OUR ACCESSIBLE NEW YORK HOTEL
Even for me, an ex travel consultant, booking a hotel in New York seemed overwhelming. There are certain cities where it feels more important to get it right and New York is one of those, particularly for an eight night stay.
I knew I didn’t want to stay in the Times Square area which appears popular with tourists. I wanted accommodation in a neighbourhood where I would feel more like a New Yorker.
I asked a friend who is a travel writer and he suggested a couple of options including the Hotel Beacon. Looking at the Hotel Beacon’s website I immediately felt it was right for us. To ensure it was roomy enough for BJ’s wheelchair and our luggage I phoned the hotel prior to booking to enquire about the square footage of the room. I also wanted to ensure there were no stairs or any other obstacles which would make our day-to-day access difficult. Everything checked out and I was excited to check-in.
We were off to a good start when we arrived at the hotel and found a level entry and a ramp in the lobby providing access to the lifts.
I walked into our room and let out a little squeal of delight. It was perfect. Large windows in the lounge room and bedroom gave me a place to perch and get an insight into New York and its people. Our room was on the 20th floor giving us views over the rooftops of surrounding buildings, including “our neighbour’s” loft complete with outdoor entertaining area. I could see as far as the Hudson River from one window and on the other side I could just spy the tree tops of Central Park. I spent a lot of time peering out the windows. I wouldn’t even close the blind in the bedroom so if I disturbed in the night I could check out the city below. To say I was a little excited to be in a beautiful hotel in New York is an understatement.
The rooms were decorated in a warm, muted mint green which gave the room an air of sophistication while maintaining a homely feel. “I could see myself living here” I told Hubby, to which he rolled his eyes as if, “in your dreams.”
A well equipped kitchenette may seem a strange feature to be pleased about, but when travelling with kids I think it makes life easier and definitely cheaper. In my New York kitchenette there was a kettle and as a tea only drinker I was thrilled. Most US hotels have tea and coffee making facilities but the tea is made through the coffee machine which laces every cuppa with a distinct coffee flavour. Yuk! I noted there was no dishwasher but then I spied a little notice which announced that dishes could be left soaking and would be replaced with clean ones by housekeeping. Maximising our time sightseeing was our goal so we appreciated our housekeeping fairies who kept our room in order for us in our absence.
We stayed in a one bedroom suite with two double beds in the bedroom and a pull out double sofa bed in the lounge room. Each room had a flat screen tv with a great variety of cable channels (the best we had the whole trip) Though we weren’t in our room that much it was great when BJ was up early to have a choice of shows to keep him entertained.
While at the hotel I did an inspection of an accessible (ADA compliant) room and it was extremely well appointed. The kitchenette had wheelchair access under the kitchen sink. There were lowered light switches throughout and the bathroom was well designed. It had a roll-in shower, shower seat with hand held shower and grab rails throughout. In the bedroom a sliding door on the closet revealed a lowered hanging rack and a safe at a good level.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying location, location, location. Well, this applies to booking a hotel, not just buying real estate. And the Hotel Beacon, located on the Upper West Side, definitely has a great location for anyone, but it is especially great for easy access with a wheelchair.
The hotel is located two blocks from an accessible subway stop (72nd Street) and it is a level three blocks walk/wheel to Central Park. There is a market and deli across the street which we used to stock up on fruit and picnic supplies for lunch in Central Park. For Trader Joes fans there is one right near the subway stop, only two blocks away.
When looking for a hotel in New York, especially when taking accessibility into account, it is not straight forward but hopefully I’ve made that job a little easier for you. I absolutely loved staying on the Upper West Side at the Hotel Beacon and hope to return one day.
Our family would like to thank the Hotel Beacon for their assistance with our stay. Be assured the effusive blog is based on the absolute pleasure it was to stay at this hotel.
For more information check out the website and as always, I recommend you ask lots of questions specific to your needs.
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