Paris Hotel Wheelchair Access Survey 2010
Howard L. Chabner and Michele E. DeSha
© Howard L. Chabner and Michele E. DeSha 2011
Howard L. Chabner and Michele E. DeSha recently completed their 2010 update to their Paris Hotel Wheelchair Access Survey of 2007. The couple wanted to help wheelchair users and other travelers with mobility limitations find an accessible hotel in central Paris. Their new 2010 survey provides a host of accessible accommodation options for a range of budgets. They spent many hours researching and writing their new survey and urge other disabled travelers to Paris to act as access advocates at hotels they visit. Share Chabner and DeSha’s goldmine of Paris hotel access information.
This survey is based on our trips to Paris in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010, and countless email inquiries in planning them. It supersedes our Paris Hotel Wheelchair Access Survey 2000 - 2007. Often on a trip we visit several hotels besides the one we are staying in to look at access. For hotels we did not visit, the information in this survey comes entirely from the hotels. For hotels that are part of a chain, we inquired with staff located on site, not with the chain’s central reservation system. Where we did visit a hotel, we still often relied in part on information from the hotel staff.
Our main reason for publishing this information is to help wheelchair users and other travelers with mobility limitations find an accessible hotel in central Paris. But also we hope this survey will be a catalyst for improving access at Paris hotels. We hope that hotel owners, managers, employees, architects and interior designers will find this information useful. And we urge disabled consumers to be active, vocal and detailed in pointing out barriers to hotel staff, suggesting how to improve access, and appreciating good accessible design. Your trip is a terrific opportunity to help move the ball forward - you will already have the information and the impressions will be fresh in your mind, so writing an effective letter or email won’t take much extra time.
We’ve included few hotels in the very outer arrondissements, none in the suburbs or near the airport, and no hostels. There are several hostels with reputations for good wheelchair access, generally in the outer arrondissements, and there appear to be several hotels with good access outside central Paris. But we believe staying in a central location is critical to enjoying and getting to know a city, especially a city like Paris and especially considering the inevitable access limitations and barriers found even in an accessible, well-designed and smoothly functioning transportation system.
Hotels we visited are indicated by **.
RIS indicates the hotel has at least one adapted room with a roll-in shower.
Because we inquire in the metric system, and the responses we receive are in metric and we convert them into inches, we report hotel dimensions first in metric, then parenthetically in inches. When reporting doorway width and elevator dimensions in inches, we round down rather than up, in order to provide a margin of error.
For information about other aspects of wheelchair accessible travel in Paris, see our article Wheelchair Accessible Travel In Paris, Burgundy, Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon - 2010, which is available on the same websites as this survey. That article also includes information about hotels in Burgundy, Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon.
About Us. Howard has muscular dystrophy and uses an electric wheelchair; Michele is able-bodied. In 2007 and previous trips, Howard used a Quickie P110 folding electric wheelchair that is 25 inches (63.5 cm) wide and weighs approximately 100 pounds (including the batteries, which are removable). The footrests are elevating and removable; the wheelchair is 48 inches (122 cm) long with the footrests in the shortest position (including Howard’s toes protruding past the footrests by two inches (5 cm)). In 2010 he used his everyday wheelchair, a Permobil with a seat elevator, reclining back, elevating footrest and tilt-in-space. The Permobil is much more comfortable and more rugged, but there are some disadvantages. It weighs around 325 pounds and, unlike the Quickie, cannot be tilted and lifted up one or two stairs. The Permobil is 26 inches (66 cm) wide and, with the footrest in the shortened position, 48 inches (122 cm) long. Keep this in mind when reading the descriptions of maneuvering space and elevator size.
Hotel Access Terminology. When inquiring about access, be sure to ask for an adapted room (“une chambre adaptee”). In France “accessible” in describing a hotel room means merely that there is what Americans would call an “accessible path of travel” to and, perhaps, within the hotel room. Hence, an “accessible” room may have a bathroom that is completely inaccessible to people who use wheelchairs, and the bedroom may be quite tight. “Adapted” means the room has been modified to make the bathroom and other major elements usable by people in wheelchairs - what Americans would call “accessible.”
Research. In researching hotels we often start with Trip Advisor www.tripadvisor.com and Venere www.venere.com. When inquiring about a hotel, we use the questionnaire attached as Appendix A and ask the hotel to email photos of the bathroom. Hotels have been increasingly willing to send photos in recent years. When it comes to wheelchair access, a picture really is worth a thousand words.
Hotels.com and Expedia.com now have search fields for accessible rooms, including specific accessibility features such as roll-in showers. (This is probably due to the settlement of lawsuits for not providing access information.) Some of the hotels we inquired about in 2010, either for the first time or after having inquired in previous years, are indicated on Hotels.com as having roll-in showers. In addition, there are hotels indicated on Hotels.com and Expedia.com as having roll-in showers that we did not include in this survey, so we recommend searching those websites.
www.Parisinfo.com This is the official website of the Paris tourism office and has lots of information in English about Paris. For hotel access information, go to Hotels & Accommodation/Disabled People Access/Hotels in Paris. The information about hotel access is not comprehensive and not necessarily up to date, but it is one more source to start with. Many of the hotels listed have been awarded the Tourisme & Handicap label. Tourisme & Handicap is a quasi-governmental national initiative that promotes accessibility of tourist sites and facilities for people with hearing, visual, mental and physical disabilities. It awards the Tourisme & Handicap label to facilities it considers accessible, but beware - in our experience it does not apply a rigorous, uniform set of access criteria, at least for hotels. The Tourisme & Handicap label designates as accessible hotels that would not be considered accessible by United States standards - hotels that are merely “accessible” per French terminology but not “adapted.” Moreover, we have stayed at hotels in France with good access but that have not been awarded this label.
www.AccessinParis.org This is the website of Pauline Hephaistos Survey Projects, a British organization that has written access guides to Paris, London and Israel. The website includes a section on accommodations, and the information is very detailed and well organized.
Verify Details with Hotels. We’ve tried to provide the best information possible, but of course we cannot guarantee accuracy. It’s imperative to contact the hotel directly in writing to verify access details - don’t rely on the central reservation systems of hotel chains or, even worse, third party reservation services. The information provided by hotels often contradicts third party websites, some of which display the wheelchair symbol irresponsibly and misleadingly. In many websites, including some hotel websites, the wheelchair symbol means only that the hotel is “accessible,” not necessarily that there are any “adapted” rooms, but this distinction is not explained.
Appendices. Appendix A is a form of hotel access questionnaire. Appendix B is a metric conversion chart.
Phone Numbers. To call from the United States, dial 011, then 33 (the country code for France), and then the hotel phone number shown below. To call from within France, add a 0 before the 1. (1 is the area code for Paris.)
Ibis Hotels. Ibis hotels, part of the Accor group, has the reputation of being clean, modern, no-frills and good value for the money. Although this survey includes several Ibis hotels that have adapted rooms with roll-in showers, several others are listed in other sources as having adapted rooms including roll-in showers. The Ibis website doesn’t provide details about the adapted rooms, but it may well be worthwhile searching the Ibis website for a hotel in the location you are interested in and contacting the hotel directly for access details. www.Ibishotel.com
Solo Travelers. It’s important to keep in mind that, unfortunately, in Paris even a relatively accessible room may be difficult or impossible for someone in a wheelchair traveling alone. This survey does not include items such as door pressure, door swing clear space, and accessibility of light switches, temperature controls, electric outlets, window latches and curtain pulls. In an otherwise accessible room, these items may be inaccessible, which presents a barrier for a solo traveler in a wheelchair. We don’t mean to minimize the importance of these items, but we generally did not keep track of them.
