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The Aloft Dallas Downtown Hotel offers ADA accessible hotel rooms with a roll-in shower in the amazing city of Dallas, Texas. This was my second time at an Aloft brand hotel (the first was Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral) and I looked forward to having a fantastic stay.
Reservation & Check-in
I booked my hotel room the same day I planned to check-in, using the hotel's website. I scored a fantastic room rate of $99 per night (plus tax). Many Starwood Hotels do not adequately describe their accessible rooms on the website (a violation of the ADA), but I called the hotel after booking to ensure that I would receive a roll-in shower. If they had been unable to honor that request, I would have been entitled to cancel without penalty.
Check-in at the Aloft Hotel was a breeze, and I was up to my handicap accessible guest room in just a few minutes. Although I had reserved a room with a king size bed online, roll-in showers were only available in the rooms with two queens. Bit of a bummer, and a shame that the information is not available online.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room
Although I'm not sure that my room was actually 510 square feet (as the website says), it was more spacious than a typical hotel room. And, looking on the bright side, I got two beds instead of one! :p
Based on my experience at the Aloft in Malaysia, I knew that the hotel would be modern, millennial-focused and hip. With exposed duct work, cement ceilings and a brick wall, it was just the right amount of hip.
The two queen beds were accessible on all sides, which is not typical. The ADA only requires hotels to provide space between the beds, if a hotel room has two. So, maybe that 510 square feet size was accurate!
With mattresses set on a solid (though slightly recessed) platform, these might not have accommodated a transfer hoist or hoyer lift. That said, the beds were low to the ground, which made transferring to and from my wheelchair pretty easy. And yes, the beds were comfortable - something you can almost always expect from a Starwood-family Hotel.
Two desk spaces were provided on the wall opposite the queen size beds. There was also an awkward bench beneath the wall-mounted television, which I used to store my luggage. Aloft hotels are devoid of unnecessary embellishments, but do offer all of the necessities. I do wish they had sprung for a larger television, though!
With plenty of space to roll around in my wheelchair, it was a really accessible guest room!
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
At this particular hotel, the toilet and shower were in a closed off bathroom, while the sink was just outside the bathroom door. None of the bathroom areas (including the sink) were within view of the sleeping area.
The roll-in shower, while spacious, had one big problem: no built-in shower seat. This is one of the most common ADA violations in hotels, and it was particularly surprising to find in a recently remodeled Aloft hotel.
Portable shower seats are available, but that is not an acceptable alternative to ADA compliance. Still, with a portable shower seat, the space is usable, and there are grab bars and a handheld shower nozzle already installed.
The toilet was up to code, with grab bars in the appropriate places and space to park a wheelchair directly alongside the commode.
The bathroom sink was set at the right height to allow my wheelchair to roll underneath. A mini refrigerator was included in the room as well, placed on the floor beneath the sink's countertop.
Location & Transportation
Dallas is one of my favorite cities - it's affordable and undergoing a substantial revitalization, particularly in the city center.
The Aloft Dallas Downtown Hotel is within walking distance (or a city bus ride of only a few minutes) of many of the best wheelchair accessible attractions in Dallas. The Reunion Tower observatory, Pioneer Plaza, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the Old Red Museum and more are all located downtown!
Connections to public transportation are all within walking distance of the hotel - city buses, light rail trains and the Dallas Streetcar, which are all wheelchair accessible.
If you're on a budget and looking for a comfortable place to stay in Dallas, Texas, the Aloft Dallas Downtown Hotel should be on your short list. Although it doesn't boast the luxury of the Omni Dallas Hotel, Aloft is still a great place to stay - especially when you can score a room for under a hundred dollars!