What Is An Accessible Hotel Room

Introduction Traveling can be a challenge if you have a disability or access needs, however it is possible to find suitable accommodation. An accessible hotel room can provide the facilities needed to ensure a comfortable


Traveling can be a challenge if you have a disability or access needs, however it is possible to find suitable accommodation. An accessible hotel room can provide the facilities needed to ensure a comfortable and safe stay.

When booking an accessible hotel room, it is important to consider which amenities are included and guarantee that the accommodation meets your requirements. What may be considered suitable for one person, may not meet the needs of another. Having a clear picture of what an accessible hotel room looks like, and what features and amenities it should include will make your search for the perfect place easier.

It can also help to know what amenities are available within specific hotels so you don’t miss out on any extra services that could improve your overall experience. This guide aims to provide an overview of what constitutes an accessible hotel room, as well as some of the features usually associated with such rooms:

  • Wheelchair accessible doorways
  • Wide hallways and corridors
  • Roll-in showers
  • Grab bars in the bathroom
  • Lower light switches and thermostats
  • Raised outlets
  • Braille signage

Definition of an Accessible Hotel Room

Accessible hotel rooms are designed to provide a more comfortable and convenient experience for people with mobility impairments. These rooms are typically outfitted with features that make it easier for people to move around the room, such as enlarged doorways, adjustable furniture, and accessible bathrooms. In addition, the hotel may provide additional amenities or services for people with disabilities, such as special wheelchair-accessible elevators and wheelchair-friendly routes.

Let’s explore further:

Physical Accessibility

Physical accessibility refers to the hotel’s commitment to making their property welcoming and convenient to guests with physical impairments. This includes a range of accommodations that may be available, such as access ramps, widened doorways, assistance bars in the bathroom, hand-held showers and chairs in the shower stall. Depending on the severity of your impairment, you may decide that certain features are more important than others when selecting an accessible hotel room. It’s always best to ask about specific amenities before booking a room.

Other important physical features for an accessible hotel room include:

  • lower placement of items like light switches, thermostats and other controls so they can be reached from a seated position;
  • emergency call buttons that can be easily reached from bed;
  • beds that can be adjusted for height;
  • televisions with closed captioning capabilities; and
  • non-glare surfaces for seeing darkened rooms better.

You should also consider whether there is adequate lighting in common areas such as lobbies or restaurants since poor lighting or uneven surfaces may present challenges for those with certain physical impairments.

Visual Accessibility

Visual accessibility is an important factor to consider when choosing an accessible hotel room. Visual accessibility refers to the ease of visibility for people who have vision impairments or disabilities. This includes features such as the size and location of windows, the visibility of doorways, the prominence of wheelchair ramps, lighting, and other features that can ensure that individuals can easily see relevant access components. Additionally, visual accessibility also includes features such as contrasting surfaces and colors on stairs to increase safety for individuals experiencing vision loss.

A hotel can provide greater visual accessibility by:

  • Installing contrast-colored handrails along all staircases and ramps
  • Offering larger print in documents and signs within the premises
  • Providing Braille on signage throughout the building
  • Presenting information through oral formats whenever possible
  • Having adequate lighting in hallways, stairwells and other shared spaces

Hearing Accessibility

When considering hearing accessibility for accessible hotel rooms, it is important to be aware of the different levels of soundproofing and acoustic insulation. An accessible hotel room should include deeper insulation in the walls, floors, and ceilings between guestrooms to reduce the amount of noise transmitted from one room to another. Additionally, these walls should be a thicker grade of material that is also fire-rated; otherwise it may not provide sufficient sound protection. All internal doors should be solid core doors instead of hollow core since they absorb more sound, and should also fit their frame tightly so as to not allow sound transmission. External windows should also be designed with additional layers or double glazed pane glass which helps block external noise pollution from outside sources such as traffic.

In addition, accommodations such as televisions and radios with adjustable volume settings will help promote hearing accessibility in an accessible hotel room.

