The palace of Versailles, former abode of the kings of France

The palace of Versailles, former abode of the kings of France
Photo by: Philip MacKenzie (Stock Exchange)

Bonjour! Paris is one of those rare places where one post simply wouldn’t do, and in building our Paris access guides, we’re on our way to a whopping five-part series. Today Disabled Travelers brings you some of the best hotels in Paris in our efforts to ‘get to know” one of the most enthralling historic and cultural cities anywhere in the world.

Global Access News starts us off with their Paris Hotel Wheelchair Access Survey. The information they showcase here is from 2007, and even though that can be a world away in certain respects, it’s still very useful for our purposes. Accessibility practices rarely get worse (thankfully!) so the hotels featured here are likely to remain top picks in 2010.

When looking for more handicapped travel resources for Paris, be aware of some special terminology. From the French perspective, the term “accessible”, which we might associate with adaptable features, simply means that the room has no barriers to entry or movement for wheelchair users. What we might call wheelchair accessible is referred to in France, and some other European destinations, as “adapted.” That means special changes have been made to maximize the room’s value for handicapped patrons.

Some of the top wheelchair accessible hotels in Paris are listed below:

Novotel les Halles: A three-star hotel featuring several adapted rooms.

Hotel Hospitel: Two adapted rooms, including one with a roll-in shower.

Artus Hotel: Two adapted rooms, both on ground floor. Well-recommended by guests.

Hotel Bel-Ami: Four deluxe adapted rooms.

Les Trois Poussins: One adapted room, but includes a roll-in shower.

There are also several properties of the Ibis Hotel chain located throughout Paris. Ibis is a mid-range, cost-effective hotel franchise; it might not be anything spectacular, but comparable standards are maintained across all the locations. In many cases, this includes a handful of adapted rooms at each hotel. You can find out more about hotels in your area, including contact information to verify accommodations before you book, at the main Ibis website, which serves as an international hub.

Try Hotels Paris for a searchable database of hotels across the city. Though accessibility information can be scarce, the website includes customer reviews which are often very helpful. There’s also Travel Intelligence, which offers a listing specifically for wheelchair accessible hotels in Paris. As of this morning, that encompasses four pages of hotels, with 40 different venues to choose from. Finally, Sage Traveling has developed a verified list of Parisian hotels with accessibility features. This focuses on centrally-located 3- and 4-star properties with detailed information on their access standards. There’s also a roster of hotels that carry the “Tourism & Handicap” label for high standards in access across four major categories: mobility, sight, hearing, and cognitive impairments.

Whoo! Now you can see just why Paris warrants so much attention. We’re three posts in, and we’re not even done yet. Next time, we enjoy the culinary scene in Paris in our search for accessible dining establishments. Then, it’s onward and upward to a cavalcade of Paris travel tips that don’t quite “fit the bill” in any other post. Still a ways to go, but we always enjoy the journey at Disabled Travelers. Adventure on!


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