Wheelchair Jimmy Comments
The Best Western Plus La Grande is fully accessible but they deserve an award for the worst accessibility architectural design. Someone was playing an away game. So here’s the good news: there are 65 total rooms, 5 wheelchair accessible rooms including 1 roll-in shower, the guest rooms and bath area are spacious, the bed height is 27 inches, there’s a large accessible breakfast area with a self serve hot breakfast, an accessible pool and ADA pool lift and an accessible restroom off the lobby. Seems perfect, it’s not.
Our accessible room #136 was located at the very back of the hotel so the front desk suggested we park in the accessible van space at the rear of the hotel and enter through the side door next to the room. The first design flaw places the key card entry on a ramp ramp with the door 2-3 feet away (see picture). Locking your wheelchair brakes on the ramp is required. So by the time I entered my key card, unlocked the brakes and rolled to the door, the 2-3 second timer for door access was denied. I tried several times (without a suitcase) and failed. BTW – this could be easily fixed with a level concrete pad.
So I returned to front desk 100 ft away, entered the lobby, then rolled up the somewhat steep thickly carpeted hallway ramp to my room at the end of the hallway (see picture).
Here are many other design flaws: there’s a night stand between the beds but the beds are located 15 inches away so you cannot reach the night stand or light while in bed; the microwave is located at a height of about 6 feet and unreachable; there is an attached tub shower bench seat but the shower controls are not reachable; the hair dryer electrical outlet is reversed and set in a corner so it’s impossible to insert the cord; there is a 1/4 inch lip between sink and toilet area which is quite inconvenient when rolling around the sink/bath area; and finally the closet area has a linoleum floor and the suitcase stands kept falling over the room entryway.
A couple other items you may want to know: there is only 4 inches under bed frame so a Hoyer Lift will not work, the sink is located outside the sink/toilet area and there are 4-5 fast food restaurants nearby but you’ll need to drive to a dinner restaurant.
On the WJAR index, the La Grande Best Western Plus gets a 3, but I’ll not stay here again. It’s accessible but not wheelchair friendly. What we the architects/designers thinking?