This lovely city in West Virginia now has a boutique hotel that welcomes all guests and is fully accessible. It has retro furnishings and a rooftop bar.
According to Charlie Hammerman, president and chief executive officer of The Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF), who was interviewed by Travel + Leisure, "It all started with my uncle, Dr. Burton Blatt, a pioneering advocate for the rights of people with disabilities." quordle Dr. Blatt was one of the people who helped initiate community living programs and family support services fifty years ago.
"I've maintained the mission," said Hammerman, saying that the DOF team is dedicated to "push society to live beyond ADA compliance." "I've continued the goal because I was inspired by his example and my experiences as a father of a kid with a handicap," said Hammerman.
As a direct consequence of this, the community of White Sulphur Springs in the state of West Virginia is now home to the very first totally accessible boutique hotel in the world. This hotel, known as The Schoolhouse Hotel, has amenities and rooms that are fully compatible with ADA standards. The facility is situated in a structure that was once used as a high school. In 2019, DOF bought the building and transformed it into a boutique hotel. Some of the hotel's amenities include 30 aesthetically pleasing rooms and suites, an elegant restaurant, and a rooftop bar.
The history of the structure served as inspiration for the hotel's interior design, which features antique pieces of school memorabilia. Additionally, the names of the rooms and the themes of their decor are derived from various academic disciplines, such as painting and mathematics.
Going above and beyond ADA compliance was important because there is a "huge underserved market of individuals and families who want to travel and spend money," as Genny Freiman, project manager at DOF and chief operating officer of The Schoolhouse Hotel, explained. "It's a fun feature for people to be able to see the little ways that we're preserving the historic school building as a hotel," she said.
"The hotel was designed from the ground up with accessibility in mind, taking into consideration factors such as the counter height, lighting and acoustics, and automated services. We had the honor of chatting with individuals who suffer from a variety of impairments in order to get insight into the challenges they face when they travel. As a result, we were able to include as much of it into our design as possible "Freiman said.
Wheelchair users and those using scooters will have no trouble maneuvering around these roomy accommodations since they have been created with few obstacles. The sinks in the restrooms have low countertops, and the bathtubs have hydronic body lifts. In addition, the touch pads in the bathrooms enable for touch-control of the flushing and cleaning mechanisms. In order to give the highest possible level of visual assistance, the lighting fixtures and controls were selected with great care. Additionally, sound insulation was built in the walls connecting the rooms, floors, and ceilings in order to lower the level of background noise.
"Two of the sides of our bar are at a height that complies with ADA standards. Our bar has three sides. The most exciting aspect is that we lowered the floor where the bartender stands so that they are now at eye level with each and every individual who is seated at the bar "Freiman offered an explanation.
The site also has a number of event facilities, such as a formal ballroom that can accommodate up to 300 people and was once used as the gym for the school, as well as a front lawn that can accommodate up to 150 visitors. Those who are traveling for business have access to a conference room that is completely furnished.