Accessibility statement

This access statement does not contain personal opinions as to our suitability for those with access needs, but aims to accurately describe the facilities and services that we offer all our guests.

Web Accessibility

We are committed to making our online presence as accessible as possible for everyone. We are currently reviewing all aspects of our website and are actively working to ensure that the existing site and our future online activities meet appropriate guidelines and standards on web accessibility issues.

If you have any comments or suggestions on web accessibility issues relating to our website, please contact us.

We are pleased to link to www.screenreader.net , the home website of Thunder, the award-winning free screen reader.


Introduction

Situated on the clifftops of Cliftonville, Smiths Court Hotel is a 15 minute stroll from Margate Old Town, the Turner Contemporary, Dreamland and more, and is based within a 15 minute drive to Westwood Cross shopping centre, Broadstairs, Ramsgate, and only 30 minutes away from Canterbury. We overlook the sea from our lounge and The Orangery restaurant, and many of our rooms offer sea views.

The hotel is situated on the clifftops, and as such guests walking from the Margate train station will face a hill or steps on their journey to us. We have 39 bedrooms with 1 accessible bedroom suitable for wheelchair users with lowered surfaces, wheel-in wet room situated on the lower-ground floor, freely accessible from the lift - this room is 1A. The majority of our bedrooms are accessible from the lift, although some do have one or more steps on the way to the room, and we have three bedrooms on the ground floor without any steps.

All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms. The en-suite bathroom of the accessible bedroom has a wet room, with shower and toilet. Handrails are fitted throughout.

We look forward to welcoming you to our hotel, and if you have any queries or require any assistance please phone 01843 222310 or email info@smithscourt.co.uk.

Pre-Arrival

For full details and maps of how to reach us, please see the Contact Us section of our website. Alternatively, you can plan your journey by car or public transport using any travel planning website (Google maps / AA routeplanner / etc.) Simply enter your postcode and ours, which is CT9 2HL to get directions.

The nearest railway station is Margate, which is 1.5 miles away (a 30 minute walk). Taxis are available at the station. If you require an accessible taxi this can be booked in advance. Central Cars offer this service, and can be contacted on 01843 291291

The nearest bus stop is around 100 metres from the hotel on Northdown Road at Sweyn Road. The Loop Bus runs around Thanet every 7 minutes during weekdays, while Bus number 8, 8A or 8X runs from the train station to Northdown Road. The nearest stops are Sweyn Road and Warwick Road. Alternatively, a walk from the train station to Cecil Square in the town – taking 10 minutes – where you can catch the Loop bus. Stagecoach will endeavour to operate a low floor vehicle on all advertised journeys.

The National Express stops on Eastern Esplanade, about 50 metres from the Hotel.

The main road outside the hotel has a wide pavement, and there is a pedestrian crossing about 20 metres away allowing an easy crossing to the Oval Bandstand, and the promenade.

A number of local companies supply equipment for hire - you can search for Shopmobility Margate, or we can arrange this for you if required. There are also a number of RADAR toilets throughout Thanet, and one in the next road to us, Harold Road.

This Access Statement are available in larger print on request, and while we do not offer any brochures, we can talk you through any information you may need, and our website is also available in a range of print sizes.

Car Parking and Arrival 

There is a car park (with a shingle surface) at the rear of the hotel with three Blue Badge parking spaces available. All parking is free of charge.

There are two ramps from the car park into the hotel. One enters into The Orangery restaurant, and is a 1 x 1:12 ramp. The other enters into the Cumberland Suite, and is a 1 x 1:20 ramp. Both ramps have handrails or equivalent on both sides, and both have flat paths to the Reception desk. We have solar lights which light the slopes in the evening. Most cars and taxis will drop off in the car park.

The doors into the Orangery are only opened from the inside, but we have a bell on that door. They are double French doors, with a small slope up and over the threshold. The Orangery floor is marble.

The door into the Cumberland Suite is accessible by a buzzer and remote opening device from Reception, and has a small threshold. This door is 85cm (33in) clear opening, with 120cm (47in) turning space opposite the door. Assistance may be required over the threshold of the doorway, and this can be requested through the door buzzer.

The front door is accessed via 1 initial step and then 8 steps which are slippery when wet. There is a handrail on the right side of the steps and the entrance door is on the right as you climb the steps. The front door is 85cm (33in) wide.

We have a porter service available 24 hours a day to assist with your luggage.

Reception

Reception is on the ground floor and has level access throughout.

The floor on the ground floor is short-pile carpet in the Reception and lounge area, wooden flooring by the Bar and in the Cumberland Suite, and marble flooring in The Orangery.

The area is evenly and well lit with overhead lighting and wall lights.

There is a lowered section of the reception desk.

A hearing loop system is soon to be installed at reception and staff will be trained in its use.

