Last week we launched our Accessible Spas … this week we decided to put one of them to the test: full-time wheelchair user and Director of Global Access Award Scheme (GAAS), James Price, tells us what he thought of Spa6 in the Cotswolds!
Surrounded by Cotswold countryside, which really sets the scene, Spa6, which is part of Cotswold Water Park has a very clean, clutter free open layout and was not off-putting or intimidating in any way as a wheelchair user.
Upon entering the hotel through the automatic doors, the bar/café area is immediately to your left, with the reception and concierge on the right. The bar is big with lots of seating and importantly, it’s very accessible. There are lifts to all floors, and the hotel has a number of dedicated accessible rooms which are all equipped with very large bathrooms and bath tubs with rails, toilets with rails and mirrors and sinks at a good height for a wheelchair user. The bedrooms are again, large and spacious with lowered switches, and it’s clutter free which makes for good access. I was shown a room which faced the lake and had floor to ceiling windows and a superb view. The only thing missing were roll-in showers in the bathrooms.
The facilities on offer in the spa and leisure areas are excellent and again the appearance is clean, clutter free and spacious. There is a dedicated spa lounge/café where complimentary refreshments are available and food as well. The treatment rooms are on the first floor with a decent sized lift that should accommodate most wheelchairs with ease. All doors accessing the treatment areas are also good size. I had a back massage and the massage table was height adjustable with enough space to change if necessary. The gym is accessible for wheelchairs although the door is a standard width so large wheelchairs or power chairs may find it too narrow. I however found the door no problem and there is equipment that a wheelchair user could transfer onto along with plenty of free weights and cable machines. As an athlete and obviously full time wheelchair user I felt I could easily do a decent weights session in this gymnasium exercising my entire upper body. There is a large changing room dedicated to accessible needs, which has two doors: one to enter from the reception and the other heading directly to the pool – be sure to lock both doors before getting changed! The changing room itself is excellent with a large flip down shower seat, dry bench for changing, toilet with grab bars, full length mirror, sink and alarm cord. Meanwhile, the swimming pool is an infinity pool so there is no lip into the water and plenty of space around the side for sun lounge style chairs. The swimming pool has a Jacuzzi style water bed for you to literally swim onto and relax in the Jacuzzi bubbles – something I have not used before but thoroughly enjoyed! The pool also had three water jets which were more soothing than I first imagined! There is a sauna and steam room accessible by wheelchair by the side of the pool – the doors are a decent width (standard door frame) but again large wheelchair users may have want to check the width if this is your reason for visiting.
The hotel and spa are situated on a flat landscape with easy access from the ample disabled parking, with a short push into the hotel or spa. Attractive scenery surrounding the hotel by the lake is very relaxing and gives the feeling of peace and quiet.
The hotel is set on a beautiful lake with wonderful scenery that could be enjoyed by all; I was fortunate to visit on a nice, sunny day and could really appreciate this rather lovely place. At no time did I have to ask for assistance with access, feel like I struggled, or feel unwelcome in any way and I fully enjoyed my visit. Other than the small points which might affect guests with more severe mobility issues I found the place to be very wheelchair friendly and indeed was able to enjoy all the facilities on offer in the spa as any other member of Joe public could; I absolutely agree that this is a ‘spa for all’.
– Although the spa and bathing facilities are accessible there are no fixed or portable hoists, therefore those requiring that type of assistance, you would need to bring your own.
– Staff are very welcoming and are happy to give you a run down of the facilities available when you arrive, so don’t be shy about asking!
For more information about GAAS and Access All Rooms visit: www.accessallrooms.com
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