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Note: This hotel was not rated using the WheelchairTravel.org hotel accessibility metric, which relies on U.S. law and ADA compliance to assign an accessibility score to hotels.
Steps from King's Cross Station, the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London is one of the premier hotels in England's capital city. Built in 1873, the hotel's historic building has been updated with accessibility and comfort in mind. With finely appointed wheelchair accessible hotel rooms, it is serves as the perfect home base for travelers with disabilities exploring the City of London. I had a truly memorable stay, and highly recommend the hotel.
Reservation & Check-in
The easiest way to reserve a wheelchair accessible room at the St. Pancras Renaissance is by visiting the hotel's website. Making a follow-up call to ensure your accessible room type needs are confirmed is highly recommended. Room rates vary widely based on demand, conferences and other events in London, but often start at around £200 GBP per night (~$270 USD), inclusive of tax. The property is a five-star hotel, but offers good value for those seeking luxury.
Check-in was a breeze, and the front desk staff were very accommodating. A bellman grabbed my bags and escorted me to my room on the first floor. On the way, he familiarized me with other features of the hotel. It was a very nice welcome to what would prove to be a fantastic stay.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room
I received an upgrade to a Junior Suite on the first floor of the Chambers Wing, a much larger space than I had anticipated. In comparing my suite with those pictured on the hotel website, I didn't find mine to be as "posh," but still delighted in the upgrade.
After taking the elevator up to the first floor, a set of double doors blocked access to the hotel rooms down the corridor (using key card access). The doors were difficult to open from my wheelchair, but I understood the need to secure the guest floor in a luxury hotel.
My room was just a few steps down the hall. The hotel room door was fairly light and easy to open, revealing a long, narrow hallway with an impressive vaulted ceiling.
The room's interior corridor opened into a fairly standard-sized room. The ned was comfortable, but there was only enough space for my power wheelchair on one side of it. The bed height was low, roughly equal to the height of my wheelchair's seat. If you use a Hoyer lift for transfers, there was not space underneath the bed to accommodate one.
Power outlets next to the bed made charging my wheelchair easy & convenient. Power outlets in the United Kingdom supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts. If you are traveling from the United States, where electricity is supplied at 120 volts, you'll want to protect your wheelchair and battery with a step-down power transformer. I recommend the 500W Rockstone power transformer - this is the device I use when traveling abroad.
Tucked into an alcove in the corner of the room was a table with chair, a bluetooth speaker and an electronics cabinet that provided access to power and electronic inputs (presumably for the television).
Speaking of the television... it was a bit small. I have seen much larger TV screens in other Marriott-family hotels and was a bit surprised by the size of this one. The room's two windows looked out into the lobby and restaurant.
As a Platinum Elite member in the Marriott Rewards loyalty program, I am entitled to a welcome amenity at all Renaissance Hotels. For this stay, I selected an offering of cookies, macaroons and a bottle of wine. It was a nice way to settle into the room and satisfy my sweet tooth!
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
I had reserved an accessible room with a roll-in shower. Having had many good experiences with accessible showers in London (see Renaissance Heathrow Airport and Hilton London Paddington), my expectations were high at the St. Pancras Renaissance. I was not disappointed!
The toilet was highly accessible, with grab bars on both sides of the toilet (including one which folded down from the wall). The sink was at the appropriate height for wheelchair access, and an adjustable lighted mirror came is useful during shaving. Towels were placed in various locations around the bathroom, all within reach.
Although the roll-in shower design wasn't perfect, it was still easy to use and contained all of the necessary accessibility features. The built-in shower chair was attached to the wall, with fold-down grab bars to ensure safety. The handheld shower spray unit and water controls were within reach, and the water pressure was high. The greatest feature was the red emergency pull cord, which can be used to alert the hotel staff in the event of a fall.
The marble-covered walls and floor gave a touch of luxury and made this a very relaxing bathroom to use.
Location & Transportation
Only one block from the St. Pancras International train station and two blocks from the King's Cross tube station, there are many connections to transportation within walking/rolling distance of the hotel. At St. Pancras, travelers will have access to the wheelchair accessible Eurostar train, which serves multiple destinations including Brussels and Paris.
At King's Cross, wheelchair users enjoy step-free access to the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines of the London Underground.
The fantastic city bus network is also accessible from the hotel, with more than 15 different routes converging at King's Cross Station. I recommend using Google Maps to plot a course using the London city buses.
London's wheelchair accessible black cabs are also available at a moment's notice. Just ask one of the bellmen to hail a taxi for you - with just one blow of the whistle, a taxi will be at your disposal.
Although the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel is a bit pricey, you'll find the attention to access slitty to be top notch, and the location outstanding. With so many easily accessible connections to public transportation, I can't say that I've stayed at a London hotel that was more convenient than this one. The touches of luxury and attention to detail made my stay at the St. Pancras Renaissance a truly memorable one.
If you are searching for a wheelchair accessible hotel in London, I highly recommend the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. If you do decide to book a stay at this property, be sure to let me know how your experience went!