When I checked-in to the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live Hotel last year, I expected to receive the standard, wheelchair accessible room I had reserved. I was in for a BIG surprise. The hotel’s front desk manager recognized my Marriott Rewards Platinum status (I spend a lot of nights in hotels), and decided to upgrade me to the only accessible suite that was unoccupied at the time. As luck would have it, that room was the 1,566 square foot Presidential (or Chairman’s) Suite!
While I’m eligible for these complimentary upgrades at every Marriott hotel, it is typical for only the least desirable rooms (i.e.: parking lot view) to be made wheelchair accessible, with grab bars and roll-in showers. This is a shortcoming of the ADA that I one day hope to see corrected. In sports arenas and concert halls, the ADA requires wheelchair access at all price levels. The same should also be true of hotels. Why shouldn’t the wheelchair user have access to a suite for his/her honeymoon?
This hotel, though, has gone beyond the requirements of the law and made one of their most desirable suites fully accessible. Bravo!
These were the double doors to room 1750, on the hotel’s 17th floor. This was one of several Chairman’s Suites at the hotel. The doors were not heavy, and easy to push forward. There was unfortunately no mechanism to hold the door in place, so, once opened, it will close quickly.
This is the view of the suite after you step through the entry foyer. Lamps everywhere! There is a full dining table (seats 6 people), sofa and chairs in this large living area. The sofa pictured here also folded out into a sofa bed. My favorite decoration was the black and silver globe on the bookshelf behind the sofa.
The view from my room was incredible, looking out over the Nokia Theatre and Staples Center. The L.A. Live area is filled with more than 20 restaurants and bars, a movie theater and the GRAMMY Museum. The hotel is directly inside the L.A. Live campus and only a short walk from the city’s Financial District.
In the second living room area, there was a desk that offered perfect clearance for my wheelchair to roll under.
This space held the suite’s second sofa. The space between the desk and sofa was tight, but my wheelchair was able to fit.
The bedroom was my favorite room in the suite. The King-size bed offered the traditional Marriott comfort. There was plenty of space on either side of the bed for my wheelchair. The suite’s third television sat on the chest of drawers opposite the bed. Power receptacles were within easy reach on the nightstand next to the bed.
This bathing tub, located outside the proper bathroom, was equipped with grab bars. There is a fairly deep ledge running around all four sides of the bath.
The bathroom area features an armoire/closet with a safe, robes, slippers and a place to hang clothing. The bathroom is posh. The suite’s 4th T.V. (yes, there are four!!) is embedded into the mirror behind the sink. The design of the sink prevented me from rolling beneath it, so I had to brush my teeth lined up sideways against the sink countertop.
The primary towel rack, pictured above, could be easily reached from my wheelchair. The towels were monogrammed with the hotel’s logo. Classy!
Not pictured in this post are the toilet and roll-in shower. I wasn’t blogging at WheelchairTravel.org during my stay, so I didn’t think to photograph them. What I can say: The roll-in shower was equipped with grab bars and a bench that folded down from the wall. There is a handheld shower nozzle that was easy to operate. The shower space is no larger than a standard hotel shower, but my wheelchair was able to roll up next to the shower bench. A grab bar was also located next to the toilet, and there was space to roll my wheelchair next to it. The toilet paper rolls/dispenser is within reach of the toilet.
The suite also includes a half bath (toilet and sink) off the entry foyer. I did not use this bathroom, but there was space inside for a wheelchair to move about.
Off the primary living area, there is a large wet bar/kitchen area, which includes a full size refrigerator/freezer unit. This is the place to store your food, drinks or medication.
Pictured above is a blueprint showcasing the suite’s layout. It is really big!
My stay in this suite overlapped the ESPY Awards, which were held at the Nokia Theatre. It was really cool to have such a luxurious suite while so many celebrities and sports stars were staying there. I felt like a king in a castle!
I look forward to my next trip to Los Angeles, so I can return to this magnificent hotel. While I can’t expect this once-in-a-lifetime suite upgrade to be repeated, I’m sure even the standard wheelchair accessible rooms are a treat!
Have you traveled to Los Angeles? Where did you stay? Share details of your experience in the comments section below. Don’t forget to check out our Los Angeles Wheelchair Accessible Travel Guide!