Recently Amanda, Ric and I reviewed the Holiday Inn in Mansfield for its wheelchair accessibility and were pleased to find it fully wheelchair accessible. This Holiday Inn is only a short distance from Gillette Stadium, home of New England Patriots and New England Revolution and a great place for fans to stay after a game. This Holiday Inn is also a great place for a wedding or business function.

There are plenty of handicap parking spaces located close to the front entrance. The entrance has double sliding automatic doors which are my favorite kind of entry doors for as soon as you approach they slide wide open.

Once inside I was pleased to find the front desk has a lower counter that is of perfect wheelchair accessible height so a guest in a wheelchair can check in independently. Shortly after arriving we were warmly greeted by Nate, the General Manager. Nate kindly offered to show us around and was a great tour guide on our visit.

The lobby is very spacious with a large seating area where you can watch TV or just sit to relax. There is also a beautiful water fountain for your viewing pleasure as well. A sign posted in the lobby clearly shows you where all areas of the hotel are located.

The main restrooms are spacious, wheelchair accessible and fully ADA compliant. The faucet, soap and hand towel dispenser are easily within reach; and the pipes under the sink are covered as is now ADA required.

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A wide hallway leads to function rooms and the newly renovated Grand Ballroom. This Grand Ballroom is spacious and beautiful. It has a stage, dance floor and tables which are all of an accessible height. It is available for both business and social functions.

There are also 11 meeting rooms which have tables all of an accessible height and all the newest state of the art technology is available. Nate told us that the New England Association of Paralyzed Veterans has their annual convention here.

Nate then showed us the location of the ten handicap accessible guest rooms. These handicap accessible guest rooms are all located on one wing on the first floor. There is a door you need to open to access this wing. This door is not automatic so you may need help opening it. These handicap accessible guest rooms also have direct access via a side door to a side parking lot which has plenty of handicap parking spaces. This side door is not automatic either and you may need help opening it.

Three of these handicap accessible guest rooms have a roll-in-shower which is the only kind of hotel guest room that is truly accessible for me and many others who are not able to transfer into a bathtub. These accessible rooms have wider doors and are larger for easier wheelchair access. Nate showed us one of the handicap accessible guest rooms with the roll in shower. The room is spacious with plenty of room to maneuver a wheelchair. This room has visual alarms for the hard of hearing and a door bell for the visually impaired. The desk is of an accessible height; the closet has a lower rack for a guest in a wheelchair to their hang clothes. There is an ironing board and iron which hangs lower and is within my reach.

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The bathroom in this accessible guest room is fully ADA compliant. The sink is of a perfect accessible height; the safety grab bars located by the toilet are at a good height; I also noticed they have a lower hair dryer for guests to reach and use with ease. The roll in shower has a safety grab bars; and a hand held shower head to make showering easier; the knobs to turn the water off and on is lower and within my reach.

We then checked out the indoor pool area and found it spacious with tables all of an accessible height. A hot tub is located in this area as well. I was disappointed to hear there is no handicap lift to help a person with a physical disability access the pool or hot tub as some other hotels have. I highly recommend a placement of a permanent of portable pool lift so guests with physical disabilities can access the pool and hot tub.

This hotel is barrier free with no steps or obstables. The two on-site restaurants are the Clearwater Café, which offers daily breakfast and Sunday brunch; all the tables are of an accessible height; and Pikes Peak Mining Company, a steakhouse and bar which we will review separately.

I give the Mansfield Holiday Inn FOUR STARS for wheelchair accessibility. In order to earn the Fifth Star they would need to install an automatic entry door at the side entry door and at the entrance leading to the wing of the accessible guest rooms so a guest in a wheelchair can enter and exit independently; and place a permanent or portable handicap lift for the pool and hot tub so a guest with a physical disability can access both the indoor pool and hot tub. Nate, General Manager deserves F IVE STARS for his kindness, sensitivity and wonderful hospitality.

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