Black Friar Inn
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Historical Traveler Reviews BEST WESTERN PLUS Altoona Inn
Innkeepers don't like their jobs
I had to write to agree with some of the other guests that have stayed at the inn. Sharon is extremely unfriendly and Perry just seems to go along with it. We couldn't have a cup of coffee before they served breakfast and they didn't like you to have wine in your room in case of spills. Sharon did not want to give us any ice when asked for because she didn't want all her ice to be used up.
When trying to engage the innkeepers in conversation, they did not seem interested.
The place is beautiful and well-kept but I did notice that it has been up for sale at that time and maybe the innkeepers are just tired and crabby to do their jobs.
As far as Sharon replying to the one on-line comment, it is obvious she just doesn't see herself as being rude, unfriendly and crabby. Too bad.
I do apologize if I seemed to be CRABBY - it was not because I don't like my business. I was very ill last season and in a lot of pain on a daily basis and had to have surgery in November. It is also a fine line as to how much interaction a guest wants and at times we can not give them all that they do want, it is not meant to be rude.
Perhaps in the future you should point out there is a problem in person and a solution/reason would have been known. Again, it is always easier to do it via the e-mail, than to engage in person.
Quaint Inn-Querulous Innkeepers
Let me start this review on a positive note. This is a gorgeous B&B. The decor is wonderful, everything is spotless, and the rates are fair for such splendid accommodations. If you've visited their website, the photos on there don't do this place justice, it's even nicer in person. The innkeepers, on the other hand, are a different story.
Despite the fact that they claim to have been voted "2002 B&B With the Friendliest Innkeepers", we found them to be a bit on the unpleasant side. Although, to be fair, they seemed to be a bit more chatty & becoming with the older guests. They seemed to have distain for the younger couples (25-35). Even in normal conversation(that was overheard), they tended to "reprimand", rather than "suggest". They was definitely the feeling that you're staying with a weird/idiosyncratic "aunt & uncle", rather than welcoming/gratious "friends". Also, there was an ill-trained, younger dog, that jumped on guests, at breakfast time, and was even seen with his paws up on the kitchen countertop(where food was being prepared). Unless you're an avid animal lover, that might be a bit disenchanting for you, as well. Although once again, to be fair, you're informed in-advance, that there is a dog on the premises.
In summation: If you're an older couple (50-60s) who loves dogs, this is definitely the spot for you. Younger couples be forewarned: A visit with crabby "Aunt Sharon & Uncle Perry" might rain on your Bar Harbor getaway.
Great bed and breakfast
This was our 4th time staying at the black friar inn, the rooms are very clean,full delicious breakfast included and very knowlegable hosts to help you around MDI
Beautiful and Comfortable!
My daughter and I stayed here late July. Room 3 - very pretty and plenty of space! The house itself has been meticulously restored into an inn. Even the smallest details added to the home by Perry and Sharon gave it a splendid character. The inn was homey and comfortable, extremely convenient to all the shops and restaurants in Bar Harbor. No need to drive until you head to Acadia! Breakfast was luscious! When we go to Bar Harbor again, we will definitely stay here once more!
Beautiful B&B, hosts were very unfriendly
This is a beautiful B&B, great location, great room with a spiral staircase to a fireplace sitting room, nice food, etc. This was our first stay at a B&B and the first time I took my husband to Maine (birthplace of my parents). I prepared him for Maine downeast hospitality. Instead we were greeted by one of the hosts (Sharon) who scolded us right away for knocking on the inside door instead of the outside (or something like that). At the breakfast table, I had to sit at the head of the table and my husband had to sit in the far right corner. Before our food was served, a couple left so I moved to sit next to my husband. Perry was positively perturbed and acted put out which made no sense to me since we hadn't even been served yet. We were sitting in the living room later that day and a man came down to the kitchen and asked Sharon for a plunger. She was very irritated and told him that she would not give him a plunger - "Perry will take care of it. You have to be more careful!". How embarassing. A few minutes later, Perry marched into the living room and scolded us very sternly for having a drip of candle wax in our bathroom. I'm sorry but that isn't that big of a deal. You take a hair dryer and direct it to the wax for 10 seconds and you can peel it off with your finger. It doesn't damage the floor at all. Maybe we shouldn't have had a candle at all but he was very rude about it. While the property itself was wonderful, I would look for a more friendly B&B with authentic downeast hospitality. Maybe this was an off weekend for them and they are typically more friendly (Sharon had a broken foot or something).
