Monday, 4 March 2019

Hilton Review - Disabled Hotel Stay

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This year has already opened the door to lots of exciting opportunities for me. One of the first ones was traveling down to London (which was a huge deal for me!) to say goodbye to my best friend as he starts his new life in Australia.

Planning a trip away whilst disabled takes an awful lot more time and research. This blog post I'm focusing on our hotel choice and why we chose the Hilton.

For our London trip, we chose to stay in DoubleTree by Hilton in Chelsea. The location worked well for us because it was near a connecting train line so my friends could come to our hotel easily. It was also in a part of London which wasn't as busy and we had a offer which was valid on this hotel. It ended up being around £20 each more than a Premier-Inn Hub (which would have been a squeeze with my assistance dog!) including breakfast so it was well worth the money!



We booked a disabled room and hands down it was the best adapted hotel room I've stayed in. It had a push-button to open the doors which my assistance dog could operate so I didn't have to struggle through in my wheelchair. There was plenty of room to manoeuvre my chair and they also were very nice about my assistance dog; providing extra sheets for the bed to allow him to rest with me. The bathroom was huge, with a large wet room and flip-down shower seat.



At breakfast, they had gluten and diary free options but what I loved the most was that one of the waitresses came around to help me which was very thoughtful. Mum used the bar area to meet a friend whilst I rested one day and in general the hotel was really warm & friendly.

I will add, it's a fantastic place to stay as a disabled guest but the facilities nearby are not the best for assistance dogs. We had trouble with access refusals, they are very strict on where you're allowed dogs and there aren't many places to let dogs for their business unless you live there. However, we did find a small area of grass across the road from the hotel, so not all was lost!


My next Hilton stay was for a very special celebration. I had been nominated for a Glass Slipper Award for being one of the top 3 most remarkable women in the North East. It was hosted at the Hilton in Gateshead, and whilst we were at the Hilton in Chelsea and I received the email saying I'd been shortlisted, we decided we would make a stay out of it!


One of my close friends Danielle who nominated me for the award stayed the night with Mum and I in one of the Hiltons family rooms. We checked in late (due to a bad pain day on my half!) but it was soon made up by a fantastic room overlooking the Tyne Bridge and a complimentary fruit bowl. I do have to say my friend, Bethany, knew I was going and went above & beyond to try make our stay special! We went to to the spa in the evening where Spencer, my assistance dog, was treat like a king with his own silver water bowl. I was so relieved that the staff were so good with his access by the pool and it was great to know that the pool had both disabled changing rooms & pool hoists for if I people needed them. That evening we dined at the restaurant where they adjusted the menu for my (many) allergies and a fabulous member of staff, Jess, helped with everything including talking to me about how to get an OT referral - what are the chances!


I've been to the Hilton at Gateshead for many events now and Spencer especially is a well known guest there. Out of all the places I have ever stayed, the customer service there is absolutely amazing and we had such a fantastic time. For this stay, we didn't stay in an accessible room as we wanted a family room but they made sure the room was large enough to fit my wheelchair in and it had a beautiful view. I checked up on their website and I was so happy to see that one of their suites is accessible too; I love it when there's a range of different options for accessible stays!

So, overall, both our Hilton stays were fantastic. Our next trip is to Birmingham for Naidex and we will be staying at the Hilton Jewellery Quarter for that in an adapted room - I'm hoping it'll be as good as our last few stays! We have stayed in other hotel chains before as we do have to travel a lot (even for medical reasons!) so I'm not saying we are always lucky enough to stay at a Hilton, we ofter stay at a Travel Lodge or Premier Inn, but I just wanted to share with you how fantastic they were on both adaptations and customer service on our recent visits - gold star from us!

Kate x