Mrs. Cohn Zohn and I just returned from five days in Ashland, Oregon at the Shakespeare Festival. What a wonderful town. We go there every year. On the way home, we stopped for two nights at the Benbow Inn in Garberville, a place we’ve been staying at for about 35 years.
Have you ever been there, at this lovely “castle” in the redwoods? It was built about 90 years ago, designed by the same architect who designed Jack London’s Wolf House. The grounds, abutting the Eel River, are gorgeous and the dining room is among the most beautiful rooms I’ve ever been in, and the bar is like something out of “The Great Gatsby.”
OK, that’s the background. Now the story. On Saturday night we were in room 204, the room we usually get. At midnight we were awakened by loud noises. We looked out the window and saw flashing lights. It might have been a flying saucer. Mrs. Cohn Zohn called down to the front desk and asked what was going on. Turns out the inn had problems with the sump pump, not that I know about sump pumps. The Benbow had called in a septic service to fix the problem. The truck was loud. It came back at 2:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., by which time Mrs. Cohn Zohn and I were sleep-deprived zombies.
We went down to the front desk and told what had happened. If the septic truck was coming back that night, could we have a different room?
The manager, John Elliott, said the septic problem was fixed but he wanted to make things up to us. He moved us from 204, a small room, to “The Cottage,” a large room with a balcony overlooking the river, a Jacuzzi tub, three sinks, a shower, a four-poster bed Henry VIII would have killed us for. Not only that, the bellman was out sick so John schlepped all our luggage to the cottage.
They say service is dead. Not at the Benbow Inn. Each time we go there, we fall in love with the place and each other all over again.