With the V&A Dundee opening in September 2018 all eyeswere definitely on my hometown which is apparently referred as the sunniestcity in Scotland. Many businesses have made their mark on Dundee, especiallynumerous accommodations for all guests, including the Sleeperz Hotel. Thishotel has been a great welcome to the city centre of Dundee. Its stylish modernlook is very welcoming, and it is located central to old and new visitorattractions. Dundee’s newly built train station is situated below the hotel meaningtravel is easy from all over the UK.
I was kindly invited to an event last week at the Sleeperz Hotel in Dundee to officially celebrate their opening with investors and partners of the hotel. I was there representing Euan’s Guide as their Dundee Ambassador, along with my friend Hollie who has recently joined me as Dundee’s Euan’s Guide Ambassador. Now full disclosure before I start, I did not stay overnight in the accessible hotel rooms. However, I have had the chance to view them during a previous visit and Hollie did stay in one of them during this visit.
With knowing the parking in Dundee very well I had a fewparking spaces in mind to try and use for my visit, in the end I parked in oneof the two accessible parking spaces available at the back of Dundee trainstation. You can walk through the station and find the entrance to the SleeperzHotel a few doors down from the front entrance to Dundee train station. I’mmaybe a little bias but the one thing I love about Dundee is how much parkingthere is, especially for people like myself who are blue badge holders and canpark in Council spaces for free. There is no free parking for guests at theSleeperz Hotel however, they offer 25% off the Multi-Story Greenmarket car parkwhich is a 5-minute walk away and run by Dundee City Council.
Throughout my life I have travelled in many lifts, and you learn what to look for in certain ones. When travelling anywhere, even for a night, I do not travel lightly. Of course, I didn’t have any luggage with me during this visit but, I can imagine how my helper and I would struggle. Plus Hollie shares in her Euan’s Guide review that “the lift was just slightly longer than the length of my wheelchair and not much bigger than the width”. Having a bell located beside the lift to call reception for assistance with luggage would be a handy feature to put in place, or signage with a phone number to call reception.
When you first enter the Sleeperz Hotel through double automatic doors there isn’t much to see except from a few meeting rooms. Signage isn’t easily displayed however, you go up one level and are greeted with a spacious reception area. The desk is higher than head level for me sitting in my wheelchair but, there is a lower down desk attached to allow wheelchair users to fill out forms for themselves. The bar and lounge area are set up to be very relaxed, there aren’t many tables to sit at though for wheelchair users. The bar is too high, and the lounge tables are too low. My wheelchair is able rise up but, not everyone’s wheelchair has this feature, and my footplates kept hitting off the bar which meant I couldn’t reach my drink. The toilets are next to the bar area, including the accessible toilet. Now I’m going to be completely honest, I forgot to take a picture of the accessible toilet at the bar area during both my visits and had to get one of my helpers to run in and do it one day I was in Dundee. Therefore, I’ve not physically seen it for myself but from looking at the photos it looks fairly spacious. The red cord is tied up, so if it’s like that next time I visit I will definitely be fixing it and putting a card up.
The restaurant was set up differently than it usually is forthis event so, it is difficult to tell how easy it would be to navigate aroundin their normal layout. I did briefly see the normal layout during my previousvisit but didn’t sit down, I mean I was sitting the whole time just not at atable. During the event we were treated to some delicious canapés and cakes,the bubbles (prosecco) went down well too. I got a glass of Marmalade DundeeGin with prosecco too however, I didn’t really enjoy that as much. I don’t knowif it’s just me, but with having lots of medicines growing up certain alcoholicdrinks just remind me of disgusting medicines from my past. I cannot drink piñacoladas because they taste like Amoxcillin, a banana flavoured antibiotic thatI had to have for chest infections and the taste still haunts me to this day.
Anyway, I’m going off track. I’m not able to give my fullaccessible thoughts about the accessible rooms at the Sleeperz Dundee due tobeing unable to stay. Now if you’re a regular to my blog then you might haveguessed why I didn’t stay overnight at Sleeperz, there isn’t a hoist in any oftheir hotel rooms. I need to use a hoist for all transfers in and out of mywheelchair. This was something that I brought up when I first visited and theGeneral Manager said he would look into them however, I didn’t hear anything. Iasked when I visited for the event and it has been looked into, if a guestrequires a hoist then the hotel will organise to hire one for their stay freeof charge. It’s great to see hotels offering these services, I just hope thisis only the beginning. I think there would be plenty of room between the gapunder the bed for a mobile hoist to be positioned under, but measurements wouldneed to be provided for them to decide that for themselves.
There are 6 accessible rooms at the Sleeperz Hotel in Dundeehowever the main issue with these rooms, apart from there not being a hoist, isthat every room has a double bed and cannot be changed to a twin room. Ofcourse, this is great if couples are visiting but, some guests with adisability require a carer to stay with them which sharing a bed wouldn’t be anappropriate situation. If I remember correctly 2 of the accessible rooms havean adjoining room, meaning there is a door between each room within the room soa carer can have their own room but are not too far away if the guest with adisability needs help. This is what I always look for in a hotel because when Itravel, I always need a carer with me but, I always look for it to be free, so Idon’t have to pay for 2 rooms. The Crowne Plaza in Glasgow offer it free ofcharge and I’ve stayed at a few Holiday Inns as well that offer it free ofcharge. Unfortunately, the Sleeperz Hotel Dundee charge you for this which I’msorry, but this would put me off staying here.
Overall the accessible room that I visited was fairlyspacious for a wheelchair user to drive around. You are only able to transferfrom one side of the bed due to the other side being pretty close to the windowand a curtain being in the way. Reflecting on her stay Hollie suggested in herreview “fitting draw rods in so someone in a wheelchair can close the curtainsthemselves.” There are plugs beside the top of the bed which is perfect forguest similar to Hollie and I who need to use machinery overnight. Although Ido feel a little nervous putting my machines on their bedside glass tables,especially my Bi-Pap ventilator due to its weight. All tables are glass in theaccessible rooms and there are glass panels on the walls too. Now of coursethis looks very stylish but, I’d be scared it gets damaged easily. Guestsshould be careful when staying in a hotel room but, accidents do happen. I justfeel glass is extremely breakable and at least should maybe have rubber guardsor something around the edges. I also feel that for guests with a visual impairmentthat glass is not the best thing for them to move around the room safely. That’smay just me though, let me know if you think any differently.
Within the accessible there is a shower wet room. Due to there not being a hoist I wouldn’t be able to use this shower room, but I did notice a few things. you can only transfer from one side of the toilet because it’s against the wall at the other side, the red cord was very far away from the toilet and the shower, it’s kind of in the middle of both, the grab rails are quite far away from the toilet and fold down shower chair (which is written in Hollies review) and the mirror is located way to high for anyone sitting in a wheelchair to be able to see themselves. The two things I would say that are good is that it is spacious and that the shower curtain is at a good length so no guests trip over it or it gets stuck in the wheels of wheelchairs.
If you are visiting Dundee and would like to stay central to all shops, restaurants, bars and visitor attractions I would definitely recommend looking into staying at the Sleeperz Hotel Dundee. Especially if you are travelling to Dundee by train. If you would like to read my full review on Euan’s Guide you can find it here, and Hollies is also available here.