Travelers want inclusive, accessible stays


The Chelsea Hotel Toronto appeals to more travelers by promoting a barrier-free, welcoming experience for everyone.

 1,590 rooms

  Largest Canadian independent hotel 

  45 years in business 

The challenge

The Chelsea Hotel in bustling, downtown Toronto, Canada is committed to excellence in serving its customers. They are proud of the community they are part of and strive to support accessibility, sustainability and inclusivity for all guests. 


They offer an environment that embraces a wide array of backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences. All are welcome at the Chelsea Hotel, and it’s Desha Sampson’s job, as director of Marketing and e-business, to ensure that travelers know this when choosing where to stay in Toronto. 


To help ensure the hotel offers the most barrier free experience to travelers, the Chelsea Hotel conducted a full-scale accessibility assessment of the building and surrounding property. After the assessment, they became the first hotel in Ontario to adopt a Guest Accessibility Package (G.A.P). The G.A.P. is available on check in and helps minimize any potential accessibility barriers. 


The typical package includes everything from emergency evacuation procedures and information about accessible entrances and exits, as well as where to find hotel amenities, activities, and local attractions. The information is available in a variety of formats including print, braille, and electronic text.   


The Chelsea Hotel team also formed a cross-functional committee with colleagues from food and beverage, housekeeping, front desk, guest services, and marketing. This team meets monthly to discuss how best to implement policies and practices that deliver inclusive and accessible stays.

“We pride ourselves on providing an inclusive experience for our guests and we look to align ourselves with partners that share the same values. Expedia Group makes it easy to include our accessibility and inclusivity features and programs in our property amenities.”

Desha Sampson 

Director, Marketing & e-Business 

Chelsea Hotel Toronto 

The solution

The Chelsea Hotel works hard to express its core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equal opportunity in everything they do. They are proud to have been honored with the Accessible Tourism Award by the Travel Industry Association of Ontario. 


Working with Expedia Group, the Chelsea Hotel updated its listing to reflect its commitment to being an inclusive and accessible provider, which helped them achieve a 99% content score, a key factor in driving visibility on the Expedia Group platform. 


This visibility helps them attract a larger share of the millions of travelers with disabilities who spend $95 billion annually on travel [Source: WTO]. 


The Chelsea Hotel is also LGBTQIA friendly as a member of both the World Rainbow Hotels group and the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. The Chelsea Hotel team encourages travelers to take advantage of the freedom and possibilities available in a comfortable location where they can express themselves openly and as who they really are.  


Desha shared that the hotel’s focus on inclusion not only aligns with their values but is also the right way to operate a business. It helps the Chelsea Hotel team gain the trust and affinity of their guests. 


Expedia Group has been a strong partner in helping Desha get the word out about the Chelsea Hotel’s welcoming protocols. She also expressed appreciation for the tools available in Partner Central that help her to contact guests, access real-time market insights and analytics, and easily update property info to keep guests informed.  


The Chelsea Hotel looks forward to creating more opportunities to welcome everyone and continuing to be a leader in accessible hospitality in Toronto.