A magnifying glass, pen and pad of paper are all available on request.

There is a choice of seating in the lobby area, which can be used as an alternative space for check-in.

A familiarisation tour is available on request.

Public Areas – Halls, Stairs, Landings, Corridors, Lift

All public areas, halls, stairs, landings and lifts, are well lit using a combination of ceiling and wall lights. Fluorescent lighting is used in places. Corridors are slightly dimmer, and are lit by a combination of ceiling and wall lights.

Corridors are a minimum of 86cm (34in) wide and the floor covering is short pile carpet. There are fire doors along the corridors, the narrowest of which is 69cm (27cm).

There is one hydraulic lift. There is a mirror on the back of the lift, the sides are covered in a vinyl coating and the floor is non-slip laminate. The lift door width is 80cm (31in), the lift floor depth is 155cm (61in), and the lift floor width is 110cm (43in).

Public Areas - Lounge

The lounge area is situated on the ground floor, surrounding reception, and is open plan.

The room has a mixture of seating with sofas, arm chairs, and tub chairs all with arms. There are some stools in the bar area which can be moved into the Lounge area. There are a number of low and medium height coffee tables.

Lighting is natural daylight and by night overhead and wall lighting is used.

The flooring is short-pile carpet in both the lounge.

Bar food and drink can be served in the lounge, just ask at the bar for menu details.

There are two unisex toilets are in reception, including an accessible toilet.

Public Areas – Bar area

The bar area is level throughout, and is set alongside Reception in an open plan layout.

The room has a mixture of seating with sofas and tub chairs all with arms. There are some stools and some low and medium height coffee tables.

Lighting is natural daylight and by night overhead and wall lighting is used.

The flooring is wood flooring.

Bar food and drink can be served in the bar, just ask at the bar for menu details.

The nearest toilets and accessible toilet are in Reception, which is open plan and next to the bar.

Public Areas – Cumberland Suite

The Cumberland Suite is level throughout, and is set alongside the bar in an open plan layout.

The room has different seating options depending on the function, but generally uses upright chairs without arms. Our staff can move chairs with arms from the Lounge and Bar area through to the Cumberland Suite on request. When tables are used, they are well spaced apart and have a clear height from the floor of at least xxcm (xxin).

Lighting is natural daylight and by night overhead and wall lighting is used.

The flooring is wood flooring.

The nearest toilets are by the side of the Cumberland Suite, although there are a secondary set of toilets, including an accessible toilet in Reception, which is open plan and next to the Cumberland Suite. 

Depending on the layout, the doors to the Pembroke Suite may be open. Details for the Pembroke Suite are listed below.

Public Areas – Pembroke Suite

The Pembroke Suite is level throughout, and is set alongside the Cumberland Suite with sliding doors which are either set in a closed or open position.

The room has different seating options depending on the function, but generally uses upright chairs without arms. Our staff can move chairs with arms from the Lounge and Bar area through to the Pembroke Suite on request. When tables are used, they are well spaced apart and have a clear height from the floor of at least xxcm (xxin).

Lighting is natural daylight and by night overhead and wall lighting is used.

The flooring is short-pile carpet.

The nearest toilets are by the side of the Pembroke Suite, although there are a secondary set of toilets, including an accessible toilet in Reception, which is open plan and next to the Cumberland Suite.

Public Areas – The Orangery Restaurant

The restaurant is situated on the ground floor, accessible through two double doors which are hooked open.

Tables in the restaurant are well spaced apart, with a clear height from the floor of at least xx cm / xx inches, with upright chairs without arms. Our staff can move chairs with arms from the Lounge area through to The Orangery on request.

Lighting is natural daylight and being an Orangery by design, the room is very bright with large windows on one side, skylights above and a bay window at the front of the restaurant. By night overhead and wall lighting is used.

The flooring is marble.

The restaurant is table service for lunch and dinner. Generally, breakfast is also table served, although if we have a group of guests together, we may serve a hot buffet. We have a cold buffet every day. Staff can assist in bringing items from the cold buffet (or hot buffet when in use) on request.

Cutlery is silver and is laid on ivory linen.

All our food is locally sourced and freshly produced. Allergen information is available on request. Please speak to your waiter or a member of the Reception staff to discuss any allergies or food intolerances. If possible, please contact us in advance to discuss any requirements.

Large print menus are available on request. Specials are communicated verbally by the staff, and all staff can assist in running through menus with you.

The nearest toilets and accessible toilets are in the Reception area, less than 10 metres from the restaurant doors, and on a flat surface.

Public toilets

There are two unisex toilets in the Lounge area next to reception, one of which is an accessible toilet, and two toilets (one male and one female) beside the Cumberland Suite and Pembroke Suite. All these are available to guests at all times, unless there is a function in the Cumberland Suite, in which case the toilets linked to that room are solely for the use of the function.

