For most people, vacation is a time when to-do lists are put on hold and diets go out the window. Stress in all its forms should, ideally, be entirely absent from your getaway. Yet, for some people who live with serious food allergies, spending time away from a known sanitized kitchen and pantry of gluten-free snacks can create more anxiety than the regular home routine. Luckily, a handful of well-known hotel chains cater to customers with food allergies. Here’s a list of some of our favorite hotels that accommodate food allergies.
With locations in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Spain, and Brazil, the Palladium hotels recently expanded their dining options to more fully accommodate guests with dietary restrictions and make vacationing truly a relaxing experience for all guests. Chefs and staff in the Palladium kitchens have been professionally trained in the preparation of specialized diets, such as gluten-free and peanut-free eats. Guests are even given a color-coded bilingual food allergy card upon check-in to show waiters. In addition, buffet items are color-coded to show which foods contain which specific allergens.
Considered by some to hold the “gold standard” stamp of food allergy friendly lodging, Great Wolf Lodge (with 12 locations across the country and 1 in Canada) is an indoor water resort that’s perfect for family fun. Efforts to make the lodges food allergy friendly were spearheaded by Chris Hammond, the Corporate Director of Food and Beverage for the water park chain. According to him, there are no nuts on the premises: “We don’t have nuts in our recipes. Getting rid of nuts was a huge step for us. We just found other items to replace them with or we simply went without.” In addition, all fryers used in lodge restaurants are naturally gluten-free, so guests don’t have to worry about cross-contamination. There’s plenty of pre-packaged allergen-free items available for purchase as well, including the popular gluten-free Enjoy Life products.
Whether you eat gluten-free or actively avoid peanuts, the restaurants at internationally located Four Seasons Resorts will create individualized meals that keep you satiated and safe. For example, at the Four Seasons in Maui at Wailea, Julie Nolan, diet guru on staff, ensures that guests can safely (and deliciously!) navigate the resorts’ restaurant menus. Ensuring guest experience is high-quality is the resort’s top priority. All restaurants offer a Wellness Menu, which clearly identifies which items are gluten-free.
Staff and Hilton hotels are knowledgeable and well-versed in crafting exceptional dining options for guests with food allergies. All menus indicate the specific menu items at their restaurants that contain nuts and are gluten-free. In addition, many Hilton hotels have PURE allergy-friendly rooms, which are rooms that offer a more thorough cleaning and state-of-the-art air filtration experience. While these rooms aren’t necessarily targeted at removing food allergy threats, the reassurance of an exceptionally cleaned room is always a stress-reducer for people with dietary restrictions.
Chefs at Disney resorts have long been known to offer delicious food-allergy friendly accommodations for guests. Many restaurants now provide allergy-friendly menus that address food intolerances and allergies, even without advance communication with staff. Table-service options, buffet options, and quick-service dining options in the Disney parks all have options and alternatives for diners with food allergies. Letting restaurants know your dietary needs ahead of time is always a safe bet to ensure you and your whole family have a positively unforgettable dining experience at Disney!
We highly recommend calling your hotel (and any restaurants where you have reservations) in advance to inform them of your food allergy. This gives the hotel staff ample time to ensure your room is thoroughly cleaned and restaurants additional reminders to steer clear of gluten or peanuts.
And, of course, if you have a Nima don’t forget to pack it in your carry on! It’s a good way to test airplane food (or double check hotel food) to give you that extra peace of mind.
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