Benbow Inn’s Owners Win Two Historic Hotel Awards

Benbow Inn

Benbow Inn [Photo by Mark McKenna]

The Benbow Inn nestled just south of Garberville in southern Humboldt County just captured two honors in the 2018 Historic Hotels Awards. The Inn, established in 1926, won Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel (Under 75 Guestrooms) and co-owner Teresa Porter won Hotel Historian of the Year.

The Inn has recently been upgraded to be ADA compliant and had nine new rooms restored to reflect the lives of each of the nine Benbow children. In this video below, Teresa Porter talks about the history and about how one time during some of the darkest days of the restoration process, a special memento was discovered by workmen.

Congratulations to both the Inn and its owners.



  • I guess the sysco quality food is a plus too huh. Fucking gross. And that its so expensive is just a big capatalist fuck you. Clearly the chef has no pride or hed actually prepare real food and not gouge.

    • Sysco quality food? Where’ve you been? Antarctic? That’s not what I ate there the last few times. Get your head out of the snow.

      • Just because you couldn’t taste it doesn’t make it true. It’s a sad fact but yes, some of their ingredients are from Sysco. But some are also local or sustainable ingredients. Bennie is one of MANY fine restaurants that use crappy ingredients combined with bomb ingredients, which ingredients do you think they boast about on the menu? I haven’t discussed this with any current Benbow employees but as recently as 3 years ago they were still buying from Sysco. I must add, it’s always hilarious when people talk sh*t to someone stating the truth. “Get your head out of the snow” when you’re the one that actually doesn’t know what your talking about and your judging based just on your taste buds not facts, lol!

        • I worked there for decades. Sysco also sells boxs, napkins etc. Who cares if they bought their salt from Sysco, obviously you do, & that’s hilarious!

        • Amen. Oil and salt go a long way. Sustainable from washington and oregonnisnt sustainable. Cant put dinosaurs back in the ground

    • You can bitch about Sysco….but there isn’t any competition since Pro Pacific Produce hemorrhaged and through bad business model decisions…chose to operate from employee owned to corporate and trying to copy Sysco. There isn’t enough small local growers to provide for business and stores here. But, no matter who delivers it, it all comes from the same clearing house out of the central valley. But at this time of the year, a lot of our produce comes out of South America.

      • Sold a lot of burgers at the bike run made with Sysco patties and Jordans produce back in the day. They we’re pretty tasty and had few complaints. Every restaurant of any size uses product from restaurant supply outfits.

  • Remember when they kicked out the woman breast feeding or when the owner got on the news saying he hated the cannabis industry?

  • I enjoyed the video. How anyone makes a go of such a project near Garberville is a real wonder. More power to them.

  • Well done and, I believe, well deserved. A lot of work has gone into this and they have always been conscious of, and emphasized, the unique history of the Inn.

  • Trolls please, this is a Beautiful Inn. Stop being negative. We are in changing times , with the loss of cannabis dollars. Maybe you should spend more time ,figuring what you can do to bring bussiness to our area. Nice job restoring our Historical land mark Teresa and John. And what a great idea to include the original family members.

    • Trolling is something different. My comment is actual fact. If the facts are negative, I can’t help that. On some level I’m stoked for this, but I have a hard time forgetting shitty behavior. My dollars don’t support a place that removes breast feeding woman from their dinner tables, especially when the mother was covered. I can look past the hating cannabis comment, because that must suck not being able to keep workers. I would say that problem has changed or will change. Lots of people looking for jobs right now.

      • They saw and heard out the protesting mamas and changed their policy the next day.

        • I never knew that. Are you telling the truth? If so, that’s pretty darn cool.

          • It’s not entirely true because there was never really a policy against breastfeeding to begin with. It was poor judgement and exectution on the part of an individual supervisor. The immediate response they had was to either terminate or retrain (I can’t remember which) that supervisor and then deal with the fallout as it came.

