Upon arrival to Nomads Melbourne I noticed there were 6 steps up to the entrance. To the right of the steps is a second entrance with a small chair lift. I tried to lower the lift but it would not go down. I got a managers attention and was told the lift has been broken since December 2013. They were still waiting for parts to come in. I reserved a wheelchair accessible room back in March 2013. I would have thought they knew about a wheelchair reservation and made sure the lift was fixed before I arrived. He suggested building a ramp up to the deck at the back of the building. I checked it out and thought it would be possible. The staff building the ramp asked how I would like it built but they did not listen to me. The width of the ramp was ok but the length was about 2 feet short. I was able to make it up but it was a little steep. Also, the ramp was not secured to the deck. By the end of my 5 day stay the ramp was bowing and not safe to wheel on.
I reserved a double room with ensuite bathroom. The room was very basic with bunk bed, bathroom and no TV. The bed height was good making it easy to transfer to. I could not close the window blinds because it was too high behind the upper bunk bed. The bathroom is very big and easy to maneuver. The sink and toilet height are good. The bathroom mirror is too high. There is a handheld shower but no shower chair. Most places have a folding shower chair anchored to the wall. I had to use folding plastic chair that was in the room.
The staff was not very helpful. The manager was not at the beginning. He wanted to confirm that I had a reservation. I feel that if I did not have a reservation he would not have tried to help me. I emailed Heidi at the travel desk on 12/8/13 to work on wheelchair accessible tours but she never got back with me. On 1/10/14 I sent a follow up email and never received a response. I did end up doing The Great Ocean Road Tour with help from Gary at Nomads. He spent about 1 hour on my second day calling tour companies to see what tours may be accessible. He was the most helpful of any Nomads staff. There is a very nice bar, pool table and deck that are accessible. The bar ran out of beer daily. By the last day there was only one beer on tap. The happy hour beers always ran out but were never reordered for the next day. The pay internet by Global Gossip was horrible. On my last day I was going to do laundry before traveling to my next city but they had no laundry powder.
The location of Nomads is good. Not too many hills to wheel up or down. The aquarium is nice along with the botanic gardens. The Melbourne Art Gallery was exceptional. I would highly recommend The Great Ocean Road Tour.
Accessibility wise Nomads would receive a 2/5 rating.
Lower the mirror in bathroom.
Folding shower chair attached to wall.
Shower needs a nonslip surface on floor.
Install a curtain around the shower.
Extension on window blinds.
Build good ramp that will last or purchase a metal folding ramp for a back up if lift is broken again.
Train staff better.
Wheelchair users looking to stay:
Ask if the lift is fixed before making a reservation.