Finding a room on Block Island is not an easy task. There are no traditional hotels, only “bed and breakfast” type lodging. When I found Ballard’s on the web, I noticed that it was one of the only places listing air conditioning. I was a little concerned; Tripadvisor.com had mixed reviews and there were no pictures on the Ballard’s website. Once you get there, you realize why there are no pictures.
I believe the thought process behind Ballard’s Inn went something like this… “Hey I know what we can do with that extra space above the restaurant! We can hire bad carpenters, invest as little as possible, and charge $250 a night for a room that makes a college dorm look like the Ritz.” Mission accomplished! Prior to arriving at the “Inn”, I tried to ease my apprehensions by telling myself that some people just expect too much. The Tripadvisor.com reviews are mixed, so it can’t be that bad. I’m here to say that it is that bad. I suspect that the positive reviews were either planted by Ballard’s management, or written by people accustomed to squatter settlements.
The first thing that seemed out of the ordinary was the entrance. You enter in the restaurant, and then climb a stairwell that is tucked away near the kitchen. The hallway on the second floor smells of cheap air fresheners. The room doors are cheap and not made of a solid core; this may make some people uncomfortable. My room had a large stain at the main entrance; I suspect it to be vomit left by a guest. The carpet was coarse and in need of replacement. The sheets were old and worn but didn’t smell; so that was good. The room had DirectTV, but I didn’t want to sit on the bed to watch it. While many of the Island’s lodging accommodations require guests to share a community bathroom, Ballard’s is a classy joint with each room having its own. The bathroom reminded me of my high school locker room. The grout on the floor was black and stained with mildew. The shower was a preformed shell, approximately 4’x4’. At 6’ tall, I wear a 44 jacket; so I’m not a very large person. I was unable to shower without the curtain open; I feared that my back would come in contact with filthy shower curtain behind me. Had I dropped the soap, there was not enough space to bend over to pick it up.
I left with the feeling, “it is what it is”. I’m going to assume that many guests argue with management over the condition of the rooms. I wasn’t going to do that, so I cannot comment on the staff. I didn’t eat at the restaurant so I cannot comment on the food. I can however share the video I made of the room. I hope it helps others with their trip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXsuW5_6kJo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.