Columnist- Ruben Carol

I recently embarked on a much-needed getaway with my wife, seeking refuge from the dreary British weather. Our destination of choice was Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. We selected a hotel that boasted a heated pool and a reputation for accessibility. Now, I want to share this experience not as an advertisement, but as a celebration of the positive strides we so rarely hear about.

From the very moment we arrived, it was evident that inclusivity was at the core of their ethos. Ramps throughout and handrails adorned the exterior. The grounds were marked with corduroy and blister paving, a tactile gesture that aids navigation. As we entered the reception area, a sign proudly announced the availability of a hearing induction loop and information in various formats and languages.

The hotel staff exuded warmth and kindness, and their training in inclusive language was evident in their interactions. They exhibited a genuine desire to assist. We had reserved an accessible room on the ground floor, where every detail had been meticulously designed. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with a sense of spaciousness that exceeded my expectations. The en-suite bathroom featured a roll-in shower and an adjustable mirror, a testament to the hotel’s commitment to thoughtful adaptations. Notably, the wardrobe had pull-down rails, discreetly blending accessibility with tasteful aesthetics. It was evident that the hotel had struck a perfect balance, ensuring that these adaptations benefited not only wheelchair users but a diverse range of individuals.

When it was time for dinner, I marvelled at the restaurant’s seamless level access. The staff never made assumptions about our needs. They enquired if I required assistance in navigating the buffet, offering to accompany me while carrying my plate. Such exceptional service reflects a commitment to providing a superior experience for every individual they host.

Throughout the hotel, wide door openings facilitated easy passage, while a lift with large buttons and braille ensured access to the first floor pool. The pool featured a ramp leading into the water. Additionally, staff members informed me that a water wheelchair was available should I desire to transfer into it for a dip. The hotel’s atmosphere made me feel truly empowered. It was a place where assistance was readily available, ensuring that no assumption was made about what any guest could or couldn’t do.

This hotel not only excelled in customer service but also exemplified the transformative impact of accessibility done right. As I basked in their inclusive haven, it became abundantly clear that their commitment to accessibility wasn’t limited to disabled individuals; it had a positive ripple effect that enhanced the experience for every guest. Such establishments deserve our support and appreciation, and it is through celebrating their endeavours that we can inspire change and foster a more inclusive future within the tourism industry.


About Ruben Carol
Ruben is a disability access and inclusion specialist, trainer and facilitator and has had the pleasure of training organisations, including TfL and Uber. 

He’s also an actor, VO artist, and public speaker. Appearances include Good Omens, His Dark Materials and Doctors. 

You can find him on Facebook and Instagram @Ruben.Carol.Actor