My mom and her long time friend, Vickie planned to meet at The Liberty Hotel in Boston for Vickie was coming to Boston for an appointment close by to the hotel. My Mom hadn’t seen her good friend Vickie in nearly 20 years and I was delighted they asked me to join them. Ric, Kate, my mom and I traveled to The Liberty Hotel in Boston, which I found very wheelchair friendly and fully wheelchair accessible.
Have you ever slept, visited, drank or eaten inside a jail that is upscale, luxurious and plush? Well if not I highly recommend a visit to The Liberty Hotel. This hotel was once the infamous Charles Street Jail, a Boston institution for criminals from 1851-1990.
With an amazing multi-million dollar renovation of the original jail, you will now find the beautiful Liberty Hotel, which opened in 2007. The granite exterior of The Liberty Hotel stands at the base of historic Beacon Hill, located a block from the Charles River Esplanade, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Valet Parking is conveniently located right in front of the entrance. A warm and friendly doorman greeted my mom, friends and me at the entrance; he immediately opened both sets of double entry doors for us to enter this hotel.
These entry doors lead to the lower level of the hotel, one level below the lobby. Here are two escalators; in the center of the two escalators are beautiful mosaic tiles, displaying many prison scenes.
Restrooms located on this lower level are wheelchair accessible and ADA compliant; the accessible sinks are of a perfect height for my chair; one of the sinks has the pipes underneath covered as is ADA required; the handicap stall is spacious with the required safety grab bars located at a perfect height on the side and rear wall of the table; many clean linen towels are set on a side table next to the sink; the soap is set a little too high on the wall above the faucets and hard for me to reach.
An elevator, located off to the side is wide and spacious, with plenty of room to fit my mom, friends and me in my wheelchair; the floors are well marked and the buttons are within my reach. This elevator has a side door for access to Scampo, an Italian restaurant inside this hotel.
We took the elevator to the lobby and met up with my mom’s friend Vickie. Vickie remembered me for she knew me when I was very young. I was pleased to get to meet her again. Vickie came along with us for a wheelchair accessibility review of the hotel before we had lunch. Wow, we were all very impressed with this beautiful hotel. The lobby is wide open and spacious and 90-feet above is a beautiful dome ceiling.
There is plenty of room to maneuver my wheelchair in here. Many seating areas are located within this lobby, where you can sit and socialize with friends. Original jail bars are located around here; if you look up you will see where prison guards stood watch. My mom took a picture of Vickie, me, Kate and Ric in this beautiful lobby.
The Liberty Bar, located in the lobby is not wheelchair accessible for it is too high for any standard wheelchair. Even though ADA does not require a bar to be accessible, I think a section of a bar should be accessible to all. I was able to access it today for I was in my Permobil C350 Power Chair and my seat can elevate to a height so I am able to reach the countertop of the bar.
An open entrance to Clink, another restaurant located inside The Liberty Hotel is right next to The Liberty Bar. We ate lunch here and will write an accessibility review of the Clink!
Restrooms, located off the lobby are fully wheelchair accessible and ADA compliant, except the pipes under at least one of the accessible sinks needs to be covered.
Wheeling along the hallway to the restroom, I saw some of the Charles Street Jail original jail cells; you can see that each cell had a door and a window which were secured with bars.
Located at the end of this hallway, is a wide open doorway that leads to the Tower Guest Rooms; here was where the brick wall of the Charles Street Jail was broken down; it is access from the original jail building of The Liberty Hotel to the newly built building of the hotel.
Off to the side are pictures of the old Charles Street Jail which explains much of past history of The Charles Street Jail.
After admiring the beauty of the lobby, my friends and I approached the Registration Desk. We asked a very courteous and friendly employee if we could have a tour of the hotel and of a wheelchair accessible guest room. We explained we write wheelchair accessibility reviews for my website, The Traveling Wheelchair. She told us she would find a hotel employee to take us on a tour. She pointed out the wheelchair accessible counter located on the side of the Registration Desk.
While we waited, we saw the Concierge off to the side. The center of the Concierge counter is high in the center but on the side is lowered of a perfect wheelchair accessible height.
Patrick, a Liberty Service Agent greeted us. He was very kind, courteous, friendly and helpful. He told us he truly understands the importance of wheelchair accessibility and offered to take us on a tour. Patrick told us the hotel has 298 luxury guest rooms and at least 5 have roll-in showers; many other accessible guest rooms have safety grab bars located on the wall in the guest’s bathroom are available. If you need a roll-in shower like I do, be certain to specify it when you make your reservation.
Patrick first showed us the Ballroom, located on the first floor off the lobby. It is where weddings and special functions are held. It is spacious and all the tables are wheelchair accessible. In the center of the rear wall is a huge flat screen TV which is easy for all to view.
Patrick explained there are Jail Guest Rooms located in this part of the hotel, which was once the Charles Street Jail. Other Guest Rooms are located in the adjacent Guest Tower, which was not part of the original jail.
From here we took the elevator to the third floor to see a wheelchair accessible Jail Guest Room. There are a few dining tables located on balconies off the open hallway leading to the Jail Guest Rooms. Here is an open view of the lobby. Patrick explained these tables can be reserved for small private functions catered by the hotel.
We then turned the corner to a wider hallway leading to the Jail Guest Rooms. This hallway is wide and spacious with plenty of room for my chair. Original jail bars are located on the side and we could see where prison guards were stationed to keep an eye on the prisoners. Floor to ceiling windows in this hallway provide great access to the view of the city of Boston. Patrick kindly offered to take a picture of my mom, Vickie, Kate, Ric and me here. We felt like we were jail cellmates:>)
We arrived at the wheelchair accessible guest room and were pleased to find it accessible to all persons with a disability. There are two peep holes on the door; one higher and one lower so a wheelchair-seated guest can look too see who is knocking on their guest room door. The room number is also printed in Braille for the visually impaired to read; a doorbell located on the side of the door will flash lights in the room when it is rung so a person with a hearing impairment will know someone is at the door. The Jail Guest rooms even have SOLITARE keys so you can really depend on the privacy of your own guest room here:>)
Patrick told us that the accessible guest rooms are wider and more spacious so there is plenty of room for you to wheel around in your chair. The guest rooms also have floor to ceiling high windows so you can easily view the beautiful city of Boston.
The guest room desk is wheelchair accessible; the telephone is accessible and easy to reach; TTY service is available upon request for the hard of hearing; the flat screen TV is set at a perfect height to view from a wheelchair; the closet has an adjustable clothes hanger which can be lowered to make it easy for wheelchair-seated guests to hang their clothes. The bed in the wheelchair accessible Jail Guest Room is of perfect height to allow for easy transfers to and from bed. Behind the guest room bed is the original brick wall of a jail cell!
The bathroom is spacious and fully ADA compliant; the roll-in shower is roomy with plenty of room for me in my chair and a caregiver to help me shower; the shower head can be hand held to make showering easier; the accessible sink is of a perfect height and the pipes underneath are covered as is ADA required; the safety grab bars are located at a perfect height on the side and rear wall of the toilet.
We headed back to the lobby; passed by some jail cells; thanked Patrick and said our goodbyes.
I give The Liberty Hotel in Boston FIVE STARS for wheelchair accessibility. The designers did an excellent job in making this beautiful and historic hotel accessible to all! I also give Patrick, Liberty Service Agent FIVE STARS for being courteous, kind, and sensitive to the needs of persons with disability and for taking the time to show me this wonderful hotel. Thank you Patrick!