Not what we expected ….
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair
Brooks is a forty-six-bedroom hotel created out of an 1840 gothic stone building. With a great Scottish flavour, it has a character all of its own. With a large accessible ground floor bedroom and adjoining bunk room it offers something different.
Transport & Parking
Brooks is a ten-minute walk from Haymarket Railway Station, the bus interchange and the tram stop. Lothian Buses’ 35 service passes within 50m of the front door and serves the airport, the Royal Mile, Parliament, Easter Road, and The Royal Yacht Britannia. If arriving by car or taxi you can be dropped off right outside the door. There are a limited number of private parking spaces in a nearby car park that can be booked in advance by arrangement. The pavements in the area are fairly good for wheelchair users and have dropped kerbs with plenty of crossings. It's a short distance from the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Lothian Road, and into the heart of the city.
Access in and around the building The entrance to the Hotel is directly off the pavement. A small permanent metal ramp helps transit up the single step for those that require it. Double doors lead from the entrance lobby into the reception. The flooring is wooden and easy to manoeuvre across as a wheelchair user. The reception area is spacious and there is a seating area where people can sit if they wish. The reception desk is quite high and staff will come from behind the desk to assist if required. Moving around the building was easy as a powerchair user. Floor surfaces were level and smooth to move across. The accessible bedroom was on the ground floor so there was no necessity to go upstairs. A lift is available to take guests to the upper floors. Access in the accessible bedrooms and bathrooms The hotel has one accessible bedroom. It is set in a small corridor off the main reception area. A single door leads from the corridor into the room and has a clearance width of 83.5 cm. Once in the room there is ample space to move around. Approaching the bed is easy as there is plenty of room. A wet room leads directly off the bedroom. The space for moving around was generous with no tight corners or difficult manoeuvres to get stuck. The tiled room is a full wet room and affords enough space to wheel in and move around. The walls are tiled with a highlighting twin row of contrasting tiles giving depth and orientation to the room. The toilet has a transfer space to the left (as you face the toilet). Unusually, a large built in wardrobe provides for clothing storage and a tidy room. The accessible room has an adjoining room with bunk beds. By adjoining, it's not the usual connecting room but a bedroom off the accessible room which is great for families or guests who may want a carer or personal assistant with them. Access in the dining area The dining room is set toward the rear of the hotel. Access is from the main corridor and requires diners to go down a short ramp and then make a ninety degree turn. At first glance it looked difficult as a powerchair user; but was actually quite easy. I managed with my powerchair and that’s not small at 68 cm wide and 116 cm in length. Laid out with a range of different tables and chairs there's plenty of space and options for wheeling up to a table. The breakfast is laid out on a large country kitchen style table and the chef prepares the cooked dishes to order. An unusual feature is the glass window that looks into the kitchen. You can watch the chef at work as he prepares the next dish. The atmosphere was bright, light and felt very relaxed. Access to other facilities The hotel has a lounge where guests can relax amidst the traditional furnishings and Scottish ambience. A small honesty bar is available for drinks and snacks. During the afternoon the lounge plays host to traditional afternoon tea. During the warmer months the French doors are opened out on to the spacious patio area where guests can make the most of the sun trap.
There are toilets in the public area but I didn’t use these. Given the proximity of the accessible bedroom it’s just as easy to use these if you are using that room.
The staff were all very welcoming and helpful. We spent some time talking with them and there was a definite “can do” attitude. It was noticeable by the level of detail and thought about accessibility that the team had a very positive attitude toward welcoming everyone.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
This was a hotel which will remain on my “radar” as a great place to stay as a wheelchair user. I particularly liked the layout of the accessible bedroom, its proximity to everything whilst still being discrete and having the added bonus of the “bunk” room. The Brooks was also special in that it created an atmosphere and ambience which made you feel relaxed and “just one of the crowd”.