The Copthorne Hotel in Sheffield (https://www.millenniumhotels.com/en/sheffield/copthorne-hotel-sheffield/) is a really central hotel and restaurant complex that is situated in the very heart of Sheffield city centre. This hotel would be perfect for those staying in Sheffield to make the most of its lively theatre and music scenes, those visiting Sheffield for corporate business or even guests who have enjoyed a football match. Sheffield has two major football teams and The Copthorne Hotel is actually adjacent to the Sheffield United football stadium so would be within easy walking distance if you’re an away team supporter in need of a place to stay!
The first thing that struck me about The Copthorne Hotel was the perfect, central location that it had! We were less than ten minutes from the city centre and my partner, Richard, and I took a couple of taxis into town that cost less than £5 in the late evening. I also loved the fact that The Copthorne Hotel had a really large car park that was free to hotel guests! This was really convenient for us to park our car in as Sheffield city centre car parks can be really expensive, particularly if you are paying for overnight parking! It is worth checking if the Sheffield United football team is playing at their home stadium as the hotel shares a car park with the football ground so spaces can be harder to find during these times. There were dedicated Blue Badge parking spaces for disabled hotel guests. These were easy to find and were situated right by the hotel entrance. The hotel had left plenty of room between spaces so I could easily transfer into my wheelchair and wheel around the car. We visited during a Sheffield United home game but there were still around four disabled spaces remaining which was great to see!
The entrance doorway included automatic doors which would be really handy if you were a manual wheelchair user as holding luggage, self-propelling and opening doors are really hard tasks to combine! Upon entering, the reception area was light and spacious, there was plenty of natural light entering from large windows and I loved the greenery decorating the room. Despite us checking it at peak time, we didn’t have to wait long at all for the staff to invite us to the reception desk. The staff were really friendly and welcoming throughout the check-in process and we overheard them giving wonderfully detailed explanations of Sheffield’s cultural gems and tourist sights to a couple on the desk beside us. We live close to Sheffield so already understand where all of the main sights are located. I filled out some paperwork surrounding my access requirements should an emergency evacuation occur due to a fire or other event in the hotel. This was a quick process and the receptionist made friendly conversation while she was checking us in. We reserved a dining time to eat at the 18Fifty5 restaurant within the hotel (more of this below) and asked Reception to book us a taxi. I can transfer into a normal car seat and my wheelchair is easily collapsible into a medium sized car boot but there are special adapted taxis in Sheffield that you can wheel in and remain in your wheelchair if that is your preference. These do tend to be busier and they charge slightly more normally than a regular taxi so bear that in mind.We wheeled through to the lift area. There were two elevators here which was great to see as it meant we didn’t have to wait a long time for the lift to arrive at peak times such as breakfast/ check-out times. The lift was large enough for me to easily wheel in using my powered wheelchair (WHILL Model C) and turn around fully to exit the lift facing forwards. The corridors on our floor were carpeted but had plenty of width to allow me to wheel around and turn if necessary. We didn’t encounter any obstructions in the corridor such as cleaning trolleys so we were really pleased with the access in and around the Reception area, lifts and corridors!
Our room was really modern with minimalistic decor and neutral tones. I loved the wall that had a photographic wallpaper showing an autumnal forest scene. The decor was calming and relaxing and I felt it would appeal to every age group of hotel customers. The room and bathroom were really clean and presentable; the perfect blank canvas for you to use whether you are staying in the area for tourism, business or pleasure! The room was well-stocked with everything we might need; there was a large TV set into the wall that could show TV, films or play radio to listen to while you’re getting ready. There was a hair dryer in the drawer under the desk and even some great books on the local tourist attractions of South Yorkshire and about the history of football in Sheffield. These were definitely nice touches given the close locality of the football stadium! I always like it when hotels provide details of things to do in the area as it helps even customers visiting for a brief corporate stay to have access to some of the great things that this area has to offer! There was also a well-stocked refreshments area in the largest wardrobe with a tea and coffee making facilities and a selection of canned soft drinks in the fridge. The fridge was great to see in an accessible room as some medications need to be stored in the fridge such as the insulin that a diabetic would take. Having the fridge already situated within the room would save asking for one to be brought up and added to the room! Also within that wardrobe was a safe for valuables and extra blankets and pillows. We didn’t need the extra blankets as you could set your room temperature to your own preference using the thermostat on the wall. The desk was the right height for me to easily wheel up to with my wheelchair so I could do my hair and makeup without over-reaching. There was a mirror mounted on the wall here to use and even a plate of fresh fruit to nibble on while you’re getting dressed for dinner in the 18Fifty5 restaurant and bar! The bed was huge and very comfy so we got a really good night of sleep. I think the good night of sleep was definitely helped by the fact that the room was quiet and we heard no disturbances throughout our stay. I loved the open space in the room as it generally made it very easy for me to manoeuvre around in my wheelchair. I did find one area fairly tight as I was wheeling between the bed and the fixed wardrobe and I had to get my partner, Richard, to move the bed away from the wardrobe so my wheelchair could fit through easily. Since there was enough space to move this bed across, I would suggest staff leave more room in this area if a wheelchair user has booked the room. Another concern I had was the red emergency pull-cord was actually tucked up on a ledge by the ceiling. Since I was travelling with my partner, if I had fallen I would have instantly had assistance from him but it would be worth staff ensuring this pull-cord fully reaches the floor if a disabled customer books this room.
