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“Wonderful Romantic Weekend!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Balance Rock Inn

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Balance Rock Inn
Ranked #23 of 41 Hotels in Bar Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful Romantic Weekend!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2012

This hotel is located in a perfect location. The street is quiet, but it is only a block or two from all the best restaurants and shopping in the area. We stayed in the Carriage House and the bathroom had an outstanding jacuzzi tub. It was very relaxing. The free amenities are seemingly endless with a gourmet breakfast, happy hour with appetizers and delicious drinks. There was always a treat available. The staff is very welcoming and inviting, an important part of a Boutique Hotel stay. Although the hotel is over a 100 years old, it is well-kept. Absolutely loved it. Will stay again.

Room Tip: Carriage House rooms are a bit cheaper than the Main House, but the bathrooms are phenomenal.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Christopher H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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450 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (121)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2011

We have stayed at several different hotels in Bar Harbor in the summer time, but the Balance Rock Inn by far has the best location! The Inn is directly on the water off the the shore path and very close to all the unique shops and many restaurants. From the start of our stay we were greeted by their friendly and very helpful desk staff and bellmen. We especially enjoyed the cocktail hour with snacks. Our room was spacious and beautifully decorated. It had a working fireplace and 2 person jacuzzi tub...we have rarely ever found this in any other hotel. The Balance Rock Inn is grand yet very charming. We will definitely be returning for our yearly visit!

Room Tip: Pick one of the rooms in the west wing...they have the best window views with fireplaces.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2011

First thing to know about this place is the photos on their web site are a little misleading. Clever use of wide angles make some rooms look bigger than they are. Here's the skinny:

GREAT:
The bar / bar-tenders. You get about $15 in bar credit a night and the pours are generous and the tenders very friendly.

The outdoor patio with "fire table" is great on chilly nights. People tend to congregate there and have some good laughs.

The breakfasts were outstanding. Not the usual weak-sauce continental fare. This is a real, eat-a-nice-breakfast-and-skip-lunch type meal.

Location. Easy access to Acadia NP, and walking distance to several good food places. You can get around quite easily from this spot and find your way back no problem. Best food we had was Guinness-Porcellis. The Lobster pizza was unbelievable, as well as panacotta for desert. Most over-rated and over-priced was McKay's Public House. Don't waste your time. Best Chowda and Lobster roll was at Geddy's, although was also the most touristy / had an over-the-top "Crazy Key West" vibe going. Jimmy Buffet would be proud.

GOOD:
Staff are all very pleasant and helpful.

I didn't use it but they had a nice looking workout "house" separate from the hotel.

Grounds and general condition of rooms are well kept (clean, gardens, etc).

Nice perks like wi-fi and movie rentals, and a nice sitting room with fireplace for rainy days.

Pool / Patio area is very nice. Nice big lawn also for warmer weather visits.

The Shore Path they tout is just OK. Don't expect amazing views or beaches with sand.


NOT GOOD:
One of the "perks" they don't mention: you DO NOT get a beautiful view of the Harbor every day from your room or deck... you get a beautiful view of a huge CRUISE SHIP a couple hundred yards off shore. Waking to the captain's announcements was not part of the game plan. Bottom line: 100 yards down the path is an offloading point for thousands of tourists coming to the island every day. That is not an exaggeration; if you want seclusion, this is not your place.

The "private" balcony suites are not private. Beds for each room easily visible from neighboring deck (about 5' away), and one of the "private decks" has a door that is accessible from some other part of the hotel apparently. Also, it would be very easy for someone to move from one deck to the next if they were so inclined (to see what's in the room, etc). The "top suite" is fenced in and 180 degrees of that "amazing view" is parking lot. So, don't book because you think you'll have a private "love deck" with some of these suites or something like that. They're nice for a morning view (or if you smoke), that's about it.

Sleep number mattresses need replacement in some suites based on what I heard. Mine was OK but a little soft even at the highest pressure, with a "dip" in the middle. Was kind of annoying / hard on the back. Generally: this building was built in the late 1800s and has been refurbed so lots of cracks, creaking and funky wood cuts / wall cuts / short ceilings as they've upgraded and covered things up. The shower in some rooms is tiny (3x3 feet).

Generally the condition is not that of a 5 Star hotel, although the furnishings in the public spaces are 5 star. For a 2-3 night stay you should be comfortable and enjoy it / the people. We had people from all over. NY, PA, MA, TX, CA...

