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“Cracker Barrel on crack” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant

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Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant
3.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   68 Seven Springs Drive, Balsam, NC 28707   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Balsam B&B and Inns
Asheville, North Carolina
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Cracker Barrel on crack”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

This place is, well, okay. It's an admittedly lovely structure, with the requisite rocking chairs on the porch. It looks and feels the way non-mountain folk think a place like this ought to feel. There are braided rugs and single-minded radiators and ruffled furniture and claw foot tubs and pine floors. There are Teddy Bears and whimmy-diddles and folk art oddities in the gift shop The staff are friendly and accommodating. So this review is not universally damning.

However, the rooms are quite noisy and the walls are thin, so any intimacy, coming or going, will be shared with your neighbors. Some kind of gag might be in order for such activities. You will hear clomping feet all night long, and the occasional barking dog {Yes, dogs are allowed, it seems, regardless of their behavior characteristics.) There is no phone service, no TV, no AC, The pillows, by the way, are cheap sponge jobbers, so if you're used to squshy and sumptuous, bring your own pillow.

There was coffee aplenty at the pleasant breakfast bar, plus juice, cereal and fruit. The feature of the fixed fare consisted of what were called "carmelized" french toast, so sweet as to induce immediate diabetic symptoms. The bacon was decent, and the little muffin (about the size of a large acorn) had its merits. I'd recommend an enlarge version as the centerpiece.

As a previous reviewer suggested, the $140 bill is a bit high, considering what you get for your money. It's not an awful place by any means, but it is a bit of a cliche, in my opinion, and not all that relaxing, if that's your goal. Lots of nice towns nearby, so if location is a major consideration, this might work for you. but there are plenty of asterisks to consider.

Room Tip: take a room on the top floor to cut down on noise
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bill G, Innkeeper at Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Hi WMHallberg. Thanks for your visit to Balsam, and we’re sorry that the inn didn’t measure up for you. We hope you’ll give us another try sometime soon. A necessary point of fact: no pets are allowed in our rooms. The indiscretion you heard was probably that of Grover, the inn dog. Sometimes we too wish he’d put a sock in it (or a gag), but his positives far outweigh his negatives, generally speaking. Best wishes for a great spring!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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174 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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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 (78)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Birmingham, Alabama
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013 via mobile

We knew what to expect going into our trip, that this place was a throw back to a different time. There were no phones or tv's but there is decent wi-fi. The room we stayed in (#203) was old, (the inn opened over 100 years ago) but the sheets and towels were clean and the bed was comfortable. We asked for a room with a claw foot tub and had a nice sized bathroom. The rooms were small and you could hear the neighbors, but we were barely in the room and turned on a sound machine app when we went to sleep which provided a good night's sleep.

We ate breakfast and dinner at the inn both days. The dinner was outstanding, we enjoyed all parts of it. I was surprised at how good and reasonably priced everything was. The steak was cooked perfectly and the selection of vegetables was fresh and delicious. I was not crazy about breakfast. It was good, but did not compare to dinner. We had eggs, bacon, fruit, and a small muffin, plus yogurt and cereal. We ate in the smaller dining room each day and it had a great atmosphere. The staff was very friendly and helpful.

Overall, we had a nice weekend getaway and would return to the Balsam Mountain Inn again.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Wonderful old inn and restaurant in private, quiet setting. Very historical.. Cozy in winter. Close by to waynesville nc and other cool small towns in the great Smokey Mountains. Very close to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

I enjoy historic hotels and always seek them out in my travels. This one does not dissappoint and if you are interested

in learning more about this gem log onto their website and learns its history. I think that inns owner has incredible

passion in her vision for this grand place and I wish contiued success in her vision for the inn.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We used our Living Social Voucher for children free quiet time. We really enjoyed the peacefulness at the Balsam Mountain Inn. Chef Phil prepared the best ribeye and trout dinners on both nights.

Confession: We missed TV a little because the NFL playoff games were and we couldn't find a place in Waynesville to watch. But, that didn't last long, with the access of WiFi we just watched a movie instead.

If you are a low maintenance traveler, this is a great place.

Room Tip: Be prepared to be very quiet. Top floors aren't recommended for active couples. You can hear eve...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SC
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Using a 2 day Groupon getaway at this lovely 100 year old Inn, traveled with my elderly wheelchair bound Mother-very clean and comfortable room, delicious dining, and friendly staff. Didn't even miss the TV's. Enjoyed a day trip to lovely Waynesville. All in all a very good experience.If traveling with elderly make sure you call in advance and let them know-so they can provide best accommodation. Wheelchair ramp is behind building.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Tennessee
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
160 helpful votes 160 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

This is a truly historic property that the past and present owners have really given a great service to our citizens by maintaining and preserving this elegant railroad depo mountain inn in Balsam. Clearly some modern plumbing and other upgrades have been added without giving up too much of the historic nature and charm of such a classic guest inn that was state of the art in it's day. Point being- if you expect the Biltmore or Grove Park, then you should keep traveling down the road another hour and you will find more modern luxury to suit your expecations.
The Balsam Mountain Inn is located by the railroad and served as a luxury mountain getaway back in the day of rail travel. The Inn sits atop a mountain looking over a few small buildings of Balsam and into the deep green forests of the NC mountains. The drive up to the Inn is easy and a improved gravel road. Plenty of parking except when the inn is full. There are three floors with the reception desk and arts and crafts gift shop, common areas and dining areas on the first floor along with some guest rooms. Most guest rooms are up the classic ole stairs or added elevator to the guest rooms on various wings of the inn. Wide hallways, high ceilings, classic woodworks show the true craftsmen of the period that this inn was built.
The rooms are average to large size with a small bathroom that has been built for each room. There are sitting areas in the room and widows for mountain air-conditioning.
Breakfast is usually part of the fare and is served in the smaller dining area looking east or the large dining hall reception area on the west side of the inn. Breakfast was good and service was good if not at the peak period of service.
Innkeepers were very nice and helpful. We have stayed here before and really enjoy this classic old inn but we know what we should expect in historic old inns.
The location in Balsam is ideal for visiting the GSMNP or the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have always enjoyed Waynesville, Dillsboro, Sylva and the other surrounding small towns for events, dining and shopping.
In summary, if you arrive with the understanding that you are staying in an old state of the art for it's day of railroad mountain inns, then you will have a good experience. If you need television, airconditioning, video games, etc or luxury services, then this is not the place for you. However, if you love sitting on a long and classic front porch in comfortable rocking chairs and watching the mist pass through the mountains awaiting the sun rise or the light of the full moon, then this place will stay with you in that most peaceful and reflective part of you.

Room Tip: Different rooms for different price ranges. Ask to see a room before choosing if possible.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant

Address: 68 Seven Springs Drive, Balsam, NC 28707
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > Balsam
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) 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*
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 
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Also Known As:
Balsam Mountain Inn And Restaurant
Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant Hotel Balsam

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