Please note: On this trip, for mobility I used a “Pride GoGo Elite Traveler Scooter”. It is 37.25″ in length and 19.25″ in width. It weighs 95.5 lbs. The following information is based on the size and maneuverability of this scooter.
ENTRANCE TO HOTEL:
You can drive up and unload directly in front of the entrance. There is a curb cutout with a slight incline to the front door. There are doormen to assist you and once you have entered, the pathway to the Front Desk is flat.
LOBBY AND CHECK-IN:
You directly enter into the lobby and on your right is the Front Desk. Check-in time is at 3:00pm. I arrived several hours early and asked for an early check-in. This was granted and I was told by the Front Desk clerk that it would be ready in approximately an hour and half. We confirmed that the Front Desk would call us to let us know when it was ready. After several hours, we returned to the front desk to inquire about its status. We were told that the prior guests had not checked-out by noon, as required, and that the management was unable to get in touch with them. We asked why they did not notify us of this and asked to be put in a room temporarily, so that I could rest. WHAT I LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE – ONE DISABLED PERSONS INCONSIDERATE BEHAVIOR CAN HAVE AN AFFECT ON THE COMFORT AND WELLBEING OF THE NEXT DISABLED CUSTOMER. Also, call ahead if you need to check-in early to make sure that you can.
There were three elevators with easy on/off access. Once you are on the elevator, there is limited space to turn around, especially if there are other hotel guests.
ROOM CONFIGURATION AND ACCESSIBILITY:
Entrance – The door to the room is not heavy, so opening it was not difficult. The electric keypad was easy to reach. Once you crossed the threshold, you must make an immediate right turn. I had enough turning radius but a larger scooter or wheelchair would find it tight.
Living room – There is a navigable path from the front door through the living room which leads to the separate bedroom. I found the couch comfortable enough. Because it had high arms, I was able to transfer on and off with minimal effort. The main lighting in the room came from a floor lamp which was located in a corner to the right of the couch. I found it difficult to reach and a strain on my body to turn it on and off.
Hallway to bathroom and bedroom – From the living room to the bedroom there is a pathway. It was sufficiently wide enough for my GoGo and I think a larger mobility device could make it through. There is a wet bar in this area as well as the clothes closet, safe, and refrigerator. The clothes bar in the closet was installed low enough for me to use without a strain but a shorter person would have trouble reaching it. The safe is placed on the floor of the closet which makes it too low and unusable. The refrigerator in the wet bar area was installed at floor level making it inaccessible and useable.
Entrance- Opposite the above mentioned wet bar is the entry door. The extra wide door opens out which gives one sufficient room to make a sharp left or right depending on which direction you are coming from. A manual wheelchair would certainly be able to make the turn without difficulty. I do not think there is enough turning radius for anything larger. Once you enter the bathroom, the door is difficult to close. Once you pass the threshold, you must turn your chair completely around, exit, grab the door handle and back up.
Counter and toilet areas- Once in the bathroom area, I found that there was plenty of room to maneuver. The sink is recessed with no cabinetry underneath. The faucet neck is short which made it difficult to reach. There was plenty of counter space. There was a raised toilet seat attached to the toilet, it did not have arms. When you are sitting on the toilet, there is a grab bar on your left attached to the counter and one attached to the wall behind the toilet bowl.
Shower- There is a roll-in shower with an L-shaped grab bar installed in the left hand corner in the front of the shower where the shower head and faucet are located. There is NO shower chair. I called the front desk and requested one, but it was never brought to me. I found the shower handles easy to reach and to turn off and on for someone with limited dexterity.
Through the above mentioned pathway you enter the bedroom. There is another door here. To close this door, you either have to reach behind you and pull, or, turn your chair completely around to face the door and draw it close by wheeling backwards. Once you cross the threshold the bed is on the left and a dresser is on the right. This pathway is tight and would be difficult to pass through for a mobility device larger than my scooter. After wheeling past the bed and dresser one must make a sharp turn to the left to reach the right side of the bed. This pathway is between the bed and the windows and is tight. To get out of this space I had to back up. The bed is of standard height and is not very comfortable. The lamp by the side of the bed is easy to reach and to turn on and off. I was able to plug my scooter into the lamp base which was convenient. The drapes covering the windows are full length and are easy to open and close. The curtain polls were extra long making them easy to reach. The large, round plastic handles made the curtains easy to use.
POOL AND JACUZZI :
The pool is heated!
The pool and jacuzzi are outdoors. Access to them is through the “Fitness Center”. There are two doors one must pass through to get to this outside area. One to enter the “Fitness Center” and another to exit to the outside area. Neither of these doors are electric. They are heavy and difficult to open for a physically challenged person.
Both the pool and jacuzzi had well maintained pool lifts. But of course, the battery pack was dead. This was taken care of immediately by maintenance. Both lifts were protected with canvas cloth which was secured with nylon cable ties. These ties have to be cut open, so one has to go to the Front Desk of the hotel to ask for help. Once in the chair, it worked smoothly. But the person using the chair cannot independently operate the lift! The control panel is placed behind the user on the base of the anchor post, low to the ground and out of reach. STUPID!!!
The restaurant was accessible. It was spacious and easy to get in and out of.
I found the staff I encountered throughout the hotel to be friendly, helpful and accommodating.
ASSISTANCE WITH GETTING CAB:
One morning I asked the doorman to arrange for an accessible cab to pick us up that evening. He attended to it immediately and the cab showed up right on time. The cab driver was outstanding and we used him twice more during our visit. I RECOMMEND CALLING HIM NEXT TIME YOU’RE IN L.A.- Victor Garcia with Santa Monica Taxi: 424-246-1019
RESPONSE BY FRONT DESK TO REQUESTS:
The bathroom shower had grab bars but no shower chair. I called the front desk to request one and was told they would send one up shortly. I NEVER RECEIVED THE SHOWER CHAIR!
ALL IN ALL, I GIVE MY EXPERIENCE AT THIS HOTEL A RATING OF 3 wheelchairs OUT OF 5 ON MY “ACCESSIBILITY/FRUSTRATION LEVEL” SCALE.