We had no problems at all with the emergency pull cords within the hotel room’s bathroom which was great to see! There were two of these assistance cords; one within the shower and one by the toilet. Both of these fully reached the floor and could easily be accessed in the event of a fall/ slip. The bathroom was very clean and had plenty of space for me to wheel my wheelchair to the toilet, the sink and the shower. The toilet was surrounded by plenty of handrails that could easily be used to aid transfers. The toilet wasn’t too low down so that made my transfers much easier than standard low toilet heights. I liked that the sink was at a wheelchair user’s height and that I could fully see into the mirror while seated. I hate accessible bathrooms that wither don’t have any mirrors at all or I can’t see into the mirror without standing – wheelchair users need to check they don’t have lipstick on their teeth too! There were complimentary toiletries by the sink and a dressing gown and slippers hung in the bathroom. There was another robe in one of the wardrobes if you were travelling with a companion and wanted something comfy to lounge around in! The shower had an adjustable height head which was handy if you wanted to lower this and use the shower seat. This shower seat collapsed against the wall if you wanted to stand and could slide into different positions if you wanted to sit out of the flow of water but keep the shower running. A particularly good feature was the fact that this collapsible shower seat also had a handrail beside it to help you transfer easily on and off of the seat. You often find that shower seats neglect this and fall short of a disabled guest’s access requirements. There was a shower mat available if you are at risk of slipping in the shower. I was really pleased with the accessibility of the bathroom here and think it would definitely suit many disabled guests’ requirements!
Richard and I were going to the Lyceum theatre in Sheffield that evening to see one of my favourite musicals, Rocky Horror, which was hilariously raucous and spirited since we went to the evening performance on a weekend. It’s definitely worth checking out what shows / performances the different theatres and music venues in Sheffield have if you have time! Since we were visiting the theatre later that night, we decided to dine in the hotel’s restaurant which is called 18Fifty5 (https://www.millenniumhotels.com/en/sheffield/copthorne-hotel-sheffield/18fifty5-restaurant). We wheeled through the bar area to get to the restaurant and found that lively and busy. The TV screens were showing the football match and many groups of people had gathered for drinks in this area. There was a nice atmosphere and a variety of age groups drinking at the bar so I think anyone would feel welcome there! We were dining particularly early since we had to get across Sheffield to the Lyceum Theatre for 7pm. That was only a £5 taxi ride and the taxis pulled up right in front of the hotel entrance doorway. Since we were dining early, the restaurant was fairly quiet. However, the waiting staff were all really friendly and welcoming and you could hear the nice buzz of atmosphere coming from the adjacent bar area. The restaurant was fairly large and had tables to suit a variety of group sizes. The tables were nicely spaced out so I could access all areas of the restaurant when using my wheelchair. I liked the open-plan nature of the dining area as it gave it an open, spacious feel. The same dining space was used for breakfast so it was nice to see the area filled with diners (I’ll go into more detail about the breakfast below). Even when the tables were full, I had no problem accessing all areas of the space. The waitress brought over a fresh white bread roll and some butter that we both enjoyed while choosing our meals. I thought it was good that we could choose off of both the restaurant and bar food menus as there were some slightly different options on each. The restaurant menu had some great meal deals that offered two courses of food for £19.95 or three courses for £23.95 if you wanted to choose from the highlighted options. Richard ordered an 8oz steak with peppercorn sauce. He found the meat really tasty and loved the choice of sauce to go with this. The presentation of this dish was really nice with the brightly coloured salad and meat all layer out on a wooden block. The chips were served in a a replica of a chip fryer basket so these were also really aesthetically pleasing. I think the chips could possibly be seasoned a little more and the menu did mention that they were cooked in goose-fat but they didn’t seem crisp enough for this. The peppercorn sauce was really creamy and flavoursome and complimented the steak perfectly! I ordered off of the bar menu and chose the Vietnamese Kofte Kebab meal which came with naan bread, salad and hummus. I believe this was meant to come with honey and cumin wedges but I didn’t get these and instead ordered some onion rings. I found the kebab skewers rather dry on their own but these worked well when dipped into the hummus instead. The salad had lots of nice fresh ingredients and the whole plate was presented beautifully again. The onion rings were my favourite, they were amazing; really crisp with large rings and light batter!
