My wife and I are visiting our nieces in NC and booked an accessible room at the Renaissance Asheville. Unfortunately, the room is not ADA-compliant and has problems beyond accessibility. Firstly and most importantly, the bathroom is not ADA-compliant. There is insufficient clear turning space for a wheelchair and no room for a wheelchair to pull up next to the toilet for a transfer (see picture below). I had a very hard time using this bathroom. I called the front desk but there was no other room available.
Second, the aisle between the beds is too narrow for a wheelchair (see picture below). There was also furniture blocking the path to the window and the access to the second bed (I called and had this furniture removed, making the room somewhat ADA-compliant).
Finally, the parking situation is abominable. The disabled spots are the closest parking spaces to the front entrance, but there is a very steep driveway that one has to climb to get to the front entrance. There is no accessible pathway marked from the parking spaces and no accessible sidewalk (I had to wheel up the driveway between cars, making sure I didn’t get run over). How is this allowed in this day and age? Oh, wait…it isn’t.
The individual that signs off on these properties as being ADA-compliant needs remedial training in the ADAAG.
As for non-ADA related problems, the TV in the room does not allow you to plug in any HDMI devices. The website advertises a “Plug-In High Tech room” but this was anything but. The standard Marriott jacks were on the desk, but none of them worked. When I called the front desk about it, they said they know they don’t work and they had no jack pack they could offer because the TVs were so old that they were not compatible. So, I resigned myself to watching TV. ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 were showing no signal or a scrambled signal. Called the front desk again and they sent maintenance up who jiggled a few wires and it started working properly. Next morning, they were out again (as were about 5 other HD channels). I didn’t bother complaining about it as I was getting dressed to leave. And I won’t even mention the fact that there are only about 10 HD channels and the rest are in SD (most of which are broadcast in HD) and have poor picture quality, even for SD. Is it that hard to have a mostly-HD lineup, especially in a Renaissance property?
Today, we left the room around 11:30 AM and housekeeping was down the hall. It wasn’t that late so I didn’t see the need to tell housekeeping that I needed the room made up. Well, we got back to the room around 5:30 and the room had not been touched. I did not have a DND sign on the door (which was the front desk’s first excuse) and was never called (usually there is a message if the DND sign is on as housekeeping would call and ask if I needed service or towels). Oh, and regarding the towels, they are very hard and thin and nowhere near the plush towels they used to be.
Renaissance properties are supposed to be part of the “Distinctive Premium” line of hotels, but the last few stays at Renaissance properties have fallen far short of this standard. The hotels are old and in dire need of being refreshed. For that matter, I can say the same thing about my last few Ritz-Carlton stays as well. I don’t mind an old hotel, but there shouldn’t be water spots on the bathroom ceilings, chipped tiles, old furnishings, outdated electronics, and, most importantly, non-ADA-compliant rooms being sold as ADA-compliant.
I am getting more and more frustrated with Marriott properties that I may just ignore my Gold Elite status and stay elsewhere (or maybe Sheraton properties have a better track record – with the merger, now I can try them). I hope they clean up their act soon as this is getting very tiresome and something I don’t need to deal with whenever I travel.