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How do you select an appropriate hotel?
The star or diamond ratings, criteria in
regards to how accommodations are rated can vary come thru out
the world, and are based on a number of factors.
There are some links to sites that explain
what the ratings mean...
00/202_understanding-hotel- star-and-diamond- ratings.html
http://www.ottawakiosk.com/ hotelarticle_ startrating.html
http://www.cerf-resort .com/hotels tarratings.html
What do you know about the hotel from these
Well it is a guide, you know that a 5 star
will have things a 3 star will not, but along with that a higher
rated hotel may translate to higher per night room costs. At the
same time not all hotels with the same rating are the same.
For example in Cape Canaveral Florida, we
stayed at the Country Inn & Ste, it was a short drive from the
hotel to the Port Canaveral cruise terminals?
it had multiple elevators
free TV (unless you ordered pay per view)
Free breakfast every morning of your stay
Free transportation to the cruise terminal
We where close by to small restaurants and fast food take
Transit systems within a block or less of the hotel.
Coin operation laundry facilities on the same floor as our
ATM machine in the lobby.
What it did not have is a fancy restaurant,
and no bell service, they had self serve luggage dollies.
This hotel was rated at 2 ? stars on the expedia site.
Then you look at a hotel we stayed at in
Hollywood Hills California?
Best Western Hollywood Hills, Franklin
One elevator in the lobby, and it was about half the size
of the standard elevator, so with my scooter I had to turn to
the side as you went in to fit; larger scooters may not have fit
There was what appeared to be a coffee area not sure what
you could get there as there was steps into it and therefore I
never went there.
No bell service although they did offer to help with the
luggage in my case.
Internet and basic TV was free.
The personal at the lobby desk was very helpful. The lobby
itself was small.
No ATM machine in the hotel.
Plus at the time there was construction on
the outside of the hotel and area streets. The closest route to
Hollywood Blvd where the celebrity stars are in the sidewalk was
too steep for me in a scooter, however after talking to hotel
reception there was a less steep route that was suitable but a
few blocks further.
It was rated on the Expedia site as 3 stars.
So when you compare the 2 hotels I would
likely use the Country Inn in Cape Canaveral Florida again, but
would look for a different hotel in Hollywood California if
going there again. Yet the hotel in Hollywood Hills had a higher
star rating then the one we stayed at in Cape Canaveral.
The point is to use the ratings as a guide,
but there are also additional factors to be considered when
deciding on what hotel to book particularly for persons with a
Things that mobility limited person should
look for in a hotel...
Close to the main attractions you wish to take in, and not in an
area with steep hills. Sometimes paying a little more for a
better location may save you money in transportation costs.
A hotel with only one elevator even
if it works well has to have routine maintenance done on it at
some point, when that happens it cuts off a disabled person to
and from their room.
For mobility restricted persons, showers
are easier than bathtubs, a seat in the shower area, adequate
solid railing in the shower and toilet areas, and level entry.
An entry door that does not take superman to open.
Doorways wide enough for a wheelchair or scooter to easily pass
in the area of the hotel and
how close any attractions you wish to see in that area.
service / door man,
more of a consideration if traveling alone without an able
bodied companion with you.
These items should be at the top of the list
and are usually considered necessities for the mobility disabled
traveler, after that you look at amenities that the hotel has,
rooms with views (if that is important to you), services and so
on along with budget considerations.
If you are traveling with an able bodied
companion than a 3 star hotel may serve you well if the above
criteria is met, if traveling alone you may want a hotel that
has bell service. I have been in some 3 star hotels that did
have some assistance for things like luggage if asked for
particularly if you have limited mobility.
Remember too even if the hotel has a fancy
restaurant inside that contributed to a higher star rating, you
may be able to eat far cheaper at establishments within 2 or 3
blocks away. Things like swimming pools, fitness rooms that may
also contribute to the star rating, is of no use to you if you
never intend on using them.
Also utilize Google maps as it is a great
way to get additional information. Do your research thru travel
sites, then you come up with a short list of possible hotels,
then locate them on Google maps, if street view is available be
sure to check the area out, look at whatever clues and
information found in regards to terrain. Street view will also
spot possible eating establishments outside and nearby the area,
you may also be able to spot ramps as you can zoom in on the
view you see. Check for the attractions that you may want to see
in the area. Remember though satellite images and street view
will not give you up to date changes on the street as it is hard
to say the date in which these images where created. Being in a
good location will enable you to get to see a lot on your own
without the need to spend as much in transportation costs.
A lot of the internet booking sites will
allow you to include a message to the hotel such as the
requirement for an accessible room; you can also call the hotels
to ask specific accessibility questions. If you are completely
dependent on a wheelchair and cannot walk even a couple of
steps, and it would cause great hardship if you where not able
to get a specific type of room, then I would call the specific
hotel and tell them specifically what you require in a room and
ask if they could lock or block the room in on that reservation
for the days in question so it cannot be given to someone else
but that option should be discuss this directly with the
specific hotel. For those with limited mobility and can walk a
few steps even if using furniture or walls as a balancing guide
then this extra step may not be necessary, but you still need to
request an accessible room and also mention that again when
arriving at the check in at the hotel. If you not sure if the
hotel in question has accessible rooms; you can call the
specific hotel before booking and ask as they are in a far
better position to know, then the booking service.
By: Donald Kerr