Sawgrass Marriott: A Worry-Free Trip with a Child with Autism

Larry Celzo is used to working around challenges when traveling with his son, who is on the autism spectrum. A recent stay at Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, was a different experience for Larry and his family.

The Sawgrass Marriott has earned the title of Certified Autism Center from IBCCES, which means their facility has made various accommodations for people on the autism spectrum and their staff has received specialized, research-based autism training. More families are seeking out trained and certified travel destinations to ensure they have the best possible experience, particularly when traveling with individuals with special needs or sensory sensitivities.

Below is the unedited feedback we received from Larry after his visit to the Sawgrass Marriott. It’s clear that training and certification make a world of difference for the guest experience:

Larry Celzo’s Review of the Sawgrass Marriott:

“It was great to make memories with a family experience this weekend at the Sawgrass Marriott, who truly reflected an environment of being autism friendly.

My son, who is on the autism spectrum, had such a great time while his little brother and I felt at total ease with the staff we interacted with. I was thankful for the nearby chairs for my son to relax in while being in close proximity to me as I checked us in with the front lobby staff who provided us with the utmost in customer service.

We parked within a very short walking distance to the door of our villa and were greeted by a personalized spread of premium snacks and drinks! We were within a short and very scenic walking distance to the resort’s restaurants.

The surroundings of our nature walk were very tranquil and peaceful, perfect for my son to acclimate to his sensory needs.

We experienced breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the resort with a top notch experience. The hostess and chef at Vernon’s Restaurant were so engaged with us as if we were part of their family. My son with autism enjoyed the surrounding amenities including the outside ping pong table and oversized Connect Four game! It was during this trip we learned he liked and learned how to play ping pong!

My son was filled with a sense of calmness and relaxation as his little brother and I enjoyed some quality time with him sitting around the fire pit with a backdrop of some of the most amazing views of Mother Nature.

My son’s little brother also enjoyed the experience as well. A quote from him: “Sawgrass Marriott Resort was one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in. Everyone was so friendly, and the food was a 10 out of 10! I am really looking forward to having another great experience and checking out Chef Mama T’s Sunday Brunch again at Vernon’s Restaurant!”

I would certainly recommend the Sawgrass Marriott to any family affected by autism for a relaxing getaway vacation where you can be engaged with a staff who understand our day-to-day Autistic lifestyles.”


Larry Celzo

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