On our last trip to the US we were New York bound but needed to break up our flight. A stop in Los Angeles allowed everyone time to get over the flight and a couple of days at Universal Studios set an upbeat mood for the rest of the trip.
We’ve stayed in many hotels in and around LA but for our stopover we decided on the Sheraton Universal Hotel near Universal Studios. After the 15-hour flight from Sydney we wanted a location which allowed us access to Universal Studios and Hollywood without needing a hire car. Although we’ve negotiated LA’s freeways several times, being car-free was a more relaxing start to our holiday.
The Sheraton proved the perfect location for us. The hotel is wheelchair friendly in all main areas. The pool was being renovated but has since been completed. It looks beautiful and I assume being new there’s good access but check with reservations if accessing the pool is important to your stay.
We booked two interconnecting rooms and were lucky enough to be upgraded to pool executive suites. The executive suite had so much room it was wonderful for our huge amount of luggage and for storing the wheelchair. The only downside was the long walk to our room from reception. It was level and we didn’t need to wait for lifts but if anyone left anything behind and I had to go back to our room, it took ages. If you are booking a regular room or suite and have any mobility restrictions, or difficulties walking long distances, I suggest requesting a room close to all amenities.
Although we didn’t stay in an accessible room, we did take the opportunity to inspect one. This was accessed via the lift and seemed much quicker than the walk to our room.
We have found US hotels to be fairly consistent in accessible features and the Sheraton Universal Hotel’s accessible room had excellent access in all areas.
The accessible room has all facilities at a lowered height.
The room was not huge but there was sufficient room on either side of the bed to transfer from a wheelchair.
The accessible bathroom has grab rails throughout, wheelchair access under the sink and lever taps.
Although not an over-sized bathroom there is circulation space for manoeuvring a wheelchair.
The shower is roll-in with grab rails and a height adjustable hand-held shower.
The hotel offers free WI-FI for guests.
When staying at the hotel with a wheelchair or mobility restrictions the free shuttle service becomes your best friend. We walked to the Metro station once but it’s too hilly and definitely too steep on the return. Fortunately, the shuttle service is reliable and wheelchair accessible.
A free accessible shuttle operates between the Sheraton Universal Hotel and Universal City Walk, this is the shopping, restaurant and entertainment district surrounding Universal Studios. At the end of a big day at the theme park this area offers something for all tastes. BJ loved this area because there was always something happening and lots to watch while dining in the outdoor restaurants.
The shuttle picks up at the hotel every 10 minutes during theme park hours.
The free shuttle also operates transfers to the Metro subway which is just at the base of the hill from Sheraton Universal Hotel. The Metro Red Line offers an accessible 5 minute subway ride into Hollywood or 15 minutes to downtown Los Angeles.
This free accessible service made Sheraton Universal Hotel a fantastic choice for our family. We enjoyed the theme park, the variety of shopping and dining options at the Universal City Walk and the kids loved the subway ride into Hollywood.
ACCESSIBLE AIRPORT SHUTTLE
We used Super Shuttle for our transfer from Los Angeles airport to the hotel. They sent an accessible taxi driver who was on time and reliable for our return transfer to the airport for our flight to New York. In New York we also used Super Shuttle and one of their wheelchair accessible vans provided our transfers.
If booking the Super Shuttle, ensure you request an accessible service if needed. Be specific and advise that you need to remain in your wheelchair, if that’s the case. We specified that BJ’s wheelchair does not fold. You can read more about their service here.
If you’d like to know more about Sheraton Universal Hotel you can check their website here.