I spent the last leg of my Italian trip in Rome, my favourite city. For the other cities I visited I had a tour agency make hotel reservations for me, but since I sort of knew the lay of the land from my last trip to Rome I decided to make the reservation myself for six nights.
Unless you are fluent in Italian, my experience has been that hotels there prefer prospective clients to send them an e-mail including the dates you plan on staying and what kind of room you require.
I picked this hotel because of its great location. It’s on Via Nazionale and is in rolling/walking distance of the Baths of Diocletian, Trajan’s Market, the train station, Termini, and the subway station, Metro. Still within walking/rolling distance, but a longer of walk is the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Roman Forum. It’s at least a 25-35 minute roll to those attractions.
Just outside the hotel and across the street are bus stops that have routes that lead to all the major Roman sites. However, I preferred to catch the bus from Termini because by the time the bus arrived at the spot by the hotel, it was typically already full of passengers.
Accessible Features of Hotel Quirinale
Some hotels in Rome have a step at the entrance, but this one is even with the sidewalk. The door however is a revolving one, which isn’t ideal for wheelchair users, but there were no major problems with it. Since the width was a little narrow, one of the porters would fold the door in and push it aside so I would have more room to manoeuvre. Sometimes I had to wait a few minutes for one to come along and assist me, but it didn’t happen that often.
The main floor consists of the reception lobby and grand foyer, while the rooms, restaurant and breakfast area are on the upper floors. There’s a wheelchair lift in the foyer that leads up to the second floor. From there, one can reach the breakfast area, gym, bathrooms, and a set of elevators that lead up to the hotel rooms. On our very last day in Rome, the wheelchair lift broke down, so the porter led us on a roundabout way that ended up letting us out in the hotel lobby. I noticed that the hotel was very quick in getting it repaired; there was a group of maintenance people there not long after.
The elevator was a good size and could fit a couple of other people comfortably.
The breakfast room was wheelchair accessible. They have a wide variety of continental breakfasts and lots of seats to choose from. There is even a patio where you can go out and enjoy breakfast with a view of the garden. There is a small lip to get out there though; it’s about an inch and a half high.
The Accessible Room
I was very happy with the accessible room that I had booked. It is quite a large room with plenty of space for wheelchair users to move around in. Originally, the room had two twin beds pushed together, but I asked the hotel staff if they could separate them and then put my little platforms under each corner of the bed in order to raise its height so the legs of my hoist/lift would have enough space to slide under. Once the beds were separated, it made the room seem even larger.
Tip: If you’re coming from North America and you use a power wheelchair, you’ll need to bring a transformer because of the differences in voltage. I purchased a 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. You’ll also need adapters, which you can get from any electronics store or online.
The bathroom was also large. I had enough space to wheel around without knocking into anything. It had a roll-in shower that was more spacious than other roll-in showers I had come across on this trip. They provided a small stool for the shower, but I rented one from RomeandItaly in addition to the hoist for my whole trip.
With the exception of the wheelchair lift breaking down, I was very satisfied with the accessibility of Hotel Quirinale. The adaptations have been done well and thoughtfully and they blend in with the theme and decor of the rest of the hotel. It’s location is an added bonus.