The Palazzo, Las Vegas Nevada – Review
Date: May 20, 2019
Accessibility score: 1/5
Locations & Amenities:
I generally like to give solid location information in these reviews, but casino layouts are intentionally confusing and inherently difficult to navigate especially as a visually impaired guest. I cannot in good conscience recommend staying at this hotel unless you have ample time to explore and learn the lay of the land, or you have a sighted person with you. The locations of the elevators, and which floors they reach is all very vision based and difficult to navigate. With the exception of Starbucks which is located at the bottom of the main elevators, food and most of the amenities were difficult to find without sighted guide. The most important directions I can offer for this establishment is based on arrival from the garage area. This will put you somewhat near check-in, and with an escalator ride to the main casino floor, you take a hard right once you hit the large room and go all the way down that hallway past security to the elevators. The elevators and floor numbers are not well marked and I cannot imagine reliably finding my way to my room unassisted. There was no braille signage I could find in the elevators or on the individual floors for directions.
The hotel staff seem completely shocked and confused about how to deal with guests with service animals. I stayed at the hotel a few nights and not once could I get clear directions from hotel staff members to anyplace but outside. Most of the staff seem unaware of how to deal with guests with visual issues. I had my guide dog and the security almost tackled me for not showing my room key. He told me that he pointed to the sign stating I needed to show my key to pass security. I asked him which sign he meant, and he said this one right here. I pointed to my guide dog and he was still confused about why I didn’t follow the posted sign right in front of me.
The rooms are very nice and spacious but be aware that there are no options for braille or large print versions of the room service or hotel amenities book. There are quite a few options for numbers to call on the phone, but these are all written on the phone with no braille. This was a bit worrysome in the event of an emergency.
Upon checking in, I asked where the relieving area was for service animals and was told there was not one. I asked the staff member to call their manager and, in a panic, they told me that the relieving area was somewhere downstairs near the valet. I asked for directions and was given the “its right over there and down the stairs” response. I find it annoying that there are still hotel staff that do not understand that pointing and saying “over there” to a blind person is useless. I ended up wandering around the casino floor pleading for help from any staff that would listen until I finally found the valet area. The valet manager had no idea where the relieving area was and ended up making several calls until they finally told him that I was to use the concrete area right next to the main strip. I have included photos of the area coming up from the valet area and the approved relieving area. I have to say that by this point, I felt as if I was the very first guest to ever have a service animal with them. The relieving area was open to the main strip where everyone is walking, and is poorly lit. There are a lot of areas that an unsavory character could be hiding so I was wary every time I took my guide dog to relieve. There is a waste bin located just past the relieving area on the strip main sidewalk. All in all, for a hotel this ritzy this whole situation felt very low rent.
By far, the worst part about the relieving area is that it was over a quarter mile walk from my room (which was not in the farthest area of my floor) to the area. This meant I needed to be vigilant about taking my guide out well before she needed to go to avoid a potential accident. This was especially important in the morning as we often had to wait for a few elevators to get one that was not completely full.
The confusion over the location of the relieving area can be totally overlooked. Maybe the Palazzo haven’t had a lot of guests with service animals, or perhaps they need to update their staff training for such questions. What I cannot overlook is the fact that everyone I encountered from the staff was so ill trained in dealing with those of us who have visual impairments, and the property is woefully accessibility unfriendly. It was not cheap staying at this hotel, and the group I was with spent a lot of money gambling, it is a shame that a guest with a disability is made to feel like a second-class citizen in such a nice property. This was my experience staying at the Palazzo, I always welcome the establishment to contact me about my time in their hotel, and I am happy to provide further details on any concerns I have raised in this article. As an aside – I know there are always people in the disabled community looking to bring litigation against a hotel that does not offer proper accessibility, I would suggest the Palazzo review their staff training, signage and overall accessibility.