Calgary, Alberta – Hotel Le Germain Calgary

We stayed at this hotel in December of 2011 for my sister’s wedding. It was a beautiful hotel with a very unique style. The wheelchair accessible room was large and well-equipped for anyone with mobility issues.

THE GOOD

The decor at Hotel Le Germain Calgary is very modern and you can tell that they have put a tremendous amount of thought into the design. The room felt more like a trendy apartment than a hotel room.

Our wheelchair accessible room came with two queen beds, a desk area, a flat-screen TV, and a huge closet area. I’m not sure why I thought this in the dead of winter, but I recall being tremendously excited that the windows actually opened. 

Two Queen Beds, Desk Area and Flat Screen TV

Two Queen Beds, Desk Area and Flat Screen TV

The bathroom in our room was huge and had a toilet with grab bars, wheel-under sink and wheel-in shower. The fixed shower head was a cool rain-shower type shower head but a wheelchair user would likely need to use the handheld shower head closer to the controls. 

Wheel-Under Sink and Wheel-In Shower

Wheel-Under Sink and Wheel-In Shower

The suspended toilet seat was a bit different but had grab bars both behind and beside the toilet seat. If you travel with a padded toilet seat, I’m not sure that it will fit on this design, but you could rent a commode from one of the many healthcare stores in Calgary, if necessary (most will drop off and pick up any rented equipment at your hotel if you ask them).

Toilet with Grab Bars

Toilet with Grab Bars

At the entry of the hotel room, there is a huge walk-in closet area. The rods are lower and within easy reach for someone in a wheelchair. Given that we were here for a wedding, it was really nice to have a lot of room for hanging up our dressy clothes and a lot of space to get ready in. 

Closet Area - Lowered Closet Rods for Easy Access

Closet Area – Lowered Closet Rods for Easy Access

The lounge area near the lobby of the hotel, Central 899, has a very cool atmosphere. They have beautiful, modern lighting and comfortable chairs and it stays pretty busy there for a hotel lounge.

The hotel is right in the heart of downtown Calgary. It is within walking distance of the Calgary Tower, the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts, the Glenbow Museum, the TELUS Convention Centre, and Stephen Avenue. You will have no trouble locating nearby accessible shopping, restaurants, cafes and bars. 

THE BAD

One unfortunate detail about this hotel is that the lounge area on the main floor, Central 899, is down about four steps and there is no wheelchair access to this area. You will have to ask for assistance to bounce down into this space if you want to have a drink here or hang out with friends. 

The parking situation in downtown Calgary is always bad, but at this hotel there is no good place to stop to unload your vehicle. You really have no choice but to use the valet parking service as otherwise you are stuck trying to unload on the side of a very busy street. 

THE UGLY

There is definitely nothing ugly about this chic hotel. 

OVERALL

This is a beautiful hotel right in the heart of downtown Calgary. They have clearly spared no expense on the design of the hotel. The rooms are well-equipped and stylish in the sense that the accessibility features blend seamlessly with the overall design. The hotel itself would be perfect in terms of accessibility if the lounge area on the main floor was also wheelchair accessible. 

Follow Papa Wheelie on WordPress.com

Las Vegas, Nevada – The Mirage

We stayed in a wheelchair accessible room at The Mirage for the first time in 2009. We actually booked a cheap package on-line and then called the resort to request that a wheelchair accessible room be set aside for us. This usually works okay in Vegas because they have a lot of wheelchair accessible rooms (so don’t be afraid to scope out cheap Vegas deals on-line). 

THE GOOD

The Mirage is one of our favourite hotels because of its central location on the strip and its pleasant atmosphere. I really like all of the greenery and the sound of the water inside The Mirage as it feels kind of tropical.

Interior of the Lobby at Mirage

Interior of the Lobby at The Mirage

The Mirage is completely wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair users will have no trouble getting into or accessing any of the shops or restaurants here. We particularly like the layout of The Mirage because you don’t have to walk a mile from the lobby area to get to the hotel rooms.

