Note: We must say that we are only trying to be a guide. Please do not take what is written here as the final word. Consult a health professional for more comprehensive information in relation to your personal needs.
Much can be said about hotels. We certainly do not have the resources at the present time to enable us to recommend any specific hotels of any description for use by a wheelchair bound person. We would like to make you aware of the problems you may find in hotel/motel rooms. We also recommend that if you have never stayed in a hotel/motel before, then before any overseas trip, you should try some local ones and gain some experience.
What we can do is speak generally. You can find lists of hotels, motels, lodges or whatever on the internet in many a different place. Many of these will list disables facilities. What you must not do is assume that the disabled facilities on offer will suit your needs. It has been our experience to find that rooms that are listed as 'accessible' are very often not unless you have the help of a second person. Not all rooms are bad, we do recommend that you call the hotel that you plan to stay at and ask any relevant questions. They will sometimes just say all is OK to get your business, but more often they will be more than helpfull.
Room Access and Space - Space inside a room can be quite small, and if you require space to manouvre a wheelchair, then this can be quite inhibiting. Often a room can be reasonably large but access to the bed can be restricted.
Bathrooms - Some rooms are advertised as having disbled bathroom facilities. This usually means that you would expect a shower to accessible, or a toilet able to be used by either transferring or a commode. We've know this to be the case, except that you can;t get into the bathroom as the doorway is too narrow.
Toilets - Where a transfer is used, toilets will not have padded toilet seats. You may choose to take an inflatable toilet seat with you to place on the seat to avoid pressure sores. Transfers of this nature usually require the use of a grab-rail. You need to check how the grab-rail is mounted. We have known them to be mounted onto plywood, which would not reliably hold the weight of an adult. The placement of the grab-rails can be odd. They can be alongside the toilet, behind the toilet or some unusable distance away. We have tried the use, successfully, of grab rails that are portable in so much as they have a strong suction cap on each end of the rail and attach to a smooth wall surface. You must check these before each use and not apply to rough surfaces, but worth taking.
Showers - If you can get access to the shower you have won a 50-50 bet with yourself. Often you can see everything in the shower but there will be a step that you can't get over. You then need to settle for a wash from the bathroom basin. We have been to one lodge, where teh shower was outside. In this country it didn't matter as the weather was great. The shower was in a small adjacent roofless shower room. You had to go down a steep path and round a corner to get to it. Inside the shower area, there was the usual facilities incuding a shower seat. Not too bad by the sounds of it except that t he shower seat was a block of very rough oncrete that would take the skin straight off you.
Beds - Finding a soft hotel/motel bed anywhere would be a real find. They are usually much the same. Quite hard, which becomes an issue for the skin and often over dressed, especially where the hotel/motel is in a coolish area. Any problem with excess blankets or pillows is not a problem. Of course the reverse can be. You may need to ask for additional pillows for leg support or other similar. You can think of taking an eggshelll foam mattress to lay over the mattress in a room, this does become extra baggage of course. Heights of the beds vary and if transfers are dependent on a bed at a certain height then this may be a problem.
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