This account came my way following a recent blog I wrote about attitudes to the word "disabled". It veers off on an interesting tangent, so I'm posting it here, rather than as a comment on the blog.
One of our site visitors was recently staying with his stroke-survivor wheelchair-user wife at a Premier Inn in Swansea on holiday. They chose this hotel because they were used to other Premier Inns providing rooms that are useable by her, albeit not ideal.
They would prefer to stay in more individual establishments, but the problem is the lack of reliable standards for a "disabled room", "accessible room", or whatever other term you use. This time round, however, they were disappointed to find that even in a chain, you can't count on consistency.
Despite being classified as "disabled", they found that:
• Bed was too low
• Toilet also too low (until they supplied a seat raiser which made it too high)
• Support rails round toilet too low and too far from toilet.
• Bathroom ensuite sliding door too heavy to be moved from a wheelchair
• Doors throughout the hotel on strong springs and so a complete barrier to a wheelchair user
• Shower in bath completely inaccessible to a wheelchair user.
No criticism to be made of the staff, who did their best to be helpful, but nevertheless, the hotel was clearly not providing facilities that could be used by guests with impaired mobility, despite claiming to do so.
I'd be interested to know of any other experiences staying in hotels; how reliable are the descriptions of facilities available? Do you think there should be a national standard that has to be met before a hotel can claim that a room is accessible?