In North Nanaimo, close to the Woodgrove Centre, The Grand Hotel offers folks with disabilities a comfortable place to stay. The hotel, built in the late 90’s, is perched on an attractive rock garden which wraps around the front of the property. The central proximity to the ferries, airport, and the harbour (where seaplanes fly to and from Victoria and Vancouver) make the hotel a good choice for travellers.

The hotel, which has a level, covered entrance, is equipped with a push plate opener at the front door. Once inside, the large lobby has tall ceilings, with chairs and couches arranged comfortably for relaxing. The Grand Cru restaurant, just off the lobby, is largely accessible, except for the whiskey bar, which is up three stairs to an elevated central area.

There are two accessible rooms, which are well-designed and have lower-height beds, and ample room for manoeuvring. The peephole in the door is at wheelchair-user height. There is laminate flooring throughout the room and outlets are located at heights which are accessible for folks using a mobility device. A small patio opens off the back of the room onto a lovely garden. Unfortunately, there is a threshold of significance to be crossed in order to access the patio, which wouldn’t work for my scooter. The bathroom, with its tiled floor, is spacious and has a lowered-height countertop, and sink with a proper cutaway for wheelchair users. The toilet is universal height and is equipped with grab bars. The shower has a built-in bench and grab bars, but also a two-inch lip to get over; this may work for some folks with disabilities but wouldn’t for me.

The weight room is accessible and has free weights and various yoga balls, plus a collection of exercise machines like elliptical trainers, treadmills, a stationary bike, and a rebounder.

The hotel offers plenty of free parking for guests.