Every hotel is different. Hotels can be cities, with over 1.000 rooms or as small as 2 rooms as in a lovely family hotel in an Asian mountain village. Hotels have a focus on families, on business people, or both.
We feel that accessibility should be a standard, a given in every hotel, lodge or holiday home. There are many little things you can do to make the accommodation more accessible.
Here is a list every hotel can use to make a huge difference for hotel guests.
In the accessible room
1. Make sure the door spy is at the correct height for wheelchair users.
If there is already one in the door, just add one.
2. Make sure all coat, towel and other hooks and knobs are at the correct height.
In the restaurant
3. Introduce a standard policy to use the ‘Reserved’ sign during breakfast or dinner hours on tables nearby the buffet for guests in a wheelchair or with visual impairments.
4. Welcome guidance dogs and service dogs with fresh water and dog biscuits.
In customer services
5. If a wheelchair user is in company of somebody never assume that the other person will take care of your job. They are both staying in your hotel.
6. Use information from other hotel guests about wheelchair accessible locations nearby (theaters, parks, shops, restaurants, musea, etc) and add this to a special folder you can hand out to hotel guests who would be interested.
A business approach
7. If you need advice, go talk to people with experience, invite the local/regional accessible sports club (wheelchair tennis, swimming club, athletics or other) or access advisers in your area, and invite them for dinner. Let them advise you.
8. Carpets and wheelchairs are not well together.
9. Happy and satisfied customers will return. If the accessibility in your hotel is great, news will travel fast in a large international community. It is such a great added value.
10. Awareness is the biggest win factor that will put your business above others. Start today!
Free download for hotel owners: Hotel Info Sheets
We have created info sheets for hotel staff – easy to read, free downloads. Our Ambassadors Helma (ATO Ambassador for Assistance dogs) and Danielle (ATO Ambassador for the blind and visually impaired) recommend to share this widely.