Wondering which are the best all-inclusive vacations for celiacs or those who follow a gluten-free diet? Look no further - I've got you covered for your next getaway.
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Disclaimer: I have not personally stayed at all of the places listed here nor can I speak to those left in the comments section. However, I have researched every one and included links to their websites. I also polled my audience, fellow gluten-free friends, TripAdvisor, and Facebook Groups to get recommendations from other travelers with celiac disease. These are the places that came up time and time again. Please make sure to do your own due diligence and double-check these places work for your diet and your needs. Resorts can change.
Also, please make sure to scroll to the comments section to see what other destinations have been recommended by readers!
The Best All-Inclusive Vacations For People With Celiac Disease
- The Best All-Inclusive Vacations For People With Celiac Disease
- Why An All Inclusive Resort Is Appealing
- Tips for Visiting An All-Inclusive Resort With Celiac
- Top All-Inclusive Vacations for Celiacs & Gluten-Free Diets
- Another Resort To Consider: Le Blanc Los Cabos
- Celiac Vacation Ideas
- Looking for more posts on traveling with celiac?
Why An All Inclusive Resort Is Appealing
All inclusive resorts are very appealing for travelers. You can go to one place and have everything right there - your activities, your food, your accommodations, and not have to leave.
But it's a little bit trickier when you have celiac disease.
Unfortunately, you're going to find that the presence of 100% gluten-free all inclusive resorts is, in fact, rare. Some resorts will be well-known as being better than others, but for the most part, you're going to want to focus on having a solid strategy for visiting an all inclusive with celiac disease, so you are prepared and can avoid getting sick.
Tips for Visiting An All-Inclusive Resort With Celiac
As I mentioned, all-inclusive resorts are very popular among couples and families with children, but not always easy when you have celiac, your partner has celiac, or your child has celiac disease. And while I absolutely want a worry-free and gluten-free experience for you, you should know it's going to take some extra preparation work.
Here are my top suggestions when booking a vacation with an all inclusive resort:
- First, if you feel compelled to, ask around in Facebook Groups for recommendations. I moderate the Facebook Group called Gluten-Free Travel Around The World, and I can't tell you how many questions we get from people asking for resort recommendations and personal experiences from other celiacs. Search the archives for specific resorts or places if you are curious. You can also check this Facebook group: Celiac Beach All Inclusive Reviews.
- Contact the resort to ask questions before you book. Make sure you have a clear understanding of their protocols. Once booking, make sure celiac/food allergy is noted in the reservation. Like airline meals, make sure to call a few weeks before your arrival to confirm, and then again when your vacation date appraoches. When you arrive, speak to the concierge. Be proactive so that when you finally arrive to the resort you can relax a bit.
- Determine what you room situation will be. Will you have a refrigerator? A microwave? Kitchenette? This will help you know what to pack for snacks and easy meals. You'll want easy, quick meals you can prep with limited kitchen appliances, and also snacks for excursions and travel days.
- Bring a translated dining card if your destination speaks another language. As a former Spanish teacher, I recommend those from Legal Nomads or Equal Eats, which mention ingredients, preparation, and are translated by locals.
- Make friends with a server. If you're dining in the same restaurant every night (probably the one with the most GF options), befriend a server, or try to sit in their area every time for consistency and less margin of error.
- Bring emergency supplies just in case. Whatever you need to feel better if you get sick, either from gluten, traveling, or anything else. Be prepared!
- Plan for extra time for your meals. Often, all inclusive resorts, cruises, and other types of vacations that can prepare special meals will need additional time to clean the kitchen and prepare your food. Be prepared for this so you don't get hangry sitting by the pool waiting for a sandwich!
Top All-Inclusive Vacations for Celiacs & Gluten-Free Diets
Beaches & Sandals
Beaches and Sandals resorts are well-known in celiac and allergy-free community for being extremely committed and dedicated to their guests with food restrictions. They have a concierge service that will help you plan your meals 24 hours in advance to ensure you have safe options that are prepared carefully. With multiple restaurants on-site at their resort properties, this gives them the chance to plan your food and prepare it safely.
Please note: Sandals is exclusively a couples-only resort. Beaches is kid-friendly.
"Once your booking has been completed, send an email to [email protected] with your booking number in the subject line. A representative will assist you, provide you with alternative menus and liaise with the resort on your behalf. Arrangements can be made for you to speak with the Head Chef upon arrival."
Beaches has locations in Turks and Caicos and Jamaica. Sandals has locations in Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, and Curacao. My friend Courtney from Simple Adventurous Life has had a very positive experience in Sandals Jamaica with Celiac Disease. She shares about it in this post here.
