Viva Las Vegas: My stay at the Excalibur

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It has been a week of travel as I migrated to Wisconsin for the summer. I stopped in Las Vegas on the way up and stayed at the Excalibur for the whopping rate of $25.60 a night if you don’t count gambling losses. Of course it goes without saying that like most Vegas hotels, that the rooms are far away from the casino. This particular setup had a long, steep, carpeted ramp to go up/down no matter which tower you were staying in. If you’re in a manual chair be prepared for a push. The room was nicely decorated but there were a few things that made no sense to me from a usability standpoint.

First, the desk in the room was too low to get my legs under while sitting in my chair. Had the surface not been quite so thick, it could have been possible. It was also positioned such that it stuck out into the middle of the room and I’d have to “parallel park” my chair if I wanted to bother using it. Of course that would also mean pulling out the chairs that were there to start with. The internet cable was also nowhere to be found and I had to dig it out of the mess of cords by the television. Since I couldn’t really sit at the desk I had the Ethernet cable strung across the room so I could use my laptop on my lap.

Second, the heater/AC unit was buried in this case so you literally had to stick you hand in and feel around to reach the controls. I also had to use my phone light to see in there, even during the daytime! It looked as though at one time there was a thermostat on the wall but all that remained was a piece of the green silicon motherboard.

Next, and this is a common feature of many hotel rooms, the night stand got in the way when I wanted to transfer into bed. I hate backing up and running into a pesky night stand when I’m trying to position my chair such that I can get into bed. To avoid this I ended up pushing the bed diagonally away from the night stand. Of course this means there’s a space between the head of the bed and the wall and inevitably it means my pillow is going to fall down there, which it did.

Last but not least is the bathroom. It was spacious, but had two rugs in it which my chair promptly ate when I turned around. After getting rid of those I went to take a shower. It was a big roll-in shower but had a tiny seat (18 inches max). Of course the seat was across the long shower from the soap dish so I had to balance my shampoo and soap on the arm railing. Both fell and hit the floor. And the shower head, which was already detached, sat on the other grab bar. Since the hook for the shower head was too high to reach, I had to deal with holding the shower head which sucks if you have bad arms like me. The other thing about the bathroom is that the toilet seat was not flat. It was curved inward so in order to slide off the toilet you have to go up and over. This makes transferring much more difficult than it should be. Another minor observation is that the bowl of the sink was set back about a foot or more from the edge of the counter top. So in order to spit into if I had to scoot up to the edge of my chair and stretch. Small detail, but super silly!

Overall I would consider staying at this hotel again despite the issues, but only if it was a night or two and only if it cost $25 a night again. I can put up with certain things for small amounts of time if they are cheap. This definitely wasn’t the worst “accessible” room I’ve stayed in, but could use some minor improvements.

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