Bed Height. We did not measure bed height. In our experience, hotel beds in Paris (and elsewhere in France) are slightly lower than in Italy, and noticeably lower than in the US. We have never encountered a bed in Paris, or anywhere else in France, that was far too high (e.g. 26-28 inches high), as has become common in the US in recent years. Mattresses in French hotels are comfortable without being super thick. We have never needed to have a bed lowered in France, but a few times over the years we have asked hotels to raise the bed. Hotels have been accommodating and resourceful, using telephone books and even ceramic floor tiles to raise the bed. Keep in mind that Howard is fairly tall and uses an electric wheelchair, so we prefer a bed that is somewhat higher than average. Bed height issues are not new: the day after a Paris hotel used ceramic floor tiles to raise the bed, we were in the Roman antiquities section of the Louvre and were surprised and delighted to see two beds from the 4th or 5th century BC with legs made of stacked metal disks that could be added or removed to raise or lower the bed.
Room Size, Category and Rate. Some hotels have very small rooms that would be extremely tight for many wheelchair users although literally “adapted” per the French definition. A related problem we sometimes encounter in Paris and throughout France is that the standard rooms in a hotel are just too small for a wheelchair, all the adapted rooms are deluxe rooms or suites, and the higher category rate is charged. In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires hotels to charge guests who use wheelchairs the rate for a standard room in this situation. We don’t know what French law requires, but in practice the higher rate is charged.
Not Enough Adapted Rooms. Some hotels that have adapted rooms have only one or a few; typically this is fewer than the ADA would require in the United States for comparably sized hotels.
Access is Improving but Major Barriers Persist.
Our experience and research in 2007 and earlier showed ubiquitous major access barriers in Paris hotels, especially in bathrooms. Unfortunately, as can be seen from the survey entries dating to those years, hotels that installed adapted rooms in the early- and mid-2000s typically did a poor job of design. Importantly, roll-in showers were rare during this period. In 2010 we were pleased to find that the situation has improved noticeably - hotels that installed adapted rooms in the last few years of the decade have done a much better job. But hotels that were renovated in the early- and mid-2000s to include adapted rooms are reluctant to make new renovations so soon thereafter, even though their adapted rooms may be replete with barriers.
Many of the bathrooms in hotel rooms that were adapted during the early- and mid-2000s, and many in new hotels that were built during that period, are poorly designed and have problems including insufficient turning space, no grab bars or grab bars that are too small and/or poorly positioned, small toilets, insufficient transfer space next to the toilet, inaccessible sinks, inaccessible water faucets, inaccessible toilet flush buttons or buttons that require too much pressure, toilet paper dispensers that are too difficult to reach, inaccessible hair dryers and poorly positioned mirrors. And during those years not only were roll-in showers rare, but many hotel employees we spoke to or corresponded with did not even know what a roll-in shower is.
Things are improving. Hotels that installed adapted guest rooms in the last few years of the decade have done a much better job of bathroom access. There is more likely to be sufficient transfer space adjacent to the toilet, accessible mirrors and sinks, and a more spacious and better designed path of travel. Grab bars are more common, although in many instances they are still too short and/or poorly positioned.
Hotels that installed adapted rooms during the past few years are also much more likely to have roll-in showers. This fact, plus our email correspondence with hotel managers and employees in 2010, including those from hotels that still don’t have roll-in showers, indicates that hotel management and employees in Paris have made major strides in understanding the need for roll-in showers. It will still take time for roll-in showers to be installed, but we can sense the positive momentum.
Interestingly, we learned from several hotel employees that a roll-in shower is known in French as a “douche a l’Italienne” (an Italian shower). This is consistent with our experience in Italy, where nearly every adapted hotel room we have seen or learned about has a well-designed roll-in shower (and a large, well-designed and well placed toilet). The attention to bathrooms, water and plumbing in Rome and throughout Italy is a legacy of ancient Rome, whose hydraulic engineering set the standard for most of the world until the 20th century, where public baths were a major cultural and social institution, and where abundant fresh water was available to everyone daily. (Just how much water is the subject of lively and longstanding scholarly debate; the issue will probably never be resolved definitively but there is a consensus that supplying all one million Roman residents with sufficient water, albeit only through public fountains and baths in the case of the poor and middle classes, is one of the great achievements of ancient Rome.)
We heard from some hotel staff that the European Union adopted EU-wide disability access standards, which include requirements for hotel access, and that hotels are required to conform to these standards by 2015. Some hotels told us they plan to install adapted rooms, or to improve access in existing adapted rooms, by 2015. We have not done much research on this, and don’t know what the standards are and whether older buildings are grandfathered (exempt from the requirements).
One thing that remains problematic is the toilet. Many French designers, especially in Paris, prefer tankless toilets, where the plumbing is built into the wall, the rear of the toilet seat is against the wall, and consequently the toilet is short (i.e. the space from the rear wall to the front of the toilet is much shorter than for a typical American or Italian toilet), which means that when a wheelchair is adjacent to the toilet and positioned as far back as possible, it is still too far forward of the toilet for an effective transfer. This design also means that the flush button is built into the wall, making it too high for many people in wheelchairs to reach. This stylistic preference, unfortunately, is unlikely to change, especially at the middle and upper range of hotels. For many French bathroom architects and designers, aesthetics trumps function. If a designer specifies tankless toilets for all of the guest rooms and designs the plumbing and the wall to accommodate this style of toilet, he or she would be unlikely to specify a different toilet and design different plumbing and a different wall only for the adapted rooms.
We urge hotels to install toilets with tanks, to install long, well-positioned grab bars, to improve bathroom access in general, and to add roll-in showers. Without a roll-in shower most people who use wheelchairs are unable to shower or bathe. A roll-in shower requires the same amount of space as a bathtub. In many bathrooms, especially small ones, an added advantage of replacing a bathtub with a roll-in shower is that it can create additional room to maneuver a wheelchair, and, especially, more transfer space adjacent to the toilet.
It’s certainly true that many hotels in central Paris are in small, narrow, historically and architecturally significant buildings with few guest rooms and difficult architectural barriers. The fact is that it is literally physically impossible to make some buildings accessible, or infeasible because of exorbitant cost. But many of the hotels in this survey are in old buildings that have been renovated; the problem is that many of the renovations that were done in the early- and mid-2000s were poorly designed from an access standpoint. We’ve been to hotels or apartments in ancient buildings in many other cities in Europe that were renovated during the same time period to achieve excellent access, including roll-in showers, while retaining their architectural integrity and historical character. By definition plumbing and structural work in ancient buildings is always a retrofit - the issue is whether or not the work is done with good attention to access by people who know what they’re doing. Barriers can be overcome if the owner is truly committed to good access and the architect, interior designer and contractor have the requisite knowledge and experience.