So an other guest asking for a plunger did not happen.
We have never yelled at any of our guests for candle wax and we would never do so in a public area. All of our rooms are cleaned in the morning and we never see the guests until the afternoons - so Perry yelling at her for candle wax is not true, especially in a public area in front of others.
I do not have a broken foot or anything else and I am sure if I did I would be wearing a cast.
We do have a large table set for breakfast and people do have to share the table. We do ask our guests not to leave a single space between them and the next person as it will split up another couple. We have found that couples do not like to be split up at different ends of the table. Also, most of our guests do not move their place settings around the table, which does disrupt the other guests at the table. All of our guests get the same amount of space at the breakfast table and we wait on every one of them personally.
From the response of this person I am beginning to wonder if they stayed here and perhaps they stayed at another inn and have their facts confused?
Home away from Home in Bar Harbor
Perry and Sharon at the Black Friar were fabulous! Perry is a terrific resource for exploring Acadia National Park; he gave us great recommendations for hiking and biking all around the park. The inn is absolutely lovely. We stayed in the turret room with a cozy little sitting room up a spiral staircase. The bed was heavenly, the linens were clean and fresh and everything was very well kept. Each room has it's own character, lovingly decorated by the talented Sharon. And, of course, the breakfasts were scrumptious! Every day offered a hearty, unique and delicous meal to start off our day.
Very Friendly and Relaxing
The hosts were very friendly and helpful. Perry's knowledge of the island is an asset to anyone planning on doing any hiking or other outdoor activities. My room was very comfortable and spotless. The location is excellent, only a few minute walk to all of the downtown attractions.
Outstanding Bed & Breakfast
I have stayed at the Black Friar Inn for two vacations and both times were filled with friendly service, excellent advice on the area as well as comfortable accomodations! My vacations were three years apart, so they have kept their quality of service high for a long period of time. Perry & Sharon cooked wonderful breakfasts consisting of main courses such as pancakes, waffles, quiches, coffeecakes and always included a fruit appetizer. One of the many conveniences they offer is a binder with restaurant menus which was very helpful when choosing where to eat each night. We also took advantage of the many books they have on Acadia National Park. They loaned us books on hiking, biking & the carriage roads as well as the audio tour CD for the park. Perry has hiked & walked every trail & carriage road in the park and is the best resource we found in choosing which hike to take! When we stayed there in the early spring it was so nice coming back "home" each day and get a hot cup of coffee or tea (they have a large variety of Repulic of Tea). The same went for the summer time visit when we would grab a coke & snack after a day in the park. I've stayed in two of their rooms, but have seen all of them and they are all cozy and very comfortable. There are a lot of bed & breakfasts on the Maine coast and i've stayed in quite a few of them. This one is definitely on the top of my list. I'm looking forward to a third stay in the future!
Adequate lodging; convenient location to ANP and other Mt. Desert Attractions
Compared to other places we've stayed at, the Black Friar does not possess the "typical" B&B laid-back/cozy atmosphere and often elegant design. The propietors, while quite helpful, are not overly friendly in their personalities-- you get a long list of "don'ts" upon arrival.
However, the accomdations were satisfactory/clean and the breakfasts were adequate (note that seating is communal and a tad cramped on a single table with benches).
The location is great, right on a quiet side street with zero street noise. You're within walking distance of all Bar Harbor has to offer and a short walk to the Village Green to pick up the impressive/ free Island Explorer Shuttle. The shuttle will take you throughout Mt. Desert Island and all the great spots in Acadia National Park. Our car stayed park by the Friar throughout our visit which was a huge pleasure.
TripAdvisor Reviews BEST WESTERN PLUS Altoona Inn
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