Hotel booking sites

Why is it that some hotel booking sites let you filter the choices for accessibility and others don’t? Trivago let you filter for details such as whether you want a hairdryer or ironing board but not if the place needs to be wheelchair accessible – mad! do much better: there is a filter category for accessibility features including accessible parking and Braille signage. Shame they use the phrase ‘handicapped parking’ but well done them for having the filter.

Sawday’s lets you filter for wheelchair accessibility and/or limited mobility, which seems sensible.

Laterooms don’t have any kind of accessibility features in their filter nor do Expedia, while have one filter for ‘facilities for disabled guests’ which is better than nothing.

Why on earth don’t they all have the filters? What do other people think?

Parador de Alcalá de Henares, Spain

We stayed here for the last night of last year’s holiday in Spain – it’s pretty convenient for Madrid’s Barajas airport. The parador is based around an old convent but generally is very hi-tech and modern, almost too much so: a panel at the bedside allowed you to switch off the lights in the whole room, but you couldn’t have one bedside light on without the other being on too – not really a technological advance! The whole place was completely accessible apart from, I think, a tiny step down into the courtyard but I might be misremembering and the bedroom had both a wet-room style bathroom and also a bath with shower over too.
It is in the town centre and has a courtyard rather than any gardens so not as relaxing/get-away-from-it-all as some but peaceful nonetheless. The staff were pleasant, the food good with plenty of choice at breakfast and the town is very pleasant and historic too. I would definitely recommend this for a brief stop.

Parador de Tordesillas, Spain

Some of the reviews of this Parador talk of it being a bit past its best, but having stayed in several other Paradors on last year’s holiday in Spain as well as lots of others at other times I would say it holds up well – they are all different and have different qualities. This one is good at being relaxing, child-friendly and laid back. It didn’t particularly seem in need of smartening up so far as I noticed. What was an issue for me was that while you could enter the lobby on wheels (I use a mobility scooter when there is lots of ground to cover), you couldn’t then access the rest of the hotel. That required entering through the door that gave access to the pool and garden – not a big problem, it was a doorway people used to access the garden, so not a ‘tradesman’s entrance’ but not ideal. To use the sitting room off the lobby we would have had to go out through this door then around to the front and it would still have meant a few stairs so we didn’t bother and didn’t need to as the weather was lovely and we sat out in the garden all day, where people were using the pool and sunloungers, all surrounded by pine groves..
The staff were friendly and helpful, the food good with the usual choices of local and national dishes in the evening (although with a distinct lack of vegetables unless you chose very carefully, which is so odd in a country that produces an abundance of great veg!) and plenty of choice at breakfast: Spanish omelette, hams and cheeses, pastries, fruit, yogurt etc.
We really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the historic town of Tordesillas where the C15th treaty was signed to divide up South America between Spain and Portugal is just down the road.

Gardens, Parador de Tordesilla
Pine woods, Parador de Tordesillas
Pine woods, Parador de Tordesillas

Cedar Court Grand Hotel and Spa, York

Had a meal here for a recent birthday. The meal was very good without being totally fabulous but what made the occasion memorable was the staff. Nobody batted an eyelid at my turning up on a mobility scooter. This is how it should be but so often isn’t the case. They also brought us a glass of champagne and there was a candle in my desert!

The practicalities are that there is a doorman (at least there was when we first turned up – we had to go back to the house as part of my scooter had fallen off!) to help and a lift (one of those rising platform types) to get you up the few steps in the entrance then it was all on the level. They mentioned where the toilets were (down in a different lift) then showed us to the restaurant, all very helpful and friendly. top marks for attitude!

Click here for their website.

See my review of the Lime House restaurant, also in York.