In our standard room, there was a comfortable, king-sized bed, a desk, a TV, two chairs and a mini-bar.

King-Sized Bed in Wheelchair Accessible Room

King-Sized Bed in Wheelchair Accessible Room

Interior of Room at the Mirage

Interior of Wheelchair Accessible Room at the Mirage

TV, Desk and Mini-Bar

TV, Desk and Mini-Bar

The bathroom was spacious, but not huge. Our room had a wheel-under sink, toilet with grab-bars and a bathtub with a portable shower bench. Most of the accessible rooms at The Mirage have bathtubs, not wheel-in showers. I understand that they do have a few rooms with wheel-in showers, so if you absolutely require one you should probably book with The Mirage directly to ensure you get what you need. 

Wheel-Under Sink and Toilet with Grab Bars

Wheel-Under Sink and Toilet with Grab Bars

Bathtub With Portable Shower Bench

Bathtub With Portable Shower Bench

Wheel-Under Sink and Bathtub

Wheel-Under Sink and Bathtub

The pool area at The Mirage is quite big although it is really busy and it was difficult, at times, to find a free lounge chair. There are lots of waterfalls and palm trees, which help to create a nice outdoor ambiance. We didn’t see any pool lifts at this pool and it was so busy that we didn’t try to get into the water. It was a good place to kick back for a few hours and do some people watching.

Mirage Pool

Mirage Pool and Palm Trees

Mirage Pool

Mirage Pool and Waterfalls

The Mirage has upgraded its volcano show in recent years and it is actually pretty cool to watch now. There is loud drum music that accompanies the flames that shoot out of the water. It goes off every half an hour in the evening and is worth catching at least once when you are in Vegas.

Mirage Volcano Show

Mirage Volcano Show

Mirage Volcano Erupting

Mirage Volcano Erupting

There is lots of good food available at The Mirage. The California Pizza Kitchen (one of our favourites) is located just off to the side of the casino. We also tried a place called BLT Burger that serves all kinds of milkshakes. They will also combine a variety of weird milkshake flavours if you ask, so you can really go wild (Twinkies, Nutella and toasted marshmallows milkshake, anyone?).

THE BAD

The view from our room was bad. Not only did we not get a strip view but we got the concrete jungle view on the opposite side. It’s not as though you spend a lot of time staring out your window in Vegas, but still. This is almost as bad as it gets. 

View From Our Room

View From Our Room

One issue that we have encountered a few times now is that some of the elevators outside on the strip can be out of order. There are several pedestrian walkways that cross over top of the strip or that connect one hotel to the next. To get to the top of the walkways, you either need to head up the escalator (if there is one) in your chair or access the elevators. Nothing in Vegas is that close so when you get to the other side of the walkway and realize you can’t get down in your wheelchair because the elevator is out of order,  it is a big pain. We have even been in a situation once where we took an escalator up to get to a walkway and when we got to the other side, the elevator was out of service. So we walked back to where we had come up and there was no down escalator and no elevator, only stairs. So… we were stuck… We had to convince several guys to carry my husband down a huge flight of stairs. This is something to watch out for as the elevators are out of service from time to time and it is possible to get up without being able to get down.

THE UGLY

The only thing I really do not enjoy about Vegas and the Vegas hotels is that smoking is allowed in the casinos. California Pizza Kitchen is one of our favourite restaurants in Vegas, but it is located on the edge of the casino in The Mirage. When you are dining at CPK, it is impossible to escape the smell of the smoke and, for me, it certainly detracts from the ambiance.

OVERALL

The Mirage is a great, family-friendly resort. It is situated in a convenient central location on the strip, between Caesar’s Palace and Treasure Island. There is lots of good food on-site and it is right next door to The Forum Shops at Caesar’s (some of the best shopping on the strip). The standard wheelchair accessible rooms are nothing fancy, but they are comfortable and they meet basic accessibility requirements. Who spends time in their room in Vegas anyway?

Follow Papa Wheelie on WordPress.com