"Bar Harbor Inn" (Maine) ??
Hi . I have been reading several of the other postings of places in Bar Harbor. I am wondering about the Bar Harbor Inn, which seems to be right in the center of Bar Harbor (but only open seasonally ?)
Any reviews on this establishment would be appreciated. Please don't feel the need to recommend OTHER places, I already read several posts. In particular, local folks reviews would be especially helpful. Thanks.
We stayed at the Bar Harbor Inn last summer taking one of their summer getaway packages. Though this necessitated our eating most meals there to get the value for the package, I think we definitely got our money's worth. We opted for the less expensive non waterfront room and though ot luxurious, it was adequate and comfortable.
The location of the hotel is among the best you can get in BH. Right in town for easy walking to the shops, restaurants, etc. yet still directly on the water. Many of the other places require a drive or shuttle to get to town and parking can be a challenge.
One thing you gotta understand, locals don't go to the really nice places like the Bar Harbor Inn, they're busy working, making money off the tourists during the summer to survive the winter. Per capita, Maine is a very poor state; Washington County is among thevery poorest in the entire country. Read the December first NY Times about the poverty. Teachers(I"m one w/ kids in college.) salaries & bennies are 47th in the US. Kennebunkport, Camden and Bar Harbor are not real cities in Maine, but are cash cows fed by tourists.
Enough already! The Bar Harbor Inn is a very fine old hotel. It was established about a hundred years ago as a "reading room" (read through the bottom of a glass). After the great '47 fire, it was untouched and turned into a modern hotel. The ocean views are exquisite, overlooking a quaint harbor filled w/ lobster boats. The hotel's food has an excellent reputation and there is a lot of fine dining on the island. I work summers around the corner and have never been. May of my clients have, however, and have really enjoyed it. I'm betting(I always lose.) that the great majority of your replies will be from Chowhound tourists whom have stayed there. Enjoy and pray for good weather. Cold summers are referred to locally as "green winter".
As a New Yorker, you will, I feel, be very happy with the place.
Can't beat the location, as you note, it's waterfront and smack dab in the center of the action in Bar Harbor, steps to downtown shops and restaurants and anchoring one end of the Shore Path. It is a large, full-service property and, especially early and late season, it gets a lot of bus tours. Eating at the outside Terrace Grille is a great experience. The Reading Room is more formal with magnificent views, but the food and service don't always match them (an issue throughout the region, due to seasonality).
The Bar Harbor Inn, as others have reported, is a fine place, but I wouldn't consider it an intimate inn. It is quite large and there are several buildings, some of them are rather new with a more motel-like design than an old inn. I don't mean that as a bad thing because many have porches with views of the water and the lovely Porcupine Islands. I haven't eaten there in many, many years, but the food was good, but not very interesting or inventive. Just solid American fare...steaks, chops, fish. Perhaps the menu has changed by now. If you are looking for a more intimate place to stay, there are many B&Bs right in Bar Harbor with great locations, some with water views. They won't have the same level of packages with lunches or dinners included. But as you have likely seen on this board, there are lots of great places to eat in BH.
Wow, I'm a "local" and I, like, take a shower and go out for a nice dinner and everything. More than once a week - imagine!
Seriously, BHI is lovely. The water-side rooms are fantastic, with balconies within stone's throw of the water. The food is excellent, best to stay with more "old-school" type things like the lobster pie. The bar is the nicest I've seen anywhere, the drinks are outstanding, even the live piano music is pleasant, not horrifying. I haven't done the continental breakfast. We always have breakfast in the dining room, which is lovely. I think the inn/resort stays open mostly al year, but I'm not s sure about dining in the winter. You'd want to check before you go, as it can be tough to find food in BH off-season.