GOOD/BAD:
Pets are allowed. This will bug some people, others will like it but there will likely be dogs when you're there.

Room Tip: Rooms on 3rd floor probably quietest but stairs are squeaky so don't got to bed too early.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Phil H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nancycl, General Manager at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, 13 November 2011
I am happy to hear you enjoyed your stay with us at the Balance Rock. We pride ourselves in giving the best service amenities. We appreciate all input given by our guests but, we will take defense to such claims. Our inn is in a prime location, we are a few steps away from the downtown square at the end of a quiet cul de sac...so we do not have any heavy foot traffic from cruise ships that unload down at the wharf. Yes, the cruise ships anchor in the harbor...it is not in our control where they anchor or when, so I think it is a reasonable expectation that it is not mentioned cruise ships anchor in the harbor daily. We believe it to be general knowledge. As for the rooms with slanted ceilings on the third floor...these are not cover up jobs. Our 4 third floor rooms were created in the original attic of the mansion. So they have generally a ceiling slant or dormer windows kept with the historical constuction of the house. As well, some of the common area hallways do show slight cracks in the walls...again these are plastered areas, we do our very best to maintain these plastered walls. Short of gutting the inn completely and shutting it down to summer time guests not much can be done but maintenance. Most guests come to us specifically for the old world feel of the inn with the modern updated rooms. For decks with door access from the inn...these are fire tower exits for emergency and are only given access by the guest in that room. As well room no 304 with rooftop deck not only has a view of the inn's grounds (parking area included) but of all of Frenchman's Bay, Winter Harbor across the bay, and of the mountains on the island. If some guests are curious from this particular balcony it is very possible for that guest to look to other decks on the outside of the inn. If any person is curious to view our property online we have lots of video that gives great tours of our property.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington Depot, Connecticut
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2011

We can't say enough amazing things about the Balance Rock Inn. From the minute we walked in the front door, we were greeting with the warm and welcoming scent of the perfect destination by the ocean. The staff immediately greeted us and gave us a tour. The breakfast area boasts amazing smells and a beautiful setting to enjoy your early morning coffee or tea. The piano was almost always playing, providing the perfect backdrop to the amazing views. Alice, our bartender was quick to pour the best pino noir and makes the perfect gin and tonic. She is super friendly and made our experience even more enjoyable. If you are looking for the perfect restaurant, find Greg before you make any reservations. He knows the area better than anyone and each of his recommendations made our trip that much better. We truly appreciate the attention to detail everyone at the Balance Rock provides and it made our honeymoon more than we expected. We plan to return each year, but in 5 years for sure. Our most sincere thanks to you all and we look forward to seeing you again!

Room Tip: If possible, reserve a room with the ocean view. You will not regret it and it will make your stay u...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LeeAnn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level Contributor
21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2011

..overlooking the bay. This comfortable house is beginning to look a little weary and in need of refurbishment (particularly the bathroom in our bedroom).That said, the welcome was warm and friendly,the drinks and snacks in the late afternoon/early evening were generous and the breakfasts plentiful.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cherryRUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Balance Rock Inn

Property: Balance Rock Inn
Address: 21 Albert Mdws, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, ME 04609-1701
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Maine > DownEast and Acadia Maine > Mount Desert Island > Bar Harbor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Bar Harbor
Price range (per night): ₹ 14,531 - ₹ 22,003
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Balance Rock Inn 4.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Balance Rock Inn is one of the premier oceanfront lodging properties in Bar Harbor, ME. Set on a secluded tree-covered property with expansive views of Frenchman's Bay, this luxurious Inn's name celebrates the "balance rock," a precariously positioned boulder on the nearby ocean shore, a huge remnant from an ice age. Balance Rock's 27 rooms and suites are tastefully outfitted in harmonious colors, handsome wall coverings, handcrafted furnishings, and all the creature comforts. All rooms and suites have either a king or queen size select comfort bed, a private bath, flat screen television with DVD player, WIFI internet access, individually controlled AC and heat, and most with amazing ocean views! The Inn features a full bar and restaurant, sundeck with fire pit, and heated swimming pool...all overlooking the ocean. In addition there is a formal dining room for breakfast and dinner, a small fitness center, and ample parking. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Balance Rock Hotel Bar Harbor
Balance Rock Inn Bar Harbor, Maine

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