Accessibility statement

This accessibility 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/visitors.

Accessibility Statement for The Empress Hotel – updated 28th March 2024


The Empress Hotel is located in the centre of Douglas Bay and has a bus stop within 100m as well as a horse drawn tram stop. The Hotel does not have any car parking facilities, but vehicles can park along the Promenade for limited hours for free in front of the Hotel (please check local signage along the Promenade as some details have changed in 2022). Unfortunately, the Hotel does not have any disabled access bedrooms and some public areas are not suitable to wheelchair users due to internal steps. Full details are shown below.

We look forward to welcoming you. If you have any queries or require any assistance please phone 01624 661155 or email [email protected].


Transport to the Hotel by bus from the airport is via No. 1, 1H, 2 or 2a and costs £3.10 one way and takes around 30 minutes. The bus stop is 100m from the hotel on central promenade.

The ferry terminal is a 15 minutes walk away or 5 minutes in a taxi.

The Hotel postcode is IM2 4RA.

Please advise the Hotel in advance of arrival if you have a disability where access may be an issue so we can advise further to ensure the Hotel can accommodate you and to offer assistance if needed on arrival and throughout.

Car Parking and Arrival

There is no dropped curb leading on to the path towards the Hotel, but there is now a drop off bay to help unload vehicles, but not for parking in. There are 2 disabled parking bays a few metres away from the hotel in front of the Empress Apartment buildings, which can be used for Blue Badge holders if they are available, along with 2 electric charging bays (Pod Point). Access to the Hotel is either via the main entrance that has 18 steps and automatic doors at the top and bottom entrances, or via the new Accessible Entrance to the right of the main entrance (available from 29.3.24).

Signage at the main entrance, directs guests to this area and down a wheelchair friendly concrete block ramp to our new Accessible Entrance. The new sliding door will open automatically to get you out of the weather and into the internal lobby area. If you are a resident, please touch your bedroom key card on the access panel to open the inner door. If you do not have your key card with you, or are not a resident, please press the video intercom button and reception will answer. A member of staff will then remotely open the door for you, and follow the small ceiling illuminated lift signage to the door leading to the toilets & lift, marked as Lift & Reception. Go through this door towards another door and small ramp, with the lift on the left hand side.

Access to reception and the lounge bar is then by the small lift (the lift has a max. internal length of 110cm and not suitable for large electric wheelchairs, but is fine for a standard manual wheelchair size) to the 1st floor after following the signage towards the lift from the restaurant entrance.

Please advise the Hotel in advance of arrival if you have a disability where access may be an issue so we can advise further to ensure the Hotel can accommodate you and to offer assistance if needed on arrival and throughout.

Main Entrance / Reception / Welcome Area

Reception is on the 1st floor. The area from the front steps towards reception has a further 2 steps up and then back down again over a marbled and carpeted floor.

Reception is well lit at all times.

For wheelchair guests, exit the lift and turn right for reception and the lounge bar. Flooring is hard wooden effect flooring, carpet and marble throughout.
The lounge offers dining, low and high stool height seating areas with dining and low level tables.


There are no bedrooms that are specially designed for wheelchair use although one refurbished seaview twin/double room on the second floor does have space for a wheelchair to enter the room and bathroom (very tight). Should you need this room, please ask reception for assistance before booking to check the availability, but we cannot guarantee it will be available on the day of arrival if allocated to guests already in the hotel.

The Hotel also has 2 new walk in shower rooms with seaviews and these are accessible via a small lift to rooms 609 and 611 that can be set for either 1 large double bed or 2 single beds. These rooms may NOT suitable for wheelchair users with limited door widths and turning spaces. Please note these rooms are upgraded rooms that are charged at a supplement of £15 a night over our Classic rooms (rate @ Feb 2024). Several Classic rooms also now have walk in showers and may be allocated to guests on request, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Other corridors and bedrooms have narrow access.

We have a second area with 7 bedrooms and a Suite and that area has its own lift from the 1st floor but does not go down to the lower ground floor and restaurant, and there are still some steps to each bedroom from the lift in this area only. Guests need to return to the main lift near reception to access the lower ground floor area.

Fire alarms are tested at 11am each Monday and sirens sound throughout the property. We do not have any rooms with sounders or strobe lighting inside the room and any guests that may need assistance MUST inform reception upon arrival.

We have now purchased a “Deafgard” unit that can be lent free of charge to guests with hearing problems. This unit has an alarm clock and strobe light plus a vibrating unit that sits under the pillow to warn guests should the fire alarm in the hotel sound overnight. The unit must be returned at the end of each stay otherwise a charge to replace the unit will be made (approx. £300).

Bathrooms and Toilets (Ensuite or Public).

We have just 2 new bathrooms that have walk in showers (no baths) in the Seaview Doubles (Upgrades possible).

All other rooms have a bathtub with a shower over the bath and 5 rooms in the main building also now with walk in showers (on request).

Toilets in all rooms are standard height.

Grab handles to help access/exit the bath are fitted in all rooms.

All bathrooms are tiled and well lit.

Public Areas – Halls, Stairs, Landings, Corridors

All corridors are well lit and have carpet, but many are quite narrow.

The main lift goes to all 4 guest bedroom floors, plus reception and the public lounge plus the lower ground floor where breakfast is served, and a second smaller lift goes to 7 rooms but this area still has stairs from the lift to those 7 rooms.

The main lift is quite small and can take a maximum of 5 people.

Public Areas – Lounges, Lobbies

The Piano Bar Lounge is situated near the entrance and has several areas with carpet, tiles and marble and different levels.

The conservatory and bar counter are not suitable for wheelchair users as there are steps to/from the lower lounge area.

A television in the lower lounge area shows all major sporting events and bar and food service are available.

Seating is made up of armchairs and sofas with dining height and low level tables and good lighting throughout.

Restaurant/Dining Room, Bar & Bar area

The Brasserie Restaurant is located by the main entrance, but is not suitable for wheelchair users as there are steps up to, and down into parts of the restaurant. It is open Monday to Saturday evenings.

The Promenade Restaurant is fully accessible for all guests with the main lift going to the basement level.

Breakfast is served in the Promenade Restaurant with a buffet style service for hot and cold food and toast.

The Piano Bar is open daily with food available all day and offers limited wheelchair access, but plenty of comfortable seating and good lighting throughout. Table service can be offered as required.

Public Toilets

The public toilets are located on both the lower ground floor and the first floor.

There is a disabled toilet near reception with a wide door and toilet grab handles.

The leisure club on the lower ground floor, does have male and female changing rooms with walk in showers with a shower door and tray for guests who cannot gain access to baths within bedrooms. Please ask reception for directions should you wish to use these facilities.

Conference and Meeting Rooms

The 2 conference rooms are on the first floor just past reception.

There is a ramp into the Prince Albert Suite and it is fully carpeted and well lit.

The Connaught Room has 2 steps down into the room from one door and level access from a second door near the lift.

Doors to both rooms open wide and they have good lighting.

Additional Information

The Hotel has a small mini gym, sauna and steam room on the lower basement floor, but is not suitable for wheelchair users due to several steps leading into the area, and is currently closed until further notice.

Recent Improvements

The public area’s have been refurbished and now offer additional seating and better table height for dining throughout all of the Lounge, Bar and Brasserie area’s.

Contact Information

Address (Inc postcode): The Empress Hotel Central Promenade Douglas Isle of Man IM2 4RA
Telephone: 01624 661155
Email: [email protected]
Hours Of Operation: 24 hours