We also urge hotels to add more detailed information on their websites about their adapted rooms, including pictures and key dimensions. This would be easy to do, would help avoid disastrous misunderstandings, and ultimately would save time for hotels and disabled consumers alike.
2. ADAPTED APARTMENT
Lea Lior, a journalist who uses an electric wheelchair, has an apartment near the Denfert-Rochereau metro station in Montparnasse (14th Arrondissement) that is available for rental. We have not seen it but Ms. Lior has emailed photos. It is a furnished apartment with a fully equipped kitchen, electrically adjustable bed, convertible sofabed, and a TV/Internet connection. The apartment can accommodate three people. There are two elevators; the elevator doorways are 66 cm (25.98 inches) wide. Apartment size is 35 square meters (377 square feet). The adjustable bed is 45 cm (17.7 inches) high. The bathroom doorway is 80 cm (31.4 inches) wide. There is a roll-in shower with a small grab bar. A shower wheelchair is available. The toilet is a long toilet with a tank, not a typical short French tankless toilet. The toilet is 50 cm (19.7 inches) high. There is well more than 92 cm (36 inches) of transfer space on one side of the toilet. There is a ceiling lift next to the toilet. The neighborhood is very well served by wheelchair accessible transportation (buses and train), including a direct RER B fast train from Charles de Gaulle airport (45 minutes) and a direct bus line from Orly airport.
Best Western Paris Louvre Opera Three star 1st Arrondissement
4, rue des Moulins
This 20-room hotel is located in a 17th century townhouse that opened as a hotel in 2005. We were informed by email in 2007 that the hotel has one adapted room. No details were forthcoming.
Castille Sofitel Demeure Hotel Four star 1st Arrondissement
33-37, rue Cambon
We learned in 2003 that are adapted rooms, but they are very small. Exact size was not provided.
RIS Four star
48, rue de l’Arbre Sec
Phone : 1-40-15-06-06
Fax : 1-40-15-06-70
We learned the following information by email in 2010. There are two adapted rooms, both of which are on the ground floor and are in the superior category. Toilet height is 44 cm (17.3 inches). Bathroom door width is 90 cm (35.4 inches). The hotel sent several photos of the bathroom. The bathroom appears to be quite large. The toilet is a typical short French toilet with the tank built into the wall. There is diagonal grab bar on the wall adjacent to the toilet, but it is not well placed - it is fairly far forward of the toilet. There is at least 92 cm (36 inches) of transfer space on the other side. There is a huge roll-in shower with a small built-in bench and a small diagonal grab bar. The shower floor appears to be gradually sloped. The shower controls and soap dish are too high to reach from a wheelchair. The sink is fairly small, and the mirror and hair dryer are inaccessibly high. Room size is 25 square meters (269 square feet); it is unclear whether this includes the bathroom. The hotel was renovated in 2008.
Hotel du Louvre ** Four star 1st Arrondissement
Place Andre Malraux
This is a very elegant, expensive hotel in a superb location. It’s part of Concorde Hotels, which was acquired by Starwood Capital in 2005. (Starwood Capital is a private equity firm with separate (but possibly affiliated) ownership and management from Starwood Hotels and Resorts.) The information here is as of 2005.
We visited this hotel of approximately 180 rooms in 2003 and 2004, which we were informed had been renovated in 2001 or 2002. We also inquired by email in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The main entrance has two high stairs, but there is an alternate entrance without stairs a few feet away. The staff was very gracious. We were told there are three adapted rooms, all in the deluxe category, but the hotel was fully occupied both times, so we were unable to see any rooms. There are no roll-in showers. We were told that: the deluxe room size is 20 square meters (215 square feet), including the bathroom; elevator door width is 155 cm (61 inches); toilet height is 41 cm (16.1 inches); bedroom door width is 85 cm (33.4 inches); and bathroom door width is 75 cm (29.5 inches). Per email from 2003, the bed might be only 48 cm (19 inches) high.
It appears that the standard rooms are too small for wheelchairs. The hotel offered an adapted deluxe room at a discount from the rack rate but still at a higher rate than a standard room.
The public bathroom one flight down from the lobby is small and poorly designed; the elevator to reach it is small but Howard was able to fit in it. Howard used the public bathroom again in 2010. The hotel employees were welcoming. However, the bathroom had not been changed since 2004.
In 2005 Howard wrote to the senior executives of Concorde Hotels and Starwood Capital urging them to improve wheelchair access at their hotels in Paris. We have not followed up about the Hotel du Louvre, so we don’t know whether access has improved since 2005.
Hotel Louvre Sainte Anne RIS Three star 1st Arrondissement
32, rue Sainte Anne
The following information is from emails in 2007. There is one adapted room, which is located on the ground floor. Room size is 10 to 12 square meters (108 square feet to 129 square feet). Bedroom door width is 80 cm (31.4 inches). There is a queen size bed 190 cm (74.8 inches) long by 140 cm (55 inches) wide. Bed height is 50 cm (19.7 inches). There is a roll-in shower with a built-in bench; but the shower floor is a one-piece pan approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) below the level of the bathroom floor, and the transition is not gradual, so beware. There is sufficient transfer space at one side of the toilet. The breakfast room is downstairs, so the hotel will serve guests who use wheelchairs breakfast in their room. The hotel staff was extraordinarily gracious, prompt and informative in responding to our inquiry.
Novotel les Halles ** Three star 1st Arrondissement
8, place Marguerite de Navarre
In 2000 we stayed at this generic but pleasant corporate hotel well-located between the Louvre and the Pompidou Center. Access was good, except the bathroom had no roll-in shower. In response to our inquiries in subsequent years, we were told that several adapted room types are available, although none has a roll-in shower. The front entrance is level and there are no stairs to reach the elevator. The elevators are easily large enough for a wheelchair. All doorways are wide. The toilet height is 53 cm (21 inches). The sink height is 80 cm (31.4 inches). The sink is large and there are well-situated grab bars near the toilet. There is plenty of transfer space on one side of the toilet. The handheld shower on the bathtub wall has a cord long enough to reach the sink, so one can wash one’s hair in the sink. The staff was gracious.
As of 2007, none of the adapted rooms had a roll-in shower.
Hotel Washington Opera Golden Tulip ** Four star 1st Arrondissement
50, rue de Richelieu
We visited this 36-room hotel in 2003, which we were told had last been renovated in 1998. There is a small step at the entrance, and automatic sliding doors. The elevator was large enough for Howard’s wheelchair and two able-bodied people, though it was quite narrow. There are two or three adapted rooms, all of which were occupied when we visited the hotel. We were shown a standard room; it was far too small for a wheelchair. We were told that the adapted rooms are deluxe rooms and junior suites, and there are no roll-in showers.
In 2005 the staff was very aggressive in responding to our email, pressing to find out why we decided not to book with them. In 2010 the hotel continues to receive bad reviews on Trip Advisor regarding its booking practices.
Westin Paris** Four or Five star 1st Arrondissement
3, rue De Castiglione
This classical, elegant hotel, formerly an Intercontinental, was acquired by Starwood in 2006. There are over 400 guest rooms. It was completely full when we visited in 2004, so we couldn’t see any guest rooms. We were told there are two adapted rooms, neither of which has a roll-in shower. The front entrance is up at least four stairs. There is a long, semi-permanent sturdy metal ramp, carpeted and with edges. It is quite steep, and Howard had to go down it backwards in his wheelchair. Installing a porch lift or stair lift at the main entrance would seriously compromise the building’s architectural detail and historical character, but with such a large building, there should be a way to make an accessible side entrance without these negative impacts.
