California Inns That Give Back

SACRAMENTO, CA [November 19, 2013] – It’s the season of giving, but for many members of the California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns (CABBI), philanthropy is a year-round commitment. The causes and communities for which the inns provide support are as unique and varied as the inns themselves. They range from clean water projects in Cambodia to medical research and from helping wounded veterans to supporting the environment and the arts. Some inns offer packages or events to raise money for various causes, and others simply give from their proceeds. Either way, guests can feel good knowing that their stay is helping to fund charitable works. 

Chelsea Garden Inn in Calistoga is a supporter of Cambodian Child’s Dream Organization, which funds programs for clean water, education, nutrition and health for Cambodian children living in impoverished rural villages. The inn’s biggest contribution to date funded the installation of a water well that provides potable water to 43 villagers on a daily basis.  The well replaced their previous water source, which had been a contaminated creek two miles away.  In addition to Cambodian Child’s Dream Organization, Chelsea Garden Inn also supports Network of Care, which provides snack bags to the families of children that are hospitalized at Bay Area hospitals. Owner of the inn, Susan DeVries, joined the founder of Network of Care in developing a program for distributing snack bags at all of the nursing stations at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in 2005. In its ninth year, the program now also extends to most Bay Area hospitals.

In Ojai, the Lavender Inn has created a free, three-day wellness retreat for underserved women undergoing cancer treatment at two local hospitals. Called InnCourage, the uplifting retreat provides one-on-one counseling, group sessions, and activities such as hikes, cooking classes, facials, massages, make-up sessions, and scarf lessons. In its 7th year, InnCourage has helped to transform the lives of its participants. The retreats’ participants are selected by nurses at local hospitals and the retreat is coordinated by the inn’s owner, Kathy Hartley.  The inn also offers a similar three-day retreat for female veterans who have been victims of PTSD and military sexual trauma. The inn partners with a local non-profit, Reins of H.O.P.E., which uses equine therapy and counselors with a proven track record.

Both personally and through Sorensen's Resort, innkeepers John and Patty Brissenden have been active supporters and donors to many organizations throughout their lives.  Through the Sierra Fund's Donor Advised Fund, the Brissendens provide financial support annually to over 20 organizations, including the Friends of Hope Valley (which they helped found over 30 years ago when they moved to Hope Valley), Sierra Nevada Alliance, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County (where they are both from), Monterey Bay Aquarium, Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Friends of the River, Habitat for Humanity, Resource Center for Non-Violence, Unicef, the American Songbook Project and more.  The Brissendens are honored to support these organizations and feel it is an integral part of being in a community and supporting the places they love and live.

The Inn at Locke House near Lodi hosts a series of tours and teas throughout the year to raise money for a variety of charities and to help with needs within their community.  Some of the causes are personal.  As a breast cancer survivor, innkeeper Lani Eklund has raised money to support breast cancer education, diagnostic and treatment programs.  The innkeepers have also raised money through their tours and teas for the local Boys and Girls Club and the March of Dimes.  This holiday season, the inn is holding two holiday high tea and tour events to benefit wounded soldiers, including Wounded Warrior Project and K9s for Vets. At the teas, they will distribute holiday cards for the guests to write notes.  The cards will be mailed to the Red Cross and to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be distributed to wounded veterans and their families. 

Over the last 20 years, Benbow Historic Inn has raised over $250,000 for Humboldt County nonprofits and special causes at its annual wine auction and tasting. Beneficiaries have included the Humboldt County Historical Society, Humboldt County Library, Heart of the Redwoods Community Hospice, Humboldt County Unified School District and the Cameron Varnell Cancer Treatment Fundraiser.  Additionally, Benbow Historic Inn annually donates dozens of room nights, golf and dining certificates to local and regional charities. As one of the five largest employers in Southern Humboldt County, Benbow Historic Inn and its affiliated businesses, The Restaurant at Benbow Historic Inn, Benbow KOA and Benbow Valley Golf provide financial support and gifts in kind to aid charities and support events in their community.

The Inn on Randolph in Napa proudly supports the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center by donating rooms and room packages for their annual fundraising campaign and auction. The University of Chicago is actively searching for better treatments and a cure for celiac disease and gluten intolerance. The Inn on Randolph is one of the only inns in the country where guests can indulge in gourmet, gluten-free fare from one of Napa’s rising culinary stars in a completely safe, gluten-free kitchen. With so many of the inn’s guests afflicted with celiac disease and gluten intolerances, the inn is honored to help the University of Chicago with its endeavors and give back to a cause directly related to so many of its guests. 

Every November, the Mount View Hotel & Spa runs a Thanks4Giving canned food drive to benefit the Calistoga Family Center. For each can of food guests donate to the food drive, the guests receive 5% off the room rate, or up to 25% off per night, Sunday through Thursday through the month of November.  The cans collected are distributed to local families in need through the Calistoga Family Center, which provides an array of community services to support the health and success of local families.  In addition to the canned food drive, the Mount View Hotel & Spa also participates in a Passionately Pink fundraiser for breast cancer research in October, in which they donate $50 for each guests’ purchase of a packaged stay.  The inn collects additional breast cancer research donations from staff and other guests from a donation jar at the front desk.

Over the past several years, the Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake has provided financial and marketing support to the Soper Rese Theatre. The former movie house was renovated and now houses the Lake County Symphony and hosts plays, concerts, radio shows, movie classics and more. It also provides a much needed venue for conferences, fundraisers, workshops and other local events. Working together, the hotel and theatre have co-sponsored events to bring world class music and cultural entertainment for visitors and residents to enjoy. The hotel also supports the arts by hosting a series of monthly “Concerts with Conversation” where regional musicians are invited to perform in an intimate space, discuss influences in their music and encourage a dialogue with the members of the audience.

For more information about these and other California inns, visit


Media Contact: Ranee Ruble, or 503-788-3938