The accessible toilet has an 85cm (33in) clear opening door and 115cm (45in) clear space opposite the door, and there is clear floor space of at least 120cm x 120cm (47in x 47in). The toilet is central to the back wall, and as such permits forward only transfer. The height of the toilet is 48cm (19in).

Hotel bedrooms 

Most of our guest bedrooms are accessed by the lift, although the three family suites, three standard double rooms, one sea-view double room and two standard single rooms are set on a mezzanine level, and as such have stairs to the room. A further 5 rooms (2 standard singles, one stardard double, one sea-view double and one executive room (the honeymoon suite) have one step in the corridor from the lift to the rooms. There are three staircases in the hotel running from the ground floor up to the third floor, and one staircase running from the ground floor to the lower ground floor. All staircases have at least one handrail.

There is seating, bedside table, bedside lamp, hanging space or wardrobe and drawer space in every room, as well as a table, dresser or desk with desk lamp. Each room has an en suite bathroom with bath, shower or both. Every room has a flat screen Freeview digital TV with subtitles available. The average door to a room is 69cm (27in) wide, and the average bed height is 59cm (23in).

Our beds are normally made up with sheet and duvets, although blankets are available in the rooms and can be made up if preferred. We do not use feather or down in our duvets or pillows.

We have one specifically designed accessible bedroom on the lower ground floor, although other rooms may be suitable depending on your specific requirements. The accessible room is room 1A, and may only be suitable for guests with smaller wheelchairs, as the approach to the room is tight, and the corridor is 74cm (29in) at its narrowest part. The bedroom door is 70cm (27in) clear opening with 110cm (43in) clear space opposite the door. Turning space opposite the door is 110cm (43in). In this room there is a double bed and a single bed, so there is provision for a carer if needed. There is space under the bed for a hoist if required, although one isn't provided.

This is a large bedroom with a kitchen area in which the sides have been lowered. The height of the units is 75cm (29in), and there is a fridge, cordless kettle, and a hob with an oven below. Details of the en suite bathroom are below.

Bathrooms, Shower Rooms and Toilets (all en suite)

All rooms have en suite bathrooms. Many have showers, some have baths with a shower attachment, and some have bath and shower. The majority of our showers are walk-in showers with the minimum of a very small lip to get into the shower.

Non-slip bath mats are not provided in the room as standard, but are available on request. The average height of the toilets in our rooms is 43cm (17in), and the average width of the doors to the bathrooms is 69cm (27in).

The accessible room (1A) is a wet room with wheel-in shower. There is clear floor space of 120cm x 120cm (47in x 47in). The height of the toilet as standard is 41cm (16in), although we have a seat which can be placed on the toilet to increase this height if required. Please ask when booking or on check-in. There is a seat in the shower with fixed arm rests 

Conference and Meeting Rooms

Our conference and meeting rooms are on the ground floor, level with the reception area. The Orangery has marble floors, the Pembroke Suite has short-pile carpet and the Cumberland Suite has wooden floors. See the relevant areas above for more details.

Decking area

There is a decked area outside the rear of the hotel which is set on different levels, although there is a ramp to the side of the decking allowing access.

Additional information

All of our staff receive regular training that includes disability awareness training.

We have a set of evacuation procedures – should you require assistance please let us know. A water bowl is available for assistance dogs.

Room service is available from 8am to 10am for breakfast, and from 12pm to 9pm for bar snacks, lunch or dinner.  There is a charge for room service.

We have an area where a mobility scooter can be charged, please ask at reception.

The nearest General Hospital with an A&E unit and walk in NHS facility is 2 miles away. The nearest doctor’s surgery is less than 1 mile away. Please contact Reception for further information.

Free Wi-Fi Internet access is available in the public areas and the majority of the bedrooms

We can offer a list of nearby attractions and details of their Access Statements for information, where available.

Future Plans

We are planning to make our menus available via mp3 audio files.

We will be investigating the installation of minicom.

We are investigating the use of deafguard fire alarms, and increasing the use of tactile labelling. 

Contact Information 

Address (including postcode): Smiths Court Hotel, 21-27 Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville, Margate, Kent, CT9 2HL

Telephone: 01843 222310

Email: info@smithscourt.co.uk

Website: www.smithscourt.co.uk

Hours of Operation: Open all year round, 24 hours a day

We do not recommend any of the following companies, but have listed some information which we hope can assist:

Local Carers: A number of companies including ‘Home Instead’ – 01843 862268

Local Equipment Hire: A number of companies including Safe Hands Mobility – 01843 848208 and Shopmobility Margate based in Westwood Cross shopping centre - 01843 871444

Local Accessible Taxi: Central Cars – 01843 291291

Local Public Transport: Bus – Stagecoach – 0845 6002299; Train – South Eastern – 0845 000 2222 or 01732 378751