I’m back with another Accidentally Adaptive post, where I share all about a mainstream product that “accidentally” has an adaptive use for me as a disabled woman.
I know I’ve shared a lot of travel related posts recently – I think that this should be the last one for a while! But this is something that I was so excited to find out about myself, and am equally excited to share with all of you. For this post in my “Accidentally Adaptive” series, I’m sharing about Hilton hotel’s confirmed connecting rooms.
Before I get too far into this, I want to give a little bit of background. When I travel, I’m traveling with my parents and my sister, who also uses a wheelchair. Four people, two of whom use 200+ pound power wheelchairs, and sometimes my dog Lily too, all in one room is pretty squished. So when I’m looking for a hotel, I always look for suites. There’s just a guarantee of more space, and less chance that we’ll feel like we’re stuck on top of each other. That’s great in theory, but more challenging in reality for a few reasons. First – suites are more expensive! And when you look for a suite plus accessibility, availability goes way down. Often, one bedroom accessible suites only have a king bed plus a sofa bed, which means that my sister and I have to share the king and my parents sleep on the sofa bed. It’s far from ideal, but works when necessary.
Obviously, being able to get two connecting rooms would be ideal. But in the past, when we’ve tried to arrange this, we were told over and over and over and over again that they couldn’t guarantee the two rooms we booked would be connecting. We couldn’t take the chance that we’d get to check in only to find out the rooms weren’t adjoining. Even rooms across the hall isn’t close enough for us – if my sister or I need help while we’re in bed at 3 AM, my mom isn’t going to want to have to get up, put on a robe and slippers, find her room key, and cross the hall to help us. So we always stuck to suites to avoid the chance that the request of connecting rooms wouldn’t be able to be honored at check-in.
When I was looking for a hotel in Wytheville for our stopover on the way to Charleston, I checked out the Tru by Hilton, and discovered that they have a little checkbox for “confirmed connecting rooms” when you’re going through the room selection process. I was shocked! I did a little research and found out that this is something Hilton is offering in a lot of their hotels. When you book online, if you click the confirmed connecting rooms checkbox, you can book two rooms and rest assured that they will be connecting rooms when you check-in, no extra steps needed. And even better, they offered a variety of accessible rooms within the connecting options!
This is amazing news for me and my family personally, but for lots of other disabled people in different situations, too. For disabled parents with children who are young and need to be nearby, this would be so helpful! Or for disabled people who are traveling with their personal care attendants (PCAs) – the PCAs obviously need a place to stay and sleep, but perhaps the disabled person would like a little space of their own and doesn’t want to be in the same room as their PCA. Or maybe it’s a disabled person who is married, or in a relationship, and traveling with their partner and PCA – they probably want their own space then, too. The possibilities are endless – basically, confirmed connecting rooms offer the option of privacy and space for disabled people when traveling, and that’s so rare!
Obviously, confirmed connecting rooms are not just great for disabled people, either. For families in general, disabled or not, having confirmed connecting rooms can make a hotel stay better. And even groups of friends who are on a trip together might want to take advantage! But it’s a huge accessibility bonus, and I’m so excited to learn that Hilton offers it – I know it’s something that I’ll use again in the future.