Common Features of an Accessible Room

An accessible hotel room is designed to improve the stay of those with physical and mobility impairments, as well as cognitive and sensory disabilities. There are a few common features to look for in an accessible room and they can range in type and complexity.

Such features may include lower countertops and shelving, wider doorframes and hallways, adjustable height sinks and even sensory lighting. Let’s investigate some of the most common features of an accessible hotel room:

Wheelchair Accessible Entrances

Wheelchair accessible entrances must provide a clear, level passage to the interior of the building. The threshold should be no higher than half an inch, and ramps should have a minimum ratio of 1:12 for their slope (1″ for every 12” traveled). It is important that the entrance be wide enough to accommodate the measurement of wheelchair or mobility device you or your family may use. Garage doors, automatic sliding entrance doors and revolving doors are not compatible with ADA requirements.

Other features of accessible entrances include:

  • Door knobs that are operable with one hand rather than requiring grasping and twisting motion.
  • Powered assisted doors suitable for wheelchair users and those with walking disability.
  • Illuminated light switches installed at a reachable height.
  • Partition walls that extend 12” beyond either side of the doorway at full floor height for stability when maneuvering in and out of the room with a mobility device or wheelchair.

All these measures help ensure an easy-to-access room suitable for wheelchair users or people with walking disabilities or special needs.

Accessible Bathrooms

Accessible bathrooms are designed to provide easy access and mobility for individuals with disabilities. Common features of an accessible room include:

  • Wheelchair space,
  • Grab bars and lowered sink heights for front entry,
  • Shower adapted for wheelchair access that includes safety bars and a seat.

ADA compliant showers also feature a hand-held shower head with flexible hose so that it can be used while seated in the wheelchair or standing. Other amenities may include:

  • Motion or pressure activated doorway lights,
  • Widened doorways and automatic door openers.

Additionally, some hotels provide adjustable bath benches which allows guests to transfer in and out of the tub safely and easily.

Accessible Furniture

In an accessible hotel room, furniture should be arranged to make it easier to move around the room and make use of the space. Most hotels choose to adjust existing furniture rather than replacing it as this helps to lower costs, but in some cases new pieces may be provided. Common features include:

  • Furniture that is wide enough for a wheelchair to pass between them.
  • Chairs with arms on both sides so that they can be easily used by someone in a wheelchair.
  • Couches or chairs with removable arms, so they can be more easily moved aside if necessary.
  • Low tables with clear space underneath so they are easy to access from a wheelchair.
  • Beds that can be adjusted at both ends for comfort and convenience when transferring from a wheelchair.
  • A device such as a Stander frame or Hoyer lift which can assist with transferring in and out of bed.

Accessible Lighting

Accessible lighting is an important feature for guests who require wheelchair access and enhanced mobility. Examples of accommodating light fixtures include lamps with adjustable heights, closet lights on motion sensors, brighter lighting overall, and a combination of fluorescent and incandescent bulbs to ensure even illumination in the room.

All light switches should be placed within reachable distances and edges should be rounded to avoid any potential hazards. Additionally, having dimmers or night lights in each room allow guests to adjust the level of lighting according to their needs.

Accessible Appliances

An accessible hotel room typically features certain amenities, fixtures, and facilities that are adapted to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. This includes larger door frames, lower light switches and counters, non-slip flooring, entrance ramps or lift systems to eliminate stairs and provide easy access to a guest room. Element of an accessible room should also be easy to use by people with disabilities.

Other common features of an accessible hotel room include:

  • Low appliances: Generally, accessible hotel rooms will feature low appliances such as sinks in the bathroom that can be easily accessed from a wheelchair. The showerhead should also be installed at a convenient height for wheelchair users.
  • Grab bars: Securely mounted grab bars should be present in bathtubs and showers for increased safety when bathing.
  • Support rails: It’s important for every bathroom to have flush support rails that are large enough for an individual to grasp them securely while using the toilet or getting in and out of the tub or shower safely.
  • Roll-in showers: Some accessible rooms will feature roll-in showers that allow users to enter directly from their wheelchairs without having to step over any edges or height differences within the shower enclosure. These showers usually have built in benches and swings as well as fold down seating accommodations etc..

