5 Best ASD-Friendly Hotels and Cruises in Asia

Make family holidays easier with sensory-friendly accommodations for children with ASD.

ZAMBAWOOD

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It's possible to enjoy a family vacation without stressing over the well-being of children on the spectrum. ASD-friendly hotels and resorts take into account the unique sensory experiences of hotel guests with autism and offer designated quiet areas, rooms with adjustable lighting, and sensory-friendly amenities like weighted blankets, sensory toys, and noise-cancelling headphones. Some are even located far from the hustle and bustle of busy streets, ensuring a peaceful and calming atmosphere.

Dina Farmer, founder of Spectrum Getaways and a certified autism travel advisor, also emphasizes the crucial role of accommodating staff. "If we know one thing about autistic people, it's that they aren't a monolith, and no one has the same needs to accommodate,” she says. “Often what makes or breaks a vacation is the staff's willingness to understand and support you.”

Even without an IBCCES Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) certification, these ASD-friendly hotels and resorts recommended by Optism can help guests with special needs and their families have a wonderful and memorable holiday experience.

Tokyo Disney Hotels 

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Disney Resorts includes Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and four themed hotels. 

ASD families visiting the theme parks can make use of the Disability Access Service (disability certificate required) for certain attractions and Disney Character greetings. The comprehensive information book for guests with special needs provides valuable details about the attractions, such as the special effects used, so parents can plan ahead.

Each hotel has a website that lists its facilities, floor plan, and services. You can also view their restaurants, menus, special events, and an image gallery of the guest rooms, facilities, restaurants, and more.

Address: Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan (exact address varies for each hotel)
Telephone: +81-50-3090-2743 (not toll-free)
Booking Link: https://reserve.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/

DISNEY
DISNEY
DISNEY
Photos from Tokyo Disney Resorts.

Zambawood 

Zambales, Philippines

Situated in the beautiful coastal town of San Narciso in Zambales, Philippines, Zambawood is a 24-hectare ranch estate owned by Rachel Harrison, who was inspired by her autistic son Julyan to build a truly inclusive vacation venue that offers a quiet respite for families with diverse needs. 

Guests can rent out the entire resort house, which comes with chefs and butlers; individual rooms at the beachfront Julyan’s Surf B&B, or pitch a tent at the camp site. The property is now managed by Julyan, who also tends to the farm at the estate.

Address: Fernandez Compound, Purok 1b, Brgy La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales 2205,
Philippines
Telephone: +63 915 991 4715
Email: info@zambawood.com

ZAMBAWOOD
ZAMBAWOOD
ZAMBAWOOD
Photos from Zambawood.

The Kimberly Hotel Tagaytay 

Tagaytay, Philippines

The Kimberly Hotel Tagaytay, located in a popular scenic holiday town south of Manila, offers large and comfortable guest rooms as well as a range of facilities suitable for ASD families. 

Guests enjoy full access to a spacious open farm where they can feed animals, ride horses, and explore vegetable gardens. The hotel also boasts three heated swimming pools, water slides, an outdoor playground, and an air-conditioned game room. There are plenty of quiet spots throughout the two-hectare property where guests can relax and recharge in case of sensory overload. 

A daily schedule of activities, including a bonfire with marshmallows and movie night under the stars, is conveniently posted in the lobby and most don’t require prior booking. 

Address: Crisanto M. Delos Reyes Ave formerly Amadeo road Brgy. Kaybagal North Tagaytay
City, Philippines
Telephone: (046) 483 8888 | +63 2 8521 1888
Email: reservations@hotelkimberly.com

KIMBERLY
KIMBERLY
KIMBERLY
Photos from Kimberly Hotel Tagaytay.
Dina says, “It appears to me that the Philippines is currently doing the most in support for autistic travelers and other countries in Asia are slowly following suit.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong 

Hong Kong, China

Atop the tallest building in Hong Kong, the Ritz-Carlton has a calming ambience with dark-hued interiors illuminated with natural light from its floor-to-ceiling windows or soft lighting.

The luxury hotel prides itself on personalized service that anticipates and fulfills the needs of all their guests, so parents can reach out to the hotel to discuss special arrangements to ensure a seamless and enjoyable stay. 

Private or semi-private dining areas and tables at quieter parts of the hotel’s restaurants may also be arranged in advance. The hotel is connected to the high-end Elements Mall, and it’s only a 15-minute walk to the West Kowloon Cultural District, where kids and adults can enjoy outdoor fun along the harborfront. 

Address: International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Telephone: +852 2263 2263
Email: rc.hkgkw.reservations@ritzcarlton.com

RITZ
RITZ
RITZ
Photos from The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.

Royal Caribbean Cruise 

Aside from hotels and resorts, ASD-friendly cruise ships can be a wonderful alternative for ASD families. Royal Caribbean Cruise provides ASD-friendly features on all of its cruises, including its Asia fleet. 

Guests with special needs enjoy priority check-in, boarding, and departure. Designed for children ages 3 to 11, the Adventure Ocean kids program (subject to availability) offers activities led by trained staff. ASD-friendly films are screened in a low-light and low-volume environment, and guests can borrow ASD-friendly toys. Before and during their trip, parents can go through the Cruising Social Story booklet with their ASD children to help them with what to expect.

Telephone: +65 6675 0416 (APAC; WhatsApp only) | +852 3189 3201 (Hong Kong)
Email: APACRes@rcclapac.com (APAC) | hkdirectinfo@rcclapac.com (Hong Kong)

CARIBBEAN
Photo from Royal Caribbean Cruise.