Today, we start a new category. This subject may frustrate you or humor you. Some of you will relate to my experiences. I used to love to travel….when my legs did as they were told. I still appreciate being able to go new places, but its a challenge to venture into unknown territory on wheels. Hotel rooms can almost make or break a trip. Some work well, but others (many I would venture to say) can be very unwelcome places.
At times, I have taken photos just to record the lack of common sense in case anyone would ever care. I’ve tried to enlighten front desk staff, but have gotten mixed reactions – mostly apathetic. I’ve filled out comment cards, but it’s difficult to describe things in words. So perhaps I will email these reviews to the hotels.
Let’s start with my most recent stay at the Badger Hotel in Merrill, Wisconsin. Visited July 13, 2013. Easy to make a reservation for handicapped room, reasonable rates, is clean and has friendly staff. Pretty nice breakfast and staff was close by so someone probably would have gotten food from places I couldn’t reach if I had needed to ask. I particularly like their front room area for visiting, It’s nicely decorated, is warmed by the presence of a fireplace. It is near to, but separated from, the activity of the front desk. I also liked their courtesy computer nook. Stayed there twice before and enjoyed it overall.
We started out with a nice curb cutout in the right place, but limited room to maneuver. Nice bush, but It would make more sense to have that part of the sidewalk open. Good thing I used a small scooter. Those with full-sized wheelchairs would have a problem.
The bedroom area was okay. Not a lot of room to maneuver. It’s interesting so many places put furniture where it impedes a wheelchair’s path in an “accessible room”. A smaller stand for the television would have made things much easier.
The bathroom was great. It has ample space to maneuver. The door was a bit tricky to open for a chair, but not as crazy as many. The roll-in shower was perfect. I think they’ll have some water issues from the way they applied the metal plate at the flooring transition , but it makes entry a breeze.
The shower faucet was reachable but the sprayer was not because it was left up high. It does have a place to attach to the verticle bar so is very useable.. I had someone with me, but someone traveling alone would have to ask staff to move it.
The sink had great access, but lacked the protective insulation on the pipes underneath to prevent burns on knees.
There were TWO shower chairs. One simple one as shown in the above picture and one very nice one with a back in the shower as shown below.
This bathroom did have a silly feature. The grab bar next to the toilet was well placed. There was a nice grab bar behind the toilet too, but it is unusable as there is nowhere between it and the toilet tank to properly grab it. It would be nicer to have a vertical grab bar or a handle on the side of the sink area.
Overall, I’d give this hotel’s handicapped accessibility an 7 out of 10. It’s shower is its strongest feature.