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Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 1 Balsam B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 March 2012

Recently spent four nights at the Balsam Mountain Inn and was disappointed in several areas.
First, I saw the owner on several occasions and she never welcomed me or thanked me for staying at her establishment. In fact, she was at the front desk while I was there checking in and she completely ignored me while someone else checked me in. She did not seem like a people person as portrayed on several reviews. Second, the food was over-priced and was served consistently tepid. Breakfast was definitely not as glamorous as pictured on one of their websites and breakfast was consistently cold. Third, the inn was stifling hot as all of the windows were shut because fresh air was not circulating. Their brochure says that they use natures air-conditioning but it was definitely "out of order" since windows were not allowed to be opened and the furnace was running and the temperature was in the high 70's and lower 80's. We met some lovely people who were either dining or staying at the inn who had some of the same complaints. The decor is a poor attempt at shabby "Inn" chic by painting over broken furniture and torn upholstery. For those of you with small children, there isn't any type of a playground which would have been nice. My advice is to stay somewhere else that's comfortable and where the owner appreciates you spending your hard earned money at their establishment and welcomes you.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank DMHLouisville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Merrily T, Owner at Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 21 March 2012

I am sorry that your stay at the Inn was not as you had imagined. We try our best to make all of our guests feel welcome and it seems that we somehow missed the mark here. We will take your complaints into consideration as we prepare for our next guests, for it is our goal to make all of our guests as comfortable and happy as possible.
I do wish you had expressed your concerns during your stay, so that they could have been addressed at the time. When we saw that you were traveling as a family, we upgraded you to a bed-sitting room that was available for the duration of your stay at the original discounted price, with no additional fees. If you had let us know of your need for fresh and cool air, we would loved to have helped you with opening the windows (there are 100 plus windows in the Inn) and since it is quite cool here at 3,400 feet, there is plenty of fresh mountain air to be had!
Our Chef and kitchen staff are a wonderful group of people, who work together to create tasty, good, hot meals for the guests and would always want to know if something is not quite right.. especially if it's not hot!....
We have taken great care in restoring our Inn and it's furnishings, so that everything is clean, comfortable, but still true to it's time -1908) .The Balsam Mountain Inn is one of the largest, freestanding, wooden Inns/hotels left standing in the eastern United States and it's historic nature is unique . We always hope that our guests will delight in it's history and make some of their own!

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333 - 339 of 339 reviews

Reviewed 16 March 2012

We took advantage of a Groupon offer and we're glad we did. This creaky old inn is full of history and ambience. Very gracious hosts, comfortable lobbies with fireplaces, always a pot of coffee and/or hot water for tea. We had supper in the restaurant the first night and the food was impeccable. It was off season so not many of us there and got to meet the head chef. (I had the squash ravioli...yummy). The other nights we ate in other towns but we're glad we ate at the Inn at least once. The breakfasts each morning are more than ample and cooked to your liking. The servers were gracious and on top of our every need. Only warning...no TV. However, free Wifi is offered so pack your laptops and log on to Hulu if you need a fix. Or you can just sit on a rocking chair on the porch and relax, free from news of the day. We stayed four nights and were very happy.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sdyoung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarzenaBWyszynska, Guest Relations Manager at Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us, we really appreciate the feedback given, even if it has taken us a while to get back to you. For that I am very sorry.

We are currently under new management and going through a renovation, while still keeping our old world charm. We would love to have you back to see the improvements we have made!


Thank you for staying with us, we hope to see you again

Kate
Guest Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2012

The main draw of this charming hotel is the old fashioned interior and styling. It does a good job of recreating some of the styling and decor from the original glory days of the hotel (which was built in 1908), but lacks somewhat in the original splendor. It's a little bit shabby inside, but somehow this adds to the appeal. Hallways are decorated with quirky pictures and artifacts, which make for an interesting stroll from the bedroom to the lobby. Some are even for sale. The hotel was very clean inside, which for me is a strong plus.

