Travelling with a well-known disabled man like Stephen Hawking, despite the fact that he is almost completely paralysed, is far easier travelling with anyone else with a disability.
Why? Because his hosts in each country generally arrange for him to stay at the best hotels in the city, which are of course generally better in terms of accessibility, facilities and language skills. Because his name opens doors, literally - hotels such as the Villa del Rio in Chile and the Explora Easter Island widened doors and fitted extra ramps because they knew he was coming, and other places have even installed or renovated lifts.
And because, importantly, Stephen Hawking is confident enough to stand up for his rights - if he has a bad experience, he has no qualms about letting the management know. After a night(mare) of electricity problems and needless hassle at the Randolph in Oxford, he complained publicly and refused to pay for that night.
The moral of the story: money, fame and confidence are the key to finding accessible hotels.
It's a different story if you're an unknown disabled traveller on a budget, without the strings to pull to sort your access out in advance. That's when the difference between hotels in the US and hotels outside of the US really becomes apparent.
Outside the US, the disabled traveller is something different, an exception that requires 'special' arrangements. In most hotels within the US, in contrast, it is absolutely normal for there to be rooms, lifts and facilities designed for mobility, hearing or visually impaired guests. No 'special' arrangements need to be made.
The reason I can't remember what the access is like at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando (where the above photo was taken) or any of the other US hotels at which we've stayed, is that there are rarely any problems. And that's the way it should be.