Hotel Accessible Rooms


At this phase of my life, I would consider a great job to be a consultant for a hotel chain or architecture firm.

I have learned over time that hotels have categories of accessible rooms.  Sometimes an accessible room simply means it is on the ground floor.  It’s not unusual to request a handicapped room and find yourself with a regular bathroom.  Sometimes management thinks the simple presence of a shower chair qualifies a room as accessible. If you have specific needs, be sure to ask plenty of questions before making a reservation.  I have found that most hotels differentiate between  “handicapped accessible” and “wheelchair accessible”.  If you need a roll-in shower, you must specifically ask if one is available and request it.  Even then, it may not be guaranteed.  My best results have happened when I have called the hotel directly for a reservation and asked them to make a note about my needs.

Lately, I have been surprised how high the beds are.  Those with mobility issues would benefit from a bed they can get into more easily.

I have had the opportunity to stay in a variety of hotels.  At some point, I started to take pictures of good features and things that left me frustrated.

In the spring of 2012, we stayed at three hotels during a cross-country trip to New York and back.  The three hotels were:  Holiday Inn Express, Westport Plaza in Kansas City; Hyatt House in Fishkill, New York; and Hampton Inn in Zanesville, OhioWith time passing since visits and pictures not labeled well, I cannot with accuracy attribute which features belong to which hotel. However, it is worth pointing out the good and bad elements of these different rooms.

Some hotels and businesses use tile as baseboard.  This is a superb idea that could be used more frequently.  Couldn’t the same be done in houses?  And wouldn’t it help prevent scuff marks from wheelchairs and water damage in a room with so much plumbing?

tile baseboard2  Tile as baseboard

Or, what about carpet in place of baseboard?

carpet as baseboard

I like this transition between tile and carpet.  It might be marble.

Transition tile-to-tile

I had wall corner protectors put on when we remodeled.  I was impressed by these industrial strength wall protectors.  They may or may not be overkill in a home, but I think more businesses should use them to protect their walls from wear, dirt and wheelchairs.

Industrial Corner Protectors Wide Corner Protectors

Shown below are good and ample bathroom grab bars at toilet, with enough room on top and bottom to comfortably get a hand around them.

good bathroom at Holiday Inn Express Liberty, KS

Great grab bars in a shower:

Good grab bars

Here’s a wonderful fold-down seat, but it’s too far away from the faucet controls and sprayer to offer convenience.

grab bars and pull down seat

I was so grateful for the accessible room at Hyatt House in Fishkill, New York.  I cannot understand why they would take a great room with wide doorways, and then block a wide doorway with furniture.

Photo02101048_1 (2) Photo02101048 (2)

All of the hotels that offer accessible and handicapped rooms would benefit from having a “wheel user” evaluate the space and determine the true usefulness of what they offer.  Better yet, ask a veteran wheel user and traveler for their feedback on architectural plans before going forward with construction.  This simple act would alleviate much frustration and happier customers.

I’m for hire!

About Climbing Downhill

Wife and mother of grown kids, in my 60's and dealing with MS, making life's moments count and trying to offer something of value to others along the way.
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10 Responses to Hotel Accessible Rooms

  1. chmjr2 says:

    I am surprised that hotels do not have laws and regulations to follow. It would take the surprise out of what you would find. In an other life I managed theaters. We had to follow many laws and regulations to make sure that persons with different types of disabilities could enjoy their movie going experience. However we may disagree on the height of the bed. With my back problems a high bed is much preferred. As always a interesting post.

    • I’m pretty sure there are laws for accessibility in the industry, but I’m not sure if or how they are enforced. As a consumer, this is my version of a comment card 🙂 I can appreciate the benefit of a high bed for back issues.

  2. A great post and I think you should be hired! 😊

    I had an unpleasant experience at a hotel here in the UK last month and this was nothing to do with bedrooms but just general access. It was a one day event of a Vegan Festival so lots of different stalls. But the hotel and organisers between them made a complete mess of the whole thing which was on split levels and when I asked where the lifts(elevators) were we were directed to a grubby old metal service lift and were bundled in with some stall holders and all their equipment for setting up. I felt second class and there were others too feeling the same. I can hardly believe that these days this could happen. I wrote to both the hotel and organisers.

  3. What an unfortunate experience you had, but not uncommon. Glad you offered feedback after your visit. I’ve been on some pretty rickety rides myself – the worst was in an old church. During those times, it’s a challenge to hide fear and discomfort and keep a smile on for the people you’re with so the outing isn’t ruined.

    I’m glad our countries have some accessibility laws, many do not.

  4. I think my experience upset my daughter even more than it upset me, because it all had ripple effects and she ended up saying how she hated MS,how unfair it all was etc etc. when she should have simply been enjoying the event. i felt for her more than for myself. Its all experience to learn from I guess.

  5. stephen says:

    i have often wanted to offer my input in designing restaurant bathrooms. “accessible,” means nothing. people who design public spaces should do it in a wheelchair. just opening the bathroom door, much less getting a wheelchair in and into the disabled stall is often, at best, difficult. and then getting from chair to toilet is an adventure. so yeah, i think there is a great career in designing public spaces/hotel rooms. sign me up too!

  6. I could not refrain from commenting.
    Vегy well written!
    nice website

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