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“Historically interesting property but bizzare, quirky and wonderful” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Franklin Villa

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Franklin Villa
3.0 of 5 Guest house   |   35 Brighton Road | Highgate Hill, Brisbane, Queensland QLD 4101, Australia   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Free Breakfast & Wifi!
Ranked #18 of 63 Brisbane B&B and Inns
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
“Historically interesting property but bizzare, quirky and wonderful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

Undoubtedly the most unusual place we've ever stayed in. It felt like going back in time but with an element of the Adams Family residence!! Loved it but it reminded us that we would could never live in an old property!

I chose it for our 3 night stay at the end of a 5 week tour of NZ & Australia after poring through countless details of uninspiring hotels and serviced apartments. At the time of booking, there were only 4 rooms and I chose the Master Suite for its 4-poster and spa bath. Since booking, a fifth room has been added somewhere (possibly in the garden?) but I'd definitely recommend our suite as the best option, not least because only 2 of the 4 rooms are en suite. Our bath took an age to fill but worked well and it has amazing views out across the city!! We were invited to use all the communal areas including the verandahs and billiards room but we were very happy in the evenings to sit on our own balcony. We could easily have self catered (even a BBQ in the garden) using the huge well stocked kitchen but there were plenty of options within 5-10 minutes walk along Boundary St - nearer that the supermarket - so we ate out!

Location is excellent - despite some rather run down local properties, the area seemed safe and upcoming, a little bohemian with lots of students. We walked in 15 minutes to the river and stumbled on the City River Tour which gave us a 90 minute round trip for $25 each (including tea and scones) rather than the hop-on-hop-off day ticket for the ferries at $35 each. We then strolled across the Goodwill footbridge to the Botanical Gardens and back to the hotel to relax in the beautiful gardens and fabulous 20 metre lap pool. In the evenings we ate twice on Boundary St at the excellent Ouzeri Greek restaurant which seemed perfect for the warm, humid climate. Take you swimmers with you when walking down to the river as there's a huge and amazing outdoor swimming complex along the side of the river!

All in all, it was a good choice and we had an excellent end to our trip. There are a few downsides though. The lack of en suites led to some creaking floorboards during the night and this was added to by the noises of possums crawling and scratching around the building! The building security is also quirky and we had to return at night through the gardens into a back entrance and via 2 code locks - a bit tricky in the dark. We were told that street parking is restricted to 2 hours (even though we saw no signs) so we parked at the back of the property - another key code gate followed by a steep drive down to a carport with space for only 3 cars. Finally, although the greeting on arrival was warm and helpful, we never saw anyone around after that. There were loads of brochures around for guidance but it would have been nice to have a bit more personal touch.

Room Tip: The Master Suite every time - its the biggest and has en suite spa bath
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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25 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    15
    5
    4
    0
    1
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3
11
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Queensland, Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Franklin Villa in October during the week. This place has loads of character and I wished that we had more time to look around the property but we were only there for one night and arrived late in afternoon and left very early the next morning. Rooms were spacious and clean with tea making facilities. Although bathroom was down the hall, this didn't bother us and from the roll top bath is an outstanding view of the Brisbane skyline. We stayed in the Blue Room, booked directly through the owners. The bed was comfortable but the bats in the tree outside were very noisy. But that could not be helped. If you like characterful properties that come from another era then you will like this place, we did.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

This villa has character for sure, but needs some modernising. The website promised a gym, which ended up being some home weights on a rack at the end of a concrete driveway, covered in cobwebs, behind the owners' car. The "private" bathroom ended up having glass windows (not frosted) looking onto the public verandah, only covered with some flimsy curtains. Kind of like having a shower in a fish bowl. The first night I stayed, there was a guy from a band passed out sleeping on a couch on the verandah, you guessed it, right next to the "private" bathroom. More like a backpackers hostel really. OK if you're 23 but not suitable for the prices this accommodation charges. The room interior was comfortable but the decor is a bit tired. In summary, this accomodation has character, but the owners should make the bathroom more private and stop advertising a gym.

