Being over 50 means I have an AARP card, and reading glasses. And when I think senior friendly hotels, I think more about what is there that makes my trip easier.  If you look for senior friendly hotels you often find hotels that compete based on price- but after that what they offer is not too much different than other hotels.

Are you a senior friendly hotel? If you are here are a few things that make you friendly for us:

(a)   Start with check in. As much as seniors appreciate a great deal- valet service for seniors is a must. Having someone unpack the vehicle and assist with luggage is helpful. If you go to China every hotel has porters that will bring your luggage to the room, hoist it on the luggage stands, and open the curtains. They do this without expectation of a tip (we tip, but the point is China is geared to service). Nothing ruins a vacation like a bad back- having porters, bellmen, and valet parking really helps. If you want to attract seniors- instead of giving a discount on the room- consider giving free valet service. Some senior travel with their grandkids, and some of us with our kids (so that is always helpful).

Porters can save your trip by saving your back

(b)  The fine print on the check in tickets is just a bit much. Large print makes it easier- even if we are wearing our reading glasses

(c)   Having reading glasses available is always a great thing (do you know how often we loose our reading glasses – well, we don’t lose them – they all seem to migrate and end up in a pack on some table somewhere)

(d)  Telephones we can read with. When we dial for the concierge, front desk, or room service we don’t have to put our eyeglasses on to see it.  Phones are available that have this option but so many hotels have little symbols, and smaller writing – and that means seniors have to put on reading glasses to see the phone.  This could even be solved with a large print menu by the phone (press 5 for room service, press 2 for parking, press 4 for concierge). Make sure those speed dials work.

Make the phones easy to see and work

(e)   The shampoo, conditioner, and lotion are marked clearly.  I don’t like getting into the shower and wondering which is the shampoo or conditioner- or body lotion. Trust me- it takes a lot to wash body lotion out of the hair. But I also don’t like getting into the shower with my reading glasses

Large print shampoo - never put lotion in your hair again

(f)   Room thermostat.  Simplicity here- make them easy to operate and simple. We know if the room is too hot or too cold- so why not have a thermostat that we can turn up or down- or around a nob?

Make it simple - we know if we are too hot or cold

(g)  The clock.  There is nothing more annoying than the alarm clock going off at 4 am with the radio on and not being able to see the controls to turn it off!  Who makes these things anyway- there are controls for the radio, the alarm, to snooze, for am and pm, for volume, for channel – and often not in an obvious place. Before you buy a new clock for the room- look at the models and see if it is easy to turn off the radio or alarm if you need glasses that are 2.25 or greater.

Remote control units - make them easy to read and simple

(h)  The remote control. Buy some remote controls for the TV that have a few simple functions on them- not all the rest. We don’t want the rest – we are not going to change the input, or who knows what else. We want power on/ off – volume, and channel change – and easy to read.  Often this is NOT the remote that comes with the television, or DVD player- but you can get them.

(i)    More room – those tiny hotel rooms are fine for small, thin people- but seniors like to spread out a bit. More room.  Some of us have different schedules than our spouses- so having a desk with a soft lamp – and room on the desk for our computer – is key.

(j)    A plug on the nightstand to plug in our phones—one on each side of the bed. Don’t you  hate having to plug the cell phone in the bathroom

(k) Large print menus in your restaurants and in the rooms. Sometimes we forget glasses- but if the menu is printed large enough- it isn’t an issue – and it is just delightful for us.  Menu design is taught by someone – but how about bold print, so if we forget glasses


Seniors, or people with vision issues- travel more these days. Find a hotel that looks after the fine print – gives us a bit more service in terms of 24 hour bellmen, make certain we don’t strain our back- and seniors (the ones with disposable income) will take those hotels over the others.