The history of the Benen-Diken-Hof begins in 1841. In 1949 the Johannsen family acquired the former farm in Keitum on Sylt, long before Claas Johannsen, who was a farmer, took it over from his father in 1963. Ten years later, he and his wife Sara, who was gifted with a keen sense for beautiful things, turned the old barn and stable into a hotel. At Easter 1973, the litte hotel garni Benen-Diken-Hof opened its doors with only 18 rooms – and a very unique philosophy for that time.
After inspiring journeys through Germany and Scandinavia, the Johannsens set up four basic rules for their hotel, which are still valid today. First: The doors are always open and guests will be welcomed warm-heartedly anytime. Second: It is always warm and cozy in the hotel. Third: The lights are always on. Fourth: Breakfast is served until 13.00 PM.
With their farmyard, the Johannsens ran one of the first hotels in Keitum. In the seventies, tourism took place in Kampen and Westerland and the small village Keitum has just being discovered. The Benen-Diken-Hof became well-known for its warm-heartedly, authentic hospitality. The Johannsens are hoteliers with heart, autodidactive, curious and enthusiastic about innovation.
While Sara Johannsen was taking care of the rooms of the Benen-Diken-Hof by giving each of them a very special flair, in the evenings Claas Johannsen stood behind the bar chatting with the guests. One wants to be an “island on the island“. And this island is growing. More houses were built on properties in the immediate neighborhood. On about 20.000 square meters, at first the “Kapitänshüs“ was built, then the “Norderhüs“, later on the “Westerhüs“, the “Dikhüs“ and the “Süderhüs“. The number of rooms grows from 18 to 40.
In 1996, the Johannsens passed on their enthusiasm for the Benen-Diken-Hof and its guests to their son Claas-Erik, who takes over the hotel with his wife Anja. The next generation gently continues the history of the Benen-Diken-Hof by contributing their own ideas and experiences, but without changing the character of the house. Anja and Claas-Erik began to renovate room by room with good taste and attention to detail, and they integrated a large and modern pool plus an extensive spa. They built the “Terphüs“ right behind the “Westerhüs“, where guests can meet or celebrate in a more private atmosphere. Furthermore, the Benen-Diken-Hof was expanded with a restaurant, which at first was reserved for hotel guests only. Nowadays, the KØKKEN restaurant is a popular fish restaurant with an impressing wine cellar.
Today, there are countless hotels and guest houses on Sylt, but only a few originals like the Benen-Diken-Hof, which remained an “island on the island“. Despite the occasional hustle and bustle, everyone finds a quiet place to rest and relax. The Benen-Diken-Hof preserves its traditions, while being open for innovation and finding a balance between modern service and warm hospitality.