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“Super pet friendly- wonderful location-really talented chef” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Balance Rock Inn

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Balance Rock Inn
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   21 Albert Meadows, Bar Harbor, ME 04609   |  
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Ranked #14 of 41 Hotels in Bar Harbor
ny, ny
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Super pet friendly- wonderful location-really talented chef”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014 via mobile

We just returned from a stay in Bar Harbor. This hotel was a gem. It was located steps away from the restaurants and had an amazing ocean view. The hotel is pet friendly and has many common areas your pup can be with you outside of your room. The biggest surprise was the food. The bar and veranda area offered one entree a night along with a good selection of tapas. We ate on the closed in veranda one night because it was looking like rain and we were so excited by the food that the next night we canceled our reservation and ate at the hotel again. It really was a wonderful experience- the town, the Acadia park trails, and the friendliness of absolutely everyone made Bar Harbor and The Balance Rock Inn a destination I would absolutely recommend to anyone who asks!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aaron M, Manager at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, June 9, 2014
Thank you for the recommendations and sharing with other travelers!
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292 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

We stayed three nights at Balance Rock Inn in early May and this is our second stay here. Our second stay was even better than the first! Now in its 6th year of operation, Balance Rock Inn continues to impress us. We booked Room 404, which is the only room with a private rooftop and private sauna. Last year, we stayed next door in Room 403 which has its own private patio with partial water views.

The Inn invested in getting high speed wifi (much appreciated), and a brand new bar, which comes well stocked with an extensive wine list and local beers. Meanwhile, Greg the bartender is actually quite fond of whiskeys and makes great cocktails too. I particularly enjoyed his Blueberry Mojito. Also new from last year is the inclusion of a small tapas menu. Chef Josh Heikkinen (formerly of Fathom) is the executive chef and we absolutely loved his food. Two out of three nights here, we decided just to eat at the bar instead of going out to the restaurants. (For lobster lovers: I highly recommend the baked lobster and lobster bisque). The daily breakfast is wonderful -- a robust menu is posted on the dining room door every day -- and the complimentary afternoon tea, coffee & cookies really just make my day.

You really can't beat Balance Rock Inn's location. It's both convenient and private. Situated next to Grant Park, it boasts a really gorgeous view of the harbor and promenade. You can walk to just about anywhere in the downtown Bar Harbor area with ease.

Pros: awesome bar, pool, luxurious seating by fire pit outside, phenomenal view, clean and reasonably spacious rooms, well-stocked toiletries basket in bathroom.

Cons: look & feel is a bit traditional, beds are quite creaky (newlyweds, beware) but super comfortable.

Room Tip: We love Room 404 because it has its own private rooftop and sauna. However, there are a couple thing...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aaron M, Manager at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, June 9, 2014
It was a pleasure having you with us again. We consider the Inn very lucky to have Chef Josh Heikkinen with us to help launch our new Small Plates menu a the Veranda Bar and our new formal dinner service in the dining room. We look forward to your return!
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Bedford, New Hampshire
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2014

We spend 3 nights over opening weekend at Balance Rock Inn. I truly can't say enough great things about the beautiful setting, right on the ocean and the walking path. The weather was misty / moisty most of the time, but that only added to the ambiance. The inn was nicely appointed, and the new enclosed terrace / bar area is the perfect place to curl up with a book and a glass of wine.

The staff is very welcoming, and still training a little, but no big deal. There were also a few "kinks" that need to be worked out, but again, not an issue.

We stayed in room 107, part of the main house, with a private entrance. It was lovely and sweet, and had a wonderful big tub!

  • Stayed May 2014, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aaron M, Manager at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, June 9, 2014
Thank you for sharing with other travelers about your stay with the Balance Rock! We're happy you enjoyed our new and improved Veranda Bar and Restaurant.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

This place is a real gem. We stayed in room 208 which was somewhat separate from the main house. Amazing view of the water and property. Recommended to us by a local.

Pros:
- fireplace in most rooms
- adirondacks chairs on the lawn overlooking the water
- pretty good breakfast every morning
- adorable bar nook in the main house
- SUPER close to downtown Bar Harbor, unlike many other places to stay

Cons:
- it felt a tad dated and stuffy. Nicer than the photos online showed, but still could use some updating.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indiana
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2013

We stayed here several nights during our July vacation with our grade school age kids. I enjoy luxurious accommodations and had researched options carefully. While the Inn was expensive($600+ nightly fee for a suite) it was largely worth the price compared to other high end properties we have stayed at. The inn is historic and elegant. Rooms are air conditioned although common areas of the hotel were a little warm in the 90ish degree weather we had. Our room was luxurious and the bed was very comfortable although should note that the side room of the suite where our girls slept was separated only by a curtain so not very private. Our suite had a staircase that went up to a jacuzzi. During our stay the jacuzzi malfunctioned and leaked through a wall. Emergency help came immediately and since they could not get the jacuzzi functioning for a few nights they gave us the room next to ours too for the rest of the stay so we could use its jacuzzi(these were the only 2 rooms on this floor so it was a great set-up). Kudos to them for doing this without our having to ask-since we booked this particularly luxurious room partly for the jacuzzi we appreciated this solution. Service was outstanding during our stay- when we arrived hungry and tired and had just missed the afternoon cheese and crackers they retrieved something from the kitchen for our girls to eat.
The grounds are lovely with a pool and expansive yard overlooking the water. The location is ideal. There is a walkway along the water so you can walk to all the shops in 5 minutes but it appeared to be the farthest away from the touristy aspects of Bar Harbor of the various properties I considered staying at.
Next to the inn toward town is Bar Harbor Inn. We ate outside at this property several times and it has a nice view too. it looked like a really nice property too but seemed bigger,more impersonal and not as old world elegant. If you want something more "new" this property might be a good option. The other top flight hotels I looked at online all seemed to be more n the middle of the "maddening crowds" and I was glad to have avoided them.
We felt totally welcome at Balance Rock with our (well behaved) kids but this would really be the spot to pick for romance,honeymoon,etc

