The second stop on our recent road trip took us to the lovely Liverpool to see Kings of Leon perform at The Echo Arena. After a long search for an accessible and affordable hotel, we decided to base ourselves at Premier Inn St. Helens South hotel.
Booking an accessible room through the Premier Inn website couldn’t be any easier. My reservation was made within a few simple clicks.
Since we were pretty certain our travel plans weren’t going to change and there was no way we were going to miss out on seeing Kings of Leon, we opted for the saver rate. There is also a flexible rate which allows you to amend or cancel your reservation up to 1pm on the day of your arrival. For one night in an accessible room, we paid £66.50
Arrival & Check-In
As with most, if not all Premier Inn hotels I’ve stayed in, parking was free at this St. Helens hotel. We were able to get a space close to the hotel’s entrance in one of the disabled parking bays. It was lovely to receive a warm welcome from the woman on reception who efficiently had us checked-in within a few minutes.
It was close to 5pm when we arrived so it was nice of the woman to inform us that if we were planning on going to their restaurant that she would make a reservation for us as it was particularly busy that night. We wanted to quickly have dinner and then make the 30-minute drive to The Echo Arena.
Wheelchair Accessible Room
Our wheelchair accessible room was close to reception on the ground floor which was handy and saved us from having to use lifts and open various doors through narrow corridors. When you book a Premier Inn room, especially if you’ve stayed in one before, you sort of know what to expect.
The room was very basic, but nice and had what we needed for our one-night pit-stop. What stood out to us was the lowered bed. This is the first time we have been in a hotel room with a bed so low. To be honest, the lowness threw me a little as I wasn’t expecting it at all. Although I often find hotel beds too high, I do slightly wonder if this Premier Inn bed is possibly too low for people with limited mobility but are able to stand up to get in/out of bed. It’s important to notify the hotel as soon as possible if you require a higher bed as they will arrange to have the bed raised.
For wheelchair users, the height of the bed is likely to be quite good and as you can see in the photo above my wheelchair is roughly the same height as the bed. Easy wheelchair transferring would be achieved.
The bed was quite small and clearly didn’t fit the headboard and as a result, there was a lot of space between the bed and bedside tables. The Premier Inn website explains for reason for this. “In some older hotels, which have smaller rooms, it has been necessary for us to replace the king size beds in the accessible bedrooms with standard double beds in order to create a suitable transfer space.”
There was an inbuilt bedside table on one side of the bed and a small round table on the other side. An emergency button was located next to the bed as well as plug sockets and light switches.
On the plus side, the bed was very comfortable, so much so that I didn’t require my travel air mat that I use to relieve pressure when lying in hotel beds. I managed to sleep really well without any pain or discomfort. It’s definitely true you’ll get a ‘good night sleep guaranteed’ with Premier Inn. The bed almost reminded us of our own bed at home, which by the way is the world’s comfiest bed. We call our bed “The Mallow” for obvious reasons.
Our accessible room had a desk that I was able to roll-under with a flat-screen TV mounted on the wall above. Plug sockets allowed us to charge our mobiles and my power wheelchair.
There was a shelving/storage area with tea/coffee making facilities, extra pillows, clothing rail, mirror and hairdryer, all of which were accessible and within reach for wheelchair users. There was also a lowered coat hanger located beside the widened door.
The accessible bathroom was suitable for my needs, although there was a bath instead of a roll-in shower which was a little disappointing to discover. However, for our one-night stay, we didn’t complain. If our stay was for more than one night then we would have taken this up with the manager, but we were rushing to leave for the Kings of Leon gig that night and were heading home in the morning so it wasn’t a major concern for us at the time. There were grab bars along the bath and beside the shower controls.
The toilet was very accessible with space on the right for wheelchair transfers. The fixed and fold-down grab bars provided support and were positioned at a good height. The emergency pull-cord was located between the bath and toilet.
The roll-under skin was ideal and allowed me to easily manoeuvre my wheelchair underneath without bumping my knees. There was plenty of space for storing toiletries on the shelf beside the sink.
We had dinner in the hotel’s restaurant and were happy with the service and food. We didn’t have to wait long despite how busy it was. British boxer, Martin Murray was also in for dinner so it was quite cool to see him. We later found out he lives in the St.Helens area.
Ideally, we wanted to stay close to The Echo Arena for the Kings of Leon gig, but we wanted to avoid paying the overly-expensive Liverpool City Centre hotel prices for that night. Most hotels were charging close to £200 for that night, so we made the decision to stay outside of the city centre and it ended up saving us quite a bit. It took us around 30 minutes to get to The Echo Arena from our hotel, which wasn’t too bad.
Premier Inn generally offers great wheelchair access across their wide range of hotels. This St.Helens Premier Inn met my needs as a wheelchair user and we were able to reach the city centre and other attractions within a short 30 minute drive. My only disappointment was that there was a bath instead of a roll-in shower in our accessible room. I’d highly recommend you contact the hotel before booking to confirm the accessibility of the rooms.