Sales at Benbow Historic Inn, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
Dear Mike In So Cal,

Thank you for your review and making the trek up from So Cal. Sounds like your family had a nice visit to the Inn aside from the roll-away beds and the location of our pool and spa. As a historical property located on the river, we are limited to our KOA RV Park / Golf course for a pool location. We will also research longer roll-away beds to determine if they can be implemented into our Historic Rooms.
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Mill Valley, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014

Stayed at the Benbow Inn while driving from Humboldt County to the Bay Area. It's just a few minutes from the 101, making access easy, but road noise non-existent. The rooms were spacious and the decor was classic. Many activities nearby, we went swimming in the Eel River and mountain biking using bikes rented on the premises.

Food and service equally excellent.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Timothy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DOSMManager, Director of Sales at Benbow Historic Inn, responded to this review, 19 August 2014
Dear Timothy O,

Thank you for your visit and review. Looks like you enjoyed your Redwood Experience and took advantage of the recreational activities in the area. Again, we appreciate your kind remarks.
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Campbell, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014

We have been coming up to this area for years for the Reggae on the River festival but never stayed at the inn. We usually camp at the local campgrounds. This year the campgrounds were full by the time we got our tickets for the show. We knew there was a free shuttle to and from the showgrounds so this made our decision to stay here even easier plus I had always wanted to stay here and this was a perfect opportunity. Of course the daily rate was quite a bit higher than normal for this particular weekend but we knew this would be the case. We checked in late on Thursday evening and the front desk staff were very nice. The other hotel guests were also very friendly. The room was comfortable and fairly clean. My only complaint was the cobweb on the wall that I noticed was there all weekend. However the bathroom was very clean and the housekeeping staff were also very friendly. The bed was quite comfortable as well. The food at the restaurant was amazing. Unfortunately we only were able to eat dinner here the first night. We did manage to have breakfast there two mornings of our stay and it was very good. I thought the sherry in the room was a great touch. We hope to come back again on a less busy weekend so we can enjoy the loaner bicycles and the scones at 3pm. We booked a room in the historical building which did not have a TV. That was a good thing however since the walls were a bit thin. I think if they did have TVs we would have been able to hear our neighbors. I was also concerned about the road noise at first but you could not hear it at all. Also the A/C did a great job of cooling off the room. It was pretty hot the entire weekend. I definitely would recommend this place to anyone visiting the area.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vivian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DOSMManager, Director of Sales at Benbow Historic Inn, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear Vivian M,

Having attended this year's 30th Reggae on the River, I can attest that it indeed was a great event. We are pleased that you joined us during this memorable weekend in the redwoods. We appreciate your review and we hope to see you next year for this outstanding event.
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Riverside, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2014

This hotel is old with some charm. However, the noise from the freeway is annoying as was the attitude of the hotel staff. The folks who worked here weren't particularly friendly nor were they well-informed. Our room, in the "newer " part of the hotel, was nice enough but nothing special. The best part of the hotel was the restaurant. The food was excellent as was the dining room setting. As another reviewer mentioned, the hotel is probably better than camping but overall I would not recommend this property.

Room Tip: Stay away from the rooms in the historic part where the rooms and bathrooms tend to be small. It se...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RMiller828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DOSMManager, Owner at Benbow Historic Inn, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Here we go again; yes the Benbow Historic Inn is old. It was built by the Benbow Family in 1926 with the help of architect, Albert Farr. This was a major accomplishment when you consider the lack of resources in this rural location in the 1920’s. No power, no Home Depot to get supplies, etc. The Benbows had to make everything and when you think about it what they did was amazing. That being said the property has been upgraded with air conditioning, new plumbing & wiring and we just completed a major restoration I explained in another Trip Advisor Review. Since this guest did not give me any specifics on the “attitude of the hotel staff, which weren’t particularly friendly nor were they well-informed” I cannot respond. Give me something specific and I will respond. I would just suggest one look at the many, many reviews about our great staff.
Regarding the freeway noise, we have sent a memo to Cal Trans to move Highway 101. To compare staying at the Benbow Historic Inn to camping is just disingenuous.

J. Porter, Owner
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Ocala, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Really neat Inn that takes you back to the 1920s. Loved the robes and crème sherry waiting in our room. Hotel grounds are lovely. Inside could use a bit of sprucing up. Patio dining is beautiful. Restaurant has a dress code. Other choices for dinner are about five minutes up the highway in a quirky little town. Overall, great experience. Can you believe all the famous folks that have stayed here?

Room Tip: I don't think you could get a "bad" room here. We overlooked the parking lot and hear...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Janet C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DOSMManager, Director of Sales at Benbow Historic Inn, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear Janet C,

Thanks for taking the time to review our Historic Inn. Some guests expect modern, contemporary features from Historic properties - we're not sure why. We often hear that a visit to Benbow is "like stepping back in time." We appreciate your comments and will open a new can of Spruce prior to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pahrump, Nevada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014 via mobile

We had our honeymoon their 43 yrs ago. We have made many ret,urn visits since then. On our last visit , our anaversy, there was a bottle of champane in our room. All of our stays have been perfect. I recommend this Inn over any other hotel we have ever stayed in.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank mdk1937
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DOSMManager, Director of Sales at Benbow Historic Inn, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear Michael K,

Thank you for spending your anniversary with us and writing the wonderful review. We are always delighted to host our past "honeymooners." While much has changed since 1971, we strive to duplicate the high level of service that you enjoyed 43 short years ago. Please don't wait another 43 years to return.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Benbow Historic Inn

Property: Benbow Historic Inn
Address: 445 Lake Benbow Dr, Garberville, CA 95542-3616
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Humboldt County > Garberville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Garberville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Benbow Historic Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened in 1926. 55 Recently renovated rooms. On the National Register of Historic Places. Member of Historic Hotels of America. A beautiful country inn with fine dining serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Outdoor dining available in the summer. Next to Benbow KOA featuring golf, gas-powered carts and putting green. Located on the Eel River in the heart of the redwoods near the entrance to the Avenue of the Giants. Benbow Historic Inn is your California Redwood Retreat. Amenities include daily complimentary tea & scones, free lobby newspapers & WiFi, in room sherry & coffee, complimentary bicycles, seasonal pool & Jacuzzi, splash park, sport court, playground, meeting space, wedding venue, hiking & biking trails abound. A must see at the Benbow Exit 636 off US Highway 101. 199 Miles north of San Francisco in Southern Humboldt County. Numerous music and art festivals during summer months. Up to two (2) pets are allowed in our pet designated rooms, pending availability. The Benbow Historic Inn charges a $30 pet fee per visit. Those planning to bring furry companions MUST speak with a Front Desk Agent prior to making a reservation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Benbow Inn

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