I originally planned to stay in one of the hotels closest to Intu Soar, Braehead such as the Travel Lodge or Premier Inn but as money was so tight I just couldn't book until last minute and by that time those nearby hotels had zero availability for that particular weekend. I was skeptical about staying at a lesser well known budget type hotel but from the photos online, it seemed fine and had the basics. Our focus wasn't to have a luxurious hotel room (though money aside that would of topped off the trip!), but merely have somewhere that had the access and room for 2 adults and 1 child.
Naturally as Ava at the time of writing this is just 2 1/2yrs it wasn't feasible to take her with us. Instead she had a blast staying with her favourite Aunty for a long weekend. Thank you again Aunty C if you're reading this!
Glasgow Taxis had ramps that were one broad solid piece that anchored into the floor of the taxi, making getting in and out so much less nerve-wracking.
We arrived at the Ibis Budget Hotel in Springfield Quay around 4pm. We were excited to see its part of a retail shopping park. We were surrounded by all your favourite restaurants Frankie & Bennys, Nandos, TGI Fridays. They had a KFC and big stores such as NEXT home and even a huge gym and a MECCA Bingo (if you felt lucky!) I saw when researching that it was near these things but didn't realise the hotel was part of the actual retail park. A very nice surprise and an even bigger one came later!
The hotel has step-free access and clear decorative wall instructions telling you to go upto the 6th floor (via 1 of 2 spacious lifts) to the hotel reception to check in and out. The lift managed to fit me in my large powerchair, my 5 year old, another adult and 2 large suitcases. I would say you could squeeze in 2 other people too - a pleasant change!
The lady at reception was very polite in checking us in and actually spoke to me like anyone else. As many people with disabilities encounter, if you're travelling with an able-bodied companion sometimes people will automatically overlook you and speak to them. I always make sure I approach the desk so to make them aware I'm fully capable of such interactions. We would be in room 860 on the 8th floor, a modest family room.
Now you maybe wondering why we didn't book an accessible room. This wasn't for want or trying. It seems many hotels have safety rules when it comes to their accessible rooms, in that if it's a wheelchair user booking in, they will not allow an extra bed in that room. Something about insurance saying wheelchairs need x amount of floor space to move around. Even though I try and twist their arm by saying I actually live in a pretty non-accessible home and am very used to navigating tight spaces, they won't budge because they're liable if there was an issue and trusted my judgement. The only hotel I have actually encountered that has wheelchair accessible FAMILY rooms is when we went to Costa Almeria, Spain and they were Amazing! BUT, this hotel DOES have 'accessible' rooms which I'm told are more spacious and has a step-free shower with drop down stool.
So I packed an alternative way of toileting and a few bits of extra equipment such as longer charger cords, multi USB plug and a power bar because I knew I definitely would not be able to use the bathroom and because I need my mobile within reach in bed, my wheelchair charger plugged in overnight plus I now travel with my BIPAP ventilator. I was definitely going to need more sockets that are found in standard hotel rooms. So if you find yourself having to manage in a standard room, definitely think about what you need to plug in.
|Family Room at the Ibis Budget Hotel|
|Toilet cubical off the bedroom|
|Sink actually in the bedroom area with small shower cubical to the right|
I would say their Family rooms would be suitable for a manual wheelchair to an extent. You'd need to be able to walk sort distances to use the toilet, if you parked right at the toilet door it'd be around 5 steps. Zero grab rails though. The shower has a step up into it but if you could manage that you can ask reception for a stool to sit on inside. The sink is reachable for a wheelchair user and there's a mixer tap that I could work with limited strength and grip. You'd need to be able to self-transfer to the bed or bring a transfer board. If you were bringing someone to help with personal care be mindful they'd be working from the right side of the bed.
The reception, lobby and breakfast areas were all accessible and staff are more than willing to help you get what you'd like if you didn't have someone with you at the time.
|Dining out shenanigans!|
|The breathtaking River Clyde at night|
That brings me to the end of my review of the Ibis Budget Hotel. For only £60 per night in March it was what you'd expect from a budget hotel but the location is what really made staying here a winner.