      • Same here. Trolling aboit sysco. Im more cincerned with quality food in our schools and bodies than cannavis or tourism

        • I had the owner of the Nugget Supermarket chain explain to me the difference between canned foods. the difference is the paper label that goes around the can. Sysco is just larger cans of the same. you can pay 1.98 at winco or 2.98 at safeway or 3.49 at the Nugget, all for the same exact product.

          • Exactly, but we all know that the same trolls jump on every article and spread their negativity all around. It’s a game to them. They think they’re funny, the silly trolls. It gives them great joy to stir up anger in everyone. One person uses several names to pretend that there’s a whole lotta folks that agree with them. Silly shit for bored individuals.

            • its considered a mental illness by some. most of the time I feel bad for them just like the some of the homeless in Old Town that are arguing with someone that isn’t there.

        • Swine….your concerned bout schools n our bodies but you saved your complaints for an article on tourism. How are you not trolling? 😂🤣😅

      • Perspective, your comments are not factual. The breast feeding first of all happened at breakfast not dinner. No one was removed from their dinner table. Not factual. It was a decision made by a supervisor and the guest was invited to go to our lobby as according to another guest she was not totally covered up. We acknowledge that the supervisor could have handled the incident better. It was years ago. Secondly who said I hated cannabis? That is not true. Again not factual. We as a company work closely with several farmers in Benbow. We are part of SHBVB. I have close friends who are in cannabis. Why are you making this stuff up and what is the source of your comments? Not one thing you have said about our business or me personally is factual, including the Sysco comment. You might want to know we have an extensive garden on the west side of the Inn which provides fresh vegetables and herbs to our kitchens. We have many vendors besides Sysco and we buy many things from Sysco, china, glassware, cleaning supplies the list goes on. Please free to call me at 707 923-2124 ext, 180 and i will be happy to clear up any rumors you might have about me or our business. John E. Porter

        • Thank you for your comment. So it was breakfast and not dinner, my misunderstanding of the situation, because like you said, it was years ago. The situation remains the same. A lot of people including my family felt like we didn’t want to support any establishment that had a problem with a woman breastfeeding her child. Fact, a breastfeeding mother was removed from their table at your establishment. Did I make this up?

          Second, because it was a few years ago, I cannot say exactly who made the “I hate cannabis comment”. It was made during an interview with KMUD. Someone from Benbow Inn, whether you or somebody else speaking for Benbow Inn made statement saying how much they hated the cannabis industry because they could not find enough employees and when they do hire new people they only last for a couple of weeks until they figure out the pay is better trimming or whatever work is needed. You or your spokesperson stated you need to hire foreigners and travelers because nobody local wanted to work there. Not because you or the Benbow Inn was a bad company to work for, but because pay was better elsewhere. Does this ring a bell? Still want to tell me I’m making this up? How and why would I make this up? Since you felt the need to correct what I have said, I expect a comment from you acknowledging the fact this was said on air, during a KMUD interview.

          I never made one comment about Sysco.

          Lets go back to your comment “Why are you making this stuff up and what is the source of your comments? Not one thing you have said about our business or me personally is factual, including the Sysco comment.” What did I make up? You mean the FACT it was breakfast and not dinner? Not the point and you admitted a breastfeeding woman was removed. The source of my comment about the hating cannabis statement was my own ears. I’m sure somebody recalls this interview. I have no reason to make any of this up. If I’m saying it was on the KMUD news, it would be stupid of me to lie about it. So far nothing I’ve said is rumor.

          a currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth.

          With all of that said, things happen, people change. Maybe I will pop in for a drink or dinner. We have lots of friends and family in the area and maybe we can give it a try, again.

    • You could not find two better people to run this establishment–.John Porter as fine as they come,and Teresa–terribly talented and a just fine person all the way around.These people have got it going on, all the way back from when the Eureka Inn was an establishment you really wanted to dine in and stay at–World-Wide!!!—-

      • I agree. I knew John when he managed the Eureka Inn back in the mid-80’s. He was one of the finest people I’ve ever met. The Inn just went downhill after he left. I always knew that he make Bennie a success.

