By April 26, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

10 questions to ask about a hotel

Many hotels in Europe are in old buildings and accessibility may be limited. Don’t be shy about asking questions. If the person who answers the phone can’t provide answers or doesn’t seem knowledgeable, ask to be transferred to housekeeping or maintenance. They know every inch of the rooms and can advise you on accessibility and whether a specific room will best meet your needs. Provide as many details as possible about your needs using non-technical lingo and be patient. It’s in your interest to get accurate information so keep pushing for details if the answers are vague.

Ten things to ask your hotel about wheelchair accessibility: legostairs

1. Are there any stairs leading into the hotel? Is there a ramp or another way to easily enter in a wheelchair? Is the main entrance level or is there a step or steps?

2. Is there an elevator in the hotel and is it large enough to accommodate a wheelchair? Is the room assigned to you accessible without having to climb or descend any stairs? Be aware that in Europe, the first floor is what Americans would call the second floor so ask about access even if your room is on the first floor. Also, many elevators are very small, make sure your wheelchair will fit.

3. Is the room big enough to accommodate your wheelchair? Many hotels in Europe and Asia are in old buildings with small corridors and rooms and accessibility may be limited. Provide as many details as possible about your needs: the size of your chair, the amount of space you need to maneuver, etc. Is the room door easy to open for someone in a wheelchair? Is the door heavy?

4. Is the bathroom accessible? Does it have grab rails and a raised toilet seat? Does it have a roll-in shower without any barriers?  Is the shower knob on the same wall as the bench and easy to reach or is it across from the bench? Is there an emergency cord to pull in case you need assistance? Is the bathroom and shower big enough for your wheelchair? Is the sink and its taps low enough to use with your wheelchair? Be very specific about your needs and make sure you received a detailed response.

5. How high is the bed? Are there any obstructions (i.e., is the bed on a plank, is there anything blocking easy access to it?) Is the height adjustable (most likely it is not, but it doesn’t hurt to ask).

6. Is the restaurant accessible? Are there any stairs leading to the restaurant? Is the toilet accessible from the restaurant (no stairs, etc) and is it equipped for people with disabilities?

7. If there is a pool and spa, are they accessible? Is there a way for a person in a wheelchair to access them?

8. Are there designated parking places near the hotel entrance? waterwheelchair

 9. Are there restaurants and stores nearby (within 500 meters)?

10. If there is airport pickup, is it wheelchair accessible? If not, how can you get from the hotel to the airport — do they have alternatives for you to choose from?

Once you have the information you need to make a decision, ask for it to be confirmed in writing. You can do this by either sending an email detailing your understanding of the accessibility and asking for confirmation or asking them to send you the information in writing.

Let us know if we are missing anything and bon voyage!

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