A leading Manchester hotel has this week been recognised by The Guide Dog Association as an example of how public facing services should accommodate the needs of guests with guide dogs, following independent praise from a recent visitor, Sangeeta Uppaladinni, and her guide dog Ranger.
With almost half of people with guide dogs being refused access to public venues in the last year, The Guide Dogs Association are running a UK wide campaign to educate and promote the importance of access for visually impaired guests.
“We often have to deal with hotels, taxis and restaurants refusing to accommodate people with their guide dogs,” said Emma Allen-Taylor, Engagement Officer for The Guide Dogs Association. “It therefore makes such positive experiences, like that of Sangeeta at the Manchester Renaissance, important to celebrate.”
From the moment Sangeeta and Ranger entered the hotel, they were welcomed by staff with measures put in place to make her stay comfortable, enjoyable and safe.
After being checked in and escorted to their room, the staff gave Sangeeta a familiarisation tour of the room explaining where everything was from lighting and electric sockets, and how the facilities worked. The furniture in the room was rearranged to make it easy to navigate and to accommodate Ranger.
After a walk around the rest of the hotel’s facilities, staff showed Sangeeta an area of the basement set aside where she could safely take Ranger for toilet breaks.
With all of the staff informed of their stay, room service staff read the menu for Sangeeta and a member of staff was always on hand should the fire alarm sound to ensure their safe evacuation.
It was this attention to detail that prompted Sangeeta to independently contact The Guide Dogs Association, to celebrate her experience and ask that the hotel be put forward for national recognition. Sangeeta added; “Everyone was so helpful, kind and went an extra mile to assist me. When you have such a good experience, you hope that others can learn from it.”
Emma Allen-Taylor, added; “It’s excellent to hear that the Renaissance offer such a high level of customer service and we hope that other providers can take a leaf out of their book.”
Cameron Mcneillie, General Manager of the Renaissance Hotel Manchester City Centre, concluded; “We have always been proud of our efforts to make every guest’s stay here special, however to hear such glowing recognition from Sangeeta is proof that we’re doing something right. I hope that this will help encourage others to assess their policies and training so that Manchester can become an example of best practice when it comes to access for visually impaired guests.”