Barcelona, 24 october 2017

“…It goes without saying you’ll be looking for somewhere to stay and in Barcelona you are pretty much spoilt for choice at the upper end of the market, ie 4 star hotels, most of which have at least one accessible room although not all with roll-in shower facilities, and many up to four rooms. At the budget end of the market there are some hostels that provide family rooms that have accessible facilities, some with roll-in showers but these are pretty hard to find. If you do not mind staying well outside of Barcelona and in the countryside, there is a hostel designed to be accessible for wheelchair users but you then have the issue of how to get into Barcelona.

Now a word to the wise when making reservations with any Spanish hotel, firstly as with any booking engine almost all sites do not distinguish between accessible and standard rooms. There are exceptions but they are as rare as hens teeth to find! This means of course you are going to have to deal with a reservations department directly. No problem as I have yet to find a hotel where the reservations staff do not speak English and at least one other language.

Now here is the important part. You need to insist on two things, firstly a room guarantee and secondly a room number that will be reserved for you. So what is a room guarantee? Many Spanish hotels take reservations but do not guarantee you will get a particular room on arrival. An important issue for those needing that all important roll-in shower. It is not unknown for disabled people to arrive at the hotel believing they have reserved an accessible room only to find there are none available as all are fully occupied. Asking for a room guarantee with a room number ‘should’ sort out the problem and have you arriving knowing you are going to get what you have paid for.

A final word regarding roll-in showers. It is imperative that you establish if a shower chair is included in the reservation as standard or as an extra. Not all hotels have them and need to hire them with at least a 24 hour period of notice.

Finally it is worth pointing out that the price of a hotel room or star rating does not necessarily equate with a better standard of facility for a wheelchair user!”