Hotel in (Hospital) Hotel Dieu RIS Two star 4th Arrondissement
1 Place du Parvis Notre Dame
The Hotel Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris, is ideally located in Ile de la Cite catty corner from Notre Dame. We learned the following information by email in 2007. The hospital was founded in 651 and the current building dates from 1877. On the sixth floor is a small hotel with 14 rooms, two of them adapted. At least one of the two has a roll-in shower. There is at least 70 cm (27.5 inches) of side transfer space adjacent to the toilet. The rooms are plain but clean and well-equipped and are well lit by skylights. According to www.accessinParis.org, the elevator is 150 cm (59 inches) deep, 200 cm (78.7 inches) wide and 300 cm (118 inches) long.
Hotel des Arenes RIS (?) Three star 5th Arrondissement
51, rue Monge
We learned the following information by email in 2003. There are two adapted rooms on the ground floor. We were told that one has a roll-in shower but is quite small, and the other is larger but has a bathtub only.
Grand Hôtel Saint Michel
RIS Four star 5th Arrondissement
19, rue Cujas
We learned the following information by email and phone in 2010. The hotel was renovated in 2008 or 2009. It has two adapted rooms, one on the ground floor and one on the first floor. Both are in the deluxe category. Toilet height is 54 cm (21.26 inches). Bathroom door width is 102 cm (40.1 inches); guest room door width is 90 cm (35.4 inches). Both adapted rooms have roll-in showers. The hotel sent photos of the bathroom and bedroom. The roll-in shower is large and has a grab bar, although no built-in bench. The shower floor appears to be gradually sloped. The toilet is a typical short French toilet with the tank built into the wall. There is a long grab bar at the wall side of the toilet; part of the grab bar is diagonal. There is at least 92 cm (36 inches) of transfer space on the other side. The sink is outside the bathroom. There is a cabinet beneath the sink; the sink protrudes a bit beyond the cabinet, but this configuration would present an obstacle for most people in wheelchairs because it is impossible to roll completely underneath the sink. Room size is 20 to 22 square meters (215 to 236 square feet); it is unclear whether this includes the bathroom.
In 2010 we strolled near this hotel but didn’t go in. It is close to Hotel Fontaines du Luxembourg, where we stayed for part of our trip. The entrance is level with the sidewalk. Although this hotel looks nice, from the photos the room and bathroom don’t appear as large as those in the Hotel Fontaines du Luxembourg, and the price is significantly higher.
Artus Hotel** RIS Three star 6th Arrondissement
34, rue de Buci
We stayed at this 27-room three-star hotel for the first Paris segment of our 2010 trip and in 2007. Well located in the heart of St. Germain, this small hotel is in an ancient building renovated in a sleek, modern style. The hotel emailed pictures of the bathroom when we inquired about access.
We stayed in room 102, one of two adapted rooms on the ground floor. (The elevator is tiny, so the other floors are not accessible.) We didn’t see the other adapted room, but were told it’s identical to the one we stayed in. These rooms are reached via a rear entrance on a quiet street behind rue de Buci; unfortunately, there is no direct access from the lobby. The rear entrance is level with the street. To enter, one must ring the bell and the concierge will open the door. The doorbell button is inaccessibly high and difficult to reach. The lobby is up a threshold step of 8 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) from the front entrance, but there are six or seven stairs from the lobby to the adapted rooms, so the only way to get to the lobby in a wheelchair is to go around the block. The rooms have no view, but they are very quiet and private. The breakfast room is down a flight of stairs, so guests who use wheelchairs can have breakfast in their room or in the lobby.
The guest room door is heavy, so most people in wheelchairs would not be able to open it by themselves. The bedroom is quite small. Howard was able to move around in it without difficulty but without much space to spare. According to the hotel the bathroom size is 4 to 5 square meters (43 to 53 square feet); bedroom size is 16 square meters (172 square feet); and bedroom and bathroom doors are 92 cm (36.2 inches) wide. These numbers seem accurate.
The bathroom is reasonably large by Paris standards (although smaller than the one at the Fontaines du Luxembourg) and tiled in elegant green-veined marble. There is a spacious roll-in shower with both a handheld shower hose and an overhead rain spray. The shower has a grab bar but no built-in bench. (A shower chair may be available upon request.) The transitions are very smooth between the bedroom and bathroom, and from the main bathroom area to the shower area, and the floor is graded well so the water drains easily yet the slope is quite gradual. The sink is large, with plenty of space to roll underneath it. The toilet is a typical short French toilet with the tank and flush button built into the wall. The flush button is too high for many people in wheelchairs to reach, although some would be able to. There is plenty of transfer space (at least 91 cm (36 inches)) on one side of the toilet. Unfortunately, there is no grab bar on the wall alongside the toilet. There is a fold-down (retractable) grab bar at the other side of the toilet (the side furthest from the wall), but it is quite short and not very useful. When the fold-down grab bar is in the raised position, it protrudes from the rear wall, so a wheelchair cannot back up far enough to get completely parallel to the toilet for a side transfer. Despite these flaws, this was among the most accessible hotel bathrooms we had seen in Paris as of 2007, including at more expensive hotels we inspected. But the bathroom at the Fontaines du Luxembourg is larger and has better access.
The chief concierge, Sanjay, is exceptionally gracious, professional, resourceful, energetic and kind - in fact, he is probably the best concierge we have ever met. He is enthusiastic about helping guests and willing to go extraordinary lengths to do so. In 2007 he elevated the bed when we requested it, cleverly using reams of computer paper. In 2010 when Howard’s battery charger blew out, Sanjay asked the hotel engineer to try to fix it (the attempt was unsuccessful), found a medical equipment store that had a battery charger, and even offered to go personally to pick it up.
Hotel d’Aubusson ** RIS Four star 6th Arrondissement
33, rue Dauphine
In 2003 we visited this 49-room hotel; at that time there were no adapted rooms. At the front entrance there are two moderate height stairs, followed by a landing, followed by one stair. We learned the following information by email in 2010. There is a short, steep ramp (it was not there in 2003). (The street is quite narrow, so there is probably not enough space for a longer ramp.) Therefore, this hotel may be appropriate for people using lightweight wheelchairs who can be pushed up a steep ramp or who are willing to be lifted, but would be difficult or impossible to access for most people in electric wheelchairs. There are two adapted rooms; they were adapted in 2010. Both are in the Grand Luxe category, two categories above the standard room. There are two elevators. The elevator doorways are 80 cm (31.4 inches) wide. Elevator dimensions are 103 cm (40.5 inches) by 137 cm (53.9 inches). Bathroom and bedroom doors are 80 cm (31.4 inches) wide. Toilet height is 48 cm (18.9 inches). There is a roll-in shower that is 100 cm (39.3 inches) square. There is a built-in fold-down seat. There is a grab bar next to the toilet and one in the shower. Bedroom size is 20.5 square meters (221 square feet); bathroom size is 9 square meters (96.8 square feet).
