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.

“Lots of unused potential--Could be better” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Save
You added Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant to your Saves list
Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant
3.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   68 Seven Springs Drive, Balsam, NC 28707   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Balsam B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Sylva, NC
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Lots of unused potential--Could be better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2012

I am from a nearby town and took my parents there for dinner when they came to visit. The menu was typical southern food, and a little overpriced, but it was good. Our waiter was, well, a weirdo!! He had this strange smile and giggled every time we asked for anything. He did not bring my toddler any utensils until I asked. They were out of several things we ordered. When we finally managed to place our order, it took forever to get our food. Every request on our part was met with not a yes or no, but just the odd giggle of our server. He was so peculiar! He forgot several things and dropped a glass of water on the floor right at my feet---as he was cleaning it up, he was giggling to himself the whole time! CREEEEPY!

I have some suggestions for the Inn, since it appears the owner reads these reviews. Owners, you have a perfect opportunity to get loads of business in your restaurant from locals, especially people from the west of you. There are lots of college professors and professional transplants who would LOVE to eat gourmet meals without going all the way to Asheville! We'd LOVE to have an amazing place to take our friends and family from out of town, and you literally have the monopoly of that niche here in the far western NC region. Even Waynesville has been a disappointment as far as nicer dining goes. I promise you that whatever you invest in your restaurant will be returned tenfold by locals who are dieing for a classier place to eat. Lets start with service: I KNOW it can be hard to find folks who have "people skills" here in the mountains. But if you looked for servers at the colleges, WCU and SCC have lots of students who need jobs, you'd get some smart hardworking folks who might be a little more cultured or have some serving experience. SCC has hospitality and culinary schools, so there is no excuse. Seriously, our server seemed like he just crawled out of a cave! How about an expanded menu? A few more entrees and sides, and continued attention to locally produced food would be great! How about remodeling the interior to make it a little less shabby and a little more chic? You could still maintain the historic inn feel but make it a little more comfortable with fresh wallpaper and updated lighting. That goes for the lobby too. I have seen beautiful antique furniture, but lots of yours looks like flea market finds. Your grounds have amazing potential, but look sooo run down!! Get some landscapers in to plant a flower garden to play up your outdoor eating area! Have an outdoor sculpture contest and accept entries from the thousands of local artists to create original works of art for your new garden--that would literally cost you nothing, and maybe the winning artist could get a giftcard for free meals or something. SCC and WCU even have art departments, with hundreds of art students who would love to sell you some artwork, to paint some murals, or make the place better looking in general. Make a little trail through the garden for people to stroll after dinner, and add some secret swings in hidden bushy enclaves for children and adults to enjoy. Grow some of your own herbs and incorporate them into your menus. Again, I am a local and I want to like Balsam Mountain Restaurant better, but you guys have to try a little harder. You have so much potential and so much to work with.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Innkeeper at Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant, responded to this review, July 1, 2012
Dear “Jixen”,

Thanks for dining at Balsam.

We returned to ownership and management of the inn just over six months ago, and are happy to welcome a quickly growing local (and regional) clientele. We’ll honor these customers by building a menu of interesting, hearty, and in many cases local foods, prepared with the freshest ingredients available. Our local vendor list is lengthy and growing, and our service is unpretentious.

We’ll continue also to support local arts in a variety of ways, including our “Art in the Mountains” hallway gallery, featuring the works of over 30 local artists and craftsmen.

We aren’t “absentee” operators in any sense; we live here, love the place, are engaged in our community (yes, we employ a good number of college students), and are determined that our inn – a national historic place – continue to be an anchor.

Ownership during the past seven years wasn’t particularly kind to the building, the business, or its furnishings, and there is work to be done. But the place is beautiful and interesting, the people who work for us are diligent and kind, and we’re committed to both.

We hope one day you find yourself in a similar situation, because an atmosphere like this is a sure cure for mean-spiritedness.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

200 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    85
    77
    18
    11
    9
See reviews for
31
116
6
8
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
West Hartford, Connecticut
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

After our second day of meandering south on the Blue Ridge Parkway, forgetting to print the directions to the hotel and the GPS would not recognize Seven Springs Drive oh what to do except follow the railroad tracks and the signs to the Balsam Mountain Inn. Oh what a find it way. You have to love the short up the hill driveway after crossing the railroad tracks and finding a classic wooden three story hotel. Two floors of long porches with green rocking chairs greet you. Open the screen door the squeaks and you are into a large open lobby and sitting area. Step back in time and just enjoy the wood construction and what a grand place this was in the days of rail travel. It still is a wonderful stop in the days of the Automobile road trip. Our room was large, the bathroom was small, obviously a converted closet, the floor squeaked, the furniture was period, the bed very comfortable, and the 10 foot wide hallways were marvelous. And the restaurant, just great and I mean great. Do not miss it! The whole experience of this Inn is not to be missed especially if you love the history of this country…

