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A hotel’s surprising Olympic prep

In the coming months, the stories will start to come. You know the ones: running checks on what’s being built and when; what construction is delayed... It’s the expected narrative of the Olympics. But this is Tokyo and if any city is organised enough for the onslaught of the Olympics, surely it’s Tokyo.


That there will be support robots is hardly surprising. Especially as it’s claimed that this will be the most innovative of all Olympics.


One need only look at Tokyo today to see the preparations of the Tokyo of tomorrow. 


For me, it took a quick tour of Keio Plaza Hotel to see just how prepared Tokyo will be.


Think of a disabled hotel room and chances are that what you’re picturing isn’t sexy. Clunky ramps, lots of handrails...but not in Keio Plaza.



We’d been staying in the hotel’s quietly beautiful Premier Grand rooms and to be honest wasn’t too excited about checking out the hotel’s universal design guest rooms. A disabled room is a disabled room, right? Wrong.


Upon walking into a universal access room, I can’t see much of a difference between that and our’s. The spaces between furniture are bigger and instead of sharp corners there are smooth curves to accommodate wheelchair users. But where one would expect a clinical feel to the room, instead there is warmth. 



And then I saw the amenities. Universal access rooms come with special communication equipment with special vibrating and lighting functions. For instance, if the doorbell rings, a nearby panel lights up and a bed cushion vibrates. Special beds and armchairs equipped with the latest technology are super comfortable and there are even indoor toilet facilities for assistance dogs!



The Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo has led the hotel industry with its various efforts to provide guests with universal design facilities and services since participating in the 1988 World Congress of Rehabilitation International and now with less than 500 days until Tokyo 2020 Olympics and 525 days until the Paralympics, it is taking it to another level.


“Our specially trained hotel staff have provided services catering to the needs of our special needs guests to make their stay with us more enjoyable and comforting,” a statement from the hotel read. 



So, if you have anyone in need of universal access room, head to Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo and see how it’s done.


Traveltalk travelled to Tokyo on All Nippon Airways. Read the review of our flight here, and find out why its toilet is probably the best in the world.


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Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 19 March 2019

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