Christine is a special needs homeschool mom of seven. She and her family are active and on the go despite any special needs. Her family loves to be on the go, and are always on the lookout for a great learning adventure.
Traveling with our special needs family can go one of two ways.
It can be an awful chore, or it can be a wonderful time of relaxation and fun. Most of the time the difference comes because of the hotel we happen to choose.
Even with the best internet research, you really never know how a stay is going to go until you get there. But, when we do find a hotel that goes above and beyond in their accommodations, we like to make sure other special needs families can also benefit.
Here is what our family found as we spent a week at the Hyatt House in Los Angeles.
The Hyatt House staff does a great job of keeping guests informed before, during and even after the trip.
We booked our stay through their website, so I was of course expecting a confirmation email with all of the details. What I wasn’t expecting was an email confirming our stay three days prior to arrival asking us if we had any last-minute requests and our approximate time of arrival!
This was a much-needed reminder for me, as with all of our special needs, we truly did have requests. I had wanted to make certain concerns known before we arrived, but in all of the hustle of packing, I had forgotten. The email was even fillable, so I simply added my concerns and clicked a button.
We had the option to enter a cell phone number, so that we would receive a text when our room was ready. Even though we arrived a few hours before our scheduled check in time, our room was actually ready! A nice surprise since we had taken the red-eye and had very tired kiddos.
In-Room Accessibility Features
We were truly amazed at how well equipped the hotel was as far as special needs accommodations.
Our daughter has a milk allergy, and so we made sure to pack shelf-stable almond milk in our luggage. Guess what we found at the Hyatt House? The hotel had complimentary almond milk at every breakfast!
The hotel met every one of our family’s needs with the extra accommodations listed below:
Our daughter has cerebral palsy which causes her difficultly walking and of course climbing in and out of tub edges.
Our hotel had a beautiful, zero-entry shower with hand grips that allowed our daughter the freedom of showering independently. At fifteen, she greatly appreciates her freedoms when she gets them. We brought her shower chair, and she was free to shower in peace.
To add to my daughter’s glee, the hotel also had an accessible sink that allows a chair to fit up to the sink. No teenage girl wants to leave the hotel room with bed head looking like a zombie, right?
Although the pool was closed during our stay, we did notice that they had the necessary equipment our daughter would have needed for get into the pool.
Though I know this is a law, there are still hotels in this day and age that do not have these. Hyatt House has a well-equipped swimming area.
The one drawback to this hotel is that there are no indoor corridors and no elevators.
If you have mobility issues within your party, you will need to let the hotel staff know right away. We had no trouble getting a main floor room, but I can imagine that if they don’t know about the mobility issues until arrival, it may be more difficult to accommodate. Especially if the hotel is fairly busy.
Near the Metro and Other Public Transportation
One our biggest problems is how we navigate a big city with two wheelchairs.
We do not drive in big metropolitan cities, and because of this, are at the mercy of the public transportation options. Hyatt House is within a block from the Green Line train station and across the street from the 109 bus. Being close to the LAX airport, there are also quite a few UberWAV vehicles within a few minutes of the hotel too.
For those of you that are not familiar with UberWAV, it is an accessible version of the UBER.
Each driver must have a vehicle that can accommodate a person that must remain in their chair during the ride. These UBERs can hold one person in a wheelchair and up to three additional riders. When we used UBERs, we simply took two. They are similarly priced to a regular UBER fare and sometimes were even slightly cheaper.
Easy Access to Groceries
Our youngest daughter has numerous food allergies and can only eat pureed foods.
We knew our hotel room had a full kitchen and the hotel has grocery pick up service. However, it is always nicer for us when we can pick out our own groceries so we can watch the budget a bit more closely.
There is a Trader Joes within walking distance of the Hyatt House. We used this several times during our stay. It allowed us to pack a little less food and find options our daughter could eat.
Solving the Pool Problem
As I mentioned, when we arrived, we discovered that the pool was out-of-order.
I am not going to lie. Our crew was pretty disappointed, as this was one thing we Midwesterners were looking forward to.
I mean to be able to use the pool in October? Priceless, right? Our disappointment did not last long though.
The staff did not want disappointed guests. They decided to provide free shuttle service to either the Hyatt Place pool or to the Manhattan Beach Pier. Since the pier was on our L.A. bucket list, this was a pleasant surprise and saved us an UBER fare.
Complimentary Hot Breakfast with Omelet Bar
Each morning of our stay, we enjoyed a full breakfast bar. And, to my egg-loving husband’s delight, they even had an omelet bar. I think that if we had enough time, he would have ordered an omelet every single day.
Since this breakfast was hot, delicious and all-you-care-to-eat, this became one of our two major meals for the day. We packed a lunch for our outings, which simply left dinner that we had to find a restaurant.
Onsite Computer and Printer to Print Airline Tickets
We love to use the online check-in feature that most airlines have these days. The time savings at the airport when you already have ticket in hand is a life saver when you travel with two wheelchairs.
Typically, we end up getting our tickets printed at the airport for our departure, but this time we could print them at the hotel. With LAX being a much larger airport, this took some of the stress out of our day.
If your special needs family will be planning an L.A. vacation, you may want to check out the Hyatt House near the LAX airport. They have all the right accommodations and the friendly staff to make your vacation stress free.
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