Part of the theme of this hotel is that you are taking a retreat from the every day grind of our busy modern world. Bear this in mind. The hotel is not a luxury mountain getaway. There is WiFi available, but the signal was patchy. Our room had a nice big king size bed, but it was cramped in the room. Decoration was sparse - the walls and ceiling were slat wall and the floor was varnished pine. You get a dresser with a lamp, a couple of rocking chairs and a bedside table. Two classic hot water radiators provided heat for the room, but I did not see evidence of air conditioning beyond the option of opening the window. Since we were there in March, this was not a problem but I am not sure of their provisions during the summer months. Rooms do not have a TV or a telephone, but cell reception was acceptable. There was no closet or wardrobe to hang our clothes, which was also a little inconvenient.

The bathroom was very basic, with a shower or claw tub bath, a toilet, and a small sink with automatic shutoff faucets. The faucets meant we can't leave the tap running, and because hot and cold are not mixed you need to fill the sink even to wash your hands. I'm not sure on the reasoning for this beyond saving water, and I found it to be a little off putting.

The lobby is open plan, featuring wicker furniture and a fireplace to curl up beside. A quaint corner library room offers a collection of old books. Chess and checker boards were set up and ready to play, and other board games are available to help keep the family entertained. I would say that this would not be a good place to bring young children though. Some people brought their dogs, so the hotel is pet friendly. However, the walls are very thin so you might run the risk of getting noisy neighbors. The hotel has a quiet policy after 10pm, but your mileage on that might vary. Our neighbors had a barking dog in the morning, which woke us up quite early.

The location of the hotel is about 15 minutes drive west of Waynesville and an off-ramp from the Blue Ridge Parkway, making it convenient by car. Running along an old country railway line and close to the highway, the hotel sits on a hill and is surrounded by beautiful views of the mountains. A long porch with numerous rocking chairs enables you to make the most of this. There is plenty of parking outside the building, but it is not covered. The road leading up to the hotel is somewhat rough, but manageable - you might need a 4x4 in snowy weather. As far as I could tell, the hotel was not wheelchair accessible.

The hotel has a restaurant with a small selection of dishes to choose from. Most dishes were meat based but there was 1 vegetarian option available. It seemed the same menu both nights, so we went into Waynesville the second evening and enjoyed a change of pace there. Each morning they served a free breakfast and there were two options. A cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs, grits or hash browns, bacon or sausage, then either pancakes one day or french toast the next. The other option was cereal and I believe fruit. Coffee and juice was provided also.

Service at the hotel was fine, the staff were friendly, but the restaurant service itself was a bit clumsy. The wrong plates were taken to a few tables while I was eating and no drinks menu was offered. I personally had to wait a long time for a beer to be served because the drinks cabinet was apparently locked and the key could not be found. The vegetables served with our main course were still raw, but our pork chop was cooked well and was tasty. I should note that this was not because of the trainee waiter - he provided good service. It was just generally lacking from our waitress.

Our two nights stay was a very pleasant experience overall. I would definitely visit again, and would rate the overall quality to be between 2 and 3 stars.

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms I'd imagine are better. The wooden floors made it noisy sometimes on the ground f...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank taucias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarzenaBWyszynska, Guest Relations Manager at Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us, we really appreciate the feedback given, even if it has taken us a while to get back to you. For that I am very sorry.

We are currently under new management and going through a renovation, while still keeping our old world charm. We would love to have you back to see the improvements we have made!


Thank you for staying with us, we hope to see you again

Kate
Guest Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2012

We really enjoyed our stay here, the history is amazing! Each room has it's own unique design and as we explored different ones, we tried to imagine how it looked 100 years ago. There are awesome decorations of history throughout the inn that was cool to see. The staff were amazing. We look forward to returning!

