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“Almost gets it right”
Review of The Franklin

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The Franklin
Ranked #4 of 18 Hotels in Chapel Hill
Certificate of Excellence
Mamaroneck, NY
Level Contributor
51 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Almost gets it right”
Reviewed July 18, 2007

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!

  • Liked — the sheets
  • Disliked — the air conditioning
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank McWarg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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615 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Maine
Level Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2007

We stayed at this hotel for our daughter's graduation weekend. What a pleasure! Our room was a "king study" The bed was very comfortable with 740 count sheets, 6 pillows and down comforter. There is a pillow menu available to choose other pillows if you so desire. Our room had a king size sleeper sofa also. There was a 32" LG flat screen tv with a jillion channels (a lot of them weren't even listed on the cheat sheet). A-Bus sound sound system is in the room as well a place to plug in an IPod. The bathroom is done in marble,granite and tile. No tub, but a really nice shower, whose door leaked onto the floor. The mirror over the sink never fogged up no matter how hot or long the shower was. Gilchrist & Soames personal care products are supplied. The coffee was really good; Fonte coffee with a miniature DeLonghi stainless carafe. Turn down service is provided with hand made chocolates. The room service breakfast menu prices are very reasonable, but can't attest to the quality since we went to Panera's which is 1/2 block away. Parking is very convenient and included with the room. The staff were all very well trained and helpful. Overall a wonderful experience.

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank natbro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
36 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2007

We had arrived in Raleigh from Alaska after about 20 hours of airports and airplanes, to visit my mom - still 2 hours away. We were exhausted so we decided to recover by spending a night near Raleigh in Chapel Hill, and proceed on to our destination the next day, refreshed. We found the Franklin in Chapel Hill by asking the Chamber of Commerce there. What a terrific surprise! This hotel is stunning. The lobby is grand - very formal, beautifully designed and appointed, as are all of the common areas, more like what you would expect in NYC or DC, but the feel is completely welcoming.

Our room was amazing. With a huge, fluffy king bed loaded with pillows, high ceilings, a large flat-screen TV and a furnished balcony that must have measured at least 12x12, the size alone was impressive. But beyond that, the marble bathroom was not only straight out of Architectural Digest, but supplied everything from the usual shampoo, body wash, lotion, etc., to several extra towels, to bathrobes, to Q-Tips and cotton balls. We never wanted to leave the room!

The staff at the desk was terrific - down to Earth and friendly, but professional. Crystal checked us in and told us about numerous surprising amentities we could expect during our stay. She also relayed info about the area, restaurants, shopping, etc. She greeted us by name whenever we passed and always offered her assistance if needed. Service at the The Franklin reminded us more of what you might receive on a 5 star cruise than at a small hotel in Chapel Hill, N.C. Excellent value, too. We will definitely return!

  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank verymary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chapel hill, nc
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2007

I wanted to surprise my fiance with a night at the Franklin and dinner at Talulla's, where we met. Vanessa at the front desk was very nice on the phone, and when I arrived to prepare the room, the gentleman working at the front desk was extremely nice, efficient and accomodating. He offered to make reservations for us at the restaurant, made sure we had champagne glasses and was very understanding in the morning about our request for a later checkout. The front desk person during the night was also very accomodating to our requests. The decor and comfort of the hotel are fabulous - we came away wanting to employ some of the same styles in our new house!
The sheets are amazing, the bed is to die for, as are the fluffy towels and robes. You can even special order the type of pillow that you prefer. Our room had a large private balcony overlooking Franklin
Street. Overall, we had a perfectly wonderful experience and can't wait for another special occasion to do it again! This place is all class.

Stayed March 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank teresajesq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2007

We stayed at the Franklin for New Year's Eve, only a few days after it opened. It is a handsome hotel but there were several finishing touches left to be made. Shower leaked out on the floor, toilet lid slid around due to missing screw, stuff like that. The worst is the noise. You can hear everything going on in the next room, down the hall, etc. Nice to have something like it in downtown Chapel Hill.

Stayed January 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank mimsyborogoves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Franklin

Property: The Franklin
Address: 311 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > Chapel Hill
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Chapel Hill
#2 Business Hotel in Chapel Hill
#3 Family Hotel in Chapel Hill
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Franklin 3.5*
Number of rooms: 67
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

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