www.enablemytrip.com - Enable My Trip

A Directory of Accessible Holidays
and Travel Services

Accommodation With Pool Hoists

Swimming Pool Hoists 

Sadly many properties still have no provision for the less able traveller to get in and out of the swimming pool safely and with dignity. They may offer disabled washrooms and changing facilities, but little in the way of safe access into the pool for wheelchair dependent travellers. However Enable My Trip offer a selection of accommodation types where pool hoists are available.

Pool at Elara Hilton Las VegasGreat strides have been made by Ilunion Hotels in Spain,  who have really taken the pool accessibility challenge seriously. Most hotels in North America have to provide pool hoists to confirm to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements . Examples of specialist hotels like Maison de Landes (Channel Islands - Jersey), Seehotel Rheinsburg (Germany) and the Mar Y Sol (Canary Islands - Spain) offer pool hoists and other aids as a matter of course.

More and more accommodation establishments are adding some provision by the way of fixed or mobile pool hoists,  but the industry is only touching the tip of the iceberg, with many hotel groups not offering a single property where pool hoists are installed. If you can seek out an establishment owned or operated by someone with a personal knowledge or experience of disability, then at times, this may be the best option. 

The Chair Type: Every ability is different, and there can be any number of alternative pool hoists available to you when staying in different venues. For example, some may have seats attached (with or without arms) which are fine for those with good trunk control, but a bit challenging for those without.  These are normally very good for those who can transfer from their wheelchair onto the seat or those who need hoisting who have good trunk control and are not in danger of tipping off the seat. Most of these types of hoist come with additional strapping for safety. Some establishments offer moveable versions which can also be used for spas and hot tubs.

Pool with Ceiling Track HoistCeiling Track Versions : These are generally used in conjunction with a patient sling so that the user can be hoisted directly from their wheelchair into the pool. The benchmark system is where the tracking goes from bedroom and/or bathroom into the pool area without the need for double and sometimes triple transfers. Some ceiling track spreader bars can accommodate a suspended chair for those able to use this kind of seating. The ceiling track pool hoist offers the user the option to stay in their sling, attached to the hoist, should needs demand, or for  security and safety.

Interchangeable with Seat and Hoist : These systems are designed to offer the user the option of the fixed seat or a spreader bar on which to secure a hoist. These are at fixed points.

Beware: Words of caution! The trustees at Enable My Trip have encountered some challenges over the years when it comes to the usability of hoists -

  • Chair Type hoist on some cruise ships which only allows the user to enter the pool at the deepest point normally 5' 9" deep (about 1.75m). This is absolutely useless for a non swimmer or those who need assistance into and whilst in, the swimming pool.

Cruise Ship 'Legend of the Seas'

  • Chair Type hoist on some cruise ships which only allows the user to enter the pool at very edge, (normally about 1'6" deep (about 0.5m) - ok for those who can then walk or drag themselves into the pool!


  • Lack of Training or Maintenance : where the hoist is not regularly serviced, and once sourced from storage is erected, only to find that the hydraulic rubber hoses are so perished that the hoist is inoperable. Another excuse has been 'parts are on order' or that ' no-one is here who is trained to operate it'.

The best advice we can give is to get confirmation before you leave home that everything is suitable and serviceable.