Bond Hotel - Blackpool
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James 'Bond' would say 'shaken, not stirred', when he asks for his martini; well, Bond Hotel in Blackpool left me 'shaken and stirred!
Bond Hotel in Blackpool is an accessible hotel for people that are restricted by many disabilities. Bond Hotel specialises in holidays for guests with special needs, whether physical, or learning disabilities and guests with mental health concerns. The hotel offers respite breaks for people living with a disability and the carer chance to relax and benefit from being in a safe, secure environment.
I visited Bond Hotel with my sister who has Downs Syndrome and her friend who has learning difficulties with another carer. We drove to the hotel in a mini bus, but if transport is a problem the hotel does have a door to door transport arrangement at an extra cost, from anywhere in the UK. If you are bringing your own car a large car park is available.
Bond Hotel is on the south side of Blackpool near to the South Pier, it is on the parallel road behind the Golden Mile. It is very convenient for local transport and the 'super' tram that goes from Star Gate to Fleetwood, is a short walk away and is disabled friendly. The hotel does have coaches for day trips to various destinations throughout the North West.
Blackpool being Blackpool has a lot to offer, rain or shine there is always something to do. We visited the Winter Gardens to see Mamma Mia, disabled get conscessions, just ask. We went to the Tower to see the circus, disabled pay but carers go free. The Golden Mile has Sea World, Madame Tussauds and much, much, more for disabled people to enjoy, but the beauty of Blackpool is the reconstructed promenade, with sculptures and writings in stone, and picnic areas, so if you don't like the razamataz and 'slot machine land', then Blackpool has more to offer and if it rains you can always go and have a cream tea in the Tower Ballroom and watch the dancers, or join in and pretend you are on 'Strictly'.
Many people with disabilities are not comfortable in 'normal' hotels where the rooms are not adapted for wheelchairs or have other adaptations, but Bond Hotel does have these, and a lot more besides. It has a large lounge which incorporates a bar and entertainment area, which then leads to the dining room, all accessible by wheelchair. This area is comfortable with 'no frills', maybe a 'woman's touch and frills' would make the main function rooms more homely and less utilitarian.
The rooms as well are 'functional' and large enough for the people and carers that have to manoeuvre wheelchairs and people with less flexibility around these rooms, unfortunately, not all rooms have been upgraded - this is ongoing and more will be done during the New Year shut down - but, like any care home there is sometimes an 'odour' and no matter how much the cleaning staff try this still lingers in certain areas - I bought a fresh air spray and that was a great help.
Our room had two beds, and bedside tables, but very little wardrobe space. All the rooms have wet rooms that include a seat and hand rails. All rooms have ceiling tracked hoists, many people cannot manage without more help and that is where the hotel excels. Bond Hotel has its own 'care package' for a cost of £16 per hour, per carer, this is tailor made to your requirements. It has a care manager and his staff, by contacting the hotel this can be arranged and added to your account.
The food at the hotel is very good and the chef really makes an effort for a variety of 'taste buds'. His waitress staff are wonderful and caring and never 'bat an eyelid' when someone acts a little strangely or shouts, they just get on with the job and help when and wherever they can and are happy to give table service if required. The buffet selection is available at breakfast and evening meal but a light lunch is also provided, special dietary requirements are also catered for, just let them know when you book.
The nightly entertainment has been selected to amuse and entertain and a variety of people from singers to drag acts!!! - well it is Blackpool after all. The entertainers are fully aware of the guests’ disabilities and engage and include all. The hotel does 'themed' nights and weekend breaks plus week breaks that have a programme of special events throughout the year.
I was 'shaken' by some of the severe disabilities that some people had, and how well the hotel staff and carers cope, we all know that there are people with disabilites that do not get a holiday, and they and their carers get the well-deserved change of scene at Bond Hotel.
I was 'stirred' by how little I know about hotels for disabled people and realised how much is needed to run these sort of hotels. Graham the manager goes the 'extra mile' for all his guests as does his staff. But please, please don't go expecting a five star establishment. It is a functional, basic hotel that really cares about the less fortunate of our society and endeavours to give them all a very good time.
The 'Bonds' that bind people to Bond Hotel are 'bonds' of kindness, friendship and love.
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