Benefits of Accessible Hotel Rooms

Accessible hotel rooms can help make traveling more comfortable for those with mobility impairments. These rooms typically feature several modifications that help to ensure that the guest can navigate their stay with ease. Such modifications can include wider doorways, modified bathroom and shower facilities, adjustable seating, and accessible electrical outlets.

Let’s look at the benefits of staying in an accessible hotel room:

Increased Comfort

Accessible hotel rooms provide increased comfort for those who require access for mobility devices and wheelchair use. Accessible hotel rooms often include accommodations such as wider doorways and space to move from one area to another. These spacious interiors allow more breathing room and easier wheelchair navigation.

In addition to these physical adjustments, some accessible hotel rooms feature adjustable beds, lowered sinks, shower seats, grab bars, and other safety features that provide greater convenience and support. These ergonomic designs enable a hassle-free experience in the bathroom or any other area of the room.

An added benefit of accessible hotel rooms is the option of adjustable thermostats located at the bed level so guests can adjust their own room temperatures without resorting to services like air conditioning or heating systems that are placed too high on walls or ceilings. Guests can also enjoy additional amenities like larger TVs with remote controls which have been strategically placed at chair height so they can easily be reached when seated in a wheelchair.

These features ensure that individuals with mobility needs are able to feel comfortable during their stay whether they are traveling for leisure or business reasons. Accessible hotel rooms offer increased safety, convenience, and comfort for these guests for an unforgettable experience during their stay.

Improved Quality of Stay

Creating an accessible hotel room environment can have significant benefits for both the business and the guests. For guests, there is improved quality of stay since the presence of accessible technology creates a home-away-from-home environment. This helps to reduce stress, worry, and financial constraints related to accessing hotels while accommodating their needs. For example, features such as wider doorways and bathrooms provide mobility options that may not be available in a standard hotel room or require special equipment.

Additionally, hotels can benefit from offering accessible rooms because they are seen as more customer friendly with improved ratings on websites and travel review sites like TripAdvisor. The presence of an accessible facility is also increasingly affecting traveler decision making when booking hotels due to increased awareness around disability issues and being made aware of the availability of accessibility facilities in different destinations.

Finally, the cost for an average accessible hotel room is not exorbitant which allows for a good Return on Investment (ROI) by way of providing great service with little cost. With a few modifications such as widening doorways or incorporating sturdy grab bars in showers and toilets make all the difference in terms that comfort level expected from disabled guests without much effort from businesses that make such modifications anyway.

Increased Safety

Accessible hotel rooms are designed with features that help ensure the safety of those who use them. These features may include fabrics and materials specifically chosen for people with sensory sensitivities, handrails in bathrooms, a wide entrance to allow wheelchair or walker access, or lowered peepholes in doors. By having these features in place, guests can stay safer while they travel as they will be better equipped to avoid any potential accidents.

Additionally, certain accessible hotel rooms boast features such as:

  • Higher wattage outlets and lower light switches.
  • Adjustable beds and desks.
  • Tactile signage for those with low vision impairment.
  • Audio relays for those with hearing impairments.
  • Alert systems for emergencies.

These all make staying in an accessible hotel room a more secure experience than a traditional room.


When traveling is necessary, it’s important to do some research in advance and book the right accommodation. Staying in an accessible hotel room provides individuals with disabilities the necessary comfort and convenience to enjoy their trip. There are a variety of accessible hotel rooms available, ranging from standard rooms with ADA compliant amenities to luxury suites designed specifically for wheelchair users. It is important that each traveler consider their own needs, and make sure to select a hotel room that will meet those needs.

For those looking for an accessible hotel room, there are plenty of options available. The key is to:

  • Look up hotels offering ADA-compliant rooms and take the time to read through their reviews talking about the accommodations they offer.
  • Speak directly with customer service representatives if further clarification or detailed descriptions of specific hotel rooms are needed prior to booking a stay.