Wheelchair-bound holidaymaker John Roberts is on a mission to test facilities for disabled travellers. Here he tells us about accessibility at the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand.
We arrived at the Sky City Grand Hotel late in the afternoon and had a smooth check in. The hotel is part of the Sky City complex, which consists of The Sky City Hotel and Sky City Grand Hotel, plus an entertainment and dining complex.
It is in a good location with good access to all areas, including the Sky Tower itself, by lift, stairs and escalators.
The room was accessible, with a wet room shower, but the basin was difficult to access due to a plinth around it. The writing desk in the bedroom had been raised to allow the wheelchair to go under, but this put it at an uncomfortable height to work at.
On the recommendation of the manager we had dinner at Ming Court, a Chinese restaurant in the complex. It was easily accessible by lift. The food and service were excellent and great value.
We were unable to walking round the Sky Tower due to the wind factor, but I watched a couple of people do the controlled “fall” from the tower by wire and concluded that I wouldn’t have had the courage anyway.
That said, the walk is an accessible option and staff are more than happy to talk to you about this and safety issues surrounding it.
We decided to dine in the Sky Tower’s revolving Orbit restaurant, which again was easy to access. We got a window table, and although there are steps down, they have a platform lift for wheelchair users. We enjoyed an excellent meal.
The Sky City Grand was a good choice of hotel, we would certainly stay again if we returned to Auckland.
John Roberts is a pseudonym
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