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“Good!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Franklin

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The Franklin
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   164 E 87th St, Off Lexington Avenue, New York City, NY 10128 (Manhattan)   |  
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Ranked #299 of 459 Hotels in New York City
Sao Paulo, SP
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Good!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

GOOD: location (walking distance to subway and central park), breakfast, good bed, quiet neighborhood, very nice staff.
BAD: rooms are really small. Almost didn't have espace for our baggage.
.......................................................

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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446 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
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English first
Frisco, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

The perfect location on the Upper East Side. Walking distance to shopping, museums, and restaurants galore! Rooms are very small, but very nice and squeaky clean. So pretty with a chandelier above our bed. Linens are soft, bed rated 4/5 (we are spoiled by our latex mattress). We LOVED having the espresso machine downstairs! The staff was wonderful. We had a bit of a delay on check in, but this was due to some rude guests who ignored the check out time of 2pm, not the hotel staff who did everything they could to get rooms cleaned asap. We enjoyed exploring the neighborhood in the meantime and found a GREAT place to eat across the street, Cafe Bocado, where we ate a couple times a day. We absolutely will return to the Frankin the next time we are in NYC :)

Room Tip: Opt for a larger room if you really feel you want the space. And the back rooms on upper floors are...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Edmonton, Alberta
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

PROS:
Location (walking distance to 4/5/6 (Green line) train station.
Safe, quiet neighborhood.
Breakfast (7-10am, cereal, pastries, yogurt, oranges, cheese, coffee, tea, juice).
Wine & cheese (5-6:30pm).
Coffee, tea (24/7).
Staff is very kind.
Bedding is wonderful!
Very clean (under the bed as well).
Beautiful lighting and vanity.
Very nice toiletries.
Vintage feeling with Art Deco elevator grills and buttons.
CONS
Rooms are very small (2 people with 2 suitcases is the max). If you’re a women’s size 12 or larger, this will feel incredibly cramped and you’ll have to shimmy sideways to get into bed. I'm pregnant right now and spent a full day sick in the hotel room while my husband was out. It was uncomfortably tiny.
Closet are 8” deep and hold a max of 2 coats (not heavy winter coats either) sideways.
No in room safes.
No clock radio so you better keep your phone close by if you need an alarm.
Only 1 accessible plug in. The other was on the wall blocked by the nightstand that couldn’t be moved because it was squished between a bed and a radiator cover.
Free WiFi but on the 7th floor we had little to no reception.
$12/day service charge. Not sure what for, and not covered by Hotwire’s ‘all in’ bidding system.
Pillows are the very fluffy, then compact down to a rather solid base. My neck and my husbands killed by the end of the trip. That’s more personal preference than anything though.

Would I stay again? Only if my stay was less than 2 nights (therefore not wanting to unpack my bag). For a 7 night stay, there was nowhere for us to drop shopping bags or leave more than 1 pair of shoes out. Unless you’re in the bathroom, two people can stretch out their arms and nearly touch hands going diagonally across the room. Now stay there for 7 nights … forget it.

Room Tip: Get the largest suite possible, or go solo. Rooms are too cramped for 'big boned' folks.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Gig Harbor
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We loved our stay at The Franklin. It’s luxurious but small (so you better get along or keep busy outside in NYC). We loved the staff, Heavenly bedding and pillows, Bulgari toiletries, vintage vibe, complimentary and tasty breakfast, and cleanliness of the place. We also used the airport shuttle service through Hotwire and it was a great deal too.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

My husband and I recently spent six nights at The Franklin (which was extended due to hurricane Sandy). Yes the rooms are small, probably the smallest we have ever stayed in but they were spotless in every sense of the word. Really enjoyed the nice touches, breakfast ,cheese and wine in the afternoon and most importantly the coffee (24/7). During our stay the staff were very helpful and made us feel very welcome, many of them were equally stranded at the hotel due to the devestating weather and spirits were high! In an amazing location away from all the hussle and bustle, near central park and museums. Would definately go back. Thank you.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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Atlanta GA
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

We very much enjoyed our stay at the Franklin this past weekend and we would recommend it to anybody as a friendly and charming hotel. But potential guests should know how tiny some bedrooms are. Our room, number 33, was one of the smallest we have ever stayed in. It felt like a ship's cabin. A large person would have difficulty getting comfortably into the bathroom, for example.

