I've traveled to quite a few places before in my 18 years of living but you'd be surprised to know that I haven't traveled to many places since going gluten-free. Sure, traveling around the U.S. is already considered hard enough as a celiac. But traveling to a country where people speak very little English is even harder. This past week my mom and now step-dad got married in Punta Cana as what I would call one of the most fun weeks of my life. The destination was perfect, the friends and family there was perfect, the entertainment was perfect. But when you're celiac, there's one thing that may matter to you most out of all when you travel. The food. Most of the time the food was amazing and I felt 100% safe! But other times I was left searching for food, feeling like I didn't have many options. By the end of the trip I learned that it's all about where you dine rather than the resort itself. That's why I'm here to help you know how to have a gluten-free paradise at the Hard Rock Punta Cana Hotel.
As I said before, my wonderful parents were finally getting married after their 9 years of being together. I already viewed my step-dad as my actual father and of course my mom is my mother. So really for me, it's been like they've been married all along. None the less, it still wasn't official yet and Punta Cana with all of our friends and family was the perfect destination to do so. We spent a whole week there with 10+ people and had fun at the beach, gambling in the casinos, and relaxing by the pool side. All in all, it was an amazing vacation and an even better wedding for both my mom and step-dad.
|The Bachelor's Party|
|JR & I at the Casino|
I was surprised to see that the food options available were actually very great. The buffet seemed to be the most gluten-friendly spot to get something to eat since most of the food was naturally gluten-free. Many of the restaurants had gluten-free options as well but it mostly consisted of meats, vegetables, and fruits.
The best restaurants to go to:
- Los Gallos (Mexican style food)
- The Market (Great for breakfast)
- Toro (Steakhouse with lots of options)
- Zen (Japanese steak house that is very accommodating)
All these restaurants were a lot better to go to compared to getting room service. You won't have much luck with the room service food but these options can be a lot better. The buffet at each restaurant is all inclusive before you order you meal and is filled with tons of naturally gluten-free options. Also important to note for adults, they have Tito's Vodka which is 100% gluten-free and safe. Based on our week, you will have plenty of all inclusive gluten-free options to choose from during your stay.
I will admit that this was the most difficult part on the trip. Not many of the hotel employees spoke much English or even knew about gluten for that matter. This made it very hard to explain what allergies I had to avoid at times but it didn't end up being that big of a problem due to the many options available. If you're looking to get food specially made for you to accommodate your allergies, I will admit that this hotel was not very good at doing so. I think that it's best to stick to the foods that you know are safe and at least ask about the ingredients in whatever you are ordering to help.
The hospitality was not an area that I was concerned about. To be honest, they went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed and relaxed while we enjoyed our vacation. This resort is all inclusive which means endless food, alcohol, drinks, and much more that's all on the house. Our entire party has been to many high end resorts before and we all agreed that the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana was one of the best that we had ever been to.
Overall, the Hardrock Hotel in Punta Cana is a pretty great spot to spend a vacation. You shouldn't expect this place to accommodate to every one of your allergy needs. However, a lot of the options here are naturally gluten-free and free of most allergens. You shouldn't have a problem finding food and I guarantee a vacation here would be one of the most memorable of your lives. It's definitely a vacation I will never forget so if you're heading to Punta Cana, I recommend you stay there too.
How has your experience been when going on a gluten-free vacation? Where did you go? Comment below!