We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Wishing it were a 5”
Review of Balance Rock Inn

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Balance Rock Inn
Ranked #24 of 41 Hotels in Bar Harbor
Boston, MA
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Wishing it were a 5”
Reviewed 7 August 2014

First, let me say that we love old inns, and we liked a lot about the Balance Rock. But a late booking on my part meant that there were no good rooms available except the Penthouse Suite. I would not typically spend over $500 a night for a room, but justified the price of the room as offset by the fact that it had a kitchen and thus my husband (a professional chef) could make a few meals.

We had marvelous weather, and thus could fully appreciate the views, the lovely pool, and the garden. The location is absolutely perfect, as was the ability to enjoy the view from the private (albeit small) porch. Fortunately, that meant we were out of the room most of the time.

In its current condition, however, the room does not warrant the price being charged. It was "used" - to say the least, and "shabby-chic" doesn't really work at this price point (as other reviewers have mentioned).
- no finish left on several of the tables, and half the bed frame suffered some kind of water damage and also had no finish left
-large stains on rug
-soap dish completely cracked with large chips in it
-shades didn't fit lamps properly
-shower with minimal water pressure (had to rinse conditioner out of hair in kitchen sink)
-poorly-stocked kitchen (only two plates, no wine glasses, no collander, lids that didn't fit pots, etc.
-very loud air conditioning
-musty smell (possibly from whatever took the finish off the wood?)

There were also some quality-control issues with breakfast (how do you serve undercooked potatoes?), and we tired of the multiple trips back and forth from the small dining room with the buffet to the lounge or outside deck (where most people wanted to eat). Some items were quite good, and the amount available was certainly adequate. Servers didn't serve - only cleared.

As a courtesy, I wrote the General Manager and enumerated these issues, suggesting that someone should visit the room and see if they didn't agree with my assessment of the condition. Although there was an apology, the response, "that rugs couldn't be cleaned during peak season" and that we "should have given them the chance" to replace items during our stay was not appropriate. For over $500 per night, I don't expect to have the room refurbished when I am in it.

Figure it out. This is a lovely property, but someone needs to impose some standards and quality-control (or lower the price). We would love to return to enjoy the marvelous location and beautiful views, but would definitely ask about when the room was last refurbished (or book a cheaper room and get more of what we might expect).

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank doctorkris3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

465 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    294
    100
    35
    29
    7
See reviews for
60
327
12
4
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
West Palm Beach
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

I stayed at Balance Rock Inn for only one night, but I can definitively say the inn is extremely underwhelming.

The staff were mostly cold and unwelcoming, the elevator only went to the penultimate floor, the breakfast room had no view and was open at difficult hours, the staff acted surprised and offended when they were asked to pull out a couch, although there was only one bed in the room with three people booked, and the rooms were difficult to traverse and a danger to senior citizens and in the event of an emergency. I observed this as I traveling with my 80-year-old grandfather.

Most concerning was the lack of accommodation for my life-threatening nut allergy. On the one day I was staying, they served nuts in the buffet, even though they were notified a day prior to the incident. Also some, of the glasses were filthy, which is especially concerning for people with severe food allergies.

I would not recommend the experience.

Stayed August 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank chesskid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron M, Owner at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, 25 September 2014
Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns in regards to your stay with us. I assure you this is not the standards in which we hold our hotel. Our staff works very hard to ensure all of our guests are having a wonderful experience and pleasant stay. I apologize we did not live up to your expectations. We hope to have another chance and we are happy to help find a more suitable accommodation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 4 August 2014

The Balance Rock Inn keeps getting better. This year they served dinner for the first time. It makes a difference. With a great chef, an interesting menu of "Small Plates," and two choices of entree there is no reason for tolerating the noise of a downtown restaurant when you can dine in peace and actually talk to your friends.

The Balance Rock Inn is special, Its guests own the view. Its rooms are varied, but each one has a special charm. We've been there four times over the years, and we'll be back.

