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Travelling with a disability, or with someone that has a disability can come with many added challenges and as a bare minimum, I don’t believe that booking a hotel should be one of them.
Sadly, for anyone that has had to make added considerations when looking for accommodation, you will appreciate how complicated it can be and how often hotels neglect to add the necessary information to their websites.
And truly, if they couldn’t even be bothered to make their websites accessible and they want you to phone them to receive ANY information on accessibility, I promise you that’s all you need to know. They have already made the option inaccessible and it’s not worth the hassle.
With that in mind and as someone that lives in Aberdeen, who is familiar with the hotels and with the areas that they are based, I would like to recommend some of the top accessible hotels Aberdeen has to offer within the city centre, near TECA (P&J Live) for any events and by the airport.
We are including several options below to hopefully find something to suit your requirements!
The Difference Between An Accessible vs Standard Room
So, there are a few things that I would expect to find in a hotel claims that to have accessible rooms.
- Wheelchair access
- Accessible rooms on the ground floor and if this is not available, must have lift access
- Wider door access
- Enough space to manoeuvre a wheelchair around the room and have access to transfer to the bed
- Emergency assistance alarms
- Wet rooms/grab rail/accessible sink etc
- Lowered light switches and storage accessibility
Of course, these are just a few and I appreciate that there are many more details and disability requirements which may need to be checked with the hotel directly.
And when booking, please ensure that your accessible room has been guaranteed on booking and before arrival as I have read far, far too many stories online about rooms that have been reallocated by the time of arrival, leaving no alternatives.
Our top 4 picks compared
|Hotel||Price range||Service pet-friendly?||Booking link|
|Sandman Signature||££||Yes||Check prices|
|Jurys Inn||££||Yes||Check prices|
|Residence Inn by Marriott||£££||Yes||Check prices|
|Chester Hotel||£££||Guide dogs||Check prices|
Accessible Hotels in Aberdeen City Centre
Sandman Signature Aberdeen
I would consider The Sandman Signature Hotel and Spa as still being a relatively new hotel in Aberdeen and it is located within the city centre. It is approximately 0.5 miles from the train/bus links if you are arriving by either of those and I would recommend a taxi to reach it.
Entry to The Sandman is wheelchair accessible without the requirement of an access ramp and as far as the hotel goes, I think that it has really lovely interiors, I know that they may not be to everyone’s taste but I think they have a nice blend of traditional and eclectic styles.
It has both a bar and restaurant within, both of which are popular with visitors and locals alike so you do not need to leave the hotel to receive good food, should you choose or prefer not to. The hotel also has a beauty and wellness spa for those that may be looking for a bit of a pamper during their stay.
In terms of rooms, The Sandman Hotel offers ‘Accessible King Rooms’ which can be located on the ground floor and on higher levels. The ground floor is at street level and this may mean more noise but I would also say that this isn’t a particularly loud area with neither pubs nor nightlife nearby, although I would expect to hear some noise from vehicles. Those rooms on higher floors are accessible by lifts.
Accessible King Rooms feature emergency cords in the bathroom, in-room accessibility, lower bathroom sink, higher-level toilets, toilets with nearby grab rails and wheelchair accessible wet-rooms with a roll-in shower and bench seat. Front desks, restaurants and public bathrooms are also accessible.
The Sandman is a pet-friendly hotel and I can only imagine that this is also the case for service animals although they do have specified pet-friendly rooms so perhaps this is something to mention on booking.
Rooms also come with a number of amenities such as a small fridge, microwave and kettle with complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits. There are also complimentary Ishga products in the bathroom.
If you are driving, there is a relatively small private car park on-site with wheelchair-accessible parking for an added daily fee, however, spaces cannot be reserved and it is on a very much, first-come, first-served basis. They also have an overflow and there are other car parks nearby but if you require wheelchair accessibility, some of these would require a somewhat convoluted route to reach the hotel.
