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“Old World Charm”
Review of Balance Rock Inn

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Balance Rock Inn
Ranked #24 of 41 Hotels in Bar Harbor
Reviewed 21 August 2014

My husband and I hadn't been there for a number of years and decided to spend a night having visited local gardens during the day. The location is terrific; close to town but well off the main road and the view from the back is superb. The Inn takes its name from the courious boulder precariously balanced on watersedge.The approach and grounds are as lovely as I had remembered, the common areas are well maintained and the overall atmosphere, is rather low key.

Our room (201) was something of a disappointment. Two large windows looked onto an indoor (and shared) porch, complete with soggy indoor/outdoor carpet; another large window and full view door revealed an hallway which lead to an outdoor stairway. Given that the Inn is over 100 years it should come as no surprise that the bathroom and closet are barely adequate. The bed is
comfortable but overall the space is dreary.

We chose to dine on the veranda and had a pleasant experience. Our meals were well prepared
(steak and crabcakes) and the waiter appropriately attentive. The other guests seemed cordial and contented. The setting is the high point of the experience.

Breakfast is 8-10. If you like food hot, better get there at 8, otherwise plan on a mediocre meal.
Before checkout we took a lovely walk along the bay, checked on the balance rock and strolled through town.

I recommend the Inn with reservations, particularly regarding the atmosphere of your room. Given the expense, you deserve the best of what Balance Rock has to offer.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank jaf122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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218 - 224 of 468 reviews

Reviewed 21 August 2014

Our only complaint is that we could not stay longer! We had Room 304 which had a sauna in the bathroom and a fabulous ladder in the bedroom that led to a trapdoor in the roof. Once this was lifted we found ourselves on a private "Captain's Deck" on the top of the Inn with breathtaking views over the pool, lawns and gardens right out to the ocean. This room is located in the original "cottage" section of the Inn, and every room on each floor was sumptuous, elegant and absolutely beautiful! I felt like I was a character in The Great Gatsby or staying with a beloved old Great Aunt. The breakfast knocked our socks off...delicious. The Balance Rock Inn is also perfectly situated to explore Bar Harbor. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Brenda K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2014

The outside of the inn was beautiful, viewed from the property and the water. The lobby and veranda were beautiful and well maintained, however this atmosphere and level of maintenance didn't extend to the Carriage House room we were assigned. The room was old, dreary, and felt unclean. The comforter on the bed was dirty and had to be replaced. The bed sagged in the middle, though we were told it was normal for this type of bed. The bathroom was large, but the toilet was cramped - tucked against the wall behind the door. There was plywood visible in the space between the tub and wall. There was no view from the Carriage House room. It had a small deck in back that faced a fence. Even though it was in the city center, it was not worth the price we paid.

Room Tip: The gym is also located in the Carriage House.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Cindy744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2014

We stayed for 4 nights, our first trip to Bar Harbor. The location of Balance Rock is just perfect - it's right on the water but just a minute's walk to all of the restaurants and shops. The room we stayed in (we were in the carriage house) was comfortable and quiet. It is a little out dated and there was some water damage from the shower, but that didn't really impact our enjoyment. We really enjoyed the heated pool despite the weather being cool during our trip. The food was really great, too - breakfast was better than expected based on reviews here and we had dinner there one night (the filet with local mushrooms) and it was outstanding. The only concerning thing really was there seems to be a limited amount of parking, but we didn't end up having any problems from this. I would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Mariah K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

We stayed at the Balance Rock for three days. The location and views were perfect. The room was nice, bathroom was a little cramped but adaquate. Just about everything in Bar Harbor was within walking distance, restaurants and shopping. Decided to take it easy one night and ate in the bar, the food was very good and the staff was very nice and helpful. You just need to remember that the place is 100 years old.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Ron H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Just had a one-night stay at the Balance Rock Inn after a day hiking around Acadia National Park. The location is great in Bar Harbor: just a couple of quiet blocks from the heart of the town and right on the water. The building is beautiful, but appears to have been pieced together over the years. They had a cozy little bar leading to a dining veranda that overlooked the pool. Past the pool was a large lawn that brings you to the walking path along the water.
We spent an hour or two lounging/napping at the pool. There were a few other guests there, but everyone was definitely focused on relaxing as it was very calm and quiet. However, through no fault of the hotel, there was a cruise ship parked right off shore. It was probably relatively small, but still seemed massive and ugly off such a picturesque coastline. It made a fair amount of noise when it started up to go, but it was time to get cleaned up for dinner around then anyways, so didn't really matter.
The hotel itself was larger than a traditional bed-and-breakfast, but much smaller than some of the other popular waterfront accommodations in Bar Harbor, a nice balance of quaint and professional.
Our room was one of the smaller ones, but still an okay size. One odd thing was that the mattress seemed larger than the bed frame, so I often felt like I was about to slide off the edge of the bed.
It was quite nice to have breakfast the next morning on the veranda watching the beautiful view.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Jeff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2014

We had a wonderful time with our stay at Balance Rock Inn. It was difficult to find a *nice* dog friendly hotel and we're often faced with the choice of leaving our beloved dog home or choosing sub-par hotels, but this inn met every criteria on our list. At check in, the staff was helpful in giving us suggestions of dog-friendly restaurants. The hotel and rooms are nicely appointed. The bar/veranda area is beautiful and the perfect place to go for a drink (with your dog if you want) before or after dinner, or to watch the sunset. The views from our room were nothing short of spectacular. The inn is quietly tucked away, but it just a minute walk away from the thick of main street restaurants and shops. The location really is unbeatable. If we ever find ourselves in bar harbor again, I wouldn't even look for a different hotel, I would re-book here.

Keep in mind only certain rooms are pet friendly so get the list of rooms before you reserve. I had my heart set on an upper level room that I booked early and that turned out to not be a pet-friendly room, which was an annoyance. But after visiting the inn, the first floor room we ultimately selected turned out to still have a fantastic view and the private exit to a patio made it easy to walk our dog in the mornings without having to walk through the main entrances.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Kristen S
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

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: £190 - £526 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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