Hotel Bel Ami** Four star 6th Arrondissement
7-11, rue Saint Benoit
This very well located 125-room hotel opened in 2000. We visited it in 2004 but couldn’t see a room because the hotel was fully booked. There is a sliding electric door and a 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inch) step at the main entrance. The employees were friendly.
We were told the following by a combination of email in 2003 and on our visit in 2004: There are four adapted rooms – three similar, and one smaller. The adapted rooms are in the deluxe category. For the three larger rooms, room size is 24 square meters (258 square feet), including the bathroom. Elevator door width is 80 cm (31.4 inches). Elevator dimensions are 107 cm (42 inches) by 139 cm (54.7 inches). Bedroom door width is 90 cm (35.4 inches). Bathroom door width is 80 cm (31.4 inches). Toilet height is 49.5 cm (19 inches). There are bathtubs only, no roll-in showers.
In 2004 Howard wrote to the Hotel Bel Ami urging it to install roll-in showers. Howard corresponded with the hotel by email in 2010. It still does not have roll-in showers, but the executive manager readily and sincerely acknowledged the need to install them and expressed the intention to do so in the next couple of years.
Best Western Left Bank Saint Germain Three star 6th Arrondissement
9, rue de l’Ancienne Comedie
The following information was provided by email in 2003. There is one adapted room on the ground floor. We were quoted rack rate for a triple room even though there were only two of us; perhaps the only adapted room is a triple. There are a shower and bathtub, but the shower is inaccessible. There are grab bars.
Citadines Saint Germain-des-Pres** Three star 6th Arrondissement
53 ter, quai des Grands Augustins
This “apartment-hotel” with kitchen facilities opened in 2000. It’s in a superb location along the Seine. We visited in 2004. There is a low threshold at the entrance. There is a large well-designed wheelchair accessible public bathroom on the ground floor near the lobby. We saw a studio and a one-bedroom apartment. Both have gorgeous, panoramic views of the Seine. The studio is small and its bed is a sofabed, which must be pulled out and has no headboard. Both apartments were very clean and have basic, spartan decor and small, inaccessible kitchenettes. The one-bedroom apartment has a small bedroom and a large sitting room. According to the website, the studios are 25 square meters (269 square feet) and the one-bedroom apartments are 38 square meters (409 square feet), in both cases including the bathroom. The bathroom is the same in both apartments and it has no roll-in shower. The bathroom is fairly large and has built-in storage shelves. We are not certain whether there is enough space next to the toilet for a side transfer. There is no leg space under the sink because there is a full cupboard under it. The bathrooms are certainly large enough to be reconfigured with roll-showers and much better access. This facility is yet another example of a missed opportunity to provide good wheelchair access.
Citadines has several other locations in Paris. Their basic configurations and access features appear to be similar, per the Citadines website.
Howard wrote to Citadines corporate headquarters in 2004, urging them to install roll-in showers and improve the layout of the bathrooms, but received no reply. He was informed by email in 2010 that Citadines Saint Germain-des-Pres was renovated in 2007, but still none of the bathrooms has roll-in showers. There are three accessible one-bedroom apartments and nine accessible studios. The one-bedroom apartments have a queen size bed and a double sofa bed; the studios have Murphy beds. The apartment entrance doors are 90 cm (35.4 inches) wide; the bathroom doors are 80 cm (31.4 inches) wide. (In our 2004 visit, door width was ample, so it is unlikely to have changed since that time.) No more details were provided, but it sounds like access was not significantly improved in the 2007 renovation, meaning that Citadines again missed an opportunity to provide good access.
In 2010 Howard emailed the manager of Citadines Saint Germain-des-Pres, asking him to improve access in the bathrooms and install roll-in showers. He acknowledged that access should be improved and promised to pass on Howard’s comments to corporate management, but did not make any commitments.
Esprit Saint-Germain** Three or Four star 6th Arrondissement
22, rue Saint-Sulpice
We visited this 30-room hotel in 2004. The building renovations had been completed, and the hotel opened, only a few weeks before our visit. The entrance has a moderately sloped ramp and an electric door. The elevator is adequate size. The lobby and hallway are quite narrow. We were shown the one adapted room; it’s quite small and has nice decor. There is a sharp turn entering the room, and maneuvering a wheelchair is difficult. The bathroom is small, and because of the tight space in the bedroom it is difficult to maneuver a wheelchair through the bathroom door. There is no transfer space adjacent to the toilet. The sink protrudes into the knee area, making it inaccessible. There is a bathtub, not a roll-in shower. Although the bathroom is small, it could have been much better designed. The bathtub could be removed and replaced with a roll-in shower, which would afford side transfer space next to the toilet; the sink could be made accessible; and the doorway could be widened. This hotel is an example of well-intentioned, expensive access renovations in Paris hotels that are poorly designed and end up providing poor access.
Hotel Fontaines du Luxembourg** RIS Three star 6th Arrondissement
4, rue de Vaugirard
We stayed at this 30-room three-star hotel for the second Paris segment of our 2010 trip. The location is terrific - in the Luxembourg quarter, between the Jardins du Luxembourg and the Theatre de l’Odeon, which we found to be calmer, less crowded and with more of a neighborhood feel than the heart of nearby St. Germain, although there were still plenty of tourists. The hotel is in an ancient building that was renovated and opened as a hotel in 2009. The decor in the lobby and guest rooms is an artful, tasteful combination of modern and period, with exposed stone walls and wooden beams interspersed with modern touches.
There is an accessible entrance a few feet from the main entrance with an automatic sliding door and a gradually sloped entryway. From there the small, charming lobby is gradually sloped. There are two adapted rooms, both on the ground floor and both in the superior category. (The elevator is tiny, so the other floors are not accessible.) Both rooms face a small interior courtyard. We stayed in room 001, the larger of the two. It is fairly large by Paris hotel standards and features a skylight (velux in French), which makes the room feel larger than it is, and double glass doors that open onto the courtyard. Not facing the street, it is quiet. The guest room and bathroom doorways are very wide - we didn’t measure, but they appear to be at least 86 cm (34 inches) wide. The guest room door is heavy, so most people in wheelchairs would not be able to open it by themselves. There is a large built-in closet that is not wheelchair accessible. However, the advantage of a built-in closet is that it doesn’t protrude into the room, making for a clean line and saving space. There is a large accessible desk. The bedroom and bathroom are well lit. The light switches and electrical outlets are at an accessible height. The bed is large and comfortable, and, while lower than the typical American hotel bed, is at least average height by Paris standards.
The bathroom is a real gem! It is the largest and best designed hotel bathroom we have seen in our six trips to Paris, including the more expensive hotels we inspected. There is a level transition between the bedroom and bathroom. There is a large roll-in shower with a hand-held hose and an overhead rain spray, and a large bathtub. The roll-in shower has a well-placed grab bar, although no built-in bench, and the soap dish and shower controls are at wheelchair accessible height. The transition from the main bathroom area to the shower area is quite smooth, and the floor is graded well so the water drains easily yet the slope is gradual. There is a large, shallow sink with plenty of space to roll underneath it. The only flaw is that the toilet is a typical short French toilet with the tank and flush button built into the wall. The flush button is too high for many people in wheelchairs to reach, although some would be able to. The toilet is at an accessible height; we didn’t measure, but it appears to be around 48 cm (19 inches) high. There is a long grab bar at the wall side of the toilet (a welcome feature that, unfortunately, is not easy to find in Paris hotels), and plenty of transfer space (at least 91 cm (36 inches)) on the other side. The only thing that makes transfer difficult is the shortness of the toilet; unfortunately, this type of toilet seems ubiquitous in Paris hotels.
