Accessibility Case Study: Premier Inn
About Premier Inn
Premier Inn is an award-winning hotel brand and the UK’s largest budget hotel chain, with over 590 budget hotels and more than 43,000 rooms across the UK and Ireland. Internationally we have three hotels in Dubai and one in India with another due to open in Delhi in 2011.
We have big expansion plans and aim to add another 12,000 rooms by 2014, cementing our position as the UK?s largest hotel chain. We?re also aiming to be the biggest budget hotel chain in London by 2012. We?re planning to open more hotels overseas, too.
At Premier Inn we take the needs and equal treatment of all our guests extremely seriously and have invested heavily in this area in recent years.?? Premier Inn are committed to ensuring our facilities and services are accessible to all.
Notwithstanding this, Premier Inn recognises that there is no single hotel design or layout that will entirely meet all individuals? needs and preferences.? Therefore, Premier Inn aims to comply with the requirements of the relevant Building Regulations and British Standards.
However, we do have a very large and diverse estate of over 590 hotels.? This estate includes purpose-built new build hotels, conversions of existing buildings and acquisitions of going concerns.? As a result of this diversity we are aware that some of the facilities in our Universally Accessible (UA) rooms may not be as ideal as we would wish them to be.? We, therefore, have an extensive bedroom refurbishment programme in place to address these issues and ensure that all of our UA bedrooms are where practicable brought up to current standards.?
What?s in Place
All Premier Inns have site-specific (and personalised) emergency egress plans for disabled guests and for those sites with rooms upstairs evacuation chairs are provided in the unlikely event that a guest would need to be evacuated in an emergency.?
Hearing induction loops are located at reception and portable hearing loops are available in the? restaurants.? All Premier Inn hotels have vibrating pillow pads and flashing beacons for those guests with hearing impairments.
All of our Team Members receive Disability Awareness Training via an E-Learning package.
Premier Inn has various room types available, most of our rooms are double-bedded or family rooms, and these generally consist of a king size bed and a sofa bed.? In addition, most Premier Inns have UA bedrooms, which are adapted for guests with disabilities.? These rooms will generally have a double bed, a lowered bath, grab rails and emergency assistance pull cords in the bathroom.?
Currently, many of our UA bedrooms especially in our older hotels have lowered baths rather than wet rooms.? However, as part of the above mentioned refurbishment programme we will be converting half of our UA bathrooms to wet rooms, with the remaining 50% of UA rooms retaining baths, if the size, layout and suitability of the hotel allows.?
Whilst the majority of our standard rooms are the same size, the bathrooms in our UA rooms are larger in order to provide space for wheelchair users.? A consequence of this is that the amount of space in the bedroom is reduced to some extent.? It is for this reason that the beds in our UA rooms are standard double beds, rather than king size beds or twin beds, as this would further restrict the amount of space available in the bedroom for a wheelchair user to safely manoeuvre around the bedroom.? It is therefore, common practice for a sofa bed or z-bed to be provided by the site for a second person staying in a UA room.? However, we do recognise that this is not ideal and therefore, we have started installing 6ft ?zip and link? beds into all our new build hotels and where space permits, our refurbished hotels.?
The beds in our UA bedrooms are at a height of 480mm.? This is in accordance with the standards recommended in British Standard 8300:2009 Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people ? Code of Practice? (BS8300).? Therefore, Premier Inn made the decision to change the bed heights in all of our UA rooms following feedback from wheelchair users and in consultation with various interested parties.
However, we do recognise that some of our guests may prefer higher beds and therefore bed raisers should now be available upon request from the hotel directly, at the time of your booking.?
Unfortunately due to the layout, construction and size and nature of our estate it is not always possible to make the alterations that we wish to.? For example, in hotels constructed with concrete floors, it is not always feasible to remove baths and install roll in showers.?
As Premier Inn has a very large and diverse estate, the exact nature of facilities available may differ between hotels and will also be subject to availability.? Therefore, communicating accurate information regarding the facilities available at individual hotels and within individual UA rooms to guests at the booking stage is quite difficult, especially as many guests will book via our central Customer Contact Centre or via the Internet.? We have, therefore, placed an access statement onto the website, which details the various facilities that Premier Inn hotels have and recommends that the guest contact the hotel of their choice directly if a particular facility is important to them.
All of our new build hotels and extensions will be built with 50% wet rooms and 50% bathrooms.? This will offer greater flexibility for our guests and will be in accordance with best practice recommended in the relevant British Standards.? As part of our ongoing refurbishment programme, we are also looking to convert half of our existing accessible bathrooms to wet rooms where the size, layout and suitability of the hotel allow.? ?Unfortunately, we are not always able to convert existing bathrooms to wet rooms, due to the style, nature, design and construction of some of our hotels.?
Premier Inn are committed to making reasonable adjustments to our hotels in order, so far as is reasonably practicable, so that they are accessible to all of our guests.? We intend to continue investing in this area in order to further improve the facilities available across our hotel estate.
We are also building a new hotel in Stratford Olympic Park which will be the first Premier Inn with a fixed tracking hoist in one of their UA bedrooms.
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