Bowden Hall | 8th June 2018
There are two designated disabled parking spaces, close to the front entrance of the building with big signs stating they are for disabled guests only.
There is a set of double doors to the main entrance which leads through to a single manual door to enter the hotel. There is also a low reception point so that a wheelchair user could check themselves in.
There is a lounge with a bar area where you can sit and have drinks, including complimentary tea or coffee. There is plenty of space for a wheelchair user to access this lounge and accessible tables and chairs to sit at.
The kitchen will cater for dietary requirement such as liquidised foods if you provide the food to do so.
There are 72 rooms in the hotel, two of which are disabled friendly, they are on the first floor which is accessible via a platform lift. There is one twin and one double room with a walk-in shower and seat and there are adequate handrails to transfer. The bathrooms and the rooms are a bit tight and the beds are quite high which could be difficult to transfer to from a wheelchair.
They have vibrating pillows for the deaf and there are panic alarms by the bed. There is a refuge point in case of emergencies, to get here you turn left out of the room, along the corridor and turn right and it is at the end of the corridor.
The Lakeside Suite is fully accessible, this is used mainly for weddings or businesses conferences. The seating area is up some stairs as you enter, there is a ramp if you carry on straight which goes up the side of the building. There is disabled toilet within the Suite which is at the bottom of the stairs and to the right. It is in the female toilets which isn’t signposted.
The Conference Room
The conference room is on the 2nd floor, this is not accessible for wheelchair users or somebody using a walking aid. The hotel is looking into getting a lift installed for the future, but this hasn’t been achieved yet. The hotel is a grade 2 listed building which causes some difficulties. The conference room is often used for wedding ceremonies, so it is worth considering this if you are attending/having a wedding here and have guests who will struggle with stairs. You can however also have the ceremony in the Lakeside Suite on the first floor.
There is a platform lift which leads up the first flight of stairs to the hotel rooms, the lift must be operated by a member of staff. There is a red phone which you can use to call reception next to the lift, or you can call from your rooms and somebody will come up and assist you. The lift is large enough for a wheelchair, but not for somebody to assist in the lift whilst operating. There is a weight limit of 225g so not suitable for large, heavy wheelchairs/scooters.
There are two disabled toilets located in the hotel, one just past reception to the left and one in the Lakeside Suite, the facilities within both of these were all adequate for a wheelchair user apart from soap dispensers being just a little too high in one.
The general manager, Gavin very kindly took the time out of his day to show us around the hotel and answered all of our questions.