Vacation Planning for Celiacs: Resorts

Back in the fall, I got an e-mail from a reader who wanted to get married at a resort, but was having trouble finding one that could accommodate the gluten-free diet. While it’s certainly true that more and more places are offering options for gluten-intolerant and food-allergic guests, it’s not always easy to find those spots. Here are some resorts that are ready and able to cater to the gluten-free. Keep in mind that it’s always important to confirm in advance, via telephone or e-mail, that a resort will be able to accommodate you; even in a celiac-friendly kitchen, ingredients may need to be specially ordered before your visit (particularly if you’re staying at a resort in a remote location).

Canyon Ranch: With locations in very different climates — Tucson (Arizona), Lenox (Massachusetts), and Miami Beach (Florida) — Canyon Ranch offers something for everyone, and that includes the gluten-intolerant. While the company does point out that none of its kitchens are completely gluten-free, they are ready and able to take care of gluten-intolerant guests.

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts: When I’ve done the “On the Road With…” interviews, one of the things I’ve noticed is that Hyatt seems to be universally respected for its food allergy awareness and its ability to cook for those on a gluten-free diet. Personally, I’ve found this to be true of Hyatt kitchens in cities across North America, as well as in Santiago, Chile. Oddly, this fact doesn’t seem to be mentioned on the company’s own website.

Sandals Resort Hotels: The company, famous for its all-inclusive Caribbean resorts, doesn’t specifically mention celiac disease on its site, though it does discuss food allergies — which we all know gluten intolerance is often lumped in with. According to Sandals’ website: “You can rest assured that we will work very closely with you and our chef can ensure that the appropriate meals are available. Please provide us with your arrival date and booking number as well as your name and the resort at which you will be vacationing so that arrangements can be made for you to speak with the chef on arrival.”

I’d love to hear about your resort experiences. Please e-mail or comment to let me know which resorts have treated you exceptionally well.

10 thoughts on “Vacation Planning for Celiacs: Resorts

  1. I live in Italy and I’ve travelling to USA with my wife and our 11-year-old son, who is celiac. Could you kindly tell me if there is a hotel in New York and a resort or village in Antigua or St Thomas where gluten free meals are served?
    I thank you for any suggestion you can send to me.
    Best wishes,

  2. We just returned from Sandals Whitehouse Jamaica. While they said they could accommodate a gluten free diet and did have a chef meet me upon arrival- they did an TERRIBLE job!!!! I got contaminated food all week. I was so sick, that I had to go to the nurses station twice. We almost called in the doctor. By the time I arrived home I had ciliac induced bronchitis. The resort gave us a three day voucher for a return trip, but honestly, I was so sick, I would be afraid to return to any Sandals resort!

  3. Sandals in Jamaica & Royal Bahamaian did a terrible job, i was sick at both places, and I also recieved a voucher for a second trip which was the Bahamas trip. I met with a chef prepared my visit in advance and they did not understand food preparation or contamination factors.
    That being said we went on a Beaches( same as Sandals but for family) vacation in Turks. I cannot brag enough about their concern, care and efforts to provide me and my children gluten free meals and snack, and even a care package for the airport trip home. They have won our hearts and trust and we will go back again!

  4. Dear Daphne Oz:
    Thank you for your attention. I’m a specialty diet baker seeking an employment position with a major corporation. May you please inform me if an opportunity
    came to focus. I would be willing to send samples and resume for securing an opportunity.

    Best Regards
    Linda Nehus

  5. We just returned from a week at the Sandals Carlyle – eating there and at Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Carribean. The chef and staff were knowledgeable and gluten-free was no problem at all except in one restaurant (Tokyo Joe’s, where all sauces were forbidden – if you’re on the diet, don’t eat there!). There were at least a couple of gluten-free choices out of half a dozen entrees on most menus, and sometimes more. Appetizers, salads, desserts too. These gluten-free dishes came with the same ingredients those eaten by my companion who isn’t on the diet – no leaving out the good stuff. Wonderful experience!

  6. I will be going to the Sandals Carlyle resort this October and I am celiac. Any further tips or advice you could give me would be GREATLY appreciated. I had them note my allergy upon making my reservation.

  7. Whisper’s Ranch is a B & B in southern AZ that can accommodate most allergies and chemical sensitivities. Our owner/chef herself has multiple food allergies and operates a small vegan allergy-free food business called Sparky’s Cantina. The B & B serves breakfast tailored to guests needs, and can also provide box lunches and sit-down dinners. Our GF/V onsite bakery is almost completed also! see us at

  8. Zarzuela Pastry, one of the few Certified by APC (Celiacs Portuguese Association) in Lisbon

    Zarzuela’s Pastry, has born 48 years ago in Cais do Sodré, located in Lisbon riverside area, place of history and antiqueness. With own manufacturing and traditional receipt, reveals every day the most warm and distinct flavors for all who dare to enter Zarzuela’s Doors.

    Recently we dedicated the production of light products, dietary, glute free, lactose free, etc.
    An excellent New, is the recent Zarzuela’s Certification by APC (Celiacs Portuguese Association), with the “Seal of Quality”, for the manufacturing of Free Gluten products. This is a essential place to continue appreciating with all the flavor and none of the risks.

    We produce dietetic products, which means without sugar (substituted per Stevia sweeteners or others), gluten free, integral flour or mixtures with less carbohydrate with fat reduction, etc.

    Zarzuela Pastry offers a range of celiac products without “gluten” since pastry, bread, ice creams, snacks, hamburgers and meals. All are “allergy friendly”.

    Zarzuela has thus been providing a whole range of products suitable for everyone, ranging from traditional products to dietary products, gluten and lactose, bearing in mind the distinctive flavors and aromas of the National Confectionery.

    Best regards

    Pastelaria Zarzuela
    Rua Bernardino Costa 21-23
    (Between the Cais Sodré and the Praça do Comercio, the extending from Ruado Arsenal)
    1200-052 Lisboa
    Tel. 00351 213 426 263
    Tel 00351 934974811

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