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“Dirty, dark . . . dismal . . . .”

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The Franklin Hotel LTD
Ranked #21 of 25 St. John's B&B and Inns
Reviewed September 19, 2011

After a terrific two weeks staying at lovely inns and and guest houses in Newfoundland and Labrador, we found ourselves at the Franklin Hotel in St. John's. We had tried to get into other properties, but vacancies were hard to come by in August. After finally locating a street parking space three blocks away (The hotel does not have its own lot or spaces.), we were surprised to find ourselves checking in at the counter of a loud and lively bar, and even more surprised to be asked to pay for the room before we had even set foot in it. After seeing the room, we found out why. The first thing we noticed were several crumbled up foil candy wrappers on the dull brown low shag carpeted floor. Then we saw that the bathroom door had been punched in, as if someone had been beating on it repeatedly, or perhaps just given it one firm strike with a fist. Upon entering the bathroom, we saw that there were holes in the ceiling--fairly sizable holes--and this was creepy, especially while showering. The walls of the bedroom were dirty and sticky; the baseboards were so dusty I'm not sure they had ever been vacuumed; and the build-up of dust on the air conditioning unit made me wish for a breath mask to wear while sleeping. The room was extremely dark and had only one window, which looked out upon a parking garage. We were trapped for the night, and at a cost of $277!

If this hotel were to hire a manager who cared and given the cleaning and attention it deserves, it could be fine. But neglected as it is, I'm surprised it hasn't been shut down by some sort of City inspectors.

I have never stayed in such a filthy room in my life. Next time I'll read all the Trip Advisor reviews instead of just glancing at the rating.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank simpleandelegant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 - 45 of 55 reviews

Reviewed August 21, 2011

If you're looking for an ideal hotel location for your St. John's vacation, this hotel should be your first choice. I would stay here again for this reason alone. There are many great restaurants, minutes from the hotel.
The room was clean BUT I needed to overlook the fact that the second queen-sized mattress and box-spring did not sit in a frame and was placed on the ground. The bed was comfortable and the linens were of high quality. Our room was placed facing a parking garage and the second mattress was placed near a noisy air conditioner. I'm quite a heavy sleeper so I didn't mind. If you are the opposite, ask for a room at the front of the hotel.
I believe that all rooms in the hotel are like ours; you will basically just get a few lamps, tv, the beds, desk and a chair. It would have been nice to watch TV from a couch and have some extra towels.
Even though the hotel did not offer 24 hour service staff, I was comforted to know that I could call the owner if needed; however, checkin and checkout were trying as staff were not available.
Would I stay there again? Yes but I would make a few extra requests before making my booking. I

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank 861Kathy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2011

Our room was large and contemporary. John Frankin was so friendly and recommended our day hike to Signal Hill. Great location!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank RuthieannT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2011

I stayed here for a 2 night business trip. The hotel and bar downstairs are great - refined but cozy with a nice warm ambiance. Don't stay here if you want a full-service hotel with room service, concierge, etc., but if you just want a nice, well-equipped room within steps of some of St. John's best restaurants, bars and shops, then this place is awesome. By the way, I had one of the best meals of my life at the restaurant downstairs - I expected it to be good but not that good. The owner keeps a close eye on things at the bar and restaurant, and the bar and restaurant staff are extremely friendly. I plan on returning for business in the next year and will definitely be staying here.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the rooms with a private balcony
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Macmon1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2011

Our room had been recently renovated and provided everything we needed. The upscale shower was very enjoyable, as were the dual sinks. Our room was at the front of the hotel, but we could not hear the traffic from Water street. A-OK.

  • Stayed: June 2011
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Thank RCSNanaimo_Bc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2011

My girlfriend and I stayed here on New Years Eve. We called to check in around 2pm and were told it would be another hour while they finish cleaning the room. Fair enough. We showed up at 3 and the room still wasn't ready. There is no front desk for this place - you stand at the bar of the restaurant downstairs - which was covered in receipts and paperwork. There is also no parking - you must use metered parking on street; and good luck getting something close. After waiting for the room to be finished we finally headed up. Talk about disappointing. The rate for New Years Eve was $250 + tax ($290 total). When booked, we were given the option of a room overlooking Water St. which we agreed to. Not the case. Our room stared right into a parking garage adjacent to the room. Lovely. The overall blandness of the room shocked us upon entering. We had been living out of suitcases for 2 weeks at that point, and there wasn't anything in the room besides the bed to lay the bags on. One tiny 'desk' tucked in a DARK corner was the only furniture in the room, and the layout of the room basically made it unusable. I capitalize DARK because that's what this room was. 2 low wattage bulbs above the bed, and one lamp in the corner was all there was for light. With our bags on the floor at the foot of the bed, we brought the lamp over and used it like a flashlight to try and find our clothes inside. It was while on the floor we came across the mess. Peanut shells everywhere. Stains on the carpet. Even an empty roll toilet paper (completely empty) left on the counter in bathroom. I don't know what took over an hour to clean in there, but the room was anything but. Add in a rock hard bed, a 'hotel employee' (as he claimed to be) trying to enter our room without first knocking (thankful for the deadbolt), large see through gaps in the door to the hallway, drunk bar patrons with full access to the hotel causing havoc on our floor, a lack of towels, soap or toilet paper and this was by far the worst stay I've had at any hotel, motel, hostel or otherwise.

For anyone from the hotel reading: Put up a door blocking access from the bar to the hotel! Stock the room with towels and get better lighting. We had a great night on the town, and only because we made such a joke out of the horrible accommodations it could have ruined our evening.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SoundTravellerB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2011

Was leery after reading a couple of reviews here but decided to go ahead and book a night for me and teh wife on our anniversary. So glad we did. Room is tastefully appointed with nice comfy bed and large walk in showers.

Our host was very gracious and walked us through the after hours entrance procedure. Very simply. Nice bar and restaurant on teh main level. Teh entire hotel has a European feel to it, and that is the experience you get. Perhaps that is what others have not liked about it, but we wanted to be left on our own, not tripping over staff. It's a cool hotel and right downtown.

There was no coffee in the room (though it did have a coffee maker) but there is a great little cafe across the road (Coffee Matters), that can do a much better job than any room cofefe I have ever tasted. Check it out.

Wife's birthday is coming up, so might treat myself (err ourselves) again. I'd recommend this hotel to anyone staying in St. Johns and has a particular need to be down town.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nubiwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Franklin Hotel LTD

Address: 193 Water St, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1C 1B4, Canada
Location: Canada > Newfoundland and Labrador > Newfoundland > St. John's > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 25 B&Bs / Inns in St. John's
Price Range: $130 - $196 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Franklin Hotel LTD 3*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
The Franklin Hotel LTD Newfoundland, Canada

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