ACCESSIBILITY RATING: 4/5
In early January, I took a trip to New York City to be filmed for a cable documentary. The production company, based on my physical requirements, booked me at the Dazzler Hotel in Brooklyn, NY. I had never heard of this hotel chain before, but was excited to stay based on the photos on their website. The booking agent assured me they had reserved an ADA accessible room with a roll-in shower, as she had called to confirm this.
Entry from the street to the hotel is flat, and they have a ramp off to the side to get down to the lobby and registration desk. I didn’t ask about the roll-in shower to confirm when I checked in, so I was surprised when I got to my room and it had an accessible tub instead. The small room (which I did expect; it’s New York) also had some other issues. The king-sized bed was placed too close to the wall with the window, and that–combined with a poorly placed heavy chair in a corner–prevented me (and anyone in a manual chair) from reaching the nightstand on that side of the bed. Unfortunately, that was where the TV remote control and telephone were located. The bathroom had plenty of space to maneuver in, but the flush handle for the toilet was located on the side of the tank closest to the wall. This meant there was no way to flush the toilet unless you were sitting on it.
I went downstairs and asked if they had a room with a roll-in shower since my booking agent said she was guaranteed one when she made the reservation. It took them a while to figure this out, but eventually found one. The front desk attendant said it was an executive suite, but they would upgrade me at no cost. I was expecting some friends to arrive shortly for dinner, so I told her I would switch rooms afterwards. My friends and I ate on-site at the Brewpub, and although there were only bar-height seats inside (it was WAY too cold to eat on the lower picnic benches outside), the bartender kindly brought in a small table where I could place my drink and food.
Afterwards, I switched keys and switched to my new room. To say it was spacious is an understatement. This room, like the first one, had hardwood floors that make it easier to roll around. There was more than enough space to reach both sides of the bed, and access to the curtain pulls was unimpeded. The roll-in shower had long drain strips placed in the floor along the edges to prevent flooding, although it didn’t have a fold-down bench; I had to request a shower seat to be brought in. The flush handle on the toilet was also on the side of the tank away from the wall. The bed in this room was higher than in the first one, and before I got in it I had some concerns about being able to transfer. I was able, but I would have preferred a lower bed. But the best part of the room? The complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne in an ice bucket that was left on the room bar counter with a handwritten note of apology for my inconvenience. That’s what I call excellent customer service!
In the end, I gave the Dazzler a 4/5 rating. Although my upgraded executive suite was fantastic, the first “accessible” room I was given would have been very inconvenient for someone using a mobility device, even if they’re able to use an accessible tub. My recommendation is that they switch the bed in that room (#516) to a queen size to open up more space to the nightstand and remove the unnecessary corner chair.