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Reviewed 28 October 2021

This past October 23-24 weekend, I had a very uncomfortable and quite frankly somewhat aggressive (KAREN) experience at the Carolina Hotel, in Franklin NC. For the record, I am a seasoned traveler, educated, informed and respectful. I have visited all 48 contiguous states in my vehicle with pets. I have seen a lot.

Please read my entire post. I am fair and objective and spent my time meaningfully.
After my experience I read about this motel and the owner and discovered that many other travelers have had similar experiences. Fortunately, we have Trip Advisor, where these unpleasant stories can be shared.

I made my reservation 3+ months in advance for me and my wife as we would be attending a wedding on a Farm there in Franklin, NC. I would be driving down from NJ for what would be a 2-week road trip. Upon arrival I was met with a nice lady (the same lady I spoke to when I made my reservation), and she dutifully reminded me (twice) that pets were not allowed in the rooms. I told her I understood, and that it would not be a problem, I had made previous arrangement for my dogs to sleep at the farm where the afternoon wedding was being held.

The kind lady asked me to sign/initial the guest waiver (as do all customers – that they are subject to a $250 fine for having pets on the premises or for smoking in the rooms). Without hesitation, I initialed the form. My wife and I do not smoke, and my pets would not be anywhere on the property, not in the rooms or the pool area or the playgrounds - they would not step down from the interior of my vehicle. I then drove across the side street to the convenient store (gas station) where I walked and relieved them. For the 45 minutes while we would get dressed for the wedding, my 2 dogs would wait happily in the SUV.

Approximately 30 minutes later, while I was getting cleaned up for the wedding, I heard a knock at the door from a different young lady, who quickly informed me that I needed to immediately leave the hotel premises. She said, the owner did not want me to stay in her hotel because I had pets.

For a minute or so I listened to the young lady, trying to understand her position as well trying to understand my position as guest. Then came the KAREN experience. The owner (who I later learned is named Debbie Drake) was now walking and waving in my direction angrily yelling that I need to immediately leave her motel right now or that she would call the police.

For the first few seconds I attempted to have a normal conversation with her, asking her what I had done. She had no patience to talk, she was angry and irrational, and it was abundantly clear that there would not be a normal dialogue. I told her I would respect her demand, and that I would leave the room. She then told me that I would also be charged a $50 cleaning fee because I had accessed the room.

My half-showered wife and I quickly packed our things and went to the front lobby to checkout. The young lady there quietly attended us, she refunded the $90 dollars and then charged me a $50 fee. My wife meanwhile was scanning the Carolina Motel website, we could not find any rules or conditions on such strict pet rules. Nowhere does it state that pets cannot be in one’s vehicle. It only reads No Pets. Perhaps it is purposely vague.

I left angrily scratching my head, wondering how in the world am I going to find a hotel/motel room in this area of NC during Peak Autumn Weekend. As well, I also had to get to the wedding which was about to start. After a frantic 60 minute google search a stressful drive and check in-person search we found another room. The new rate $200 plus tax, at a true truck stop motel.

After a day or two of thinking about the whole scenario, I am convinced that the angry owner probably does not like pets and has most certainly had some bad experiences with people sneaking their pets into the room. Hence asking your guests to sign a $250 waiver. I signed her form and agreed to respect her rules. She showed herself as being totally classless and a generally disrespectful person.

I have another opinion of why she kicked me and my family off her motel property – it because it was high season, and she could get a once-a-year elevated room rate from some poor last-minute guest. Nasty greedy lady - shame on you!

If you travel with pets (or just love the human - animal dynamic) stay clear of this lady and her motel. Safe Travels.

Date of stay: October 2021
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank bradleyrex
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 25 October 2021

We stayed here just for the night while we were attending a concert at the nearby performing arts concert venue. pulling up to this motel, it looked so clean and inviting. a cute little blue and white motel that has been obviously cared for. entering the room we were very happy to see it was absolutely spotless. And no smell! the beds and pillows were very comfy and I believe the bathroom was the cleanest one I’ve been in any motel for awhile. The only thing I wish we had, that I found out was in the more deluxe room, was a microwave. we had the very basic room that had a tv, but that was all.

The room was tastefully decorated and had what a person would need for an overnight. Soaps, towels, hairdryer and tv with a small table and chair and comfortable bed. We would stay here again if in the area again.

Front desk lady was very friendly and explained that they even have a fire in the front of the hotel at 6pm which we missed because we were t donner and then to the concert.

Room tip: If you want microwave and fridge, make sure to ask for that type of room because not all rooms have that.
Date of stay: October 2021
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank LORAL771
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded 1 November 2021

Thank you so much LORAL771 for the terrific review of our property. We hope that you will stay with us again when you visit
our beautiful town. The staff work very diligently to keep the property number one. Great reviews like yours a wonderful reward. When you are happy we are happy.
Warmest Regard,
Debbie

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2021

First off, I would like to say the room was very quiet and the sleep quality very good.

But, there was no refrigerator, no telephone, no microwave, no coffee maker in the room.

Add to that, the manager wasn't very helpful or nice.

We would not stay here again.

Date of stay: July 2021
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank retiredworker60
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded 13 September 2021

I am so sorry that you did not enjoy your stay with us. The next time you visit please reserve one of our superior rooms they are only $10.00 more per night and come with all of the amenities that you refer to as NO"S. The standard room that you booked is our basic room for travelers that usually only stay for one or two nights and do not need all the extras.
I am the manager and do not recall speaking to you in reference to above matter. We would have offered you an upgrade if we had a room available for the additional $10.00 charge.
Our website does give an accurate description of all the rooms and cabins that we offer.
I am truly sorry for the misunderstanding.
Warmest Regards,
Debbie Drake/ Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2021

We were so lucky to find this place when we realized we needed to "lay over" a night before joining our family for the 4th of July at Lake Nantahala. We stayed in room 16 - it was perfect. We didn't know places like this still existed! From the big things to the little things, everything was well-planned and cared for. The window actually rolled out so we could smell the mountain air (I was thrilled!). That one night was so wonderful here - the staff, the grounds, the room - every inch immaculate - we have never stayed in a quieter, more exceptional place. I went for a swim - there are even pool towels and great deck area with flowers! In the evening we sat at the fire pit for my husband to smoke a cigar and Jennifer came out and lit the logs for us! It was truthfully quite a magical night. Thank you!

Room tip: We had room 16, parked right in front of our room.
Date of stay: July 2021
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Elizabeth Beaty C
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded 13 September 2021

Thank you so much Elizabeth for the wonderful review of our property. We are so happy that you enjoyed your stay with us.
We pay attention to every detail at The Carolina Motel so our guests feel at home and safe. Our staff goes above and beyond to assure that your stay is always a pleasure. We look forward to seeing you again.
Warmest Regards,
Debbie Drake/ Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2021 via mobile

what an amazing find... first I'll admit, ] was a bit cautious of the roadside motel. Man was I wrong, first the staff.... Dan was amazing at front desk. He was friendly, welcoming and just great. A very nice change from my past hotel stays. The rooms a so nice and clean....in fact this could be the cleanest room I've been in in years. The beds are comfortable and the rooms are quiet. We are just passing thru for one night but it's a Saturday night and no issues with noise and they are booked up.

I definitely recommend this location if you are in the area.

Date of stay: July 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank DougnErin113
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded 13 July 2021

DougnErin113,
Thank you very much for the wonderful review. We are so happy that you enjoyed your stay with us.
We hope that you will stay with us again in the near future. The mountains are beautiful in the fall and
our nightly bonfires make for a great evening.
Warmest Regards,
Debbie Drake

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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