The Belfry hotel is an award winning hotel in Royal Sutton Coldfield, North Warwickshire, with 300+ bedrooms and suites, several restaurants and bars, spaces for meetings and events, a leisure club, spa, three Golf courses and a night club.
I stayed in the hotel back in July when I travelled over with family and friends for my brother’s delayed wedding celebration, and in this blog, I’m going to be reviewing it from the accessibility viewpoint.
Starting with the grounds, the grounds around the hotel were absolutely gorgeous! One of the areas I have found the most memorable included the fountain, which was clearly viewable as you came in, and it made the hedges and scenery around the gardens seem a good bit lighter.
There were also a good amount of parking spaces around the car park.
Moving on to the internal parts of the hotel, I liked how there were steps and ramps next to each other throughout the hotel — offering something for someone who is in a wheelchair and for others who are able bodied, and there were lifts and a stairlift throughout the hotel, which proved a good thing when the lift broke on our third day there.
The people who worked there were also very friendly, and were happy to help out.
This, however, brings us to the bedrooms.
Like the rest of the hotel, the bedrooms were gorgeous.
I was given two mattresses on top of each other on my bed (since I am physically disabled, my carers need me to be at a certain height), and there was a tv on the wall across the room, even if I spent more time going on YouTube instead of watching it.
But there were some slight problems with the build of the bedrooms in regards to accessibility, with the room itself being quite small, the shower room not being much bigger, and with the bed being quite difficult to get me out of, as well as sitting up in.
First of all, I would just like to take a moment to say that while I am aiming a lot of this feedback towards the Belfry, the suggestions I’m giving should apply to other hotels around the world as well. So if you have a hotel which you want to make accessible for disabled people, please feel free to take on my advice as well.
The way I get out of bed and into my wheelchair — at home and when away — is by using a hoist. We were able to rent a hoist which was delivered to the hotel (not part of the hotel service), and instead, we did it by getting in touch with a UK based rental service.
We did, however, discover that it didn’t — despite being for an adult — go up high enough, so each time I was getting up, I had to get someone to lift my bum off the bed.
But another problem we had was when I wanted to sit up in bed to work or watch content, which I would have to be balanced off the headboard for, with the support of a couple of different pillows and wedges to keep me safe, although my table was able to go under it.
For this reason, it would have been nice if the Belfry could have had a set of Disabled Friendly Rooms on each floor, which could include a hospital bed similar to ones you would find in a disabled person’s home, with even a ceiling host above. But as I’ve said, these notes don’t only apply to the Belfry, as a lot of hotels are just as guilty. It would also be nice if the hotel could offer an actual shower chair, similar to the image included.
However, other than what I’ve pointed out about the rooms, everything else to do with the hotel was gorgeous. The staff were happy to help if we needed anything, and even when the lift broke, I was able to find other ways of getting down and outside.
Because we were doing so much while away, I didn’t get to try their spa or nightclub out, though I would be interested in checking them out if I ever go back again, which — after the experience I had — I’d be more than happy to do.
The food out of the restaurants — as well as the room service menu — was also extremely high quality, and very tasty.
So overall, I’d rate the Belfry hotel 4 out of 5 stars.