Arenas del Mar Costa Rica
Arenas del Mar is a luxury beach resort on Manuel Antonio Beach in Costa Rica. what's not to love about a 5-star resort on the beach!? They've been featured in some of the top travel magazines and websites and are also well-known for their Certified Gluten-Free Dining Program since 2014.
From their website:
"The kitchen and dining room staff of both our restaurants are fully certified by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). A first for a resort in Central and South America."
"For our menus, we consulted with Monica Glass, a top US pastry chef who has celiac disease. We welcomed celiac bloggers to our hotel to share their experiences too."
Multiple reviews on TripAdvisor attest to their dedication to food allergies and offering a variety of gluten-free choices. A friend of mine, Sam, of Glute-Free Reality, who also has celiac disease recently spent her honeymoon here! You can follow her on Instagram to read about her experience.
Another Resort To Consider: Le Blanc Los Cabos
My friend Taylor of That's So Celiac shares her experience here of what it was like visiting Le Blanc Los Cabos on her blog. Definitely a worthwhile read for a personalized recommendation from a fellow celiac, and someone I admire and trust! Click here to read it!
Celiac Cruise had its first inaugural cruise in 2019, just before the pandemic, and has now grown to offer gluten-free and celiac safe cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe! They partner with cruise ships and companies like Royal Caribbean and Amawaterways (Both are great for food allergies & celiac, if you want to book through them independently) and offer a 100% dedicated gluten-free kitchen & dining area, along with extra perks and partnerships with gluten-free brands.
I went on the 2022 5-Day Caribbean sailing of the Celiac Cruise and had an absolutely wonderful time. It was a true pleasure to feel normal and not have to explain myself to ANYBODY for my meals. And the food was delicious!
Celiac Vacation Ideas
Vacation Ideas For Celiacs!
To get you inspired for traveling with celiac disease, here are some destinations, venues, and companies that can give you that "all inclusive" type experience - meaning you don't have to worry about your food. And with celiac disease, that's such a wonderful treat, right?
For couples: The Inn Berlin, Maryland
The Inn Berlin is a beautiful bed and breakfast in Berlin, Maryland that's also 100% gluten-free. The innkeeper and owner, Maya, has celiac disease, and takes fantastic care of her guests, creating scrumptious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners all gluten-free.
Dylan and I were invited to stay at The Inn Berlin for our 5 years anniversary in July of 2021. With its stunning rooms, unique history, adorable town of Berlin just a walk away, and all the gluten-free food, you can't go wrong here. It's the perfect place for a romantic gluten-free getaway! Learn more about the Inn's gluten-free policy right here.
Please note: The Inn does not allow children under the age of ten. Please check their FAQ page for more information.
For solo travelers: Zaney Travel, Costa Rica
Zaney Travel is a travel company offering private tours throughout Costa Rica for visitors with celiac disease. The owner, Zane Greathouse, has celiac himself. I was invited to visit Costa Rica with Zaney Travel in November of 2021 and had a fantastic experience without any issue. The tour is in small groups and it's easy to make friends with the Costa Rican staff, who are super friendly, and your fellow travelers.
Zaney Travel personally vets all of the restaurants where you dine and the staff takes care of everything on your behalf, including translations, going into the kitchen, buying snacks, and advocating for your needs in hotels. Plus, with gorgeous hotels, epic sunsets, amazing wildlife, and excursions to coffee and chocolate farms, it's definitely something that should be on your bucket list. Read about Zaney Travel's commitment to celiac travelers on their website here.
For Families: Disney (Florida & California)
If you're traveling with kids, consider Disneyworld or Disneyland. Multiple families have reported positive experiences traveling with celiac disease to Disney. Even when I was visiting Disney after college (almost ten years ago) I didn't have any issues. To this day, it's still a wonderful option where cross contact, allergies, and celiac are taken seriously and they have MANY options to accommodate you.
For more information about Disney and food allergies, visit this page.
My friend Leslie of Gluten-Free Finds PA shared her experience visiting Disneyland with her son Jax (who has celiac) last year on her Instagram story highlights. Be sure to check out Alexis GF Adventures who is a travel planner with an entire blog full of Disney & gluten-free related travel info!
Those are my top recommendations for the best all-inclusive vacations for celiacs & gluten-free folks! I'll continue to update this list with more information and recommendations in the future. Please remember to check the comments to see if any other travelers have shared their experiences.
Looking for more posts on traveling with celiac?
Have you ever visited an all-inclusive resort with celiac disease?
What is your favorite all-inclusive vacation for celiacs?
Let me know in the comments!