Last month while travelling to Bristol to see Nashville in Concert, I got to spend one night at the amazing Hampton by Hilton Bristol City Centre hotel. The centrally located hotel opened last year and is the perfect choice for business and leisure travellers with public transport links, shopping and tourist attractions nearby. It is clear to see that accessibility for guests with disabilities is a priority at this contemporary hotel.
Reservation and Check-in
The first thing I noticed when we entered the Hampton by Hilton Bristol City Centre hotel was the beautiful décor and the lovely bright furniture in the lobby/lounge. Everything looked fresh, stylish and welcoming. As we made our way to the reception desk to check-in we were greeted by the lovely Fernando. He welcomed us to the hotel and promptly began checking us in for the night. Before handing us our room key, Fernando explained the emergency exit procedure in the event of a fire by showing us a floor plan of the hotel and pointing out exactly where it was located from our room. Turned out the exit was located right beside our accessible room – perfect!
With check-in complete and our room key in hand, we headed to the lift which is located behind a set of secured doors. The doors only open by placing our room key over the sensor, which was a good security feature to have in place as it prevents non-guests from gaining access to the guest rooms.
There are two guest lifts – one at each side of the stairs leading to the guest rooms. The inside of the lift was big enough for my wheelchair, Allan and our case. Without our case, it could fit both of us and another two people. Emergency call buttons were located near the guest lifts. This is something I’ve never seen in hotels before but is another great accessibility feature to have.
Wheelchair Accessible Room
Our wheelchair accessible room was on the 3rd floor (#316) and it was huge. I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief when entering a hotel room and seeing how spacious it is. There was so much floor space in our room that I can’t envision a wheelchair user having any issue at all when moving around in their wheelchair and operating portable hoists.
Once inside the room, there was a large area with tiled flooring that could possibly be used for luggage and storage for equipment. The bathroom was directly to the left. Straight ahead took you into the main bedroom area.
The queen size bed was extremely comfortable and for the second time in my whole experience of staying in hotels around the world, I had a great sleep. The mattress wasn’t too hard or too soft – just perfect! The pillows felt luxurious and provided great support.
There was only space for my wheelchair on one side of the bed, but it was more than enough as you can see in the photo above. The bed was risen off the floor which provided space for a portable hoist to be used if required.
The nightstand was clutter-free with just a telephone in place. There were power outlets and a spotlight on each side of the bed, which gave a good amount of light when the rest of the room’s lights were switched off.
The room had two large ceiling to floor windows with a view onto Brunswick Square. The flat-screen HDTV was positioned between the two windows and there was tea/coffee making facilities underneath. There was no shortage of power outlets in our accessible room as there was another two located at the side of the TV unit.
The curve-shaped desk with a lovely big mirror above was a great area for doing my hair and makeup in the morning as well as working on my laptop with free Wi-Fi (another two power outlets located at the desk).
I feel Hampton By Hilton Bristol City Centre have really thought about the design and layout of their accessible rooms. Not only are the rooms extremely stylish, they are also very practical for wheelchair users. The large floor length mirror was a nice touch, allowing me to get a full-length view of myself – something many accessible hotel rooms don’t have. Sometimes I’m just able to see my head in the hotel room mirror because it’s not at wheelchair height.
The accessible bathroom was also stylish with a nice roll-in shower. The wall-mounted seat was very sturdy and the fold-down bar provided support and security. I found the shower head and controls to be at a good height and within reach for wheelchair users.
One thing that I found not to be accessible was the location of the dispensers for body wash, shampoo and conditioner. These dispensers were at the opposite end of the shower and not within reach when seated in the shower. I feel they would be better placed next to the shower controls.
The toilet had all the accessible features you’d expect and need. There was space on the right-hand side of the toilet for wheelchair transfers, toilet roll holder within easy reach and there were grab bars – one fixed and one fold-down as well as an emergency pull-cord. The toilet flush was extremely sensitive so it didn’t require much effort at all.
To the right of the toilet was a sink that I was able to roll underneath, but if you have a slightly wider wheelchair you may find the legs on the sink unit prevent you from rolling under. Not to worry though because there is a second sink and although it’s on the smaller side, you may find it meets your needs a little better. There is hand wash and body lotion dispensers fixed to the wall above this sink.
A selection of fluffy towels were neatly stored in a shelving unit within a comfortable reach for wheelchair users between the larger sink and the toilet.
The bathroom also had a sliding door, which you can see as well as my feet in the above photo. Sliding doors are a great accessibility feature in an accessible hotel room. Standard doors can be tricky to open/close and manoeuvre around especially in tight areas, but by having a sliding door, it creates extra space for wheelchair users.
Food & Service
Breakfast is included when you stay at Hampton by Hilton Bristol. There are lots of hot and cold items to choose from the buffet breakfast and the trays were continually being refilled. We both thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast, but if you don’t have time, you can take the breakfast to go.
The restaurant was decorated in the same stylish and brightly colourful way as the rest of the hotel. There was a mix of booths, tables and breakfast bar with stools. We had no issue finding a spot to sit and have breakfast. Everywhere was immaculately clean and the staff were always happy to help. Everything you want from a hotel stay.
There are also drinks and snacks available from the bar and a 24-hour pizza service, which we had for dinner shortly after we checked-in and it was really good. P.S my diet was put on hold for one night and it was so worth it.
Location & Transportation
If you arrive by car you may want to park in the NCP car park (£21), but by chance, we came across parking outside the hotel at Brunswick Square which allowed us to park free with our disabled blue badge. Parking here worked out great for us and it was only a minute walk from the hotel entrance. We could even see our car from our hotel room.
Would I stay at Hampton by Hilton Bristol City Centre hotel again? Definitely, yes! I enjoyed my stay from check-in to check-out. The staff were very friendly and I appreciated being told the emergency procedures in the event of a fire. I loved our room and the accessible features met my needs. We didn’t have a lot of time to explore Bristol, so we are already planning another trip there soon, for which we’ll definitely choose to stay at Hampton by Hilton Bristol City Centre hotel again.
Disclosure: While my stay at Hampton by Hilton Bristol City Centre was complimentary, all opinions expressed are my own and have in no way been reviewed or endorsed by the hotel.
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