Benbow Historic Inn Review

Located in Garberville, California, Benbow Historic Inn offers elegance and seclusion by the Redwood Highway. Built in 1926, the Benbow boutique hotel is family-friendly and ideal for a couple’s getaway. Read my Benbow Historic Inn review for the perfect romantic holiday or fun stay by the California redwoods.

The front exterior of the Benbow Historic Inn features Tudor architecture in Garberville, California

What makes Benbow Historic Inn unique

Built in 1926, the Benbow family opened the Benbow hotel for motoring tourists to travel along the Redwood Highway. Located 3 hours and 30 minutes from San Francisco, 5 hours from Sacramento and 70 minutes from Eureka, the 65-room boutique hotel is a step back in time with modern amenities.

While celebrities such as Clark Gable stayed at Benbow Inn for its exclusivity and privacy, surrounded in nature, today’s travelers will appreciate the modern conveniences of an on-site restaurant and complimentary WiFi. The hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America and listed on the National Register of Historic Places yet has managed to link old with new. In fact, the Benbow boutique hotel features an elevator and is ADA compliant.

Guest may sit in the great room lobby with fireplace at Benbow Historic Inn

What amenities are available at Benbow Historic Inn

The pet-friendly property offers an on-site restaurant, free parking and complimentary afternoon tea. Open year-round, the 4-story boutique hotel offers something for every season. We enjoyed a summer stay and our lovely private balcony. In the winter, pull up a chair by the fireplace in the great room lobby and work one of many wooden puzzles. Fall is a beautiful time of year for leaf-peeping with the fall foliage.

For those traveling in electric cars, there are several charging stations on property.

Travel writer Nancy D. Brown enjoys afternoon tea and scones at Benbow Historic Inn on the patio balcony.

What type of rooms are offered at Benbow Inn?

With 65 rooms available at the Benbow boutique hotel, there is something for everyone. We stayed in a terrace king room on the first floor with a private balcony looking out to the garden and Benbow Bridge. We stayed in a historic room in the original building with beautiful antique furniture.

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Some of the rooms at Benbow Inn are pet-friendly, with an additional fee. If you want a modern room with luxuries such as a clawfoot bathtub, you’ll want to request the newer rooms in the recently renovated wing of the hotel. All hotel rooms include mini fridge, ensuite bathroom with Guild + Pepper bath amenities and white Benbow Inn robes. We loved the nod to elegant travel days with the complimentary sherry in our room.

Guests may upgrade their hotel experience with a bottle of wine or charcuterie board with cheese, crackers, fruit, nuts and house made pickles. There is no room service offered, but food brought to your room is allowed.

Benbow Inn deluxe queen bed an antique furniture in the historic portion of the Garberville hotel.

Food options at Benbow Inn

Afternoon tea and warm scones are offered in the great room lobby at 3 p.m. daily. We made reservations for an early dinner at the restaurant. Our gourmet dinner was the highlight of our romantic getaway. I ordered the rack of lamb and my husband ordered the line-caught salmon from Bodega Bay. Don’t stuff yourself on the soft warm rolls, as we did. Instead, save room for dessert! With options such as house made cobbler or chocolate torte, you will not be disappointed. Dinner reservations highly recommended.

Breakfast was a simple grab-and-go hot offering. Choices on our stay ranged from breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg and cheese, to banana pancakes or oatmeal with fresh fruit. The Benbow Historic Inn also offers brunch on certain days.

Baked salmon with baby artichokes and farm to table potatoes from Benbow Inn garden in Garberville, California.

Hotel rooms rates at Benbow Inn range from $250 to $500, depending on the season. Check the website for AAA and AARP discounts.

Things to do in Garberville, California

The Avenue of the Giants offers a scenic self-guided drive through the Giant Redwoods. Guests are able to book guided forest tours, including Forest Bathing for an additional fee. For travelers wanting to relax on property, there is a hot tub and swimming pool at the sister Benbow KOA Holiday property within walking distance. The Eel River runs through the Humbolt County hotel property, with a rock path leading down to the east branch of the Eel River.

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Swimming pool and hot tub at Benbow KOA Holiday, the Benbow Historic Inn's sister property in Garberville, California.

Benbow Historic Inn (800) 355-3301

445 Lake Benbow Drive, Garberville, California 95542

Benbow Historic Inn review, You Tube video and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of the hotel while researching articles for other publications. All opinions are my own.