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“Time capsule”

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Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 1 Balsam B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
237 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Time capsule”
Reviewed May 19, 2012

We thought of the movie Back in time which was the Grand hotel at Macinaw Island.The hotel was built in 1905 by the railroad to bring visitors to the mountains.WE arrived to find it was so remote the gps couldnt find it.It had a partil gravel drive and parking lot.The best thing was the two sitting porches on the front,the upper one 100 feet long.The blue ridge parkway is nearby and is a beautiful drive.Breakfast was included but we ordered and waited one hour for breafast trhat arrived cold..the bed was hard and lumpy.no air conditioning,tv, or phones.we could hear creaky floors over us as there isnt insulation..if you want to totally relax and read this is your place.the staff is rellly trying though.

Room Tip: we had a groupon so were in back.anothe coule upgrded to aroom on the front by the porch
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank rebelwebb
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, May 20, 2012
As with all guests, we thank you for your visit! We love our inn, and appreciate those who choose to come visit us here on the mountain.

We review all feedback … suggestions, criticism and kudos, and use that information to improve the experience of our guests. Our staff of 20 takes pride in doing so! But we also admit that Balsam isn’t for everyone, and we also work hard to communicate the nature of the place to prospective visitors.

Over a century old, the inn was built entirely of wood milled on site. It will always creak and carry sound in ways other structures don’t. Television has never been offered here and won’t be, but we do provide an open wi-fi network. And while we understand the appeal and pervasiveness of air conditioning, the inn was built at 3,400 feet specifically because of the coolness here – to replace open windows, fans and breezes with closed windows and recirculated air would be a fundamental shift to the nature of the place.

We surely understand that critiques are subjective, and we honor them all and look into them, but as points of fact we’d like to note that we maintain new bedding throughout, and that the inn’s location – a half-mile from the intersection of a major, 4-lane east-west corridor and the Blue Ridge Parkway – is hardly remote.

Thank you again for your visit, and we hope you come again sometime ...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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305 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (116)
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English first
Athens, Georgia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2012

I love the whole idea of this place: beautiful building and grounds, great location, wonderful staff, excellent food. My room was incredibly uncomfortable, though. The bed was extremely hard and something in the room made me sneeze uncontrollably each night. There is no insulation, so I heard someone snoring each night, as well - and there was no one in either room next to me. Perhaps more rugs on the floor or wall hangings might help cushion the noise a little better. As much as my stay was not restful, per se, I loved everything else about it. The staff was lovely; the food was awesome; it really was conveniently located in regard to antiques, the Blue Ridge Parkway, hiking, Asheville, Cataloochee, etc. I would definitely try it again given that I can get a room with a good bed.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank retuga03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2012

A lovely inn with long porches made for lounging, claw foot tubs, mountain mist views, and desserts to satisfy every sweet tooth. It isn't the most luxurious place you will stay in but it is made for making memories.The Inn is Located only a mile or two from a Blue Ridge parkway entrance, 30 minutes to Biltimore Estate, and the Smoky mountains. The library has tons of books and the lobby has board games. Breakfast is included and worth staying for.

Room Tip: 333 is a two room suite, king in one bedroom and twin in other room, claw tub in bath, no shower but...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank abercrombie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2012 via mobile

This is a large hotel, not a B & B in the traditional sense. This hotel has 100 rooms and does not feel personal as we have experienced with other B & B's we have stayed at around the Country. The outside is beautiful, with two large pouches and many rocking chairs to enjoy the scenery. This is pretty much all we found to be nice while staying here. The rooms feel old and shabby but not in a chic way. We never knew who the owners were until another guest pointed them out. It is VERY loud so do not expect a good nights rest. They have a policy of quiet time after 10:00 but there is no one to enforce this. We heard what sounded like moving furniture and loud talking throughout both of our nights there. The bathroom sink is a huge inconvenience. You are only able to use scalding hot water or ice cold water one at a time. You have to literally hold the faucet knob on to keep the water running. Imagine trying to wash your face. On a positive note, our bed was comfortable. There is no air conditioning, be forewarned. We did see several people with box fans in their room windows, our room did not have one provided. We were provided with vouchers to eat downstairs in the restaurant for breakfast. It was very impersonable and the food was just ok. Generic, French toast or eggs one morning, cinnamon pancakes or eggs the next morning...blech. I am sure many people (older) would find this to be a charming inn. There are many things inside the inn to look at if you are interested. We are in our late 30's and it did not appeal to us. We felt uncomfortable our entire stay which was a shame because we were looking for an escape. We were even looking forward to the fact that there wouldn't be a TV available to watch. Oh, one more positive, they do offer tea and coffee in the library room which was nice to enjoy one evening on the front porch. I hope the owners take note of some of these reviews and make some changes in the future to accommodate all guests.

Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank NCMom2Three
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2012

Very relaxing - be prepared for a beautiful area, wonderful, historical building, superior service, great furnishings, excellent menu. If you are on a motorcycle, be aware that there is a steep gravel driveway to the hotel. Nice grounds and quiet, peaceful atmosphere. As you might expect of a facility of this age, the walls are paper thin and the floors creak - not a big deal for us. All part of the ambiance and charm. BTW, room 205 is haunted!
Thoroughly enjoyed ours stay - entire hotel and dining staff were first class, facility is clean, fresh, comfortable, and has wonderful, period appropriate furnishings. Really enjoyed the history of the hotel and had an excellent relaxing stay.

Room Tip: If your looking for the quietest possible room, ask for one near the back of the facility.....
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank wgarider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suwanee, Georgia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2012

We stayed at the Inn this past weekend and loved every second. The Inn is nestled in the mountains and is about 40 minutes from Asheville. We had a second floor room with a larger bathroom and a clawfoot tub. The room is fairly plain, but the bed comfortable enough with tons of pillows. There is NO TV, so if you're looking for something to do in the evening, that won't be it. We stayed in May so it was cool enough to leave windows open - there is no AC otherwise. Dinner at the Inn was terrific in a gorgeous porch setting. Very inexpensive for what you get. We brought a fan anyway so noise wasn't an issue like other reviewers are saying. The Inn is 100+ years old so you're going to get creaky floors and older looking rooms. To me that adds to the charm. Service is great, porch has 15 or so rockers with cute star lights above. You can take wine back to the porch or room from the restaurant. Overall a great weekend - not necessarily for the kids, but we did see quite a few there. We'll be back!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank tracyvdot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2012 via mobile

As stated by other reviewers, it is very rustic. It is noisy beyond just creaky floors, so be prepared if not at end of hall on top floor. The staff is nice, but did seem overwhelmed at times. The breakfast tastes good, but service is lacking. The website mentions trails included on the property, but no details provided at Inn. It is nice to be 'unplugged' from life, but never felt relaxing due to sounds from all over the property. Proximity to Blue Ridge Parkway is convenient.

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
Thank MeggieM
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

Property: Balsam Mountain Inn & Restaurant
Address: 68 Seven Springs Drive, Balsam, NC 28707
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Jackson County > Balsam
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) 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*
Number of rooms: 50
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 & Restaurant Hotel Balsam
Balsam Mountain Inn And Restaurant

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