What Is An Accessible Hotel Room? [Features & How It Differs From A Standard Hotel Room]

Basements & Other Rooms, Blog

The Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as ADA, states that all new public buildings must be accessible. For hotels, this means that they must also have accessible entries and hotel rooms. But what is an accessible hotel room?

Basically, an accessible hotel room is a room that has been designed to accommodate guests with any form of disability. That is, individuals with impaired vision, hearing loss, reduced mobility, etc.

Are you a potential hotelier (a person who owns or manages a hotel)? Or are you one with any form of disability and want to understand better what an accessible room means? You are at the right place. Please sit back and learn from this article.

What is an accessible hotel room?

In a perfect world, all individuals are taken into account, regardless of their condition. This is what the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) strives to achieve.

An accessible hotel room is a room designed to meet the needs of people with physical, visual, or hearing disabilities. The room has to be functional to a certain level in order to achieve this. 

This means that the room must contain certain features or elements to achieve the set goals. To explain better, the next section discusses the features or elements of an accessible room.

What are the features of an accessible hotel room?

The features of an accessible room are the details that help make the room functional and conducive. They must be welcoming to the individual no matter the type of disability. Some of the features of an accessible hotel room are;

1. The hotel room must be spacious and clutter-free

Accessible Hotel Room

Space is an important factor for individuals with any form of disability. The room must be completely clutter-free for the individual to be able to navigate around. This is particularly important for individuals in wheelchairs. 

The room must not have any carpets that the wheelchair may get stuck on. For this reason, most accessible hotel rooms prefer to use hardwood floors. And for visually impaired individuals, the room must be spacious enough so they don’t bump into things.

The best way to achieve this is to ensure the room has a simple and not complicated design. That means minimal furniture to make it very easy to navigate the room.

2. Automated doors

Accessible Hotel Room door

One of the major distresss people with disabilities (especially those in wheelchairs) face is opening the door. An accessible hotel room must have automated doors to make entering and exiting the room easy.

If possible, an automated door should be at the main entrance of the hotel. Most hotels just use simple Power-operated doors (PWD-friendly doors), which is still acceptable.

3. Adjustable beds or hoyer lifts

Adjustable beds or hoyer lifts

Some individuals require an adjustable bed; others require mechanical lifts (Hoyer lifts) to get in and out of bed. An accessible hotel room must have any of these two or both, depending on the needs of the guest.

4. Roll-in shower, bench, bars, and panic button

Talking about the facilities, an accessible hotel room must be built to accommodate any individuals with disabilities. This means there must be a roll-in shower for people in wheelchairs.

There must also be a bench and bars in the shower and next to the toilet. Additionally, a panic button must be installed at a safe height in case the guest needs help for any reason.

5. Buzzer and lightning

A properly installed buzzer and lightning are needed for individuals with impaired vision. That way, they can hear when someone is at the door. Then, lightning is for individuals with hearing impairments as they also need a way to know when someone is at the door.

6. Suite set-up

It is no new thing that every individual values their privacy, and people with disabilities value that, too. Because most of them will likely travel with a caretaker, you must take their privacy into account.

For this reason, most accessible hotel rooms have a suite setup. The caretaker will be able to access the guest’s main room, but both will still have the privacy they want.

7. Well-labeled switches and controls

Hoteliers take note of the fact that moving a lot can be stressful for guests. For this reason, properly labeled switches are stationed at specific points to reduce movement. This may include a switch to automatically open the blinds, put on the lights, open the door, etc.

How is an accessible hotel room different from a standard hotel room?

One might question the difference between an accessible room and a standard room. The key difference between the two is the design structure or design detail.

Standard hotel rooms are designed to accommodate different types of people. An accessible hotel room is tailored specifically to serve an individual who is disabled. The difference lies in the details.


Can anyone stay in an accessible hotel room?

Yes, anyone can. However, most hotels will have instructions for accessible rooms to be the last rooms booked.

Do hotels have to provide accessible rooms?

Yes, they do. The Americans with Disabilities Act states that all hotels, inns, and motels must provide accessible guest rooms.


In the United States, 1 in 4 people suffer from a disability or the other. 11% of adults suffer from mobility disorder, 8% suffer from visual impairment, and 5% suffer from hearing impairment.

But the truth is that these people are humans and deserve to be treated with as much care as others, perhaps even more. This is why the Americans with Disabilities Act has made it necessary for all public buildings to be accessible to disabled people.

And for hotels, motels, and inns, their services must also be accessible to the disabled. An accessible hotel room is a room tailored to meet the needs of a disabled individual. They contain features to help achieve the goals.

As a hotelier, it is important to make the necessary adjustments. This is because the law makes it necessary for all places of lodging to comply with the ADA checklist for lodging facilities.

Thanks for reading this article. You can also find more interesting articles on Samkinsconstructions.

Leave a Comment

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


Sign up to receive the latest news and updates from our company.

More questions? Get in touch