For many wheelchair users, making a hotel reservation is not as simple as choosing one that looks cute, or suits their budget. Certain factors need to be to be taken into consideration, such as if the hotel has ramps, elevators, and how big are those elevators, if the accessible room has a roll-in shower, grab bars, the list goes on.
Since I had planned to visit a few Italian cities for this trip and wasn’t keen on researching that information for each city, I decided to ask the tour agency, Rome and Italy, if they could arrange some hotels for me. I dealt with them on my previous trip to Italy, so I thought I’d let them do the hard work. It wasn’t too difficult for them since they have a whole bunch of hotels that they work with in most of the big travel destinations throughout Italy.
In the end, I chose Sina Palazzo Sant’Angelo.
The hotel is located on the Grand Canal which makes it easy to access by any mode of transportation. A drawback of this hotel is that there is nothing else that is wheelchair accessible in the immediate surrounding area; i.e., no restaurants or shops. On the plus side; however, there is a vaporetto bus stop right outside of the hotel that can get you to those places in a few minutes.
The hotel has the following accessible features:
– ramp at the entrance
– spacious accessible room
– roll-in shower in the accessible room
– accessible bathroom sink
The ramp is a bit steep, but I managed fine with someone behind me making sure my chair didn’t tilt backwards.
The elevator is rather small but was wide enough to fit my wheelchair with a couple inches to spare. For reference, my wheelchair is 43 inches long and 25.5 inches wide.
The accessible room was just that. It was spacious enough for me to wheel around in comfortably. I did ask the hotel staff if they could turn one of the beds against the wall so there would be even more space.
I use a hoist to get in and out of bed and that can be one of the trickiest parts about planning an accessible vacation. Usually, the problem lies in making sure there is enough clearance under the bed so that the legs of the hoist will fit down there. Knowing this would be a problem in some of the hotels, I brought four little six inch platforms to put under each corner of the bed. The hotel staff were more than willing to assist me in arranging all of these requests.
I rented a shower chair along with the hoist from Rome and Italy because I wasn’t sure if there would be a shower bench in the roll-in shower as that sometimes happens.
The bathroom itself was fairly large; I had no trouble manoeuvring around. There was a roll-in shower and the sink was high enough that I could easily drive under it.
The hotel offers free breakfast for every guest. They have a good sized spread of breakfast options of all the basics, eggs, meat, cereal, some fruits and veggies. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, the pickings are slim.
Tip: if you’re coming from North America you’ll need to bring adapters and probably a power converter or transformer if you are using a powered wheelchair. I purchased the 1000W from Amazon. If you’d like more information on conversions and such, >here< is a link that helped me determine what converter I needed.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at Palazzo Sant’Angelo. The staff were very friendly and accommodating, the whole building is nicely decorated while still being accessible, and the handiness of the vaporetto bus stop makes it a great location.