How to Create an Accessible Review

Creating an amazing accessible review for brettapproved.com

On behalf of the entire brettapproved crew, thank you so much for your positive words and support. We’re seeing more reviews coming in every day and we’re truly grateful for your effort in sharing critical information about the accessibility of the places you visit.

Many of you have asked me what we look for in a quality review. So I thought I’d take a minute and share our hotel reviewing process. Hopefully, it’ll help you become an even better brettapproved reviewer.

How do I rate and review places effectively?

At brettapproved, we have a Rating Process and a Review Process.

When you’re thinking about how to rate a place, you’re really doing a review in your head. After you select your 5 answers to the questions below, get some photos and write out your thoughts. In that process, you’ll have created a great review for brettapproved.

When you rate a hotel, you’ll answer these 5 questions:
Note: You need to be logged-in to your account to submit a rating and/or full review.

Location Rating

With the exception of the last question, they are all about landscape, architecture, furniture, and accessibility features. But great customer service and a willingness to help if you explain what you need can mitigate a low score with tips on how to make things work.

Remember, focus on how well the property meets your needs, not its aesthetics.

Parking Accessibility:

Complimentary valet parking earns a 5 rating. If you drive and park on property take note of how many accessible spots there are, where they’re located in proximity to the main entrance and if the spot you’re in is wide enough for you to use it effectively.

If parking is less than ideal, tell our community what you did to make the best of it. Knowing how you solved a problem is much more helpful than simply knowing there is a problem.

Entrance Accessibility:

When you’re evaluating the entrance share things in your review like: Is the main entrance to the property flat or up steps. If there are steps and you use a chair, where was the accessible entrance? Was there an automatic door? If not, was there a doorman?

Hotel Room Accessibility:

Your room door should open easily and you should be able to roll in comfortably. Tap card keys are great. Is there enough space between the bed and wall to roll in and get into bed? Be sure to identify whether you use a manual or motorized chair and what bed height you require. Was the bed too high, too low or perfect?

Maneuver around the room in your chair; try to open drapes while in your chair. The nightstand should be sturdy and stable to serve as a support when getting in and out of bed.

Roll under the desk and check the placement of amenities. Think about where the light switches, TV remote wall and desk sockets for your electronics are placed. An all-off / all-on switch by your bed gets high marks. Make sure you can reach the closet rods and a luggage rack is set up for your bag.

Hotel Room Bathroom Accessibility:

One of the biggest challenges our community members report is not getting a room with a roll in shower when they’ve requested one. We’ve spent quite a bit of time digging into this issue and we’re working hard to solve it. In the meantime, rating a hotel room bathroom will help your fellow travelers know what to focus on.

If you’re reviewing a shower, check for a wide entry, sturdy permanent bench and grab bars that are horizontal so that your hands don’t slip. The shower controls should be easy to reach and use. Towels should be easily reached from the bench or seat. If you’re reviewing a tub, check for grab bars in locations and positions that help you get safely in and out and faucets that are reachable when you are seated in the tub.

Accessible height sink with easy to reach the dispenser and the handles are important. The toilet should have space to roll next to or in front of it. Multiple grab bars and a flush that’s simple to reach get high marks. You should be able to see yourself in the mirror. I find this is essential. I’d be lost without my Paul Mitchell. 🙂 My wife says I use more product than she does. Anyway, I digress.

Staff Courtesy:

Hotel staff has a huge impact on whether you’ll have a good stay. Excellent staff makes you feel welcome when you arrive and leave and can even turn a barely acceptable experience into an excellent one simply by moving furniture, helping you find your way to elevators, and providing you with a single point of contact for requests during your stay. You can have extraordinary experiences in even the most modest B&B if the staff is helpful.

It’s all about the photos

Now it’s time to upload some photos. Here’s the Standard Hotel Review Photo List. Upload these photos in order and your readers will be able to see the hotel in much the same way they would if they checked in.

Standard brettapproved hotel review photo list:

  1. Hotel Entrance
  2. Lobby/common areas including the front desk/lobby restroom(s)
  3. Hotel room (please note the actual room number in your review)
  4. Hotel room bathroom (shower photos/photos of toilet with grab bars/ bathroom counter w/ sink
  5. Amenities – Pool/whirlpool lifts, the pool grounds, spa or other amenities on property.

Note: You can create a separate review for any restaurants in the hotel, so no need to add that photo here.

Photo Tips:

Take horizontal photos. Horizontal photos work best because they mimic the shape of the devices on which they display – desktops, laptops, tablets and even cell phones.

Limitations. Currently, we can only upload five images adding up to a total of 5MB. If you’re taking photos with your cell phone, set the photo app to REGULAR, not “HI-RES” or HIGH-RESOLUTION to be sure all 5 of your photos will upload without a hitch.

We’re constantly working to improve everything at brettapproved. Soon, we’ll be able to take many more photos and we’ll auto-optimize your photos for you, so you won’t have to. We’ll keep you posted as the improvements come.

Closing thoughts:

I love the phrase: “Celebrate what works.” Because at brettapproved we know that accessibility is nothing more than a pit stop on the way to universal design. So if universal design is our ultimate goal, how do we get there?

One way is by voting with our pocketbooks. We’re a demographic in the U.S. alone that’s 54 million strong and growing. If we stay at hotels that meet our needs, eat at restaurants that meet our needs and attend movies, games, concerts and plays at venues that meet our needs, we’ll send a message that businesses can’t ignore because doing so is bad business. There’s not a business owner the world-over who doesn’t want to see profits increase.

I’m not saying don’t keep your reviews real or to sugarcoat the truth, I’m just saying that how we say things in the reviews that appear on brettapproved is just as important as what we say. I hope these guidelines help. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected].

Happy reviewing!

Warmly,

Brett

Brett Heising 37 total posts

Founder and CEO of brettapproved.com.