Hotel Quirinale: A Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Review

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. Continue reading

Hotel Del Real Orto Botanico: A Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Review

This hotel is located in a bustling part of Naples. There were so many stores, people milling past, and a lot of traffic that I almost missed spotting the entrance to the hotel. From the outside, the hotel looks very modest, but inside, it has a rather spartan elegance to it.

I spent four nights here and it was a nice change from the small, cramped room we shared in Pisa. This hotel was one of the three in which I had tour agency, Rome and Italy, make reservations for me.

From the outside, the hotel looks like it would be quite small, but I was surprised at just how spacious it was inside. Continue reading

Hotel Artemide – A Wheelchair Accessible Hotel in Rome

Let me start by saying this hotel is just fantastic. I was a little worried at first that I might encounter some physical barriers when I reached the hotel, but that wasn’t the case at all; everything was nearly perfect. I stayed at Hotel Artemide for seventeen nights; a long stay, but well worth it. The hotel is in a great location on Via Nazionale and is in within walking/rolling distance of a lot of big attractions. Nearby is the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Baths of Diocletian, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the National Roman Museum (Museo Nazionale Romano – Palazzo Massimo alle Terme), the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, and lots of shops and restaurants.

I’ll begin by describing the wheelchair accessible facilities of this hotel; starting with the entrance, the elevators, the rooftop restaurant: Ambrosia, the room itself, and the welcoming staff. There is a spa in the hotel, but because I didn’t use it I am not sure if it is accessible.

The Entrance

When I was searching for pictures of the front entrance of the hotel it looked as if the street and entrance blended into each other seamlessly; however, when I reached the hotel I noticed that there was a small lip, maybe about an inch or so high.

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My wheelchair managed to climb it easily enough, once I had the front wheels on, I just slightly reversed and accelerated a little and I was in business.

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Elevators

Many elevators that I encountered in Italy are on the smaller side compared to Canada; and that also is true for this hotel. However, my chair did fit in both of their elevators. They have a third elevator, but that one is probably an original from the time when the hotel was built in the late 19th century. It is still in good working order, and is pretty neat, but is far too narrow for the width of my chair.

First, so you can determine if your wheelchair will fit, I’ll give you the measurements of my wheelchair. The width from the back wheels is 25.5 inches. My tray and driving stick protrude out a bit farther than the wheels, increasing the width to 29.5 inches. The length, including the foot rests is 43 inches.

My wheelchair did fit in the door of the main elevator, but with little room to spare.

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The inside of the elevator is slightly larger and once I was in two of my friends could squeeze in, but it was close quarters.

The other elevator leads up to their rooftop restaurant, Ambrosia. That elevator is the same in width, but a bit shorter in length. I had about 1 inch to spare. If your wheelchair is longer and you really want to go check out Ambrosia you could always, if possible, take off your foot plates and that will give you an extra couple inches. It is really nice up there.

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And so is the view.

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There is a large step to gain access to the rooftop patio of Ambrosia, but when we asked if they had a ramp of some sort, they were quick to find it and lay it out for me. It remained there for the duration of my stay, which was nice.

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The Wheelchair Accessible Room

When I made the booking I requested a room with a roll-in shower and Hotel Artemide delivered. I also made some unusual requests of them. One was that if I could bring in a rented hospital bed (from www.specialneedsitalia.com) because I was worried that the legs of the lift that I also rented (from www.romeanditaly.com) would not pass through under the bed. Lots of hotel beds have a solid base which makes this impossible, unless they can rig the bed up on some strong support blocks made of wood or something, but that almost seems more complicated. The lift came with a sling, but I brought my own and used it in the room and used theirs for the tours.

Once we arrived at the hotel after the delay at the airport (Wheelchair Accessibility at Fiumicino Airport in Rome) we had to wait a short while for the room to finish being set up, but as soon as it was, everything was perfectly arranged. The hospital bed was there, fitted with the hotels bedding, the lift was parked by the bed, and the shower chair was ready to go in the bathroom. In order to get the bed to fit, the staff removed one of their beds and replaced it with the rented one.

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The sink was plenty high enough for me to drive under.

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The room has a second bathroom featuring a bathtub, which is good for the person that you’ll be sharing your room with.

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The room was large enough for me to move around comfortably without worrying about bumping into furniture. I had no trouble passing through the door of the room because it is a couple inches wider than that of the elevator.

The Hotel Staff

All of the staff at this hotel are excellent and they will do their best to make your stay perfect. On your behalf they can book tours, arrange transportation, and probably more if you ask.

Breakfast is complimentary and they have a large selection of yummy food to choose from. They even gave me a delicious fruit cake on my birthday.

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I really loved staying here, especially after a hot day of touring around. It was nice to come back and relax for a little while and then go exploring again.

Stick around for my next post about all the tours I went on with the company Rome and Italy.