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Thread: Accesible Hotel Rooms

  1. #1

    Accesible Hotel Rooms

    For those of you who have traveled and booked hotel rooms. I was planning to take a road trip out west to the grand canyon. I find it frustrating when calling hotels and asking for rooms that are accessible for a wheelchair. When I ask if the room are accessible I get so much banter that in the end you never know if you can use like the bathroom at all. They start talking about grab bars. They tell me they have shower chairs in the showers that cannot be removed. They have no backs on them. Not sure of the height or if they are adjustable. I had planned to take my own shower chair with me but talking to some of these people drives me nuts. You don't know what you are in for until you see the room. Do others have the same issue and how do handle these things?

  2. #2
    Speak to the manager and ask him/her to email pictures of the room and bathroom from various locations and angles. Ask for measurements of the height of the bed. Ask for measurements of the under sink clearance.

    Enjoy your trip to the Grand Canyon!

  3. #3
    Accessible means different things to different people. Whether or not a room would be acceptable certainly differs between those of us with injuries, even those of us with the same injuries.

    For me an accessible room is one with a front door that is at least 22" wide, and no more than one, single step up into the doorway or no more than 8". Other than that I can make anything work for a night or two, including crawling into the bathroom, and (even at home) I shower on a cushion on the bottom of a standard tub. Of course I'm the bummy, uncouth type of character that will also spend half of the days of a road trip sleeping in the back seat of my two door honda in a walmart parking and taking bird baths in highway rest area bathrooms.

    For more civilized individuals with different needs an acceptable room means a platform bed with hotel provided Hoyer lift, roll in shower, 36" wide bathroom door with open 5' x 5' area in the bathroom to turn around, etc, etc. It's understandable why hotel employees would need to give "so much banter" because they don't know exactly what you want until you tell them specifically, detail by detail.

    On the other hand, hotels are horrible places. My friend still works for a hotel, a major name brand hotel with a good reputation on the higher end of the market. They routinely overbook by about 20%, assuming that a certain amount of people aren't going to show up. They would rather run into the situation where they have to turn away people with reservations, instead of end up with unsold rooms at the end of the night.

    So even if you get a hotel employee to take pictures and give precise measurements of the accessible room you are going to rent, there is no guarantee whatsoever that this is actually the room you are going to be staying in. They could easily move you to another room that's slightly smaller or has a different sized door or has a standard tub instead of a roll in shower.

    Personally I almost never book a room ahead of time (at least when on a road trip). In the states I do try to keep an eye out for a motel 6, but their standard of "accessible" rooms varies wildly and if the accessible room is occupied I just take a regular one. I go motel 6 more because they tend to be the most reliably cheap hotel, not for any reasons of accessibility.

    If you're going on a true road trip and not just driving to the grand canyon and staying there for 5 days, 4 nights and then driving back, you're going to have to be flexible enough to not book a room anyway.

    Your profile says you're a para, if you're able to do a floor transfer, all you REALLY need is a front door you can get in. You can technically make anything else work, you've just got to decide how much discomfort you're willing to risk.

    If you consider yourself reasonable adaptable and willing to put up with some discomfort, I would just book what sounds like it will probably work and then roll with it. What's the worst that could happen? Maybe a sleepless night or not being able to get a shower for a couple days. We've all lived through worse, and a road trip comes with a certain amount of uncertainty.

  4. #4
    Stay in Marriotts as much as possible. Call and ask questions directly to the hotel, rather than just booking online. Double and triple confirm everything the day before and day of. Ask ahead to speak with housekeeping, if needed, to ask for specific questions / measurements about the room.

    And for my Dad - avoiding traveling as much as possible. Not a good solution....

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by hlh View Post
    Stay in Marriotts as much as possible. Call and ask questions directly to the hotel, rather than just booking online. Double and triple confirm everything the day before and day of. Ask ahead to speak with housekeeping, if needed, to ask for specific questions / measurements about the room.

    And for my Dad - avoiding traveling as much as possible. Not a good solution....
    Just curious why you would suggest staying in Marriotts as much as possible. Our experiences with Marriotts in Washington state, Oregon, Utah and Arizona have been abysmal, even vetting the stay down to the minute.

  6. #6
    bigger and nicer hotels= better accessible rooms. you get what you pay for in my experience. when im booking i always search luxury hotels, most high end hotels have an ada rep that you can speak to.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Just curious why you would suggest staying in Marriotts as much as possible. Our experiences with Marriotts in Washington state, Oregon, Utah and Arizona have been abysmal, even vetting the stay down to the minute.
    Based on my recent interaction with Marriott corporate, I agree.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Just curious why you would suggest staying in Marriotts as much as possible. Our experiences with Marriotts in Washington state, Oregon, Utah and Arizona have been abysmal, even vetting the stay down to the minute.

    Because my Dad has had very good experiences there for his needs. Consistency in room design across a chain has its benefits. Their accessible rooms are the right size/spacing for him. Their accessible bathrooms are the right size / spacing for him. Their accessible showers sometimes have a fold down shower bench, which is what he prefers (he walks in with crutches). They always bring him an extra end table/tons of pillows. They always have a rolling desk chair or two in the room that he often uses as a second "wheelchair".

    And he hasn't had a problem with them not having the appropriate room available when we confirmed the room needed. They often place him on first floor or near elevator if we ask, for shorter walking distances. Parking is usually easy. And when speaking for housekeeping for input, they haven't ever ?lied to us.

    Or perhaps just because we are odd and unreasonable.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by hlh View Post
    Because my Dad has had very good experiences there for his needs. Consistency in room design across a chain has its benefits. Their accessible rooms are the right size/spacing for him. Their accessible bathrooms are the right size / spacing for him. Their accessible showers sometimes have a fold down shower bench, which is what he prefers (he walks in with crutches). They always bring him an extra end table/tons of pillows. They always have a rolling desk chair or two in the room that he often uses as a second "wheelchair".

    And he hasn't had a problem with them not having the appropriate room available when we confirmed the room needed. They often place him on first floor or near elevator if we ask, for shorter walking distances. Parking is usually easy. And when speaking for housekeeping for input, they haven't ever ?lied to us.

    Or perhaps just because we are odd and unreasonable.
    Good to hear your father has had positive experiences for his needs at Marriotts.
    Last edited by gjnl; 07-28-2018 at 03:26 PM.

  10. #10
    Instead of asking for wheelchair rooms, try ADA rooms. I've had good luck with LaQuinta and Hampton Inns. That said on a trip last year, you needed to be a pole vaulter to get in most of the beds. The best place we stayed in was a Relax in Arkansas. It was not accessible, but the people that ran it did whatever it took to make it work. They moved furniture, took the bathroom door off and found a chair to put in the shower. So you never know.

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