Book your stay at Sandman Signature hotel
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Jurys Inn Aberdeen
The Jurys Inn Aberdeen Hotel is located within the Union Square shopping centre which makes it a great option for those travelling by bus or train as these are also located within the shopping centre. Unfortunately, if you are driving, the closest car park is also located within the shopping centre which can be quite costly and they do not offer discounts in conjunction with a hotel stay.
There are alternative car parks nearby which do cost less but may be somewhat more challenging for street wheelchair access.
Of course, a positive is that as a stay at the Jurys Inn also gives you the option of visiting the many shops and restaurants during your stay.
Access to the hotel is by either lift or escalators within the shopping centre, I would recommend using the lift behind Costa by the main entrance. There are also lifts within the hotel to the different hotel floors.
Accessible wheelchair-friendly rooms include lowered surfaces within the room and bedroom, a lowered bed with space to manoeuvre around the room, and emergency cords within the bathroom including a roll-in shower or bath with additional hand rails, lower sink and grab rails. I would recommend that you confirm with the hotel when booking and also prior to arrival whether a shower is required to ensure that your needs are met.
Service dogs are welcome at the hotel.
There are accessible toilets within the reception and lounge area of the hotel but I would also say that the centre itself is very accessible.
Jurys Inn is very traditionally decorated and can look a little dated in parts but the rooms are clean and generally offer nice views over many of the city’s buildings.
Book your stay at Jurys Inn Aberdeen
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Residence Inn by Marriott
The Residence Inn can be found in Marischal Square, just across from the beautiful Marischal College (as much as I love the external building, sadly these are the council offices) and Provost Skene House. This hotel is in the centre of town and you will find plenty of things to do nearby as well as shops and restaurants surrounding it and it is a short distance from His Majesty’s Theatre.
It is not an ideal location if you are looking to be picked up and dropped off straight at the door but it is possible to be dropped off very nearby and the entry to the hotel is easily accessible once there.
It is a really lovely, bright hotel with neutral and clean decor, it also benefits from having large floor-to-ceiling windows. In my opinion, although you do have some within the area, it is just that bit away from the bars and clubs that it doesn’t tend to be too noisy in the evenings.
There are some critiques of the room, I don’t know how spacious the accessible rooms are if you require a wheelchair, at least to get around both sides of the bed. You can book interconnecting rooms if you are travelling with other people but only select rooms have either a roll-in shower or a transfer shower.
Otherwise, everything is low-height adjusted and public areas are wheelchair accessible.
Nearby parking is available for a charge of £13.50 per night, I believe the parking is underneath the hotel and that there is no internal entry from the car park. It does require walking through one of the shopping centres but they may be able to take you through an alternative entry if required. Definitely, something to ask prior to booking!
This is a pet-friendly hotel for an added fee, however service animals are exempt from this charge.
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The Chester Hotel Aberdeen
The Chester Hotel is considered one of the fancier hotels in Aberdeen and is a well-loved option by many locals. It is located in the West End and is very easy to reach by car from the city centre.
If you are driving, it does have allocated free parking to the front and to the rear.
The Chester Hotel did go through a large refurbishment and they did take care to make changes for disability use. Many of the buildings in this area are old, granite, 19th-century houses and I don’t imagine many have been very easily updated in line with guidance until recently, but this is obviously changing and I know that there are older criticisms online of the accessibility within the hotel but I do think that this has improved.
On the other hand, although I think it has improved, I also think you could find better and more accessible hotels, in my opinion. The offerings are the basic requirements, lower surfaces and switches, a wet room with grab rails/seats and emergency cords and I still think that the public areas are somewhat crowded which is my main concern.
I don’t think wheelchair access can be made through the front door entrance but perhaps they have something mobile. Interconnected rooms are available but check before booking and guide dogs are allowed.
I do think that The Chester has a nice restaurant and bar area, The Gallery Bar in particular, but again, I think it’s perhaps a little crowded for wheelchair users.
Book your stay at The Chester Hotel
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Accessible Aberdeen Airport/TECA Hotels
Moxy Aberdeen Airport
Moxy is another Marriott-owned hotel and it is definitely aimed at the younger, and young at heart, demographic.