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Aaron M, General Manager at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, January 1, 2014
Happy New Year and thank you for taking the time to share with other travelers your experiences with the Balance Rock Inn! We understand that sometimes things happen...our staff always does their best to correct any matter and make any hick-ups memorable for all the right reasons. We're happy that we could rectify the situation and make your stay that much more special. We hope to see you again in the future!
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

I went with my family for 4th of July and had a great time! The inn had a lot to off the food was AMAZING it helped plan activities and make reservations just made things so much easier for us! The staff was so friendly and always there to help and do a great job! I am definitely looking forward to going back:)

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aaron M, General Manager at Balance Rock Inn, responded to this review, January 1, 2014
We agree and we hope that all guests do love the Balance Rock Inn. We do our best to give families and couples the most memorable vacation possible. We're glad you remembered us and shared with others your experiences.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FL
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

We booked a room here for our last night in Bar Harbor. We definitely made the right choice - it was a wonderful way to end our first visit here.
The inn is a converted historic mansion, and right on the bay. Our room, number 304, was on the third floor, and looked out at the bay. There were 3 dormer windows (our floor is a converted attic), and at night, we could see the moon shining on the water, as well as the colorful neon changing lights in the pool. In the morning, we awoke not only to the sunrise, but also to a cruise ship that had pulled into port during the night! What fun!
I would HIGHLY recommend our specific room. It has two unique features. Within the bathroom is also a separate sauna! What a luxury! And, it's the only room in the inn that also has a ship's ladder up to the rooftop, where there is a captain's walk/deck, complete with 2 chairs and a small table. The weather wasn't conducive to us spending time up there during our one night stay, but we did go up just to take a look, and I imagine in warmer weather, during the season, it would be fun to have before dinner appetizers or after dinner drinks or coffee up there!
We stayed here the last week of the season, so we got a good deal on the room - $225 for two. This included a very elegant breakfast buffet the next morning, as well as afternoon cider and snacks on the verandah, before dinner appetizers (cheese and crackers) on the verandah, and after dinner cookies, coffee, and cider, as well.
The breakfast buffet menu apparently changes daily - the morning we were here, it featured scrambled eggs, steak (which was delicious), and apple pancakes, as well as other standard fare (yogurt, juice, toast, pastries, etc., etc.). The breakfast room is very elegant, with Royal Doulton china, even. Some guests chose to eat on the verandah, as well, but we enjoyed the formal breakfast room.
The evening we stayed, there was also an older, local gentleman who came in to play the piano in the living room. What a lovely touch. It made for a very special end to the evening. We enjoyed visiting with him, in between songs.
One of the highlights of the stay was meeting Greg, who functioned as the bellman to take us up to our room, initially, as well as show us around the inn upon our arrival, and the bartender all evening, as well as the person who told us all about the area and the inn itself. Not only was he an excellent bartender, he also took care of the afternoon and evening snacks on the verandah, too. He has apparently worked at BRI for a few years, and he is a big asset to the Inn, in my opinion. Without our conversations with him, we would have had no "personal touch" from any of the other staff we met during our brief stay. We never saw any housekeeping staff (which is fine - we were there for less than 24 hours). The young lady who hosted the breakfast buffet said a pleasant "Good morning", but didn't make any additional conversation with any guests, beyond that. And, the lady at reception seemed to have her head down at her desk during any of our brief interactions with her. She didn't tell us anything about the inn or the offerings on the verandah. When we left, she didn't really say anything other than processing our credit card for the bill. Just no personality or conversation.
The Inn itself is absolutely lovely, and in a perfect location in Bar Harbor. Everything in the room was first class/luxury, including the linens, the bathrobes provided, the bathroom accessories, etc.
The only reason that I can't give an excellent rating to BRI was that beyond the very pleasant conversations we had with Greg (we spent probably 1 1/2 hours at the bar before dinner, and probably another hour in the living room after dinner), we had no interactions with any of the other staff at the Inn. This may have been due to the fact that the Inn was closing for the winter season in just a few days after our stay, and perhaps just "bare bones" staff were left on property. But, it just felt odd to us. Despite these points, we would definitely stay here again, and would recommend the Balance Rock Inn to others staying in Bar Harbor. If you can't stay here, at least come and see Greg at the bar on the verandah - it is open to guests outside of the Inn!
My recommendation for the next season would be to hire more staff like Greg, who enjoy meeting new people, and making conversations! Thank you Greg for making our stay!

Room Tip: Room 304 - with a captain's walk and a sauna!
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, 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
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Balance Rock Inn

Address: 21 Albert Meadows, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Maine > DownEast and Acadia Maine > Bar Harbor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center 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:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bar Harbor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 
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Also Known As:
Balance Rock Hotel Bar Harbor
Balance Rock Inn Bar Harbor, Maine

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