If you’ve been following my blog for a while now you might remember we postponed our planned trip to Paris for my 30th birthday last November. Well, I’m now excited to share with you that we finally made it to the City of Light at the end of April for 3 amazing nights.
The hotel we stayed at was genuinely the best hotel we’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. It is called Hilton Paris Opera and it is a beautiful landmark building in the Madeleine area, 8th Arrondissement. I would love to visit again, but for now, I’m excited to share my wheelchair accessible review of Hilton Paris Opera.
Reservation and Check-in
We arrived at the hotel by taxi (G7 Horizon) as we figured this to be the easiest way for us to travel to and from the hotel and airport. The concierge was more than happy to arrange this for us and we’re always willing to answer any concerns I had regarding the accessibility of the taxi prior to our stay.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a friendly bellman who led us through the hotel’s accessible entrance and stunning bar/lounge to the reception desk. The sheer beauty of Hilton Paris Opera took our breath away and we hadn’t even seen our room yet.
At check-in, we couldn’t help ourselves from admiring the luxurious design and elegant features of the beautifully decorated lobby with crystal chandeliers hanging from its high ceilings. We later discovered that the columns within the lobby are made of Scottish granite. Being Scottish ourselves, that was pretty cool.
Once checked-in, we were greeted by the lovely duty manager, Jaklin, who personally showed us to our accessible suite while explaining all the accessible and non-accessible features of the room and hotel.
Wheelchair Accessible Suite – #129
We fell in love with our accessible suite as soon as the door opened and revealed the most stunning room we have ever had the pleasure of staying in. We knew right away we were in for three amazing nights.
Being a wheelchair user, space to move around in a hotel room is essential, so I was amazed by how much open space there was to move around freely. It was nice to have a separate living area with a sofa and chair – perfect for relaxing after a busy day of sightseeing.
The décor had a truly Parisian feel with a subtle Eiffel Tower scene behind the large king-size bed. The bed was comfortable, if not a little high, but I believe the standard accessible room has lowered beds making transferring to and from your wheelchair easier. There was clearance under the bed to accommodate a portable hoist. The duvet cover felt like heaven and was very cosy.
There was a nightstand on each side of the bed with power outlets and light switches directly above and within easy reach. A telephone and emergency alarm were also located next to the bed. It was good to have plenty of space on both sides of the bed for my wheelchair, which is often very rare in hotel rooms.
The bathroom was equally spacious with stylish accessible features including a sink, which allowed my wheelchair to roll comfortably underneath without any restrictions or annoying pipes. If you’ve been following me for a while now, you’ll know how much I hate hotel sinks, but this one was good.
However, the toilet was not very accessible and it was something I struggled with during my stay. There were no grab bars next to the toilet, which I found to be unsafe, especially for myself as I have extremely weak trunk control and balance (so much so a feather could knock me over. No seriously!). This was made worse by the height of the toilet (my toes barely touched the floor). Depending on your level of ability, you may not find the height and lack of grab bars an issue. There is plenty of space at the right-hand side of the toilet for wheelchair transfers and to manoeuvre a portable hoist if required.
The roll-in shower was great with a sturdy seat attached to the wall that folded down with grab bars on either side. A large rain shower head attached to the wall and a handheld shower nozzle within easy reach from the seat. The sloped floor and long metal drain collected the water perfectly, which meant there was no risk of slipping once out of the shower. Bathrobes and slippers were also provided.
I loved the mosaic designs on the marble heated floor, which felt amazing first thing in the morning, after a shower and getting ready for bed. Who am I kidding? It was amazing at all times! Sometimes I just went into the bathroom for the heated floor. Who doesn’t love warm tootsies? I particularly enjoyed the heated floor after being out in the fresh cold April weather.
A flat-screen TV, tea/coffee making facilities and a minibar are located in the living area. We enjoyed unwinding here every night after long days of sightseeing by watching movies and even all the main British TV channels too while snacking, drinking tea and soft drinks from the minibar.
The work desk was the right height to accommodate my wheelchair to roll underneath and was a good area for me to do my hair and makeup in the morning. The three large windows provided lovely sunlight to stream into the room, which helped when getting ready too.
Service & Amenities
Since our trip was a belated 30th birthday treat we decided to treat ourselves to room service on our first night at Hilton Paris Opera. It was nice to relax in our amazing suite and order dinner to the room, which we both enjoyed.
Our reservation included breakfast in the Executive lounge, but because it takes me longer to get ready in the morning we, unfortunately, couldn’t make it down in time and instead ordered breakfast to our room. There was so much to choose from, including cereals, eggs, meats, pancakes, fruit, bread, and teas.
As I mentioned earlier, the hotel’s accessible entrance is to the rear of the building directly across from Gare Saint Lazare and its shops. Unlike the main entrance, this door is permanently locked (as you can see in above photo). To enter from this door you must push the call button and a member of staff will let you in. I thought I would find this an inconvenience, but we never had to wait for more than a minute or two for the bellmen to arrive and they were always so friendly and helpful. This means that no one is able to enter the hotel without the hotel knowing and ensures the safety of the guests and staff.
Location & Transportation
Hilton Paris Opera is located in the beautiful Opera quarter on Rue Saint Lazare. With Gare Saint-Lazare a stone’s throw away, it makes catching a train really easy. Our suite provided the best view of the little square outside and was perfect for watching people come and go from the train station, Gare Saint-Lazare (the building on the right of the photo).
Opéra Garnier, Tuileries Garden, Moulin Rouge and Champs-Elysées are just some of the main attractions within an easy walking distance from the hotel.
Charles de Gaulle airport is only a 30-minute drive to and from the hotel and should cost around 50-60 euros. However, it cost us 100 euros to our hotel, but then only 57 euros to the airport. Both roughly the same journey time. It was only when we arrived home that we found out it should be a minimum of 50 euros.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Hilton Paris Opera and would certainly return in the future. The hotel was spotless, luxurious and most importantly wheelchair accessible. My only concern is the lack of grab bars next to the toilet in our suite, but I’m sure that is something the hotel can easily correct. The staff are without a doubt the most attentive and helpful staff I’ve ever come across in any hotel. If you’re looking for a hotel in a good location close to many tourist attractions with extremely efficient staff and you enjoy some luxury while still being wheelchair accessible then Hilton Paris Opera is a perfect choice. You won’t be disappointed!
Have you been to Paris? I’d love to hear about your experience!
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