Room Tip: Do not choose the blue room.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

We stayed at Frankin villa in June 2013 with 4 other friends whist following the British and Irish lions tour of Australia. The accommodation is very unique. The whole house is like a Aladdin cave with lots of unusual artefacts spread throughout the whole house. It's an old colonial style house lovingly restored by the owners over many years of collecting.

The bed rooms are large and very clean and maid service comes I every day to make the bed and you get clean towels every other day. Our friends had en suite bathrooms but ours was a short. Walk down the corridor on the veranda but it was for our use only and not shared with any one else. This seemed strange at first but we soon got used to it and the bathroom was spacious an very clean.

The owners of the villa were very welcoming and friendly and even took us to the local supermarket one day to get our supplies for breakfast. It's cook your own breakfast but that was fun too. The kitchen was massive.

The gardens are interesting with a swimming pool. We didn't use it as its was the Oz winter and a although the days were quite warm the nights were cold. No different to our usual summers.

There is also a laundry room for you use we're washing powders are provided but it costs 3 dollars for one wash. This was very useful to us as we were away for a month so we took advantage of this service to swill out some cloths to keep us going.

I would defiantly recommend Franklin Villa if you want accommodation that is different.

Thank you to Bernie and especially Lainey for making our stay an unforgettable experience

We loved Brisbane and I would love to go back one day. You never know that may happen sooner than I think with luck.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013 via mobile

Chose this hotel because of proximity to friends' house and to avoid the soulless modern hotels on Southbank. The house is lovely but the room was tired and a bit tatty. The decor generally is just a bit too quirky. Air conditioning failed and had to be restored which was bad for a Brisbane summer. Spent the night worrying it would fail again. Good view from the shower though the stairs to reach it are precarious and I felt uneasy climbing out with wet feet. Owners helpful but absent. Felt slightly uneasy in what appeared to be a deserted hotel on a Sunday night. Next time, back to Southbank.

Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick P, Owner at Franklin Villa, responded to this review, June 20, 2014
Dear Amy,
Thank you for your detailed feedback. Our sincere apologies that you were uncomfortable for your stay. It was a cold snap. We do put extra blankets in the cupboards for cold nights like these however the cleaner had not done this.There is an option in the rooms for reverse cylce heating. It is unfortunate that you didn't call us to help with extra blankets and directions for the pool gate.We take all of your comments on board.
Thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012 via mobile

Great location for walk to qpac and dining variety in west end
The rooms have real old style character and a beer on the verandah overlooking the city is most relaxing
I think this place is a real find for someone wanting to do a night at qpac or a day at the GABba which is also very close
I loved it

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Frederick P, Owner at Franklin Villa, responded to this review, December 18, 2012
Thank you for reviwing our property.Hoping to see you for your next visit to Brisbane.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thousand Oaks, California, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

This place was an amazing find. For the first time during our 3-week holiday in Australia, an accommodation was actually SUPERIOR to the Internet photos! If you like 100-year-old fully restored Victorian structures, wrap-around verandas with views, Hawaiian-style vegetation, gurgling fountains tucked away everywhere, tropical birds chirping in surround-sound, a huge kitchen for your personal use, claw-footed soaking tubs, this would be the place for you. If you want a modern hotel with impersonal service, go elsewhere! Lol

Teri Reisser, California, USA

Room Tip: There are only 4 guest rooms here; we had the Blue Room, and the beds were incredibly comfortable...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Franklin Villa

Address: 35 Brighton Road | Highgate Hill, Brisbane, Queensland QLD 4101, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Brisbane
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 63 B&Bs / Inns in Brisbane
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Franklin Villa 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Franklin Villa is a renovated Victorian residence 5 minutes walk from the heart of West End and 5 minutes drive to Brisbane City. ... more   less 
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