Room Tip: While a porch view is nice, remember some one can be sitting in the rocking chair outside your room...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

Oh, heaven! We hated to leave after only two days, and we will definitely make it a point to return. This place is just enchanting. Quiet - no TV or phones, charming and comfortable. Service is attentive but not intrusive. Meals in the dining room were superb, both breakfast and dinner. There, the service was just a tad slow, but it created an easy and unhurried atmosphere that allowed us to really enjoy the excellent cuisine, and we really had no where else to go except to rock on the porch!
The inn is in a beautiful location, easily reachable from the highway, and convenient to many of the sights and activities of the western NC mountains. A wonderful place to truly get away from it all. Cudos to the Innkeeper.

Room Tip: In the heat of summer, you may not wish to pick a room on the top (3rd) floor, as the Inn has no air...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

During our visit about 2 years ago, the inn exhibited significant neglect. A previous owner has come back to bring the inn back to its previous glory. Although still a work in progress for some of the rooms, most of the inn has been restored. One can now enjoy a restful get away and go back to the simple life while relaxing in the lobby area and two porches with rocking chairs.

We stayed for two nights. Out suite @ $165 a night was very large with several sitting areas. The included breakfast on both mornings was delicious and filling. An excellent wild berry french toast was served the first morning and equally great apple pancakes with fresh fruit the second morning. We also had dinner one night. As with the breakfasts, our meals were excellent. My wife had fresh trout from the local Sunburst Farms trout farm and I had the evening special of wild mushroom stuffed ravioli. We were too full to try the deserts.

A few heads up: The separate hot and cold faucets in the rooms are spring loaded so one has to continue to hold the handle while obtaining water. The hot water is extremely hot so attempting to wash ones hands, etc. can be a challenge. As would be expected in a 107 year old inn, the wooden floors will creak. Light sleepers may wish to choose the third floor.

My wife and I have stayed here several times and we recommend that anyone wishing to go back in time to relax in the mountains give this inn a try.

Room Tip: Third floor rooms are a good choice to avoid noise from wood floors.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beverly Hills, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

We just came home from four wonderful restful days at the Balsam Mountain Inn. It is very quaint and quite. This will take you back in time when you didn't have TV. It was so peaceful and comfortable. The rooms were very clean and in our room there was a diary of people who stayed there before us and I loved reading all the things they had to say about our room including the ghost stories. Our room was the Eggplant Room. The floor creeks when you walk on them and the cold water is really cold. The restaurant had a different breakfast each day and everyday we had delicious fresh fruit. Dinner was very nice and the selection was wonderful. It is very close to all the attractions we wanted to see and yet far enough away to keep the prices of food and gas lower. Just a perfect location. Can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: We were on the second floor but I believe that all rooms would be great.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2012

When did you last stay in a place where strangers share a glass of wine and stories on a covered porch, play checkers or do a jigsaw puzzle together, or lower their voices after 10 PM to keep from disturbing their neighbors? If the answer is never then you owe it to yourself to visit the historic Balsam Inn. This place is a step back in time with an outstanding setting (resotred, not rennovated) interior, and an atmosphere like no other place you have ever stayed.

Owner operated. Three thumbs up.

Room Tip: Room 231 has a little guest room with a single bed and the only window, but there is a skylight too...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sebewaing, Michigan
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2012

Historical, railroad stop inn, in beautiful North Carolina. Recommend for couples, or families with avid reading kids. No TV, radio, but there is WiFi. Room we had was only big enough for the bed, small stand, and a rocking chair. Request a shower in your room, or you may only have a tub. Bathroom faucets are spring loaded to conserve water. Remember, you're back in time in this inn. You can read and drink coffee, or whatever, in the library, or you can read on the rocking chair lined front porch. You can walk the grounds, along the railroad, or down the road. Waynesville is nearby with the small town tourist attractions, and restaurants. Eating at the Inn was also great. We had salmon, simply prepared with a butter sauce and dill, cooked to perfection, slightly seared. Lights out in the hallway at 10pm; quiet time. For a place to get away from it all, read, walk, and enjoy the quiet; this is your place. However, it's not for everybody.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a shower in your room, unless you want to take a bath.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant

Address: 68 Seven Springs Drive, Balsam, NC 28707
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Smoky Mountains > Jackson County > Balsam
Amenities:
Business Center 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia and Hotels.com so you can book your Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant Hotel Balsam
Balsam Mountain Inn And Restaurant

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.