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“The best location in Bar Harbor” 4 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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50% off room rate
Ranked #14 of 42 Hotels in Bar Harbor
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Scituate, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The best location in Bar Harbor”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014

This location is unbeatable. Walk to everything and have a beautiful pool overlooking a lush lawn and then the ocean.
The staff was very attentive. Lovely fire pit at the cocktail lounge in the evening.
Dinner options at the hotel are limited to small plates and two entrees a night. We ate there one night. The service was slow, but the atmosphere so lovely that we did not care.
We stayed in the Carriage House. Our room was one of the cheapest on the property. No view and a drab deck facing a fence on the property. This was more than made up for by the public spaces. I would stay in the Carriage House again for about 60% of the price of the rooms in the main building.
One oddity of the hotel is that they allow dogs. Each evening there was at least one couple with a dog on the patio for cocktails. Never a problem.
This is my fourth trip to Bar Harbor and by far my favorite hotel.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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293 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    178
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    25
    21
    4
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28
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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 (85)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Johannesburg
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014

We really enjoyed our visit and would definitely stay again.

Location - unbeatable location. Fantastic view and a five minute walk into the town, either along the sea front or up the road leading to the Inn, yet still very quiet and peaceful. Having viewed the location of other accommodation in the area I am convinced that there is no better location in Bar Harbor.

Staff - very friendly and helpful. Edwin and the gentleman who sat at reception and also acted as concierge, whose name I did not get, stood out.

Rooms - I think we stayed in 408. Situated at the top of the building it had a balcony and great views. Whilst there is a lift that takes you to the third floor, a final flight of stairs to the fourth floor means that this room would not be suitable for a disabled person. Very roomy. Very good (and free) wi-fi internet access. Whilst the accommodation was more than satisfactory, some remedial work is necessary - some broken blinds need fixing, the couch that doubles as a fold away bed is not really any longer fit for purpose as one can feel the springs when lying on it, which the children remedied by strategically placing cushions when it came time to sleep. Bathroom is a bit dated. All in all, I think it fair to state that the time has come for refurbishment of the room.

Food - we ate out for dinner, but found breakfast to be very good, with a choice of sitting indoors or outdoors, which was nice

Grounds - very well kept, nice swimming pool and patio area.

Ambience - old worldly and tranquil.

So, in conclusion, a beautiful view and helpful staff, which were not detracted from by some remedial work required in our room. We look forward to returning one day.

Room Tip: There are many stairs in the Inn. If you are disabled be sure to choose a room that has suitable acc...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hampton, New Hampshire, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

This is a classy, older Inn with a great setting. Sitting on the patio, overlooking the pool and large sloping lawn down to the ocean, is so peaceful. It hard to imagine you're a block away from Main Street, shops, restaurants and tourists. The staff was attentive and courteous. They do need more help for the dinner & drink service. The bartender was also the waiter and bus boy which slowed thing down. The food was good. We had a king room on the 3rd floor with a water view, fireplace, sauna and Jacuzzi. Our one "Duralog" was used on the first night and not replace for the rest of our stay. The sauna never got that hot. Some wallpaper was starting to peel. Some maintenance work would help to keep this old gal at it's proper status. The ultimate romance package worked out well.

Room Tip: Our balcony was great for watching the sun rise and sipping champagne.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

We stayed for a week and were very fortunate to have spectacular weather. There is so much to do if you enjoy the outdoor life, being so close to Acadia National Park.
The inn is beautifully situated in the heart of bustling Bar Harbor set back from the Main Street with magnificent views of Frenchman Bay. Our room, 209 was effectively two rooms connected with a full kitchen which was nice. While we did not have the same problems that others seem to have had we did have cause to discuss the issues that we had with our room with a disinterest front desk receptionist/manager. We have two teenagers and had ordered two pull out beds for them. These turned out to be old and unstable with an air mattress on top - and one proved almost impossible to sleep on. This was replaced with a slightly better bed but hardly a quality solution. The second issue was in the main bedroom where an incessant rumbling noise keep us awake for much of the night. After two sleepless nights and endless attempts to stop the noise by adjusting the heating and cooling controls I asked at the front desk what was causing the noise. "It's the central air system" I was told "sometimes the air needs to be bleed, we'll send maintenance up to take a look" the noise never stopped and we eventually blocked it out.
This Inn is in serious need of professional management and significant renovations. Adjectives like historical, charming, quaint and can only go so far - this was not a luxury experience and certainly not worth the price. Fix it up, run it well and this Inn could command twice the price.

Stayed August 2014
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IPSWICH
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 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, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Fonthill, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 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, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quakertown, Pennsylvania
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 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.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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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