Diane Leduc and Brian Campbell

Room Tip: Reserve 204 if it's available
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Brian_CW3906RJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron M, Owner at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, 25 September 2014
It's always special having guests return year after year. We're honored to be a second home to those looking to get away. Thank you for recognizing our improvements and hard work. We look forward to you returning next year!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2014

Spent our honeymoon at the Balance Rock Inn. The Inn was everything we hoped it would be. I would definitely return and definitely recommend. The breakfast every morning was delicious. The staff were very helpful to answer questions and went above and beyond. We also purchased one of their add on packages. They made all arrangements for us. Wish I was still there!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank IAH75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron M, Owner at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, 25 September 2014
Congratulations! Thank you for choosing to the Balance Rock Inn to help celebrate your recent nuptials. We're happy we could make it that much more special for you. Looking forward to your 1st year anniversary visit!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Maine
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 July 2014

This was our second stay at the Balance Rock Inn and as always we had a wonderful time at the beautiful inn. I can not say enough good things about the inn's restaurant. We have been to Bar Harbor many, many, many times and dined in just about every place in town and the Balance Rock Inn's food, service, view and just overall atmosphere is by far the very best. They serve "small plates" but they are really good sized, well priced, perfectly presented and they taste amazing!!!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank susan w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron M, Owner at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, 25 September 2014
Thank you for posting your review and other travelers your experience with the Balance Rock Inn! We look forward to your return.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 28 July 2014

The Balance Rock Inn has a gorgeous location with a spacious lawn sloping down to the coast. We loved how it was set back from the hustle and bustle of Main St. but still only a block away. The staff was friendly, polite and happy to help. Morning breakfast was delicious and the bar had a fun variety of cocktails.
I visited with my new husband for our honeymoon and we really enjoyed it; however, I will say we felt young compared to the rest of the crowd (and we are young to stay in such a beautiful place). I would still wholeheartedly recommend it but if you are younger take note that this is beautiful and quiet B&B with a generally more established clientele.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Hannah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron M, Owner at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, 7 August 2014
Thank you for sharing with other travelers about you time with. We're happy we were able to help you celebrate you special day. We hope to see you return for an anniversary visit!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

We spent seven nights here and enjoyed so much about the Inn. Breakfasts were wonderful, and guests may eat inside where the food is served, outside on the patio, or on the deck of your room if you have one. The view is simply breath taking and the close proximity to town and the village green makes it a perfect place to stay while in BH. The hotel bar offers small plates each evening which were wonderfully prepared and presented.
We were disappointed :
...in not receiving our AAA discount due to 'peak season'.
...our sauna was not in good working order and we couldn't use it
...the bathroom needed some updating
...the locals enjoy coming here in the evening for the bar and small plate service. Two nights when we returned from dinner in town, we were looking forward to having a night cap outside on the patio but there were no chairs available. We feel that guests at the Inn should have precedence considering the price we paid for our room.
All in all, we appreciated more about BRI than not, and will return. Harry and Clair are amazing staff. We would love to know more about the history of the Inn, but little is written and when we asked several staff members, they didn't know.
If you can afford it, stay here while enjoying bar harbor.

Room Tip: Skip the 'extras'. You'll want to be outside during your stay.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jill57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aaron M, Owner at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, 7 August 2014
Thank you for sharing with other travelers about you time with us! We have a short season in Bar Harbor so during our peak times we cannot offer special rates or discounts. The saunas can be pretty tricky but we are always available to get them started for you. While you were able to enjoy the Veranda Bar's Small Plates menu we're sorry the bar was at capacity and unable to offer a seat for a night cap. We hope this does not dissuade you from returning in the future...I'd like to offer a night cap on us!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Bar Harbor hotels
0.4 mi away
Harborside Hotel & Marina
Harborside Hotel & Marina
#19 of 41 in Bar Harbor
1,137 reviews
0.6 mi away
Bar Harbor Manor
Bar Harbor Manor
#9 of 41 in Bar Harbor
454 reviews
0.2 mi away
Bar Harbor Inn
Bar Harbor Inn
#7 of 41 in Bar Harbor
1,694 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.2 mi away
Acadia Hotel
Acadia Hotel
#11 of 41 in Bar Harbor
361 reviews
0.3 mi away
Bar Harbor Grand Hotel
Bar Harbor Grand Hotel
#6 of 41 in Bar Harbor
1,326 reviews
0.4 mi away
ANCHORAGE MOTEL
ANCHORAGE MOTEL
#37 of 41 in Bar Harbor
173 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Balance Rock Inn? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing