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“Beautiful Inn, Wonderful Amenities” 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
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
57 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Beautiful Inn, Wonderful Amenities”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2011

The Balance Rock Inn is a gorgeous property on the Atlantic Ocean in Bar Harbor, ME. It offers a living room with large stone fireplace and grand piano (and pianist in the evening). The bar area is in a glass-enclosed Florida room looking out to the ocean with tables for gathering, drinking, and eating the wonderful breakfast. If the weather permits, there is an outdoor patio with firepits and an amazing view of the ocean just beyond the beautiful lawn and oceanside walking path. Sip on a glass of wine, watch the cruise ships pass by and meet new friends. Unlike hotels and motels, inns offer a friendlier atmosphere, making it easy to socialize with other tourists and the staff. The rooms were well-furnished.

While this property offers a feeling of seclusion and relaxation, you can walk 1 1/2 blocks and be in the heart of Bar Harbor's shops and restaurants. The harbor is also in short walking distance. We took a tour on a lobster boat and learned about lobster trapping by a local. I can't imagine a better place to stay in Bar Harbor.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank donnaopfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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451 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    284
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    28
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See reviews for
58
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 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
Boston
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2011

My husband and I have stayed here in the past, in the Carriage House, with our dog. The room was great and the private deck area was nice. This past March we specifcally asked for, booked and confirmed our 3 night June stay in room 107, a ground floor, pet friendly room with a semi private yard in the main house. We received a confirmation, sent via email, stating the correct room, addl't costs for the dog, etc. We arrived and check in and a super friendly young man started to show us up to the third floor. We informed him that we had booked room 107 on the main floor and he went to check. A women came out and hastely said that they upgraded us and that the room we were getting was so much better...with a water view ...and an upgrade...and an upgrade. We get it, an upgrade, but we asked why because we specifcally booked that room, on the ground fllor, because we are traveling with a dog. "Construction" she said "and we upgraded you" and left us with the young man looking as baffled as we were to show us our 3rd floor room. The 3rd floor room is OK, overcrowded and tidy, but not the clean a place like this should offer (dust, dirty spots on pictures, an exposed pipe in the corner with a rag stuffed in it). But we were "upgraded" and had a fire place and a view of the water...both of which our dog enjoyed...almost as much as the 3 flights of stairs he had to go up and down to go to the bathroom. The kicker is that we saw a woman and a dog come out of room 107 while we were walking by. We checked on the website and it shows that room booked thru Sunday...to bad we are not in it. Needless to say we will be having a discussion with the manager - but we won't be back to stay here. Too bad, the view and location is great and the majority of the staff is nice but the breakfast is aweful. It's funny though, the last time we were here, the Inn Keepers quit with no notice and left everyone scrambling. That was a few years ago. I think they are still working out the kinks.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank catandpooch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BalanceRockInn, Owner at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, 9 July 2011
We would have loved to offer you another ground floor option, but unfortunately, the room in which you stayed was the only one available. I do apologize you were not informed in advance of the change in your reservation, but your room was only just unavailable the day you arrived due to a major pipe break. We are sorry you did not find your upgrade to your satisfaction, we would have been more than happy to offer you a credit towards a future stay had you brought it to our attention. As well, we are surprised you were not happy with the accommodation as it is a larger and more spacious room than you previously booked and we do have an elevator.
As far as seeing another guest come from that yard, room #107 has not been available to rent since the day of your arrival and is not available again until the 4th of July. It is possible another guest with a pet was exploring the grounds and happened upon #107 yard. You will not see room #107 available online because it is currently not available to reserve. Again we apologize for any inconvenience caused to you during your stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Needham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2011

We were going to stay for three nights at the inn. We arrived on Saturday afternoon. It's a pretty inn with nice grounds and the staff was very friendly. My wife's father went into the hospital on the Saturday night and took a turn for the worse Sunday afternoon, such that we had to leave on Sunday afternoon. We were hoping for a refund or a credit. They refused. We figured a refund was unlikely. However, given how expensive it was and the fact that the inn didn't seem to be full, a credit would have seemed reasonable. And a credit would have turned us into huge fans of the inn, and made it so that we'd definitely go back year after year. It was a lost opportunity for them, I think.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kruddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BalanceRockInn, Manager at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, 21 June 2011
I’m very happy to hear you enjoyed your stay for the time you were with us. When a situation of this type occurs it is uncommon and unfortunate. I was told you had to depart early due to a “family emergency”. Usually that means something trivial and I am required to uphold our policy. There are of course maters that should be made an exception, your situation is one of them. Had I spoken to you directly I would have asked the nature of the emergency and made a judgment from there, and for any misunderstanding I apologize. We always strive to make our guests time with us memorable for all the right reasons, and not for the wrong ones.
The sudden loss of a family member is tragic and out of your control, and is one of the only exceptions I am willing to make to our cancellation policy. It would be my pleasure to issue you a credit for a future stay with us anytime during the season. Please contact the reservations office at your convenience so we may issue you a credit.

