The Boulders

(near) Phoenix, AZ

While this place is reportedly rated one of the top four resorts in the country, it seemed average or a bit worse, as far as wheelchair access goes.  I guess the truly handicapped are not expected to come to a place that specializes in golf and horseback riding.

The place was built before 1990, when there were no requirements to accommodate people with disabilities.  Rooms are cute little adobe bungalows spread out widely over sometimes hilly terrain.  The rooms are spacious enough, but the only modifications for people with disabilities are two grab bars -- one above the tub, and another in the shower.  Most people I know who use wheelchairs would have trouble getting close enough to these grab bars to make use of them in getting into the shower or tub.   This is because the shower is raised about 5 inches from floor level, and the grab bar by the tub is on the far wall, so that you have to reach over the tub to use it.

The bathroom had a wall that almost divided the bathroom in two, making it difficult to zigzag around it in a wheelchair.  The toilet was separated off in a small closet like room at the far end of the zig zag.  This small room contained no grab bar, not even a towel rack, and the doorway was too narrow for the smallest adult size wheelchair to even get the foot rests through.

The main lodge, containing a bar, terrace and restaurant was minimally accessible.   To access the terrace or bathrooms, a wheelchair had to go through a narrow passage past the bar, where waitresses are usually standing, waiting for drink orders to be filled.  To get into the restaurant, there was a choice:  an outside ramp, where golf carts often completely block the way, or an inside passageway that went through a service area (part of the kitchen) where carts often block the way.  Someone in a wheelchair would almost certainly require assistance to run this gauntlet.

The stalls for people in wheelchairs in the public bathrooms could not easily accommodate a wheelchair, and the stall door could not therefore be closed.