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  • 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
    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!

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    • #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.

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      • #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....

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        • #5
          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.

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          • #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.
            Bike-on.com rep
            John@bike-on.com
            c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
            sponsored handcycle racer

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  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, 03:26 PM.

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                  • #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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                    • #11
                      The time hubby and I (both wheelers) were at Grand Canyon was in the early 1970's and we camped in our van along with a cat and a dog. On the plus side, the few motels we stayed at during our trip had lower beds!! Some idiot had not yet thought of high "European" beds.

                      Just wondering if there's some kind of data base on-line indicating ADA motel/hotel rooms. I think I've heard of it, perhaps just vacation-destination places such as Grand Canyon. I've also heard of travel services that specialize in disability needs for travel accommodations.
                      Hope things work out - that place is fabulous - more than I thought before the visit.

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                      • #12
                        Definitely use the phrase "100% ADA compliant" as that's much different from "wheelchair accessible." In a pinch you can have the management remove the box spring or even the bed frame to get it to a usable height.
                        My first ever "accessible" room had a single vertical grab bar about 5 feet from the floor next to the shower controls. Fortunately they had another room that was "fully ADA compliant" and we were able to move.
                        T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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                        • #13
                          Traveling in the rural southwest (where I live), it’s been my experience that smallish, not necessarily chain hotels and motels will find ways to make it work, especially when I am really clear about what I need (bed height, door width, step height). Occasionally solutions have been very improvised, but never unsafe. Someone built a “room ramp” for us in rural Utah, which was just fantastic and made not only the room but also the very tall bed accessible.

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                          • #14
                            I have to say because I am local in Arizona that the Grand Canyon is so over rated for our community. If you have the time go to the Grand Canyon but I would stay in Flagstaff or Sedona both about 4 hour drive but accommodations are just better, rates cheaper more options.

                            Someone mentioned about we all have different needs and what most here do not understand when you call a hotel brand 99% of the time your calling a call center and they will not understand your needs.

                            Pull the hotel number up on Google and call the local number vs 800 number and ask..."I am talking to the hotel direct or is this the call center" If call center tell them you need the hotel GM.

                            Do not book via 3rd party websites, Hotel.com, Expedia etc.

                            You can also go on Trip advisor and look at hotel reviews, the negative reviews usually have an email to a mananger, come up with a form email, listing dates, room needs and ask for your specific needs.

                            Send out 3 to 4 emails and the next day you have answers, rates and pictures.

                            If you have a need for a hoyer lift then I would enclose a picture of a lift and how it positions under a bed so they understand you need a 4 post bed vs a platform based bed and a hoyer will not fit under it.

                            Its interesting how we lose patience when company's dont understand our needs and we get mad? You have less stress if you take the position as an educator in the travel sector teaching, teach and educate company's and employees what you need and explain why...Why helps others come up with other ways less conventional in rearguards to solutions!

                            We just came from a trip this weekend and 1st time in 20 years the hotel gave up our room which had a roll in shower and we only had an hour before we needed to get to an event.

                            It was a Saturday night in a small city and on the 2nd call we found a hotel with our needs calling the hotel direct and it ended up being such a nice hotel and amazing experience.

                            In travel nothing is 100% and its never going to be as comfortable as home so roll with it and be flexible.


                            Recap:Make calls or emails, ask for manager or GM, be specif on needs, understand too you can have furniture removed to make more room, many rooms have 2 beds vs one but one bed make more room so ask if they have one bed if it works for you.

                            Ask with other service and or features do they provide for our community.

                            They may provide something you didnt even know that would make your stay more comfortable or enjoyable.

                            Example we are staying at a hotel in Las Vegas off the stip and I saw reviews how they have shuttle service 24-7 to Mandalay Bay hotel and Aria Hotel on the strip.

                            The manager said we have a 3rd party company that will take us back and forth no problem we just call 15 min before we need to be picked up and they will take us to the airport too!

                            Had I not asked I would have never known.

                            Dont be afraid to ask if they dont have a disabled option to a service or feature what do they do to accommodate?


                            Dont forge to ask for any specials, ask for rooms with a view and or free upgrades!

                            Last post of your success so others can learn!
                            Last edited by RollinPositive; 07-30-2018, 03:26 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I usually stay at holiday Inn but I believe they have only 1 accessible room. It has always worked well for me. as long as it has accessible shower I can deal with the rest. Its isnt going to be exactly perfect.

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