Where to Stay
The Radisson Martinique on Broadway in Midtown is around the corner from the Empire State Building and a short walk to Macy’s Flagship Herald Square. Built at the turn of the century, the hotel underwent major renovations in 2010.
Our accessible room on the 17th floor had double beds, a bathroom with several grab bars, a hand-held shower head, and generous turning radius for a wheelchair. Many guests, such as the airline personnel, who stay at the hotel receive breakfast vouchers to dine on the mezzanine level of the Martinique Cafe. Wheelchair users need to use extreme caution when entering the cafe. A sharp right turn is required when rolling down the ramped entrance–otherwise the wheelchair and passenger could easily fall down a flight of stairs. The busy, buffet breakfast overlooks Greeley Square–go early to get a seat closer to the view.
Finding a wheelchair-accessible room with a roll-in shower and two beds is the hotel equivalent to a needle in a haystack–especially in New York City where guest rooms are typically smaller. Our 15th floor one bedroom suite at the Affinia 50 was larger than many New York apartments. The corner suite included a fully stocked kitchen with a dishwasher, microwave, dishwasher, and coffee maker. The sink was designed with open space to accommodate a wheelchair. A large living room had a sofa sleeper, flat screen television, dining table for four, and a desk. The open closet/storage area was modern and saved valuable floor space. The large bathroom included a small, dark roll-in shower. Call Housekeeping to request a chair bench. During our stay, the hotel’s second floor Club Lounge was filled with kids eating complimentary snacks and watching Hugo on a big screen television over a fireplace. Every guest has access to the Club which has computers available for a fee, magazines and board games. The hotel does not have a restaurant, but does serve a Continental breakfast priced at $14.99 for adults and $6.99 for children age 12 and under.
New hotels are usually a great choice for wheelchair users which is why we booked the TRYP New York City Times Square South. TRYP is a new brand for Wyndham and the property is their first US hotel to be unveiled. The company plans to introduce more hotels in major cities throughout the Americas. The first floor of the hotel is the hub of the property and known as Plaza Central. The high tech gathering place with a small check-in desk featured a collection of televisions attached to poles, a bank of computers, and The Gastro Bar serving a European breakfast and tapas for lunch and dinner. Computers are placed on a high counter with bar stools–the space is tight and does not work well for someone in a wheelchair. The hotel does provide free Wi-Fi throughout the property and in guest rooms.
Our second floor room had a loft-like feel with higher than average ceilings, wood floors (which are great for wheelchairs) and two comfy queen beds. Like many hotels, the designers choose to elevate the beds. Our bed was 11 inches higher than Barbra’s wheelchair making transferring much more challenging. The stacked closet may have been installed incorrectly. The hanging rods were placed approximately six and a half feet high and impossible to reach from a sitting position. A long, open desk with a reading lamp works quite well for a wheelchair user. A second phone on the desk, would be a nice addition. Our room had a single serve coffee maker and a mini fridge–amenities we always appreciate. The brightly lit, huge bathroom had a large roll-in shower (contact Housekeeping for a chair bench). The hotel is located within walking distance of shopping and theaters. The modern decor was especially appealing to our college-age son.
A few days before our departure, we contacted Super Shuttle and arranged for them to drive us to the airport in a wheelchair accessible van. The company calculates the pick up time based on your flight, potential traffic, and stops for other passengers. Ten minutes before our driver arrived, we received a call that he would be at our hotel shortly. The ride to the airport took about an hour and cost $20 per person plus tip. We had more than two hours to pass through airport security and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before boarding our plane.
If you can make it here…
It would be impossible for Barbara to visit New York as a solo traveler, but with her family; she can navigate one of the greatest cities in the world. For more information on accessibility, visit www.nycgo.com and download the Official Accessibility Guide. If you have questions, drop by the NYC information Center at 810 Seventh Ave. or call (212) 484-1222.
And for more information on accessible travel, check out:
- Wheelchair Accessible Lodgings-London
- Wheelchair-Accessible Gulf Coast Travel
- Accessible Travel: The Basics Of Wheelchair Travel
- Accessible Travel section
By Barbara and Jim Twardowski, RN for PeterGreenberg.com. Barbara and Jim Twardowski are freelance writers based in Louisiana. Together, they contribute to publications such as AAA Home & Away, Global Traveler, and Disaboom.com.
Photo credit Jim Twardowski and Weston Twardowski
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