The disabled toilet was close to the restaurant area; it was back through the bar and towards the lifts. Since breakfast was served in the same space, this was the disabled toilet that would be used for that also. You didn’t have to have a RADAR key to access this toilet which is really handy if you’ve just nipped down from your room for breakfast and have left it in there. There were plenty of handrails throughout the toilet and the sink was at the ideal height. The red emergency pull-cord reached fully to the floor so assistance could easily be reached. I thought the sanitary bin was rather far from the toilet to reach easily but you could still manage this if you could safely lean fully over. I would have liked to see a spray air freshener available for use of guests with gastric problems. The toilet was really clean and tidy though which was great to see! The toilet wasn’t huge in area but I still managed to spin my WHILL Model C powered chair fully to exit the toilet facing outwards again. Overall, this toilet would be suitable for most disabled guest’s needs. Richard and I went to see Rocky Horror (which I would highly recommend) and had a wonderful night of sleep. Breakfast was served in the restaurant area so we wheeled down there in the morning. There was a huge continental selection of food including cereal, pastries, fresh fruit, toast and yoghurt. I did notice that there weren’t many items on some of the stands. For example, there were only croissants available when we got to the pastry section. I did notice as well that a few of the options listed on the breakfast menu weren’t out on display such as black pudding, cheeses and continental meats. However, this might be due to the fact that we arrived with only an hour of breakfast time remaining so perhaps things aren’t restocked as frequently. You could order speciality breakfast choices such as kippers, omelettes and smoked salmona nd cream cheese bagels off of the menu or choose your own selection from the unlimited hot and continental breakfast buffets. The hot breakfast selection had plenty of options and they were restocked really regularly. There were many options including sausages, bacon, cooked tomato, mushrooms, scrambled egg, beans and hash browns. I liked how convenient it was to be able to grab the items that you fancy and portion them out yourself. There was a really nice atmosphere over breakfast and the restaurant area was filled with people chatting over their morning meals!
Overall, Richard and I had a wonderful time at The Copthorne Hotel in Sheffield! The location was absolutely ideal for access to the city centre of Sheffield or the adjacent football grounds. The car park was huge and had plentiful Blue Badge spaces. We made use of this and ordered taxis into town that the friendly staff on reception arranged for us. All of the staff we met throughout our stay, whether on reception or in the restaurant/ bar area, were really friendly and welcoming. It felt like a really inclusive place to stay and to dine and we enjoyed the atmosphere. The bar was thriving with a variety of group sizes and age groups choosing drinks from the bar selection and watching the football match airing on the bar TV. Since we dined early, the restaurant was fairly quiet but this allowed me to test the whole area with my wheelchair and find that I could access every table. The tables were well spaced out and my wheelchair could access all of them. We were served quickly and the waiting staff were lovely, attentive people. The food arrived quickly and was beautifully presented! The room itself had a superbly accessible bathroom with great features such as a position-adjustable shower seat that also had a fold-down arm rest to aid transfers. The bed was slightly too close to a wardrobe for my wheelchair to fit down the side but this was easily remedied by Richard sliding the bed across slightly. Otherwise, the bed was huge and very comfortable, the room was quiet and well-stocked with everything we would need for a pleasant stay. I would highly recommend staying at The Copthorne Hotel in Sheffield (https://www.millenniumhotels.com/en/sheffield/copthorne-hotel-sheffield/) if you are a visitor to the area, whether for pleasure, tourism or business. Book directly with them over the phone and just explain your access requirements if you want to ensure your room is fully set up for you. Have a wonderful stay with them!