We saw the other adapted guest room, which was next to ours. It is smaller but also has a well-designed bathroom with a roll-in shower, but no bathtub.
Breakfast is served downstairs, which is inaccessible, so the hotel brought it to our room. We also could have chosen to have it served in the courtyard or the lobby. Service was very good. The hotel emailed photos of the bathroom in response to our inquiry.
Holiday Inn Saint Germain des Pres** Three star 6th Arrondissement
92, rue de Vaugirard
We visited this 134-room hotel in 2004. It was full, so we couldn’t see any rooms. The entrance has a 5 cm (2 inch) high threshold and a sliding electric door. There are four adapted rooms, all of which are in the deluxe category. We were told the following information by email in 2004. Room size is 22 square meters (237 square feet), including the bathroom. Elevator door width is 78 cm (30.7 inches). Elevator dimensions are 133 cm (52.3 inches) by 107 cm (42 inches). Bathroom door width is 78 cm (30.7 inches). There are bathtubs only, no roll-in showers (this was confirmed by the receptionist on our visit). There is transfer space adjacent to the toilet. There are grab bars near the toilet and bathtub.
In 2004 Howard wrote to the Holiday Inn Saint Germain des Pres urging it to install roll-in showers. We have not followed up, so we don’t know the current status.
Millesime Hotel** Three star 6th Arrondissement
15, rue Jacob
In 2003 we visited this bright, charming 22-room hotel, which we were told had been renovated in 2002. This hotel is owned by the same people as the Hotel d’ Aubusson. There is a gradually sloped front entrance without any stairs. The inviting lobby is small. The elevator is too small for a wheelchair. There are two rooms on the ground floor through a pretty courtyard, one of which is the designated adapted room. It is quite small; we were told it is 12 square meters (129 square feet), excluding the bathroom. The bathroom is fairly large; we were told it is square meters (65 square feet). The doorways are 84 cm (33 inches) wide. There is sufficient transfer space adjacent to the toilet. There is no roll-in shower. The other ground floor room has a larger bedroom but a smaller bathroom, and the bathroom doorway is too narrow for a wheelchair. Both rooms have 5 cm (2 inch) thresholds at the entrance. While not large, both ground floor rooms are large enough to be adapted well and the designated adapted room has a bathroom large enough for a roll-in shower.
We inquired by email in 2010, and the bathroom still has no roll-in shower.
Hotel des Saints-Peres** Three star 6th Arrondissement
65, rue des Saints-Peres
In 2003 we visited this 39-room hotel. There are no stairs at the entrance. The elevator is too small for a wheelchair. There are two guest rooms on the ground floor, which were occupied, so we couldn’t see them. There were no wheelchair accessible rooms, per the receptionist. The ground floor hallway and lobby are wide.
We were informed by email in 2010 that the hotel has created one adapted room since 2004, but it has a bathtub, not a roll-in shower.
Victoria Palace Hotel** Four star 6th Arrondissement
6, rue Blaise Desgoffe
We stayed at this charming, immaculately maintained 62-room hotel in 2003 and 2004. There is a fairly steep portable wooden ramp for traversing the one and a half medium height stairs at the front entrance; most wheelchair users will need assistance on the ramp. The elevator is easily large enough for a wheelchair user and two able-bodied people. The call buttons are easily reachable.
We stayed in the one adapted room, Room 601. The bedroom and bathroom are large, the toilet is high, the bed height is very good for transfer, the bed is firm but not too firm, the doorways are wide, and the mirrors are large and well-placed. There is a large bathtub but unfortunately no roll-in-shower. The handheld shower on the bathtub wall has a long hose. There is plenty of space to replace the bathtub with a roll-in shower.
Transfer to the toilet is not great but not terrible. There is sufficient transfer space at one side of the toilet. The grab bar adjacent to the toilet is removable and attaches to the side of the bathtub. It is not as sturdy and stable as a fixed or wall-mounted, fold down-bar. A toilet paper holder protrudes from the rear wall and prevents some wheelchairs from being positioned completely against the rear wall. The toilet is a typical short French toilet - it doesn’t protrude far from the wall behind it. A complete side-to-side transfer isn’t possible for many wheelchairs, but a side transfer at a moderate angle is; the angle between toilet and wheelchair is much closer to parallel than to a right angle.
In 2004 Howard wrote to the Victoria Palace, urging them to improve bathroom access and install a roll-in shower. He inquired by email in 2010, and the bathroom has not been changed since 2004; hence, there is no roll-in shower.
K+K Hotel Cayre** Three or Four star 7th Arrondissement
4, Boulevard Raspail
We visited this sleek, modern, newly renovated 124-room hotel in 2004. The elevator is medium size, and Howard was able to fit without any problems. We saw one adapted room, which was in the executive category. We were told there are several adapted rooms, all identical, and all in the executive category. The bedroom area is nicely appointed but fairly small, although the entry hallway area in the room is wide. The bathroom is on the far side of the bed. Maneuvering around the bed in an electric wheelchair would be difficult. The bathroom is medium size, with a bathtub and no roll-in shower. There is enough space to remove the tub and install a roll-in shower. The toilet is small. We didn’t measure, but there appears to be adequate transfer space on one side of the toilet, although just barely. Although the bathroom is not large, it is large enough to have much better access if it were better designed. This bathroom is an example of a renovation that was well-intentioned but poorly executed.
Hotel Pont Royal ** Four star 7th Arrondissement
7, rue de Montalembert
In 2003 we visited this well-located, elegant 75-room hotel, which we were told had been renovated in 1999. The entrance is level. The elevator was easily large enough for Howard’s wheelchair and two able-bodied people, although it wasn’t wide enough to turn around in. We were shown Room 601, one of two adapted rooms. The bedroom is well appointed but small. The bathroom is fairly large but lacks sufficient transfer space adjacent to the toilet; the sink is too close. There is a bathtub, not a roll-in shower. The bathroom is large enough to be reconfigured for better access, including replacing the bathtub with a roll-in shower. We were told that the other adapted room is the same size and also doesn’t have a roll-in shower. This hotel is an example of well-intentioned, expensive access renovations in Paris that are badly designed and end up providing poor access.
In 2003 or 2004 Howard wrote to the hotel urging them to improve bathroom access and install a roll-in shower. In 2010 the hotel told Howard by email that the bathrooms have not been changed. In response, Howard again asked them to improve access and install roll-in shower.
Hotel Le Lavoisier** Four star 8th Arrondissement
21 rue Lavoisier
We visited this 32-room hotel in 2004. It’s in a well-located, charming townhouse. The hotel had very recently been renovated, and the gracious receptionist was enthusiastic to show us the adapted room. There is one adapted room, which is located on the ground floor and is in the deluxe category. The entrance vestibule of the adapted room has a very tight turning radius. The decor is elegant and the ceiling high. There is a sitting area in an outdoor terrace, which is up a high step and hence inaccessible. Without the terrace area, the bedroom is quite small. The bathroom is decent size, but the space around the toilet is tight. There is a bathtub and no roll-in shower. There is sufficient space to remove the bathtub and install a roll-in shower; doing so would also afford more transfer space next to the toilet. This was a sincere, well-intentioned attempt to make an adapted room, but unfortunately the design is quite poor.
