September 19, 2004

Rendevous Hotel: A Venue to Avoid

It is a rare and fortunate occurrence to receive free consultation from my professional colleagues. They are gathered here in Perth to mature the tourism industry's competency regarding travelers with disabilities.

The NICAN conference is in fact the only event in the world devoted entirely to this work. The management of the Rendevous Hotel in Obeservation City (Perth), Western Australia is in a privileged market position - having had a year of unfettered access to the most accomplished thought-leaders in the field. With strategic leadership the available world-renowned expertise of the NICAN network ought to have catapulted this venue to celebrity status as an example of Universal Design.

So it is without regret that I give the establishment a low rating for design and service and recommend that visitors to Perth choose alternate lodging.

The location is inconvenient.

  • Rendevous is located a $45 taxi (or lift van) ride from the airport, with no shuttle service, and in a section of town (Scarborough) with inadequate accessible public transit.
  • The main entrance is dangerous.

  • The front entry ramp far exceeds 1/10 even though space exists for an adequate run. I lock both brakes at the top of the ramp and still the slope pulls me all the way to the bottom
  • The public accessible restroom is undersized.

  • The unisex accessible bathroom is six feet by six feet. To turn a circle in a wheelchair requires five feet square. This tiny closet includes three garbage cans taking up floor space and a diaper chaging station opposite the sink taking up wall space.
  • The "Formal Attire Required" Lounge is designed to exclude people in wheelchairs.

  • A large sign on an easel at the foot of the three steps into the premier lounge informs guests with mobility impairments that they must ask the Concierge for permission to enter should they wish to, for example, entertain their temporarily able bodied clients in the lounge.
  • The accessible room has several barriers ranging from the inconvenient to the life-threatening.

  • The entry hall is too narrow for a comfortable turn int the bathroom

  • The balcony in each accessible room has a three inch interior lip and a six inch drop rom the threshold to the balcony on the outside

  • If one should attempt to enjoy the balcony in their wheelchair they would find that the pato furniture is immovable -- chained to the floor.

  • The telephone dial does not light, the phone list of in-house services is printed on a high reflectivity metal in a small, red font, and the bedside lamps require strong fingers to manipulate.

  • The clothes bars in the single closet do not allow dresses or long coats to be hung properly.

  • The unusually low toilets without aftermarket raised seats (or even a full roll of toilet paper in my room) make transfers an uncomfotable and dangerous affair.

  • Sink and roll-in shower fawcet handles are not paddle but rather some permutation of round. I am unable to use them.
  • It is not my practice to emphasize the negative at a venue. I certainly appreciate the extra efforts of Concierge staffers Adrian and Richard (who offered to brnig me a power transformer from his own home when one could not be found on site).

    I find it unconscionable on the part of management to place line staff in the position of being buffetted by these prevetable complaints. As hundreds of us gather we will report the same problems I have outlined above. Staff will be faced with the unpleasant task of making excuses for incompetence at the level of strategic management.

    In the case of the Rendevous Hotel, Perth I have no qualms at being labeled a "knocker."

    And when I return next year with my staff and clients you can be certain that we will happily reside with a competitor.

    Hotel Rendevous Perth - Recipient of the Masochist's Teapot Award: -
    View image

    Stay and you'll certainly pay.

    Posted by rollingrains at September 19, 2004 08:45 PM | TrackBack