I’m so excited to share this post with you! When Erik and I decided we wanted to have a destination wedding, my biggest concern was me having Celiac Disease and needing somewhere that was truly safe when it comes to gluten free. Trust me, I know how everywhere and everyone is “gluten free friendly” nowadays…. no people…”gluten free friendly”? What the heck is that? The phrase I like to hear is “Celiac safe” then at least I know they know my gluten free diet is NOT a fad!
Before we even committed to a destination wedding, I spent hours…days…weeks researching places we could have it where I felt confident they could accommodate me. At first we were leaning towards Hawaii and getting a villa for us with a kitchen, so I could cook and bring food with me everywhere we went. But then I thought… do I really want to cook on our wedding/honeymoon…especially when everyone else is eating out!? Not really!
Then I came across multiple websites, reviews, comments, etc that recommended Sandals Resorts as being highly knowledgeable and accommodating towards all dietary restrictions. Being the crazy girl that I am, I literally called the Sandals 800-number probably 10 times (maybe or maybe not pretending to be different people each time!) asking and drilling them on gluten free. Every single person I spoke to was VERY knowledgeable and would always ask “are you Celiac?”. Not only did they know about Celiac, but they would explain to me the precautions they take regarding cross-contamination. I’m extremely sensitive when it comes to getting sick, and I really felt confident enough to book Sandals Royal Bahamian for our destination wedding!
Once our trip was booked, I called the resort and wanted them to put a note on our reservation that I was gluten free, which they gladly did. They also informed me to email food services 30 days prior to arrival to let them know. After emailing them, someone promptly responded even going as far to asking what types of food I like and dislike. They also notified me that I would be having a meeting with the food concierge upon check-in.
When we checked-in, I reminded them I was gluten free and they already had a meeting set up for me with the food concierge. The gal I met with was so sweet and helpful. She was very informed on Celiac and understood the importance of cross-contamination. She told me which restaurants I should eat at and which ones not to. Out of the ten restaurants on property, she just advised me to not eat at two!
When I went to my room, this packet (pic shown above) was delivered under the door! It had each restaurant in it stating what I can and cannot eat, including alcohol!
Each morning I ate at “Spices” where they have a breakfast buffet. The first day I was a little nervous about the buffet, so I asked to speak with the manager. The head chef, Shakira, came out to meet me. She was the sweetest person ever! Shakira told me to go there everyday for breakfast and lunch and she would personally make something for me. She even went as far as bringing new pots and pans to my table to show me that gluten had never touched them! Every morning, she would come find me and ask what I wanted.
My favorite was the vegetable egg-white omelet with a side of potatoes!
Everyday I ate at “Spices” for lunch and Shakira would make me a chicken salad (upon my request). I liked to have a salad for lunch, so I could pig-out for dinner!
Each day after I ate lunch, Shakira would bring me bags of chips, crackers and cookies to take with me down to the beach (I never once asked for those, she just brought them)!
Down by the beach, my drink of choice was a mojito! They told me to ask for one minus simple syrup (due to gluten).
For dinner we ate at multiple restaurants. At each restaurant the server would start by asking if “anyone has dietary restrictions”. I loved this since normally I have to call over the server and explain my situation to them, and then they look annoyed! This was NEVER the case! As soon as I told them I have Celiac, the head chef would ALWAYS come over to meet me and ask what I like to eat. I always told them, as long as it’s gluten free…surprise me!
The first night we ate at “Casanova” which is an Italian restaurant. I was a little nervous since there are so many chances of cross-contamination with all the pasta and bread. The head chef asked me to get up and follow him (I didn’t even ask!) and he took me in the kitchen and showed me a brand new pot and cutting board, with a box of unopened gluten free pasta next to it.
I had lamb over pasta, hands down my favorite meal of the trip!
Delicious chocolate cake!
Spinach Salad (that’s even gluten free bread you see in the basket!)
Roasted chicken stuffed with crab mousse at our rehearsal dinner!
At our wedding I had macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi, which was incredible! Sorry I forgot to take a picture (busy enjoying my wedding!) 🙂
This was Caribbean fish and vegetables at the restaurant “Stewfish” on the offshore private island.
I loved the pasta and lamb so much, that we went back to “Casanova” and this time the chef made it with tomato sauce. Yum!!
Level of Service with Gluten Free:
I travel a lot, and I have NEVER experienced the level of service I had at Sandals. I often feel like a burden with my gluten free diet, which I never once felt. They went above and beyond to not only make me feel at ease, but also made me delicious food! I’m used to eating a plain salad or steamed vegetables and meat with no seasonings/flavor. This was NOT the case at Sandals! Literally after each meal I would say “that was the best gluten free meal I’ve ever had eating out”… it became a joke since they all were so good!
-Upon arrival they had a meeting set up for me with the food concierge.
-A gluten free packet list was delivered to my room.
-The staff was incredible, they all even knew my name!
-The head chef from each restaurant came out each time to meet and assure me (even showing me pots and pans…without me asking).
-Shakira (head chef at “Spices”) went above and beyond- she even brought me gf goodies to snack on for our flight home!
-I never once felt worried that they didn’t know what they were doing regarding gluten free.
–I never got sick once in 10 days!!!
They told me all of their Sandals and Beaches (family resorts) are equally knowledgeable regarding dietary restrictions. I know I’ve gone on and on about this… but it’s a huge deal because I literally always get sick! If you have any type of dietary restrictions, I HIGHLY recommend a Sandals or Beaches Resort!
**I did not get paid for this post, everything is 100% my own opinions based off my experience at the Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island.