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).
- 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