I stayed at this hotel for the first time back in 2014 for my end-of-year-one at university celebration weekend. This stay was complimentary as when I previously went, they were carrying out renovations and the ‘wheelchair accessible’ lift was smaller than my actual wheelchair! However, you live and you learn.
On arrival, there is a notice by the main entrance that explains to wheelchair users they must go around to the side of the building for the ramp. I have no problem with having to do this – especially if I want to enter a building or venue but sometimes it just doesn’t feel right! The reception is light, large and completely flat, there is also a lower reception desk which I feel is being seen more often nowadays to cater to a wider range of guests.
The lift that was out of use on my first visit was not appropriate but there was a bigger lift that was in use this time (thank goodness!), it was also big enough to easily fit my long electric chair and a large suitcase in. Both the corridors and room doors were wide and allowed plenty of space to navigate through without causing any damage!
This hotel room had the most empty floor space out of all hotels I’ve stayed at so far. But on the other hand, it felt empty? I enjoy staying places that have a ‘home away from home’ feel. The bed had transfer space on one side only and there was space under the bed that could be used for a mobile hoist if needed. There was a desk, a hanging section and soft stool along one section of wall whilst on the wall opposite the bed, a flat-screen TV was hanging.
As previously mentioned in other posts, I can only side transfer on specific sides … this toilet was not what I was used to or what I could use easily, it was stressful but we managed! I find that sometimes when places say they have a ‘lowered toilet’ in the accessible bathroom, it frustrates me as surely it is easier for people in wheelchairs or with any type of mobility issue to get up off of a slightly raised or even an ‘average’ height toilet? It was also quite small and there was trouble maneuvering around inside but I did like the design and how modern it felt compared to others I have used.
As with many other Holiday Inn’s, this one also offered a connecting room for my carer so we could have our own space but she would still be around if I needed her. The connecting room had a double bed, a sofa bed, TV & a desk whereas the bathroom had the same style but was a lot smaller.
Most Holiday Inn Express’s will offer guests a complimentary breakfast along with their room rate, this breakfast was a simple continental with pastries, cereals, toast, fruit, juices and hot drinks. Again, everything was clean and spacious. I would stay at this hotel again as it is in a good location within London, reasonably price and offers a complimentary carer room too. However, if they only have accessible bathrooms where the toilet is positioned on the wrong side for, then I may have to look elsewhere but it will only take a phone call to find out more!
Till next time,
*Credits go to the Holiday Inn Express Southwark for four of the pictures featured in this post – including the cover photo*