We expected a AAA 4-diamond and TripAdvisor 4 of 5 hotel, one that might be old but would certainly be restored and well maintained, quaint, enjoyable even, for a short stay. That is not what we found. Old-fashioned I can like, but I’ve come to expect quiet private rooms with heating, cooling, indoor plumbing, Wi-Fi, and a safe locked door and room to store our gear when we are out.
Our first night in room 210 was unpleasant, with problems from noise, heating, plumbing, and Wi-Fi. Our sleep was disrupted multiple times throughout the night by a clack clack clacking from the ceiling above, as if a child on the floor above was wearing her mother’s high heeled shoes in the middle of the night enthusiastically enjoying making noise on the hardwood floor. It was obvious there was no sound insulation between the floors.
A second noise issue was a motor from a generator, or something similar, running all night outside the building. I confirmed when I found a motor and generator in the morning – it was the hotels and was not enclosed by a fence or structure, and no other attempt had been made to quiet the motor. The noise from this motor was loud and objectionable even with the room windows closed – think of a lawnmower running outside of your bedroom window. The noise from the children above is somewhat outside of the hotel’s control, but the motor was obviously there by their design. Why would a hotel have a noisy gasoline generator running outside guest rooms with no sound enclosure or other attempt to muffle the noise?
A third noise issue was the flushing water sounds throughout the night; not that we expected people to not use their bathroom, but rather that we did not expect to hear it.
Another issue was that the thermostat malfunctioned. When we arrived, there was no heat, only cold air coming out of the heater ducts – it was not a complicated thermostat so the 70 heat setting should have gotten a little warm response from the heater. A call to the front desk confirmed the issue: yes, the tab is set to heat, yes, the temperature is at 70, yes, setting it at the highest does not elicit a warm response from the heater. This issue was fixed while we were out to dinner. It revisited us later in the night when the room became too hot, but this time turning down the thermostat worked like a modern miracle.
So first thing after breakfast in the morning we went to the front desk to change rooms. The clerk was nice, polite, professional, but did not, at first, appear to understand our complaint nor request to move to a different room. She explained that a family with children was staying above us but was expected to check out, so we should try another night. She did, however, finally acquiesce and located another room on the top floor and further away from the generator. I think she was a little reluctant to change the room because she believed the problems were all due to the family on the floor above.
The new room, room number 315, was quieter so our second night was better. The heater worked, there was no noise from above. The main problem with room 315 was the gap under the door, about an inch. This gap allowed the noise of everyone passing by to be heard in the room: their talking and their luggage wheels rolling on the floor. Since room 315 was just at the top of the stairs, everyone who went to or from a room on the third floor went by room 315. We rolled the bed cover and put it in front of the door – that seemed to block the noise. This room was better than room 210, but it still was not good, just acceptable.
Both room 210 and 315 had weak Wi-Fi signals. Neither of our iPhones nor the iPad were able to connect, and showed only a one bar signal. I did get a strong signal and good connection while in the front desk area.
Although this next seems like a nit, it is a real security issue. My final issue is with hotel security: the room keys with the room number stamped on them. The keys are quaint, but anyone can have a duplicate made, and the room number on the key means anyone finding one knows what room it belongs to. Actually, anyone can make a bump-key and use it to open any of the hotel rooms in less than 15 seconds, no lock picking skill needed. It probably is not feasible to use the old fashioned metal keys without the room number, but as is this poses a real risk to hotel guests. Other hotels have maintained their quaintness, their old-fashioned ambiance even with modern electronic door passes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Bluenose Inn is a AAA 4-diamond hotel, an elegant immaculate treasure featuring breathtaking views of Frenchman Bay. Set atop a magnificent granite-terraced hillside, the hotel is one of the most beautiful spots on the Atlantic. 97 classically appointed rooms located in our two buildings. Dining in The Looking Glass with panoramic views, cocktails in the magnificent Great Room, heated indoor and outdoor pools, hot tub,steam room, spa & complete fitness center and wi-fi throughout the property. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bar Harbor Hotel - Bluenose Bar Harbor
- Bluenose Inn - A Bar Harbor Hotel Maine