My sincerest condolences and warm regards,

Aaron Miles
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
95 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2011

We spent a few days here and we found the location was perfect the employees were delightful, the weather spectacular..however the hotel really needs a facelift. The decor was froo froo and outdated, the rooms needed a real scrub down there were no screens on the windows, the bathrooms were small and set up strange.The place would be great if they updated the place. Another thing I would like to add is that this is a DOG friendly hotel and every room may or may not have had a dog living there. Had I realized that this was a doggy hotel I would have booked a different hotel. This I believe is why there has not been a facelift in this place. The beds are select air mattresses which they show off as special but these beds are at least 10 years old or older.I would not book again...but dogs and dog owners would love it.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank shazamm T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BalanceRockInn, Manager at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, 24 June 2011
It is very disappointing to see that this guest found the Balance Rock to be "froo froo" and "outdated". At the Balance Rock we see ourselves advertised very transparently. We do not hide that the Inn was built in 1903 and we uphold to the Gilded Age time period decor. We do not consider ourselves a modern decor hotel, we are more boutique, romantic, and classically decorated. We are always sure to be specific about all our room amenities and all our rooms are also available to view online. While some of our rooms offer large spacious bathrooms wiht 2 person whirlpool tubs, marble showers, and dry saunas, some of our rooms are more quaint and have just the basic necessities. As well, the Balance Rock has been a pet friendly hotel since it opened in 1989 and advertises as such. Although, we are pet friendly we limit the number of pets on property each day to 8 and have designated pet friendly rooms so that not all our rooms are pet friendly. In addition pets are only permitted on the outdoor grounds and not any of the indoor common areas, so I think it is safe to say that our pet guests have never been an intruision on other guest enjoying the grounds. We understand the guest must not have been aware we were pet friendly, but if it was of that much importance they should have simply asked. As stated I think they would rather stayed at a non-pet friendly hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2010

We had room 207, which was small, but very nice. The price was $125/night in late October, which included a very nice breakfast and $15 credit per night at the bar. Our room had a sleep-number bed, decent sized LCD TV, Jacuzzi bath and private patio. They have several rooms that look out toward the ocean, but we didn’t book far enough in advance for an ocean view. The house was built in the late 1800s, and it is obviously well maintained with a historical B&B feel to it. What we liked the most were the people that work at the Inn. The employees obviously enjoy their work and they made us feel welcomed to come down from our room in the evenings and enjoy a drink and visit by the fire.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BrentBDallas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dresher
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2010

My husband and I stayed here for 4 nights. From the fronts desk person, to the bellman, the bartender and staff who served our breakfast, it was perfect.
Our room was warm, and cozy! We had a fireplace, tub, and shower. The service was great! There was a nice pool, and a place to sit around outside with fire pits.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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 rscat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Quinta, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2010

The Inn is in the most wonderful location, the view of the bay is spectacular! The rolling lawns and flowers so beautiful. We only booked one night. It was a splurge for us $255.00. We were comfortable, however we were disappointed because they no longer prepare a pastry in the afternoon for the guests as mentioned in the website. We were told that was a long time ago. The room had a great partial view of the ocean, however, our shared deck by our windows was also a walkway for guests or hotel workers. I didn't feel comfortable leaving the windows open for the fresh air, which was the reason I booked a room on the second floor. The breakfast was okay, but as mentioned in other reviews, the wait staff wasn't very friendly which lends itself to not making guests feel welcome. The location to town was great, just a short walk. It is a beautiful inn in a great location, however, the innkeepers need to work with the wait staff to make guests feel more welcome and the rooms need to be maintained in a little better order. There was loose tile in the corner of the bathroom, and one of our doors to the outside did not fit properly into the frame, leaving a gap at the top.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank narrowvlly
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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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