One other very slight downside. Our room was not set up for the Internet Age. The only available electrical outlet near the head of the bed was deep under the bed, requiring me to get down on my belly with a flashlight to find it and plug in my computer. But on a positive note, the floor under the bed was spotless!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Baltimore, Maryland
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
304 helpful votes 304 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012 via mobile

Unless you intentionally desire a womb-like experience, avoid  The Franklin's (TF's) smaller rooms:
   • Petite Guest Rooms (approx. ~150 square feet/ ~14 sq. meters). 

(For specifics about one of TF's puniest Petites, see May 2012 review -- from earlier visit Sep. 2011.)

Larger, costlier, more humane rooms are a smidge bigger:
   • Guest Rooms (approx. ~200 sq. ft./ ~18.6 sq. meters)
   • Studios (approx. ~225 sq. ft./ ~21 sq. meters)

If you've practiced your shimmying, sleeping in a closet, & dining in a hallway, you'll be physically & mentally prepared -- just calibrate your expectations.

Note: bed fills floor space, leaving narrow space for you to maneuver around. If you can overcome the *cramped* hurdle, read on.


Upper East Side (UES) Location
-------------------------------------
• Safe, quite, residential area.

• Walking distance to: 

   -- Central Park (head west approx. 3 1/2 blocks crossing: Lexington Ave., Park Ave., Madison Ave., 5th Ave.)

   -- Museum Mile (Metropolitan, Guggenheim, ...) on 5th Ave.

   -- West side museums (Natural History, Hayden Planetarium, ...) across Central Park.

   -- Subway 4/5/6 (Lexington Ave. green line) on E 86th St. & Lexington Ave.

   -- Neighborhood groceries, eateries, shops.

• Visual architectural feast, churches, wrought-iron work, people...

TF's selling point: proximity to UES attractions, which makes TF an ideal jumping off point/ base camp for daily excursions.  And, if you're a walker, the blend of attractions, visual delights, & exercise is perfect. (You may not even need to workout at neighboring NY Sports Club, to which TF provides passes.)


Niceties
---------
TF's a smaller hotel (in every sense) -- about 50 rooms on 9 floors of dignified, aging charm. 

• Quiet & pleasant -- if you prefer to avoid hustle bustle of crowds & queues that come with larger, touristy accommodations.

• Staff -- thoughtful & go out of their way to help: the much appreciated hailing a cab when your hands are full.

• Bed -- goldilocks-perfect -- not too hard, not too soft -- just right. (Nice, fresh, clean linens too.)

• European Buffet Breakfast -- (7-10am)  grab 'n go items to munch on your way; provided you can scooch past diners without bumping guests/ toppling tables. Or, sit & eat knee-to-knee at 1 of the handful of tiny tables in hallway-sized breakfast nook. (More food variety/ rotation would be nice -- especially if you're staying for several days. And, prompt replenishment would be helpful -- particularly if you arrive later in the morning when little seems to be left; likewise with evening wine & cheese.)

• Evening Wine & Cheese -- (5-6:30pm) tiny, tasty, touching -- if your back in time from your busy day to partake (& if there are nibbles left).

• Free WiFi.

• Serve as your own barista for free, 24-hour espresso, cappuccino, coffee, & tea.

• If you're on a tight budget, groceries (affordable tasty pre-made sandwiches/ meals) are within walking distance. Informative staff can recommend/ guide you to nearby markets. 

• If you're on a looser budget, enough nearby eateries to suit any palate & wallet.

• Additional pleasantries/ charms: Bvlgari toiletries, wall-mounted TV, Egyptian cotton sheets, chandelier, desk & chair.

• Impeccable cleanliness.


Room Size Matters: A Very Subjective Opinion
-----------------------------------------------------
TF's acceptable if you're traveling backpack-light, need to stay only a few days, plan to spend all your time outside the hotel, and/or traveling solo. (If you're with your significant other, you'll become closer than you ever imagined. Romance isn't what comes to mind -- more space-shuttle-like cocooning (to protect yourself from inevitable invasion of personal space).

TF's website notes: "This room comfortably accommodates two people." 

"Comfortably" may not be the word most would use for 1 person occupancy -- never mind 2 (especially for Petite rooms). "Adequately" may be more fitting. (If 2 people are 1 -- not only spiritually but physically, perhaps "adequately" could be used. Or, if traveling with your pet (who you may consider human) then together you may qualify as 2 "people.")

TF's website's artfully shot room photos, wittingly or unwittingly, belie the rooms actual size. You can misperceive rooms as being more spacious than they actually are. Perhaps interpreting the photograph on your computer screen as a 1-to-1 to scale model is a nearer-truth interpretation.

