Sometimes life has a funny way of working out. I was supposed to stay one night at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix Arizona, but thanks to illness I stayed four. As it turns out, Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass is a property to be savoured and my longer stay allowed me to do just that. While I was disappointed to miss out on the remainder of my itinerary, this special hotel was exactly what I needed to remember not to always be racing to the next place. In doing so you often miss the joy right in front of you. I’m also pleased to report that Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass Hotel offers excellent access for those using a wheelchair. It’s also an ideal location for anyone looking for a low sensory environment.
Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass – accessible Arizona accommodation
Travelling to Arizona for the first time I wanted to embrace everything about the state. I always like staying in a hotel which reflects its surrounds and culture and I was not disappointed.
Walking into the hotel my eyes were immediately drawn to the floor to ceiling windows which showcase a stunning view of the Sierra Estrella mountain range. Throughout the hotel the décor and artwork pays homage to Pima and Maricopa, the local Native American tribes. As an Australian I always hope that visitors to Australia take the time to learn more about our First Nations People and therefore I was eager to be immersed in the Native American culture.
Accessible accommodation at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass
My room was my oasis in the desert.
I stayed in an accessible room (2087) which was equal parts spacious and stylish. The decor again reflected the location and the local Native American tribes. It also included all the accessible features which make for a comfortable stay, including good circulation space for a wheelchair user and plenty of room to store luggage to keep the room uncluttered. It was too hot to leave the verandah door open for fresh air but in cooler months it would be lovely to sit outside and watch the cheeky chipmunks.
Comfy bedding ensured I slept like a baby and the air conditioner worked well, keeping the extreme heat at bay (45 degrees or around 113 Fahrenheit).
The room is equipped with a mini-bar fridge, tea and coffee facilities, a lounge and small table.
Bedroom facts – Bed height 63cm and under bed clearance 28cm.
A sliding bathroom door makes accessing the large bathroom easy. Space for a wheelchair user is provided under the bathroom sink, lever taps are fitted throughout and a lowered magnifying mirror is at the right height to highlight any beauty spots or blemishes that guests need to know about.
A shower bench, height adjustable shower head and grab rails are fitted in the shower cubicle. Drainage is good so I found the water was confined to the shower area and didn’t flood the bathroom floor. That’s always a bonus in an accessible room. Depending on how a guest uses the shower bench, the shampoo and body wash may be out of reach once seated. The bench does have ample room for a guest to sit and have their own toiletries on the bench alongside.
There is space on the small shelf beside the wash basin to store a toiletries bag (yay!). Towels and all towel rails are at a lowered height.
Bathroom facts – Bathroom door clearance 80cm, toilet height to the seat 46cm, toilet height to pan 43cm.
Sliding doors provide access to the wardrobe which has lowered hanging rails and a lowered safe.
Everything within the wardrobe is lowered including the shelf and iron. Visual alarms are fitted in the room for hearing impaired guests.
Take a tour of my room with me below
Level pathways make accessibility around the extensive grounds a breeze.
Given it was summer and the state was experiencing a heatwave, the pool was the place to be. As with all American properties, the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass offers a pool hoist for access into the wonderfully large pool. Hanyo, the pool bar, was popular with guests and kept the staff working overtime delivering cocktails, water jugs and food to guests sheltering under the umbrellas. Many were standing in the pool under the shade sipping on their drinks and chatting.
Wildlife at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass
My daily walks around Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass had my camera working overtime.
I’ve never stayed anywhere with such an abundance of wildlife. Each walk brought new surprises. Patience was required to capture the camera shy birdlife and my little chipmunk friends, who would scurry into the ground at the sound of my footsteps approaching. I eventually had success.
I was particularly fond of this dedicated mamma who chose a nesting spot which was extremely hot in the middle of the day. She didn’t budge off that nest the entire time of my stay. Hopefully she was rewarded for her efforts.
On my final day I woke up early to beat the heat and explored a portion of the interpretive walk. I was ever hopeful of seeing the wild horses referred to in the hotel’s name. I didn’t spot any horses but I had a lovely time nonetheless. The majority of the level walk is accessible, though it isn’t paved all the way so it is bumpy in patches.
The walk crosses the roadway in a couple of sections but otherwise it’s off road on the track. Along the walk there are informative signs educating visitors about the local Native American tribes.
Unfortunately during my stay I didn’t have the opportunity to dine in the restaurants or visit the spa but I can report my room service meals were delicious and promptly delivered.
When I return to Arizona I hope to visit the spa. It’s called, Aji, meaning “Sanctuary,” and it’s Arizona’s only Native American-owned spa and features indigenous treatments based on ancient legends of the Pima and Maricopa Indians. The spa includes 17 treatment rooms, salon, fitness center, and the relaxing watsu pool offers one-of-a-kind treatments developed from ancient rituals, including ingredients such as white clay and river rocks from the Gila River and a traditional Native American roundhouse (dwelling) used for meditation. Aji promises that, “through its design, story-telling art, gardens, and treatments and programs, Aji Spa will inspire you with clarity and a renewed perspective as you seek sanctuary from your world of daily stress and cares.” Who doesn’t need that, even when on a holiday.
And while I didn’t get to see the wild horses, I did ride off into the sunset with Koli Equestrian Centre (once I was feeling better) which was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend my last evening at the hotel. Koli Equestrian Centre is located within a few minutes drive of the hotel.
My trip to Arizona didn’t go to plan but one of the keys to happy travels is embracing detours and I relished my time at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. The hotel is located just 18 km or 11 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and is an easy drive or Uber to Old Town Scottsdale (stay tuned for my review of my visit there) and there is the fabulous Phoenix Premium Outlets just five minutes down the road. While the hotel allows you to feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life, you are also able to tap back into it with ease if you wish to.
My stay at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass was hosted but I’m sure my photos tell the story of great accessibility and a unique hotel which gives more than a nod to the local Native American culture.
You can find out more about the hotel on the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass website.
And if you are planning a trip to Arizona, check out the official Visit Arizona website.