Accessible: the hotel and the motel


Late in September, I went to my hometown to do research and attend my 50th high school reunion. I wanted to stay at a hotel downtown so that I could be near the county clerk’s office and the main library.

But, though I had booked with on MAY 19, I couldn’t find a place to stay downtown on Saturday night. There was some sort of Parents’ weekend at Binghamton University

So I booked the Holiday Inn for Thursday and Friday nights, and the Motel 6 on Upper Front Street on the third night. Checking into the former, I was surprised to discover that the reservation indicated that I requested a “Disabled Accessible Room.” The woman at the desk, looking at me and not seeing me obviously physically impaired, wondered if I actually wanted that room. I, now very curious, said it was fine.

Maybe she didn’t notice me carrying a stick as a cane. My right knee has been killing me since 1995. Moreover, the neuropathy in my feet makes walking on uneven surfaces, such as lawns and gravel roads, uncomfortable and a tad treacherous. My friend Cee’s husband made me a legitimate walking stick that weekend; it’s green at the top, of course.

Made in the shade

There were two aspects of my Holiday Inn room, right off the elevator, that I noticed right off. One was that the bar for hanging up my shirts was at chair level, so someone with a walker or wheelchair would have an easier time.

The other involves the bathroom. I found a video here showing all of the bars in the bathroom. I got to say, I LOVE these! On one hotel visit in 2021, I almost slipped on a wet floor.

Another feature of the room was a pair of shades that operated electronically. One allowed the light into the room but maintained privacy, while the other cut off the light from outside. I did like my view of the Chenango River, pretty full from a lot of rain but not overflowing. I could see the wooded area behind the houses on that section of Front St, with my high school peeking through the trees. Court Street bridge was to my right.

Actually, the first thing I noticed was that there were lots of plugs. And not used outlets plugged into the lights, TV, and the microwave, but three sets of three plugs, one on the desk, and sets on each side of the bed. It was quite civilized.

Conversely, Motel 6 had no elevator, and my room was on the second floor. So not accessible at all. I was walking my suitcase up one step at a time before a young man, who was coming down, hoisted it to the landing. Not all of the plugs worked, and at least one looked as though it was coming out of the wall. I had a great view of the highway.

Now the Holiday Inn room was nearly twice the cost each night of the one at Motel 6. I would have gladly paid the difference.

One last thing: I saw dogs in both venues. When I was checking out of the Holiday Inn, there was a dog in the elevator. Another dog owner wisely decided to wait for the next car.

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