Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Worst Wheelchair Room Ever.

(I am editing this blog entry with the following proviso. The Front Desk Manager just came to my room. I asked him what made this room a wheelchair accessible room. He said "Nothing. This is an accessible room for deaf people." I asked him why the woman who checked me in said it was a wheelchair accessible room. He said "I don't know. I wasn't here. Our wheelchair rooms are larger rooms with accessible setup for a wheelchair. We have two rooms like that. Both were sold last night."

So I asked again, "Then why did she tell me this was a wheelchair room?" He had no answer other than she was wrong. So that covers the rest of my blog. I did not have a wheelchair room last night, not at all.)

I am sorry to have to say that my worst wheelchair hotel experience is at a chain I had, up until now, come to trust for its high quality standards. Sure, they still screw up. All hotels do that. Sure, the chain is usually higher priced that other locations. It's what I pay for wheelchair access.

Not this time. First of all, this is not a wheelchair accessible room at all, regardless of what the Hilton Garden Inn system says. It is a normal room with a wheelchair sticker on it. It is a narrow room; I can't turn around in my wheelchair. It has a standard, small bathroom; to go to the toilet, I have to back in from the hallway and aim my commode chair over the very low, almost Japanese style low toilet. I cannot turn in the bathroom; I can't even turn to get to the sink. There are no safety bars; there is a towel bar mounted on its side.

So what do I do? First of all, I let the young lady at check-in last night know how upset I was to pay a premium for such a terrible room. Unfortunately David and I had already gotten settled and I did not want to move unless it was an improvement. So David looked at the other "wheelchair access" room. It was EXACTLY the same. This tells me all the rooms in this hotel are like this. They could have picked any room and stuck a sticker on it.

I am so thankful for David. Without his help, I would be stuck. He has had to lift me onto beds and off of chairs. He has had to get all kinds of things for me once I was up on a bed so high my feet don't touch ground when I am seated. He has had to hike equipment up and down repeatedly. At least I drove yesterday. That's is one thing I can still do.

Unfortunately our faith in this hotel chain has been broken. David and I have decided that we are going to check every room from now on before unloading anything. Ricky and I developed this routine a few years back when we did road trips. I did this myself when road tripping. I had hoped that the standards of the Hilton Garden Inn would remove this extra work. It appears not.


  1. So sorry to hear of your less-than-optimal hotel stay. I learn from you every day, and I hope the rest of your trip is flawless. But if not, more learning is in store.

  2. For the USA, I only stay at Marriott owned properties. They are the only ones that will 100% positively guarantee you a wheelchair room if you reserve a wheelchair room online. All the others have fine print that say the room reservation is a request, not a guarantee. Marriott gets my business almost exclusively. Hilton properties are pretty good too.

  3. Incredibly frustrating. And the thing is, there are inconsistencies across chains, unless they are corporate owned. For example, I worked at a branded hotel, but it was not owned by the banner it flew. It had to meet certain consistency standards but it often did not, and in particular with accessible rooms. Converting a bed from queen to double to give up floor space, and putting a handle next to the toilet does not an accessible room make. Hope you're okay the rest of the trip!

  4. Stay at Marriott owned properties the rest of the way. Like I said, 100% guarantee you get a wheelchair accessible room if that's what you reserved.