Pat Hyland - Apr 15, 2008

The Paralympics is approaching and China is making steps to get ready for it. There is the project called the Beijing Paralympic Family Hotel. Swissotel Beijing will become the headquarters and the command center of the International Paralympic Committee during this year’s games in September 6 to 17. From here, the committee will coordinate services for international sports federations and other organizations for people with disabilities. The plan was announced in 2007 and on the occasion of the 500-day countdown to the Beijing Paralympic Games, the nameplate of the Paralympic Family Hotel – Swissotel Beijing – was unveiled.


The hotel has an excellent location. It is between commercial and diplomatic districts, Lufthansa Commercial District and Wang Fu Jing Street. It has an easy access to the Airport Express Way and the underground station is in walking distance of the hotel. The Silk Market is only three kilometers from here and it is also only six kilometers from the Forbidden City. Other places like Tian"anmen Square, the downtown, China International Exhibition Center and Railway Station, Olympic Park and Beijing Capital International Airport are just few minutes away from the hotel.


The hotel itself had to undergo certain changes to better cater to disabled people’s needs. Accessibility had to be improved all over the facility. Fifty-five rooms and washrooms were renewed.  Doors in the rooms were widened and mirrors in washrooms were set to different angels so they were suitable for people with disabilities. Parking lots are nearer to the hotel entrance and they are clearly marked with a yellow wheelchair symbol. Also new wheelchair ramps are being installed. The guests will also have the possibility to control the speed of the revolving door by pressing a button located to the right of the door. The renovation project is scheduled to finish in mid-April.


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