The hardest part of traveling is finding an accessible place to stay. A lot of businesses say they’re accessible, but you will never know how accessible it is until you get there. I’ve stayed in hotels, VRBO‘s, and even college dorm rooms for vacation but I have never reviewed one’s accommodations. With that being said, here is my first hotel review!
We picked the Newport Beach Marriott Bayview Hotel on my recent trip to Southern California because it was close to family, had a nice indoor/outdoor pool, a yard for the kids to run around, and the photos from the website looked fitting for my wheelchair!
So far the Marriott experience was off to a good start. The room door unlocked with the swipe of the card against the key pad. (On their website the Marriott states, “not all accessible guest rooms have a 32 inch wide opening.” If you have a wider chair, keep this in mind and ask for a specific door size opening when booking your room.)
The Living Room
When I entered the room I was surprised how spacious everything was. There weren’t any coffee tables or ottomans sitting in the middle of the room which is very nice. Ottomans and coffee tables only add more obstacles and when you are with multiple people, it becomes very frustrating having to avoid them. Long story short, I’ll probably end up hitting them on my chair which will cause damage to my chair and furniture. If you would like certain furniture, like a ottoman or coffee table removed, call the front desk and they should be able to do so.
The living room had a pull out couch, tv, and desk. Like I said previously, the suite was very spacious so it was easy to access all the rooms and open doors. The room had a mini kitchenette in the corner, it included a fridge, counter, and down the hall by the ice machine was a microwave. The desk was at a difficult height to fit under and it also had a bar across the bottom where my feet would go. The height and the bar prevented me to roll under. If I hit my feet on the bar, which happened multiple times when I was trying to fit, it would send pain signals to my brain. Not fun.
The living room, bathroom, closet, and bedroom were all connected in one circle. I appreciated this feature, it involved less pushing in my manual chair. Connected to the living room was the balcony that looked you out to the bay. Unfortunately, the balcony was not easily accessible. It was extremely narrow and had a tall threshold to roll over.
(Living room, balcony, and bedroom door)
The bathroom was spaced out with a roll in shower and a toilet. Each had grab bars in the appropriate areas. (See in pictures below). There is enough space on the right side of the toilet for transfers and grab bars on the side and behind the toilet. The shower was kind of tight but we managed to tip my chair back so I could at least wash my hair (when I travel I typically do sponge baths because I do not have a travel shower chair). The shower controls were in reach of the fold out seat which was built into the wall of the shower and also had surrounding grab bars. The door had a full body mirror which was a lovely touch. I like to see what my outfits look like:). On the other side of the shower was a few racks of towels at a reachable height for chairs.
(The full body mirror)
(Towel racks are on the left)
One odd thing about the design was the sink. It was not in the bathroom but on the other side of the door and was connected to the closet. However, it was nice to do my make up without being interrupted by people needing the toilet or shower. The sink was very easy to roll under, had a good height, I could see myself in the mirror, and it had a good amount of counter space. The faucets were reachable as well as the outlets! The closet area was on the opposite side of the sink. It had a rack for hanging clothes at the appropriate level for a wheelchair user, another great touch by Marriott! Unfortunately, I was unable to take a picture of the sink but I promise I will get every picture I need next time.
(The closet with reachable hangers and rack)
Connected to the sink/closet was the bedroom. It had one queen size bed with plenty of space on either side for wheelchair transfers. The height of the bed was about 20 inches. I am not at the point of complete independent transfers, so my parents did a two person lift, at least that’s what we call it. One person will lift under my legs and a second person will lift under my armpits and I am swung onto the bed. I do know some hotels will remove the bed frame or box spring to lower the bed height for transfers. I called their front desk to ask if they would accommodate the same way and they said no. They are unable to remove the frame/box spring but they reassured me the rooms and bed height were ADA compliant.
The night stand was barley reachable from the bed, had a lamp, telephone, and included multiple drawers. If you need it moved, the staff will help you adjust it to your needs! There was also a tv and a dresser in the bedroom in a little nook and out of the way, yet easy to access. This Marriott has 10 handicap rooms, and 4 of them have roll in showers that come with one queen size bed and a pull out sofa-bed. The sofa bed was not very comfortable. If we had stayed longer, my parents would have purchased a mattress topper.
(The bed and night stand)
There were wonderful amenities including a fitness center, a very nice indoor/outdoor pool, and a jacuzzi. The pool and jacuzzi both had updated self operating lifts to enter the water. The hotel has on site parking and will comp your pass if you have your handicap placard. Another plus was the beautiful view of the Newport Back Bay from our room. And the trails around the bay are accessible right across the street from the hotel and have beautiful, wide paved paths.
Over all, it was a nice stay. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons I experienced.
- the staff was very polite, helpful, and kind.
- Easy room and key entrance
- Enough space to maneuver my wheelchair
- Big open sink and counter
- Roll in shower with easy to reach controls and grab bars
- A nice pool and jacuzzi with accessible lifts
- Easy parking
- Free WiFi
- Located by the bay
- Fairly accessible room
- Every room has a balcony with a pretty view but they aren’t very accessible.
- The hallways and room had awful thick carpet which makes it difficult to push a wheelchair
- Not all doors are 32 inches wide
- No continental breakfast
Last but not least a final tip- before booking your hotel, call and discuss all the details and accommodations you may need for a hotel room.
Thank you for reading and I hope this helps your next adventure! Pleas like and subscribe so you don’t miss any future posts!