  • Went to a function this past week at the Benbow. If you haven’t been there since the upgrade you need to check it out. Encouraging that someone in our community is investing in the future on that scale. Many a non profit dollar has been raised there thanks to the Benbows generosity. Congratulations to the Porters and best wishes for an ongoing success.

  • Screw all the naysayers, im stoked they put money into it. Remember when that prince from the middle east was on his motorcycle trip through the redwoods and all those black cars with the little flags of their country on them motorcaded to the inn? That was so classic!
    Yes the foods pricey, it would be good for them to do what Vermont does and have at least one meal choice that is completely from within 50-100 miles. And say what else is locally produced. They do provide jobs, a friends son started there doing dishes then moved to food prep and when he moved for college he got a job at a sushi spot chopping and rolling, the training from the Benbow was great for him.

    I like to just go there and look at the historical room and walk around, its gorgeous and a treasure we are so very lucky to not lose!!! It was questionable years ago what its fate would be and i for one am so grateful to the owners for investing in it.
    Its been a major destination since it was built.
    With the homogenization of the majority of our country, these are the kinds of places tourists come to see 🙂

  • Congratulations to Teresa and John!
    The Benbow Inn is such a local treasure. It singlehandedly changes the So Hum atmosphere. Always has.
    While I am still getting used to the new area that was traditionally the lobby, it still carries that old world charm. And I too love to dine on the patio. It may be the finest location to dine between there and….. maybe Larrupin’s?
    I commend them for the renovation/addition. Am a little sad though that the added exterior part (large section on the far right; as seen in pic that accompanies this article) is apparent in that they did not match the exposed wood in the gable, and the supports under the windows. They used a smaller scale wood. With bigger walls, if anything, the need is to make the wood larger. Yeah. I know. I kinda picky when it comes to additions. Yet, overall, they sure deserve an A- at least, for the result.

  • Congrats on the remodel Teresa and John! We would love to come down and stay. Love to catch up!

  • I’m thinking now about all the money that Garberville Rotary has made over the years. We had so many fundraisers and John and Teresa were always so generous. The fundraisers couldn’t have been done anywhere else in So Hum. The Inn was the reason we were always successful. Thanks so much. And Congratulations on getting your vision accomplished. I know you didn’t do it for yourselves….you did it for all of us.

  • John and Teresa Porter, what you accomplished is awesome! Don’t let the trolls harsh your good news. What they (the trolls) don’t get is how incredibly hard it is, to not only operate the Benbow property 24/7, but go through the renovation and research at the same time. Not many people could do it and you deserve to relish the well deserved attention and honors bestowed for your hard work. Thank you for contributing so much to the so hum community. Congrats!

  • In the 1960’s and ’70’s… My Papa… Loren “Speed” DeVee brought me to the home of Mr. Benbow to meet this great man. My Papa never told me this man’s first name as it was Mr. Benbow to me at that time. Papa always told me to respect this man and his family as if they were my own family for whatever reason. I never asked my Papa why as it didn’t matter. Wat my Papa said to me is what mattered. Period. I am currently looking for a great job and have been the General Manager of many resort hotels on the West Coast. I’m not looking to start at the top but would welcome any offer to work at this long-established hotel. It would be a privilege to work at such a property. David L. Nation 707-223-1148

  • I adore this place! My father brought me to see it when I was a youngster on one of our journeys to see the lands from whence he came. My parents had spent their honeymoon there in the early 1950’s when my father brought my mother to see his childhood home. I’ve had the opportunity to stay there in the past couple of years (while the renovation was going on) and the memories that flowed back were priceless.

    In the small town I come from, nothing is as it was when I was a young girl. I’m grateful that there are people like these that are committed to holding on to and restoring the treasures of the past.

    Good On You!

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