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Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 39,699
reviews: 54
Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation


Accessibility is not standardized in the hotel industry and can be easily interpreted in different ways by hotel employees. Rather than look for “wheelchair friendly” hotels in the forums, have your criteria and needs ready and deal with the hotel directly. Often hotel websites will show that they have accessible rooms, but their definitions may differ widely and they may not be designed to meet your needs. At this point, you call directly.

Some things to ask a hotel:

Common areas:

1. designated handicap parking with a priority location in the parking lot.

2. step free access (level or ramped) and/or lift access to main entrance.

3. automated door opening.

4. ground level/lobby level accessible washroom.

5. elevator to above ground accessible accommodation.

6. level or ramped access to public areas.


1. wider entry and bathroom doorways – external 80 cm, internal 75 cm. Easy to open?

2. mid-height light switches and power outlets

3. lever type door handles

4. maneuvering space on each side of the bed – 90 cm

5. roll in shower

6. wheeled shower chair and/or wall mounted shower seat

7. grab bars in bathroom

8. raised toilet

9. lower hanging space in closet


1. proximity to markets, pubs, restaurants ... up to 500 m distant.

2. proximity to health services.


1. Call hotel directly.

2. Keep notes: names, dates, times, topics, what’s agreed and confirmation numbers. Take these notes and print outs with you on your vacation.

3. Ask to talk to someone who is familiar with handicap rooms because they have been in them.

4. Ask questions that will elicit information rather than a yes or a no.

- Describe ...

- Tell me about ...

5. Check that you have a credit card GUARANTEE for an accessible room and a confirmation number. Not just a REQUEST for an accessible room if available at the time of check in.

6. Reconfirm your reservation for a guaranteed accessible room a couple of days ahead.

7. When you arrive, check out the room before you check in.

8. Again, take your notes and print outs with you on your vacation.

More tips:

Be prepared, in the unlikely event that:

1. the hotel does not have the accessible room available for you when you arrive. The hotel will need to find you an accessible room, even in another hotel. (See #6 just above) “Where will you put us up for the night?”

2. the complimentary hotel shuttle may not be accessible. The hotel will need to accommodate the service in some other way. “How will you provide alternate shuttle service for us?”

Be cool, be persistent, use a sense of humour and your vacation will be much more a pleasure than a nightmare.

posts: 10
reviews: 5
61. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

eMAIL ADDRESS for Highlife is:


- hope this comes in time.


Dublin, ireland
posts: 1
62. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

Apologies! I am new to this! Are there reviews on tripadvisor of trips taken by people with disabilities?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 39,699
reviews: 54
63. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

Hi Jude ~

Sadly, no. If you look on the following hotels listings for Vancouver, you will see at the bottom of the left sidebar, a box named "wheelchair access" to check off. That will direct you to hotels that say they have accessible rooms. But there is no review filter for reviews by people with disabilities. Just reviews. Many have asked on the Help Us Make Trip Advisor Better Forum to have Disabled Travel reviews identified by filter, but TA has not followed through as yet, nor have they for solo travel. It is possible to use the "find" function when on a page of opened reviews, using any of the keywords you can think of. But that is a tough slog as well.


Finding an accessible accommodation comes down to doing the slog of asking question of hotels, such as the ones in the Original Post on this thread.

For future reference, rather than asking a question on an existing thread on a forum, it would be better to ask a new question. On the main page of a forum, there is an orange "Ask a question" rectangle above the first question listed in the string of questions.

Throughout this thread there is much information and there are links to other websites that do contain reviews of accessible locations. In particular posts 23, 41, 49, 53 and 61.

If you click on the blue print word "Forums" above my avatar in the Original Post, you will see all the forums available on TA: destinations and beyond destinations. And if you look in the green navigation bar where it says "More" you will find another pathway to Travel Forums.

posts: 69
reviews: 15
64. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

We just stayed at a Hyatt Regency and once again encountered the high beds with pillow top mattress. I wish they could understand that all the accessibility features known to man does not mean anything if we cannot get into the bed to sleep.

65. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 11:05 am, October 30, 2012
posts: 10
reviews: 5
66. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

I posted a message here informing where you can find accessibility infomation for hotels in Europe but it has been removed by Trip Advisor as inappropriate.

It is a free service and it carries no advertising (is "free of solicittaitions") but they do no seem to like it.

It is a pity that Trip Advisor is not in the vanguard of online services that are trying to improve information on accessibility for disabled travellers.

They have not yet recognised that this is an issue which concerns 20% of travellers and equates to 13.6 Billion USD per year of discretionary purchasing power (on travel) by disabled people!

posts: 69
reviews: 15
67. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

That's crazy! We need all the help we can get. As if

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 39,699
reviews: 54
68. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

I think I saw the post at #65. If I remember, it was a reply to an individual poster with personalized advice for their travel. The avatar was plain looking. Perhaps it was misposted here rather than on a destination forum. Perhaps the post meant for #65 is on a destination forum somewhere?

York, United Kingdom
posts: 1
reviews: 29
69. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

While I agree with all of the above, I think that the issue of 'wheelchair access' , especially for those people who cannot walk at all, is a maze that Trip Adviser mostly fails adequately to prioritise.

For the most part it does not address the needs and aspirations of the independent disabled traveler who does not choose (as many others do) to travel as part of a group - whether others in the group have disabilities or not. This is, I fear, symptomatic of the travel and tourism sector as a whole.

Not only is this discourteous to people with disabilities it is extremely short-sighted given the demographic of Europe, the fiscal importance of the army of tourist baby boomers for whom the spirit remains willing, even where the flesh has grown unsteady or infirm.

It's deeply dispiriting that Trip Adviser now highlights their 'Travelling With Pets' forum - but seems not actively to promote the voice of disabled travelers and their companions.

Denver, Colorado
posts: 30
reviews: 26
70. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

Did you get any answers to your question? I'm in the process of putting together a number of reviews of previous places that I visited and the relative pros and cons of their accessibility. My blog at wheelchairwanderlust.com is relatively new, but feel free to check it out or follow any of my posts here on Trip Advisor.Also, if you have someplace specific that you are planning to visit in the near future, feel free to contact me directly and I'll share any advice that I may have. I am all about connecting with other people with disabilities who love to travel as much as I do.

Happy Travels!

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