My last trip to the Rio Grande Valley brought me the opportunity to use and review a handicap room at Marriott's Residence Inn.
I have stayed at the Residence Inn in Harlingen many times. It is in my opinion, the best place to stay in town. The staff is welcoming and the hotel is well run. We see the same personnel all the time. That's the sign of a good hotel. Turnover is the enemy of good service.
As aways the free breakfast is good. There is enough variety that staying a week won't bore you. Little touches like fresh fruit, spinach for your eggs, slices of cheddar keep breakfast interesting. Not perfect of course, but certainly better than a lot of the hotel competition at this level.
Here is where I can break down the benefit of a handicap room for those who need it.
Living Space: The desk and table are properly available for wheelchair. The curtains above the desk have an auto-open feature which operates at a gentle tug. The carpeting has a tight weave so a wheelchair can operate fairly easily.
Kitchen: The kitchen is equipped to help handicap guests have a accommodating stay. The microwave is on the counter for easier access. The refrigerator is a small, lower version where food and ice is accessible. A real stove with range-top and oven replaces the countertop insert style range-top burners so that the handicap guest will find cooking "within reach". Kudos to Marriott.
Bathroom: The handicap bath at the Marriott Residence Inn is wheelchair friendly. Raised toilet with handrails, plus a proper shower. Not shown, a second, traditional shower head for accompanying guests. The bathroom vanity in Marriotts handicap guest room is set slightly lower and comes with built-in open concept design so that it is wheel chair friendly. You will note, a telephone in the mirror for guests who may need assistance.
Bedroom Closet: The handicap guest bedroom at the Residence Inn includes a free standing (hight adjustable) ironing board so that its placement will be convenient for the handicapped. Note the Low-hang closet area without a door. Only the handicapped know how fabulous this is! (When compared to a closet with door.)
In conclusion, a standard room may be finished in a more visual way, but the handicap room is a real advantage to those who need just a few little changes to make your stay enjoyable and restful.