Hyatt Regency Paris – Madeleine** Four or Five star 8th Arrondissement 24 Boulevard Malesherbes
We visited this luxury hotel in 2004. The front entrance is level with the street. The elevator is relatively large, and Howard fit easily. We saw room 211, an adapted room. We were told that rooms 111 and 311 are also adapted and are identical, except 211 has a higher ceiling. The bedroom is spacious and very well appointed. The bathroom is large and has very elegant marble, but the access features are poorly designed. There is a wall on one side of the toilet and a shower stall on the other, so there is no side transfer space. There is a large bathtub and a long, narrow shower. The shower has a 2 inch (5 cm) high threshold that is not ramped. The staff told us there is a portable ramp for the shower, but we could see that the ramp would have to be dangerously steep given the small available space. The shower has two large glass doors that open, but the threshold is an insurmountable obstacle for many wheelchairs. We were told that this room had recently been renovated. The bathroom is certainly large enough to have had excellent access. The architect could have removed the bathtub and created a roll-in shower where the bathtub was, which would have left plenty of space next to the toilet for a side transfer. Unfortunately, this bathroom is an example of the poor design of adapted bathrooms not uncommon in Paris hotels.
Pavillon des Lettres RIS Four star 8th Arrondissement
12, rue des Saussaies
This is a new 26-room hotel owned by the same people as Pavillon de la Reine. It opened in late 2010 and has two adapted guest rooms with roll-in showers.
Radisson Blu Ambassador Hotel Paris Opera RIS Four star 9th Arr.
16, boulevard Haussmann
We learned the following information by email in 2010. There is a ramp at the hotel entrance. There are adapted rooms in the standard and superior categories. Elevator size is unknown, although it might be small. Toilet height is 42 cm (16.5 inches). Bathroom door width is more than 75 cm (29.5 inches). The hotel sent photos of the bathroom, although no pictures of the toilet. The bathroom appears to be large. There is a roll-in shower with extensive grab bars but without a bench. The shower floor appears to be gradually sloped. Shower size is stated as 80 cm (31.5 inches) by 74 cm (29.1 inches), but appears larger in the photo. The sink is small. Bedroom size is 22 square meters (237 square feet); bathroom size is 4.8 square meters (51.6 square feet).
Residhome Paris-Opera RIS Four star 9th Arrondissement
30, rue Joubert
We learned the following information by email in 2010. This is a corporate style apartment/hotel, located in an old building that was renovated in 2006. There are no stairs at the entrance. There are two large elevators. There is at least one double studio that is wheelchair accessible and has a roll-in shower. The double beds are 190 cm (74.8 inches) by 140 cm (55.1 inches). Photographs and additional details were not forthcoming.
Hotel Les Trois Poussins RIS Three star 9th Arrondissement
15 rue Clauzel
This 40-room hotel is in an old mansion. We learned the following information by email in 2007. There is a 18 cm (7 inch) step at the front entrance. There is one adapted room, which is on the ground floor. The bedroom size is 18 square meters (194 square feet), and the bathroom is 4.5 square meters (48 square feet). All doors in the bedroom and bathroom are at least 75 cm (29.5 inches) wide. There is a roll-in shower, but there are no grab bars in the shower or near the toilet. The shower floor is a one- piece pan, and it is up a ramped threshold approximately 5 cm (2 inches) above the level of the rest of the bathroom floor, making it dangerous and difficult, if not impossible, for most wheelchair users to access. There is a small wall-mounted shower bench.
Hotel Gabriel Paris Marais RIS Three star 11th Arrondissement
25, rue du Grand-Prieure
We learned the following information by email in 2010. There is an adapted room, which is on the ground floor next to the reception and breakfast area; the room might be a bit noisy. We were quoted a very reasonable price. All of the common areas in the hotel are on the ground floor. The elevator is too small for a wheelchair. The bathroom door is 72.5 cm (28.5 inches) wide; this seems narrow and was perhaps a typo - we recommend confirming this dimension before ruling out the hotel because of the narrow doorway. The bedroom door is more than 75 cm (29.5 inches) wide. Toilet height is 46 cm (18.1 inches). The bedroom is 12.4 square meters (133 square feet). The bathroom is 4.8 square meters (51.6 square feet). The hotel sent photos of the bathroom. The toilet is a typical short French toilet with the tank built into the wall. There are two grab bars at the wall side of the toilet, one partially diagonal and one horizontal. There is at least 92 cm (36 inches) of transfer space on the other side of the toilet. There is a large roll-in shower with one grab bar and no built-in bench. The shower floor appears to be gradually sloped.
Ibis Paris Bastille RIS (?) Two star 11th Arrondissement
Faubourg Saint Antoine
13, rue Trousseau
According to the Ibis website in 2007, this hotel has three adapted rooms. They appear to be similar to those at the Ibis Bastille Opera (see below).
Ibis Bastille Opera RIS Two star 11th Arrondissement
15, rue Breguet
The following information was provided by a friend who uses a power wheelchair and stayed here in 2006. This hotel had been renovated in around 2004. The elevators are large and modern. There are six or seven adapted rooms. The bedroom is small, but the bathroom is quite spacious. There is a large roll-in shower without grab bars, and plenty of space at one side of the toilet for transfer. The bathroom has a large sink.
Hotel Concorde Montparnasse Three star 14th Arrondissement
40, rue du Commandant Mouchotte
This 354-room hotel opened in 2004. On different occasions we have been told that there are nine, 11 or 14 adapted rooms. Like the Hotel du Louvre and the Lutetia, this hotel is part of Concorde Hotels, which was acquired by Starwood Capital in 2005. (Starwood Capital is a private equity firm with separate (but possibly affiliated) ownership and management from Starwood Hotels and Resorts.)
In response to Howard’s inquiry in 2010 the hotel emailed a brochure with detailed information about the dimensions of the adapted rooms, access information about the hotel common areas, and information about accessible public transportation and medical services in the area. Elevators are 90 cm (35.4 inches) wide by 130 cm (51.1 inches) deep. Bedroom and bathroom doors are 90 cm (35.4 inches) wide. Toilet is 55 cm (21.65 inches) high. The bed is 62 cm (24.4 inches) high. Room size is from 18 to 20 square meters (194 to 215 square feet); it is unclear whether this includes the bathroom. The hotel sent one photo of the bathroom; the toilet is an extremely short French style toilet with the tank built into the wall. There is one fold-down grab bar, but it appears to be quite short.
As of June 2010, the hotel did not have roll-in showers, but the general manager told Howard they are planning to install them in at least two rooms in 2011.
Holiday Inn Paris Montparnasse - Maine 14th Arrondissement
79-81, Avenue du Maine
According to the website this 100-room hotel has three adapted rooms. We have heard that at least one has a roll-in shower, but have not confirmed this.
Ibis Tour Eiffel Cambronne RIS Two star 15th Arrondissement
2, rue Cambronne
We learned the following information from www.accessinparis.org in 2007. There are eight well-designed adapted rooms in this 523-room hotel, several or all of which have roll-in showers. There is at least 80 cm (31.4 inches) of side transfer space adjacent to the toilet. Door width is at least 80 cm (31.4 inches).
Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel RIS Four star 15th Arrondissement
61, quai de Grenelle
This modern building has 764 rooms. We learned by email in 2007 that the hotel has 17 adapted rooms, all with roll-in showers.
Hotel Concorde LaFayette Three star 17th Arrondissement
3, place du General Koenig
We learned the following information by email in 2010. There is one adapted room, Room 101. The hotel sent several photos. The elevator doorway is 110 cm (43.3 inches) wide. Elevator dimensions are 180 cm (70.8 inches) by 135 cm (53.1 inches). The bedroom door is 77 cm (30.3 inches) wide. The bathroom door is 90 cm (35.4 inches) wide. Toilet height is 50 cm (19.7 inches). The guest room is 26.8 square meters (288 square feet), which includes the bedroom and a separate lounge room. From the photos, the bedroom area seems small and the lounge fairly large. The bathroom is 7.9 square meters (85 square feet); the photos confirm that the bathroom is large. There is a large roll-in shower with a small built-in bench and several grab bars, including a fold-down (retractable) grab bar. The shower floor appears gradually sloped. The toilet is a long, tank style toilet, not a typical short French toilet. There are horizontal and diagonal grab bars on the wall side of the toilet, and a fold-down (retractable) grab bar on the open side. There is at least 92 cm (36 inches) of transfer space adjacent to the toilet.
4. HOTELS WITHOUT ADAPTED ROOMS THAT COULD BE ADAPTED
We visited all but one of the following hotels. All are charming and in desirable locations. We included them because it appears that rooms in these hotels could be adapted for access, and roll-in showers installed, without much difficulty. We hope that the owners decide to do this.
Pavillon de la Reine ** Four star 3rd Arrondissement
28, Place des Vosges
In 2004 we visited this beautiful, elegant hotel located on the Place des Vosges. The main entrance is down several stairs through a gorgeous courtyard. There is a narrow but level entrance on the side street. The staff was very welcoming. There are several guest rooms on the ground floor, but none is adapted. The staff showed us two standard rooms. Each is large enough to be made adapted, although this might require removing a small, apparently non-load-bearing wall in the vestibule just inside the room entrance. The building has no elevator, and it appears very difficult, if not impossible, to install an elevator, so any adapted rooms would need to be on the ground floor.
Howard wrote to the hotel in 2004, urging it to install an adapted room with a roll-in shower. We were informed by email in 2010 that the hotel has not created an adapted room. In 2010 the owners opened another hotel, Pavillon des Lettres, in the 8th Arrondissement, that has two adapted rooms. See above.
Hotel Villa d’Estrees ** Four star 6th Arrondissement
17, rue Git-le-Coeur
We visited this 10-room hotel in 2004. It’s charming and in a great location on a quiet side street near the Seine. There is a 17 to 20 cm (7 to 8 inch) step at the entrance. None of the rooms is adapted, but the room Michele was shown is large and probably could be adapted. The elevator is large enough for a wheelchair. If they ever do make an adapted room, we would definitely consider staying there.
Howard wrote to the hotel in 2004, urging it to install an adapted room with a roll-in shower. We were informed by email in 2010 that the hotel has not created an adapted room.
Hotel Brighton ** Three star 1st Arrondissement
218, rue de Rivoli
We stayed here at a time when Howard was able to use an inaccessible bathroom, though with difficulty. The hotel staff was welcoming and gracious. This medium-size hotel, extraordinarily well located facing the Jardin des Tuileries, has a level entrance with sliding electric doors. Howard was able to fit in the elevator without much room to spare. The Tuileries view rooms have breathtaking views of the Jardin des Tuileries and across the Seine to the Musee d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower. We could see the Eiffel Tower from our bed, which is truly an unforgettable experience. None of the rooms is adapted, but the junior suites have large bathrooms with a bathtub and a shower. Unfortunately, the shower is up a step of several inches. The toilet is in a separate, small room and there is not sufficient space to transfer. The bathrooms in the junior suites are definitely large enough to be renovated for complete access, including roll-in showers.
Howard wrote to the Hotel Brighton asking them to renovate the bathroom and install a roll-in shower.
Villa Pantheon Four star 5th Arrondissement
41, rue des Ecoles
We learned the following information by email in 2003. The hotel opened in 2000. There is an accessible, but not adapted, room on the ground floor. Room size is 20 square meters (215 square feet). There is a bathtub only, no roll-in shower. There are no grab bars.
In 2010 Howard inquired by email whether the accessible room has been renovated and was told it has not been. A recent image from Google maps shows what appears to be a step of approximately 5 cm (2 inches) at the entrance.
Hotel Duc de Saint-Simon** Three star 7th Arrondissement
14, rue de Saint-Simon
We visited this 34-room hotel in 2003. The entrance is level, although narrow. The elevator is too small for a wheelchair. Per the receptionist, there are three rooms and three suites on the ground floor, but none has an accessible bathroom. All rooms were occupied, so we couldn’t see any of them. Given how many rooms there are on the ground floor, it seems likely that at least one could be made into an adapted room.
Howard wrote to the Hotel Duc de Saint-Simon in 2004, urging it to create an adapted room with a roll-in shower. The hotel informed Howard by email in 2010 that there are still no adapted rooms, although they hope to install one in 2012.
My wife and I will arrive in [ ] on [ ] and depart on [ ]. We will stay for [ ] nights.
I use an electric wheelchair that is [[ ] centimeters ([ ] inches)] wide. I am unable to walk at all. My wife is not disabled. We would like a non-smoking room with one large bed. We have the following questions about your hotel:
1. Do you have any specially equipped (adapted) wheelchair accessible guest rooms? If not, please disregard the other questions. Thank you and we would appreciate a recommendation of hotel in the area that does have specially equipped (adapted) wheelchair accessible guest rooms.
If you do have specially equipped (adapted) wheelchair accessible guest rooms, we have the following questions. Please answer even if you are fully booked for the requested time, because we are interested in your hotel for the future.
1. Is it necessary to go up or down any stairs in order to get from the street entrance to the guest room? Does the building have an elevator? If so, how wide is the elevator door and what are the interior dimensions of the elevator?
2. In the bathroom, is there space for a [ ] cm wide wheelchair on one side of the toilet? What is the width of the doorway into the bathroom? What is the height of the toilet? What is the size of the shower? Can a wheelchair roll into the shower? Are there grab bars near the toilet and shower?
3. Are all the doorways in the room at least 75 cm wide?
4. What is the size of the room? Does this include the bathroom?
5. Was the building renovated recently?
Also, could you please email some photos of the bathroom.
Thank you very much. We really appreciate any help you can provide.
Metric Conversion Guide
One inch = 2.54 centimeters.
One centimeter = 0.3937 inches
One meter = 39.4 inches
One square meter = 10.76 square feet
One kilometer = 0.62 miles
One mile = 1.61 kilometers
One kilogram = 2.2 pounds
One hundred grams = just under ¼ pound (3 ½ ounces)
One pound = 0.454 kilograms (454 grams)
One liter = 0.264 gallons = 1.056 quarts
One gallon = 3.785 liters
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