Think neons, large colourful art prints and quirky bits and pieces. Quirky is a word that I see being used to describe the Moxy quite often. I think it would be great if travelling with younger members of the family as there are plenty of games and entertainment options for children/young adults.
The bedrooms are more muted than the public areas if those aren’t to your taste.
The rooms are large and spacious, the public areas are large and spacious and there are several of them to choose from so it definitely offers a choice of where to spend your time.
I think that Marriott is good in terms of disability access as they are a larger company, you often find that larger companies tend to do better or, do nothing at all and I do think that Marriott is one of the former.
Access is available to public toilets, fitness centres and restaurants. Bedrooms have wider access doors, lower height surfaces and switches, a transfer shower and the option of hearing accessible rooms.
It’s a great hotel choice if you are heading to the airport which is only a couple of minutes away and it is near TECA/P&J Live which again, is just minutes away.
There is accessible parking for a cost of £5 per night and it is a pet-friendly/service animal hotel.
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Aloft Aberdeen TECA is a little confusing in design for me, nothing bad but I feel as though they have attempted to make the public spaces like the ‘cooler’ alternative to the more traditional Hilton that is nearby. I really like that industrial, mid-century, colourful vibe that lots of hotels go for and this is what they have in their public spaces but the rooms feel very plain and corporate. I don’t feel as though there is continuity in the brand but maybe that’s just me!
The theme just doesn’t follow through but it’s clean, it’s safe and the staff are friendly, and those are my top three priorities over decor.
It receives very good reviews for its accessibility features and as the Aloft is a part of the Marriott Hotel brand, I would expect them to have more in place for varying disabilities due to their experience and size.
There is no requirement for a ramp and there are automatic doors at entry. Public areas have low-height surfaces, reach and have wheelchair accessibility within the restaurants, public toilets etc. but one thing to note is that only select accessible rooms have in-room accessibility and a roll-in shower, so do be sure to confirm on booking whether this is required.
In the hotel room, there is plenty of space to manoeuvre with easy access to the bed itself and there are emergency cords. I did read that there were facilities for use of a personal hoist but this is something to double-check and the shower has a built-in chair and a roll-under space for the sink.
The Aloft Hotel is around 4 miles from Aberdeen city centre and there isn’t really anything to do within the near vicinity so it is somewhere that you would likely book for an event at TECA or prior to flying as the airport is only 1 mile, a couple of minutes drive away.
There is a fixed rate parking availability of around £5 and it is pet-friendly for an added charge, although service animals are exempt from the added fee.
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Hilton Aberdeen TECA
If you are looking to visit Aberdeen or are hoping to find accommodation suitable for visiting the P&J Live/TECA for an event, then I would consider the Hilton at Teca as your best option.
Again, Teca is around 4 miles from the city centre and there isn’t an awful lot surrounding the hotel other than the P&J Live/Teca events area itself, but if you are looking to attend an event, it’s a great location.
Whether you are visiting the Hilton at Teca for business or pleasure, they have made a lot of assurances to create an accessible space. You can find all of the requirements that I listed initially including free wheelchair-accessible parking although I think it is £10 for the night. It is connected to TECA/P&J Live so there should be no issues in making your way to any events.
There are definitely benefits in booking such a well-known brand, they have the knowledge and the experience to know what is required of them and they do achieve that. While many hotels create a lot of focus on wheelchair access and allowing service animals (which the Hilton also do), they do offer alternative disability aids such as vibrating pads for alarm clocks and emergencies, visual alarms, large print menus, induction loop systems and much more.
I believe that access to the swimming pool/sauna/steam room facilities is accessible for wheelchair users and that the changing room for this is very accommodating, although you may want to confirm your requirements if this is something that you are looking to use.
The hotel is decorated nicely, your typical Hilton chain. I think it has elements of being modern along with also pleasing all ages and demographics. Inoffensive but nice. You know the type!
They do have a cafe and restaurant within the hotel and these do come with many positive reviews although I don’t doubt that there are sometimes hiccups considering the location, it could be a lot worse!
Book your stay at Hilton Aberdeen TECA
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