Room Tip: I didn't find out until we were leaving that there are showers available for those that have a r...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank gidgetkg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarzenaBWyszynska, Guest Relations Manager at Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us, we really appreciate the feedback given, even if it has taken us a while to get back to you. For that I am very sorry.

We are currently under new management and going through a renovation, while still keeping our old world charm. We would love to have you back to see the improvements we have made!


Thank you for staying with us, we hope to see you again

Kate
Guest Relations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2012

Love this Inn! What a delight to step back to a bygone era, yet be treated to a restoration that not only features the original structure, but rooms that each are unique and charming. It was a pleasure to talk with Meerily, the owner, who restored the Inn in 1990, and has just refurbished it after buying it back from its previous innkeepers. Like all her staff, Meerily is gracious. John, the personable chef, recommended not only his sweet onion pie, soon to be featured in "WNC," but also a great nearby lunch stop. Enjoyed the panoramic views from the room and the outer porches, looking out on mountains and down to the river below, a perfect location for hiking, an ideal one for exploring the nearby quaint towns. Look forward to the next visit!

Room Tip: Each one has its own unique personality. You might like to choose one when arriving if there are op...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Sharon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarzenaBWyszynska, Guest Relations Manager at Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us, we really appreciate the feedback given, even if it has taken us a while to get back to you. For that I am very sorry.

We are currently under new management and going through a renovation, while still keeping our old world charm. We would love to have you back to see the improvements we have made!


Thank you for staying with us, we hope to see you again

Kate
Guest Relations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2012

We stayed at the Balsam Inn for a week this January. It was a beautiful place, really unique. The staff made us feel like we were family and looked for ways to be there for us. The food was fabulous. The surrounding area provides for lovely walking and hiking. We also attended a conference there and their conference facilities and services were excellent. I would highly recommend this Inn to anyone.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank RLPRLP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarzenaBWyszynska, Guest Relations Manager at Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us, we really appreciate the feedback given, even if it has taken us a while to get back to you. For that I am very sorry.

We are currently under new management and going through a renovation, while still keeping our old world charm. We would love to have you back to see the improvements we have made!


Thank you for staying with us, we hope to see you again

Kate
Guest Relations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2011

This historic property is a beautiful place to unwind. Wonderfully friendly staff in a quiet mountain atmosphere. There are no television or radios. No room phones, although there is WIFI throughout the hotel. This is a place to relax in nature, hike through the mountain trails, and be away from all hustle & bustle. Meet friendly guests in the cozy library. Quietly do a jigsaw puzzle with new friends. Don't look for fancy amenities, but enjoy a very high quality bed in a room that has a character all its own.
http://www.balsammountaininn.net/

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
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10  Thank Fyredrake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarzenaBWyszynska, Guest Relations Manager at Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us, we really appreciate the feedback given, even if it has taken us a while to get back to you. For that I am very sorry.

We are currently under new management and going through a renovation, while still keeping our old world charm. We would love to have you back to see the improvements we have made!


Thank you for staying with us, we hope to see you again

Kate
Guest Relations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant

Address: 68 Seven Springs Drive, Balsam, NC 28707
Region: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Jackson County > Balsam
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Balsam
Price Range: £78 - £114 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Read, rest, ramble and romp at the Balsam Mountain Inn! Nestled among lofty Smoky Mountain peaks just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Balsam Mountain Inn was completed in 1908 to serve the highest railway depot in the east. Restored in 1991, the inn now welcomes travelers with 50 cheerful rooms, rocker-filled porches, a fine library and gracious dining. Plump pillows and soft comforters inspire pleasant dreams! In December, 2011, the Inn came once again to be owned by Merrily Teasley, the innkeeper who restored the structure two decades ago. An experienced rescuer of wonderful buildings, Teasley bought the derelict inn in 1990, and her certified rehabilitation effort helped the inn – already on the National Historic Register – experience a rebirth. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant Hotel Balsam
Balsam Mountain Inn And Restaurant

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