CHARLOTTETOWN — The Holman Grand, Charlottetown's newest hotel, recently became the fifth hotel in the province to achieve accessibility status under P.E.I.'s Access Advisor program.
The 80-room hotel opened in 2011 as the first brand new design and build in the city for 25 years, with large rooms and modern conveniences. Since it was a new build, accessibility features were incorporated from the beginning. The Holman Grand Hotel has made investments to ensure the property is fully accessible.
“We have worked hard to enhance our accessibility since opening so all our guests feel welcome at the Holman Grand,” said general manager John Cudmore. “The fully accessible designation is the gold standard and we are pleased to be the fifth Prince Edward Island hotel to ensure we are welcoming all those with accessibility needs.”
The accessibility experience starts right at the front desk, with a lower desk on the left, with an open area so that people with a wheelchair or walker are able to roll right in and be served in comfort.
The hotel had two barrier-free rooms, each with an adjoining room for a caregiver. Other features include wide hallways and doorways, and no carpet in any of the guest rooms.
The hotel's meeting space also features large doors, and has successfully hosted different meetings for people with a variety of accessibility issues.
Access Advisor, a Charlottetown-based program that advocates for accessible businesses and communities, has officially designated the Holman Grand Hotel as fully accessible. Access Advisor evaluated the Holman Grand Hotel and found them to be fully accessible based on the accommodations and improvements that have been made throughout the hotel since their original inspection in 2013. Full mobile accessibility can mean elevators are present, doors have levers for handles, hand rails and grab bars are installed, and assistance is available if needed.
When Access Advisor came in to test the hotel's accessibility, they found only minor problems. “We had to change the signage for the bathroom, lower the thermostats so the guests could reach them, and install an additional door handle on the bathroom stalls making them easier to close,” Suellen Clow, marketing and sales director for the hotel told CLN.
“The Holman Grand Hotel has made a significant investment in ensuring accessibility requirements are met so that ‘everyone is welcome’, said Lacey MacIsaac, Access Advisor program coordinator. “We are proud to recognize this accomplishment by granting them a Fully Accessible designation for their 2016 season.”
MacIsaac noted the program has spread beyond P.E.I. “Newfoundland has officially adopted the Access Advisor program and Nova Scotia is also a participating province,” she said.