I stayed at the Hilton Angel Islington recently and was very pleased i tried out this hotel – it was definitely an experience! Trying to find fully accessible hotels in London is incredibly difficult, the constant emailing and phone calls to find out what hotels offer can become tiring whilst many don’t actually advertise accessibility at all. Camden was my destination for this trip and so I wanted a hotel near there which also had a wet room / shower bench, mainly as we were staying for two nights. It is a really nice hotel, located along a busy main road – exactly where I like to be!
The main entrance to the hotel has both steps and a long ramp, there is also a separate doorway for those who are unable to use the tighter, spinning entrance. I liked how the other entrance was clearly labelled and I didn’t have to search for it – which you have to do at some hotels so that was definitely a plus for me! It’s also how it should be for disabled travelers, things shouldn’t be so different but integrated into what those without disabilities experience and come across.
We were very grateful for the air con that was on in the reception! It was such a hot day and it just made everything better. The reception itself was completely flat, there was a lowered reception desk; which we were sat at for a while (problems with the room). Friendly staff who couldn’t do enough for us, especially with the problems and I was incredibly thankful for this! I felt that they dealt well with serving a disabled guest and by simply doing this, they made me feel comfortable and relaxed.
I had booked an accessible room with a wet room and a connecting room for my carer. On check in, the receptionist told us the only room connecting to another that was available had a bath…two hours later, complimentary breakfasts and access to the executive lounge – we had compromised. My room did end up having the bath but I did send my carer to investigate bathroom space first!
I really liked how everything in the room came together, how they had decorated it to feel almost luxurious. Although to be honest, I was expecting there to be more floor space for easy movement and was slightly disappointed my stay would involve a lot of reversing. We made do by moving the desk chair and unpacking the suitcase to put in the wardrobe, instead of leaving out. The bed was soft yet supportive and was the perfect height to side transfer onto from my wheelchair, only one side of the bed is reachable though as the other side is too close to the wall – frustrating as I was then limited to the use of one plug only for both wheelchair and phone chargers.
I was really impressed that two of the wardrobe rails had handles that pulled down to a seated height but unless you have a good grip, it will release very quickly back into position (hence the large scratch I received!). There were plenty of hangers for my clothes – I always take far too many clothes with me when going away for the weekend and then on to explore the rest of my room. The desk doubled as a dining table for us and was a good height for my wheelchair to sit under but the draws all had handles I couldn’t grip 😦
My PA’s room was nice too – if not nicer! The doorway between our two rooms was very narrow and once inside, there was no moving around but straight back to reversing into my room. We didn’t try the television and so i’m unable to comment on what channels or music they offered. I feel that so far I have only said the negatives about this room although this is not the case! As a wheelchair user, you know exactly what works and what doesn’t so when you go anywhere different to stay, there will be plenty of comparisons! At home, my room is laid out to give plenty of floor space, handles on my wardrobes and draws are designed so I can slip my hand in and pull but I do try everything each time I go to a hotel.
I was impressed with the looks of the bathroom too – very shiny, clean and modern. What I love about some accessible bathrooms is how the handrail is positioned next to the toilet and sits right back into the wall itself. I sometimes find it difficult getting my wheelchair close enough to side transfer because the handrail is quite big, I personally feel this solution should be seen more often in accessible bathrooms. Good lighting is a must and this bathroom certainly had it! The mirror in the bedroom wasn’t in a good place and made it difficult when getting ready in the mornings. Although I was frustrated about there being a bath here, it didn’t impact on the space and we even had a really relaxing foot spa out of it!
Complimentary breakfast & access to the Executive Lounge
We were both really impressed by the buffet breakfast. Cooked breakfast items, cereals, pastries, waffles and pancakes too – such a good start to the day! Staff were so helpful too, moving chairs out of the way and even grabbing my drinks for me whilst my PA was occupied with her own breakfast. It was nice not to have to rush around to go out for breakfast and meant we could chill for longer.
I was very grateful to be given access to the Executive Lounger because of our room situation as to be honest, it isn’t a cheap option! It allowed us hot, cold and alcoholic drinks as well as pastries, cheese&biscuits and healthier snacks throughout the day. Plus it was nicely air conditioned and meant we could sit in there rather than go upstairs to our rooms.
Overall, I would go back to this hotel if they could assure me I’d have the wet room and not a bath as I do like to give hotels with problems a second chance. Stay tuned for my full post about my 3 day stay in Camden!
Till next time,
*Featured image is from Hilton Hotel’s main website, not my own*