Accessible Family Rooms In Hotels
As a lot of you may already know, accessible family rooms in UK hotels just don’t exist! This (according to the Equality Act 2010) is classed as direct discrimination!
“What is discrimination arising from disability? (new)
Discrimination arising from disability occurs when a disabled person is treated unfavourably because of something connected with their disability and the unfavourable treatment cannot be justified”.
This can mean an extortionate amount of money for a family having to book more than one room to cater for their needs. Something non-disabled families have to do as they can book a “family” room!
How do disabled families with small children where one of the parents needs their partner’s help cope with having to have 2 rooms? You wouldn’t leave two small children in a room by themselves.
What reasonable adjustments do you have to make for disabled people? (changed)
Service providers are required to make changes, where needed, to improve service for disabled customers or potential customers. There is a legal requirement to make reasonable changes to the way things are done (such as changing a policy), to the built environment (such as making changes to the structure of a building to improve access) and to provide auxiliary aids and services (such as providing information in an accessible format, an induction loop for customers with hearing aids, special
computer software or additional staff support when using a service).
Some hotels claim they are willing to put an extra bed in their accessible rooms to turn them into family rooms and where this is not possible, they would offer a second room for free. The trouble is, when put to the test, this is not always the case!
At present, many hotel chains don’t have the facility to book accessible rooms via their website. Many hotels, cruise companies, caravan parks etc require you to use a dedicated telephone number to make an accessible booking. Many of these numbers are expensive to call, especially if you are phoning many different companies to find out availability and access requirements. This can run up a hefty phone bill, putting disabled people again, at a disadvantage compared to non-disabled people.
As a rule, able-bodied holidaymakers can go online, check out many different companies to check availability etc. and even book their chosen holiday all online with just a few clicks.
How can you help?
- Join our Facebook group
- Email your local MP – and Kate Nicholls OBE – Chief Executive, UKHospitality & Ross Calladine, Head of Business Support, VisitEngland (why visit England if you can’t stay anywhere as a family?)
- Email hotels explaining the difficulties you have encountered trying to book a family-accessible room and any/all other issues.
I contacted Premier Inn recently regarding the many complaints disabled people are having regarding extra beds in their accessible rooms. This is what they had to say:
Firstly thank you for contacting us.
At Premier Inn we take the needs and equal treatment of all our guests extremely seriously. We have invested heavily in this area in recent years and are committed to ensuring our facilities and services are accessible to all.
We will always try and accommodate your family together in our accessible rooms but in the instance that we cannot we will offer an additional free room. A complimentary room which will be located either next door or interconnecting with your accessible room. This is a policy we have in place to ensure we can accommodate families with additional accessible needs.
Notwithstanding this, Premier Inn recognises that there is no single hotel design or layout that will entirely meet all individuals’ needs and preferences. If during your stay you feel there is something we could do to assist you, or make your stay more comfortable, please allow us the opportunity to do so by contacting Reception.
We intend to continue investing in this area in order to further improve the facilities available across our hotel estate.
Feel free to quote this if/when you need it.