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One of the finest hotels in British Columbia, Canada, The Westin Bayshore in Vancouver, offers wheelchair accessible guest rooms in a fantastic downtown location. In this review, I’ll take a closer look at the adaptive features provided in the room and offer a few final thoughts on my overall experience at the hotel.
Reservation & Check-in
I reserved a mobility accessible room with a roll-in shower via the hotel’s website. Rates at the hotel vary based on the season and nightly demand, but usually start at around $200 CAD (~$159 USD) in the winter and go up to $500 CAD or more in the summer.
The hotel offers many different types and sizes of room, from the “Traditional” at 312 square feet to the “International Suite” at 4,000 square feet. Accessible rooms are offered only in the “Deluxe” type, which is a step above the standard room in both amenities (like view) and price.
The deluxe room type offers an incredible view and is not much more expensive than the traditional room.
Check-in took only a few minutes, and with key card in hand I set out for my room on the 8th floor.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room
My room number was 888, is that good luck? I certainly got lucky with a view… after opening the door and proceeding a few steps into the room, this is what I saw:
There was #nofilter used on that photo, by the way. And, while not as epic as the pool view at Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel, this was the best view I’ve had from a hotel room in quite a while.
The king size bed, complete with the signature Westin Heavenly bedding, was incredibly comfortable and made for a great night’s sleep. The bed was 27 inches tall and had 6.5 inches of clear space underneath the bed. There was plenty of room on both sides of the bed for a wheelchair. Bedside lamps were easy to operate.
Power outlets next to the bed made it possible to charge my personal electronics as well as my electric wheelchair. Canada’s electric sockets are the same as those found in the United States and power is supplied at 120 volts. If you are traveling from a country with higher voltage (aka almost everywhere except North America), you may need a step-up power transformer to adequately charge your wheelchair. You can read more about this in my article on charging power wheelchairs abroad.
An armoire, television and desk were located on the wall opposite the bed. A sliding glass door behind the curtains was easy to open, but there was no balcony. I opened the door for some fresh air and to cool down the room.
In all, the room was quite spacious, and it was easy to move around in my power wheelchair. Every one of the room’s features was accessible to me.
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
The en suite bathroom was spacious and wheelchair accessible, with a design that took cues from the United States ADA standards for accessible design.
The roll-in shower included all of the features required by the ADA standards, including a built-in shower seat, grab bars, handheld shower spray unit and water controls within reach. The only issue with the U.S. regulations (which do not apply in Canada) was the grab bar that extended behind the shower seat. That said, many travelers with disabilities may appreciate the additional support bar.
The bathroom sink was small, but accessible. The large mirror was angled towards the floor, making it visible to everyone regardless of height. A smaller adjustable mirror was affixed to the wall, but may be out of reach for some.
Space alongside the toilet made side-to-side transfers from a wheelchair possible. A grab bar was provided on the wall next to the toilet. In all, I found this bathroom to be very accessible and wished more hotels outside the United States would follow suit!
Location & Transportation
The Westin Bayshore hotel is located in one of the most picturesque areas of Vancouver, adjacent to Stanley Park on the shores of Coal Harbour.
Accessible public transportation connects guests to the rest of the city, with multiple TransLink SeaBus stops within one block of the hotel. The city bus can connect visitors to attractions, as well as other transportation services including the SkyTrain metro system and the Canada Line (with service to YVR Airport).
Wheelchair accessible taxi cabs can be ordered on-demand from the hotel’s concierge, with minimal wait times.
My stay at the Westin Bayshore, Vancouver was a memorable one. The exquisite natural backdrop, location and accessible room features all contributed to a stay that was hassle-free. A truly accessible hotel removes barriers for guests with disabilities, allowing them to relax in the comfort of a guest room without hesitation or worry. In this, the Westin Bayshore has done a fantastic job, and I look forward to staying there again when my travels next take me to Vancouver.
Feature image courtesy of The Westin Bayshore hotel.