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Bar Harbor’s Balance Rock Inn on the Ocean
An Inn rich in history…one of Maine’s grand summer cottages
Bar Harbor achieved international fame during the latter half of the last century as the summer getaway of the country’s wealthiest families. These families erected grand summer “cottages” in which the households and their entourages could escape the summer heat in the metropolitan areas of the Northeast. Today, some of those grand summer homes remain. The Inn is one such summer “cottage,” built in 1903 for Scottish railroad tycoon Alexander Maitland and his family. The original home is lovingly preserved as the elegant Balance Rock Inn, named for the “balance rock,” a rare geological formation which seemingly defies gravity by balancing on a slender stone fulcrum just off the scenic Shore Path. The lovely shingle-style mansion was designed by the prestigious Boston architects Andrews, Jacques, and Rantouil, a firm used by many wealthy summer residents of Bar Harbor at the turn of the century.
Enter this opulent mansion through the welcoming classic portico surrounded by boldly colorful flower gardens and flanked by an ancient beech tree. Through the massive door, a grand staircase reminiscent of Hollywood-style entrances unfurls before you. The front desk staff and bellman offer a warm welcome, ready to make your stay extraordinary. Sumptuous decor of lush carpets, rich patina woodwork, impeccable fabrics, and expansive views of Frenchman Bay lull guests into restful reverie. Distinctive architectural details of multi-coffered ceilings, arched doorways, leaded windows and chandeliers please the eye and enhance the harmonious feeling.
French doors from the Inn’s Lobby lead to the gracefully columned Veranda Bar with its slowly whirring fans and breathtaking view of the ocean and surrounding islands. As you step out from the Veranda onto the Sundeck you will find plenty of places to lounge and soak in the afternoon sun by our heated swimming pool overlooking the water. Guests also enjoy the gazebo for some added shade on the warmer summer days and in the evenings when it starts to get a little bit cooler you can enjoy our popular fire pit. Down past the pool area are our meticulously groomed lawns and aromatic flower gardens, a perfect spot for an afternoon picnic.
Balance Rock Inn truly preserves the splendor of the Gilded Age, when the mansion was so carefully designed, situated, and artfully constructed. Combine the luxury and romantic ambiance of days gone by with staff’s warm, caring and unobtrusive dedication to guest comfort, and you’ll want to return over and over again.