The Franklin Hotel is trying very hard to be the urban chic boutique hotel of the triangle. I didn't understand its ambitions at first, as it seemed to offer much more than the average family on the average college tour would require. But when I read the cultural entertainment roster for UNC in '07-08, I finally understood. With the likes of YoYo Ma and Aretha Franklin destined to visit, perhaps Chapel Hill does need a hotel with faux Barbara Barry furnishings, 740 count sheets, flat screen TVs, and private balconies. Sadly, they have some major kinks to work out before the stars arrive.
My husband and I travel to the region several times a year to visit family. We stayed at the Franklin for two nights in July 2007. As we settled into our attractive and seemingly comfortable room on a typical hot summer day, we thought we'd be quite happy there, until the air conditioning turned itself on. It sounded like a jet engine - although in truth it had more rattles in it then any jet engine I'd ever trust! The initial response of the day manager was to tell us it was set on high speed. When he discovered that there was no fan control on the thermostat (something we had already figured out), he offered to send the technician up. He made a lame offer to give us a new room, but retracted it in the end saying that he could not replicate our exact room type (king bed with balcony). He made no offer to upgrade us, even though the hotel was not full. When the technician arrived, he agreed that the sound was unbearable, but said that all the rooms sounded like that. It was the system that the owners chose to install. Apparently, it was already set on low fan, an adjustment made within the unit itself. Basically, we were left with the option to change hotels (FYI, the air conditioners at the Washington Duke Inn don't sound like this!) or take them up on their offer of a sound machine (to drown out the air conditioner???). Other details that seem not up to the level of the Franklin's ambitions: no towel bars in the bathrooms (where do we hang towels to dry??!!) and an empty minibar (not something we usually patronize, but still??!!) and a missing door on the bedroom credenza. Perhaps Yo Yo Ma and Aretha don't drink alone in their room and are accoustomed to throwing their towels on the floor, but certainly they must need a good night's sleep before they perform! One last word - we thought Ray in the hotel bar made a great martini!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We'd love for you to stay with us whether you're in town for business or pleasure! We are the only hotel in downtown Chapel Hill, right on Franklin Street - just steps away from all the action such as UNC Chapel Hill's campus, Dean Smith Center, Kenan Stadium, UNC Hospitals, Morehead Planetarium, Ackland Art Museum, and tons of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Our guiding principle is to be hospitable, so we focus on our interactions with you above all else. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Franklin Hotel Chapel Hill