There Is Room At The Inn
Let's face it, when it comes to choosing accessible accommodations, most people don't even consider inns and B&Bs. And who can blame them, as the general perception is these properties are highly inaccessible. Maybe it's because most innkeepers don't readily promote their access, or maybe it's just because we've seen one too many photos of that historic inn with fifteen steps up to the front porch. Whatever the reason, travelers are completely missing this accessible lodging option.
Ironically, inns and B&Bs can be the ideal choice for people with disabilities. Innkeepers are intimately familiar with the access details of their property; and guests are guaranteed the specific (accessible) rooms they reserve. This isn't always the case in large hotels, where access requests are sometimes lost in the shuffle. With that in mind, let's have a peek at some accessible inns and B&Bs across America.
First stop, the Redbud Inn (209-728-8533, www.redbudinn.com), located in historic Murphys, California. This classic American country inn combines quaint charm with modern accessibility. Mae's Room is located on the ground floor and features a comfortable queen size bed, a rocking chair, a tiled bathroom with a roll-in shower, and grab bars around the toilet. The airy breakfast room and parlor also offer barrier-free access. Quite a surprising find in this restored California gold rush town!
Photo by Charles Pannell
Located deep in the heart of Amish country in Millersburg, Ohio, The Inn at Honey Run (330-674-0011 www.innathoneyrun.com) is another accessible option. Says a recent visitor, "My room had a roll-in shower, a roll-under sink, and a comfortable bed at just the right height. There was ample floor space, and lots of room to move about. There was also a large window which looked out on the woods, and everything was just beautiful. This was one of the most accessible rooms that I've found in all of my travels."
The Just Relax Inn (970-845-8885, www.eeguide.com/travel/relax.htm) located in Avon, Colorado is more like a private mansion than an inn. The property was designed with access in mind; and the accessible Country Room includes a roll-in shower, lowered closet rods, an accessible balcony and plenty of maneuvering room. The highlight of this property is the accessible hot tub. The Just Relax Inn is a great place to stay for a winter skiing holiday, as Vail is just a 10 minute drive down the road.
Miss Maxines B&B (512-847-8785) located in Wimberly, Texas is another property that was designed with access in mind. In fact, says innkeeper Judy Massouh , "I spent many hours in my mom's wheelchair making sure I hadn't missed anything." Judy's one bedroom accessible cottage includes a ramped entry, wide doorways, and lowered environmental controls. The spacious cottage also includes a bathroom with a roll-in shower and a roll-under sink. Miss Maxines is located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, just 60 miles from San Antonio.
Photo by Charles Pannell
Down in St. Petersburg, Florida, Jewly and Denis Youschak recently added the accessible Manatee Room to their Inn At The Bay (727-822-1700, www.innatthebay.com). The centerpiece of this first-floor room is the massive king size canopy bed. The bathroom features a roll-in shower, a hand-held showerhead and a roll-under sink. Access features in the Manatee Room also include wide doorways, lever door knobs, lowered light switches and an accessible pathway. And don't forget to sample Jewly's delicious scones. Simply put, they're to die for!
And last but not least, if you long for the ambiance of a traditional New England Inn, then check out the Sinclair Inn B&B (802-899-2234, www.sinclairinnbb.com) in Jericho, Vermont. The accessible room (Room 1) is located on the first floor and has four large windows which overlook a lovely garden. The room features a king bed which can be converted into two twins, a comfortable sitting area and an oversize bathroom. The bathroom has a roll-in shower with grab bars and a hand-held showerhead. An original stained glass window highlights the open floorplan bathroom.
So next time you're looking for an accessible room, consider an inn or a B&B. Need help locating an accessible property? Visit www.Innseekers.com and search their database for accessible inns. Remember, more often than not, there really is (an accessible) room at the inn!