If you can get an outstanding deal, the euphemistic "coziness" can make the chest-tightening crampedness worthwhile. (Upgrading to a larger room can be life saving & certainly justifiable if traveling on business.)

Marvel at how ingenious each millimeter of space is used to precisely fit toilet, wash basin, & shower into dollhouse-sized spaces: concentrated compactness worthy of any architect's dissection & microscopic examination.  (After marveling, you can't help but wish they'd knock down a wall or two & merge 2 rooms into 1. Now that would be a comfortable guest room for 2.)


Love it. Hate it. 
-----------------
You can't help but pendulum swing between the 2 extremes. Yes, it has its retro charm and its claustrophobic, jail-cell appeal.

If you're perceived as big-boned, you may need to grease up before oshiyas shove you through the door. (And, for heaven's sake, don't ingest a morsel of food (or even inhale an aroma molecule of food) that could add a microgram to your frame.) If you've a touch of claustrophobia, view TF as immersion therapy to overcome your fear of confined spaces.

TF is a once-in-a-lifetime place worth experiencing. (If you make it through the night, you get bragging rights.)

I tease too much.

I do like TF. 

You develop affection for it. You can't help but enjoy its convenient UES location. It's a unique, charming boutique that you can't take too seriously; you can't help but tickle its teeny belly to make it giggle. (Perhaps if it fully played up it's one-of-a-kind, diminutive accommodations (note on its website the actual square footage of each room type), potential guests would be curious/ lured by its most prominent feature -- its minusculeness -- instead of surprised/ disappointed/ traumatized on 1st setting foot through the door.)

The juxtaposition of upscale, elegant, sophistication miniaturized into a teensy cameo box, can't help but make you smile.


Grumbles
-----------
The LOCATION makes TF worthwhile -- especially if you can get a larger room (at a bargain rate) -- and trumps inconveniences:

    • Single-file hallways.

    • Tiny, aging, single elevator.

    • Hallway-sized breakfast nook (with minimal seating) & wearing parlor.

    • LOUD air conditioner (bring earplugs) that can be inconsistent in cold air it spews out.

    • Minimal view (although serenity of Bartleby-the-Scrivener brick wall can grow on you).

    • Impractical, practical-joke closet.

    • No designated, sensible spot to place backpack/ suitcase (desk top is unfortunate alternative). (You end up spreading out paperwork on bed (as your actual desk/ work area) & using a pillow as laptop desk.)

    • Live-out-of-suitcase access to clothes/ necessities.

    • $12 daily service charge.


Suggestions, Thoughts
---------------------------
When you're initially escorted to your room, walk/ shimmy the room & *bathroom* before accepting it. If it's too small for your comfort, don't be shy about requesting a roomier room. (They'll try to accommodate your comfort/ peace of mind.) Don't just settle because you don't want to make a fuss; otherwise, you may unwittingly succumb to "room rage" (the immobile equivalent of road rage)  -- where you silently implode after a few days of unmitigated frustration.

(Desperately wished larger room would drastically change my mind about TF (from "average" to "very good"), but it just didn't/ couldn't. In good conscience, I can't upgrade overall rating -- no matter how much I sucked in my gut, sucked up my moans, wished myself into thinking I was more comfortable than I actually was. Maybe, next time, I'll splurge for *the* largest room & see if I have a change of heart.)

If you're a robust, corn-fed, full-sized/ super-sized, 21st century American, the squish-factor can be difficult/ near impossible to overcome. (If you're a svelte, portion-controlled, city-sized American/ European/ Asian/ African/ Lilliputian you may not feel as confined/ immobile. At times, the only breath of relief you feel is when you step outside -- under TF's neon marquee.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Franklin

Address: 164 E 87th St, Off Lexington Avenue, New York City, NY 10128
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Manhattan , Upper East Side
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
#167 Family Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Franklin 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Only a short distance from Central Park, the famed Museum Mile and Madison Avenue designer shops, The Franklin Hotel is the perfect Upper East Side getaway. Built in the 1930s, The Franklin Hotel is located at 164 East 87th Street. This romantic boutique hotel features 50 intimate guestrooms, daily complimentary continental breakfast from 7am-10am and daily wine & cheese reception from 5pm-6:30pm. Ideal for single travelers or couples, all guests enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary NY Times & USA Today (in our lounge area), Philosophy bath amenities, and 24-hour cappuccino machine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Franklin Hotel New York City
Franklin New York City
Franklin Hotel New York City

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