Accessibility Rating: 3/5
One of the most frustrating things for a disabled traveler is to walk into a supposedly wheelchair accessible hotel room and immediately notice that he or she can’t access half of the room because a piece of furniture is blocking the way. Unfortunately, this was one of my first experiences at the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
I chose this hotel for my brief weekend visit because it’s home to the Axis Theater (see my review HERE), where I had a ticket to see the Jennifer Lopez show, “All I Have.” My arrival and check-in went fine. As I always do after getting my room key, I asked at the front desk what the emergency evacuation procedures were for people needing assistance. The front desk attendant didn’t know, so she went to ask a manager and both a security guard insecurity manager came to the front desk to go through the procedures with me. They were very clear, and I found this very reassuring.
I went up to my room on the 11th floor, and the first thing I checked was the bathroom to make sure I got a roll-in shower as requested. The bathroom was very large, and the shower was acceptable. However, as usual, the shower head was placed at the highest position, which is unreachable for someone in a wheelchair who cannot stand up. Something I found strange was that the very wide door opened into the bathroom instead of out into the hotel room. This made it very awkward to close the bathroom door while inside the bathroom, and I almost had to roll into the shower to make space for the door.
By far the worst part of the room was the huge chair placed in front of the window in the corner of the room. It was extremely heavy, and almost impossible to move out of the way because of a table in between the chair and the corner. Because of where the chair had been placed, I couldn’t fit in between the corner of the bed and the chair to either reach the only side of the bed I could get into, the only telephone in the hotel room, the only functioning electrical outlet in the room (other than the bathroom), or the pulls to open and close the curtain. I actually had to call the front desk using my cell phone through the general Planet Hollywood phone number to ask for someone to come and take the chair out of the room. I had to leave after about half an hour to eat some lunch and go to an event, and when I returned to my hotel room, the chair was still there. Apparently they forgot the part where I couldn’t access the only phone in the room because they had left me a message–a message I found out later was asking for me to tell them again what I needed moved.
At this point, I was in a hurry and really needed to reach the electrical outlet to charge my phone. I managed to use my scooter to bulldoze the chair a few inches out of the way so I could squeeze in between the corner of the bed and the chair. However, even though this maneuver was successful, my electric scooter is very narrow and anyone in a manual wheelchair still would not have been able to squeeze through. Later that night after I returned from the concert, I realized that the bed was so high that I couldn’t get into it by myself. Earlier when I called the front desk asking for the chair to be removed, I also asked for a stool to us to get into the bed. They completely forgot about this request, and I ended up just using the basket for my scooter, flipping it upside down, and using it as a makeshift stool to get myself into the bed.
The next morning before I checked out, I called the front desk to request a manager or the chief engineer to come to my room so I could point out all these issues. The woman at the front desk said the engineer didn’t have time to come see me before my check-out, and the manager was busy helping another guest. She said she would write down all my complaints and pass them on to the manager. I did mention when I checked in and when I called the front desk that I was a travel blogger, and I wanted to give management a heads up that I would be listing these complaints in my post. I also left a business card at the front desk when I checked in, but this didn’t seem to encourage management to speak with me directly. I explained all of the above to the front desk attendant, who was very apologetic and assured me she would pass this on to her manager.
I would like to mention that the public areas of the hotel that I visited, including the casino, were easy to navigate aside from the heavy crowds at night. I had dinner the night of my stay at the hotel’s Strip restaurant, and the food was outstanding and seating very easy. However, the difficulty of navigating important parts of my hotel room and the perceived lack of concern by hotel management with addressing my accessibility issues have led me to recommend against staying at the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino during your next visit to Las Vegas.