The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel is located in east London and I stayed here twice; both times for two nights instead of the usual one. I absolutely loved it! Probably one of the most relaxing and accessible hotels I have stayed at – and that is saying something with how specific I have to be. The first was in July last year as I had completed my three-year University degree and the second was in October as a graduation treat.
This was a 5* hotel and it certainly felt it! Both my PA and I were treated like celebrities as you had the bellhop come over and place our luggage on golden ‘carriages’ (trolleys), and the receptionist kept calling me ma’am or madam – never had that before! It was just an experience in itself. But back to accessibility – the reception desk had a lowered section for those who needed it, I could then fill in the paperwork myself. The lobby was completely flat and there were two large glass lifts to take you to all the facilities.
I had already carried out plenty of research on this hotel and managed to receive a few pictures but nothing could prepare me for seeing it in real life…although the pictures below don’t do it justice as the lighting wasn’t very good! There was a LOT of space to steer my wheelchair around and it was well laid out, plug sockets and light switches were all easy to reach. Our rooms were located on a lower floor on our first visit so any exterior pictures are of the Premier Inn opposite whereas the second visit, I requested a room with a view and luckily managed to be allocated one!
The bed was slightly higher than my wheelchair seat cushion so there was a bit of difficulty side transferring onto it, although after some thinking, I managed to come up with a way to easily lift myself up a little and then wiggle back – unfortunately there was no room under the bed itself for those who need to use a portable hoist. My room was an Executive Accessible bedroom and so along with the extra space, I also had a sofa, armchair and a coffee table…yet I can’t actually transfer onto these!
Because of where the bed was positioned, both sides were easily accessed so I could plug my wheelchair and my phone in at the same time – (also gave me space to throw the extra pillows when not needed!). There is a really long desk on the wall opposite which had a large mirror above; the desk was the perfect height to drive my wheelchair under but the mirror wasn’t much good as it was too far away however it did make the desk area feel bigger. My PA’s room was through the connecting (wide) doors and I was actually able to go in this time! Although there wasn’t as much space in there, it had a really cosy feel to it.
My PA and I went out one of the nights and we would get our rooms ready to come back and go to bed; remove pillows, un-tuck the quilt and place our pj’s on the bed…but when we came back it had all been re-tucked and pillows put back…didn’t realise about the turn-down service! It was a really nice touch but it does feel odd knowing somebody came in during the evening instead of the morning.
Although this is one of the smallest bathrooms that I have used in a hotel, it had everything positioned exactly where I needed it – providing easy left side transferring. I really loved how modern the bathroom felt and how it looked exactly like my PA’s bathroom, it didn’t stand out as an ‘accessible’ bathroom. The sink was a little low but that’s just because my wheelchair is quite tall and makes getting under any sink difficult! As you can see in the picture above, there were some lovely smelling toiletries and as we stayed two nights, I took the second set home with me.
They also provided us with a bathrobe and complimentary slippers! (I gave mine away as i’m unable to wear slippers but it’s still pretty cool!). I think the only thing I was a bit disappointed with in the bathroom was the handrails at the side of the shower bench and in front – they were slippery when wet so we had to cover them with wet towels to help with the grip. Maybe something a bit wider or with a non-grip surface would be helpful even! Whilst using the shower one evening, I accidentally pulled the alarm cord but did switch it off straight away – we received a call from reception asking if everything was okay, I have never experienced a response so quick before!
Over my two separate stays at the Grange Tower Hotel, my PA and I had room service twice and had a meal in the bar another time as well as continental breakfasts all mornings (included in rate). There were no issues ordering room service, it arrived pretty quick but i’m never too sure about the whole tipping side of things. The breakfast was lovely and as we arrived downstairs so late, they let us have the cooked items even though it wasn’t included – BINGO! Chairs were moved and my drinks were brought over to me by the staff member which took a lot of pressure off, they seriously couldn’t have done enough for me. Eating a meal in the bar was similar with the waiter rearranging the furniture so I could drive around easier 😀 Was pretty impressed i must say!
The hotel does offer a hoist and an accessible changing room for disabled guests wanting to use the leisure facilities but unfortunately I was too tired to check it all out. The pool really does look nice though and next time i’ll be sure to visit and take lots of pictures!
Overall, I would go back to this hotel. They dealt with having a disabled guest incredibly well and answered all my questions, found out extra information and phoned me straight back. I couldn’t have asked for a better stay – yes, there were hiccups throughout but we overcame these just as we always do. I definitely hope to go back soon!
Till next time,