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“Not What I Expected”

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Benbow Historic Inn
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Garberville
Certificate of Excellence
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697 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    74
    36
    25
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (194)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, MD
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2007

My husband and I spent two nights here. The setting is beautiful, garden are lovely to walk through. Bed was very comfortable. Service was excellent at all levels. However, we were very disappointed in our dining experience. Meals were very expensive, and while beautifully presented and served, did not measure up to the quality we expected. I ordered a roast chicken, wild mushroom and pasta dish that was nearly inedible. The balsamic reduction was overwhelming, truffle oil non-existent and the chicken was very strongly flavored in an odd way, almost gamey. My husband's dish was not a hit with him either; the only part of it he enjoyed was the chard between the chicken and the garlic mashed potatoes. When a meal costs nearly $100.00 the bar is set high, and the Ben Bow missed the mark by a wide margin. The service during our meal was very attentive and couldn't be improved on.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — dining experience
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank star519
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2007

We were recommended this inn by the innkeeper at the Deerfield Lodge (Tahoe). We were visting the redwoods and needed somewhere to stop off. While it calls itself an "inn" it has around 50 rooms so I would call it a hotel. It definitely doesn't have the intimacy of an inn.

The hotel has an impressive approach and equally impressive entrance hall. The style is mock tudor/olde English lodge.

We asked to see a couple of rooms and settled for a large kingsize. Prior to this, we were shown a small queen size terrace which I rejected straight away on the basis that it was tiny, had one small window and limited light and had virtually no terrace in front of it to speak of (I think it was room 101).

The king room that we settled for was a good size but aside for some nice touches, didn't really have any wow factor. The bathrooms are extremely disappointing and are clearly in need of updating/modernising. No issues about cleanliness, but it was just plain tatty.

I am surprised by reviews that wax lyrical about this place because its ok but not that special. It does however appear to be the nicest stop off in that area though.

We were planning to stay for two nights but decided to limit our stay to one night.

The receptionist recommended breakfast in the nearby town of Garberville rather than the hotel itself. She was right though - I liked the hippy feel of Garberville and there are some good organic eateries there. For dinner, we went to a town called Redway nearby which also had an organic restaurant. I can't remember the name but it has a large giraffe on the sign and is decorated inside with miniature giraffes - funky food at a good price. It's on the main concourse in the town (which is small).

Wouldn't go back unless I wanted to see the beautiful Redwoods again.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank sameera3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Gabriel
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2007

The Benbow Inn is by far the best place to stay anywhere near the 30 miles of the Avenue of the Giants. This place is warm, the staff is kind, polite, and can't seem to do enough to make your stay pleasant. Granted, it's not a five-star inn and if you're expecting the Four Season's, then you best continue on the road until you reach San Francisco. The rooms in their historic building are not large so if you're closterphobic and like to watch T.V., then fork out the extra cash and stay in their larger rooms with a king bed and fireplace...they have discounts during Spring. Our room had a terrace with a view to the patio and Eel river. The grounds are well manicured and they also have a park area in which you can pic-nic. They serve wonderful warm scones with tea at 3pm, followed by cheese and wine at 5. Their dinner menu is not extensive and while the presentation of the food is appealing, the flavor is lacking. I had their sesame seed crusted Tuna with white sticky rice. The rice was sticky but not cooked. The Tuna was way too encrusted with sesame seeds and the flavor bland. Now, the baby bokchoy was very good as was the sauce. My boyfriend had their porkchops which were overcooked and a bit too hard. The potatoes were burnt on one side yet the veggies were a 9/10...go figure. It warrants to say however, that their breakfast was quite good...different chef perhaps? Try it, you'll be happy with it. OH, I forgot to tell you that the prices are not cheap...expect to pay $25-$35 dollars per entre. Everthing is ordered a la carte so expect to pay at least $125 for two...not bad, if the food was worth every penny; which is not the case. Overall, this is by far the best place to stay in the area. Take the time to visit even if it's for their tea time (free for guests, $8 dollars for visitors)...you'll be glad you did.

  • Liked — Great Pillows!
  • Disliked — No TV's in the Historic Rooms
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank N0Excuses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2006

We stayed at the Benbow Inn for only one night during our trek up Highway 1 from San Francisco to Seattle. We originially planned to stay at a hotel but switched when we were able to get a room at the Benbow Inn for only $10 more than the hotel (there were no problems with the hotel, we just wanted to stay at this inn.)

Upon arrival we parked in the lower parking lot and quickly realized we had to carry our luggage up a hill (this is part of the adventure for us!). When then made our way into the beautiful lobby of the Inn and was greated by 2 very nice ladies. They gave us a description of the property and advised if we needed anything to contact them. Our room was on the 3rd floor (advise there are no elevators, this is a historical inn) they asked if we needed help with our luggage and we gratifully declined (again part of the adventure.)

When we entered our very large room facing out over a beautiful park we were delighted. There was a decanter of Sherry waiting on the room for us (I didn't particularly care for the taste but hubby loved it.) The bed was large and very comfortable. The bathroom had a separate dressing area for the bathing area, however their was a sink in with the bathing area. There was plenty of towels and anemties.

We did have dinner at the Inn and it was wonderful. The meal for 2 of us including wine and dessert was about $100 including tip. This is usually more than we spend but well worth it (we've paid more at Ruth Chris and the Benbow Inn was just a good.)

After dinner we walked in the garden area which is breath taking.

We were able to leave the windows open during the night for a nice breeze without any problems. We did not hear any traffic from the nearby highway.

The Inn has a cute gift shop where you can browse without being bothered.

The lobby has a wonderful sitting area and bar. There is plenty of room to sit without being near the bar. Or you can sit outside on the patio that is surrounded by the beautiful garden.

The Inn serves complimentary English tea and scones daily in the lobby around 3 pm.

They also have complimentary hors d'oeuvers daily around 5 pm.

Would recommend this Inn to anyone who loves historical treasures. However, if you prefer the luxary of Hyatts, Marriotts and Hiltons you may not like this place (however it is a luxary!)

  • Liked — Wonderful scenery.
  • Tips/Secrets — No elevators but their are bellhops.
  • Stayed May 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Heart10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Canada, California
Level 6 Contributor
759 reviews
119 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 476 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2006

This is a hotel out of the past---first class all the way around---and it is in the middle of the redwood forests! The grounds are beautiful. The management treats you like you are someone really special. The rooms are unbelievable in thier furnishings---it is like staying at an old British Inn. In the afternoon they have tea. They have a nice dining area where they request you dress half-way decent (no shorts please!). We didn't eat there---we went over the hill to nearby Garberville and ate there. The lobby area is great with antiques, newspapers, and games to play. We stayed in a standard room, however, they do have extra special rooms with patios available. The only drawback to our experience was the noise from the nearby freeway.

  • Liked — The old-fashioned feeling of a first class inn
  • Disliked — The noise from the freeway
  • Tips/Secrets — If you get a room on a top level---there is no elevator!!
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Rogerdob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
Location: United States > California > Humboldt County > Garberville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center 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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