May 03 2016
Written by GlutenfreeSingles Co-owner Marcella Romaya
Living the gluten-free lifestyle can be a challenge even on your home turf; now imagine how hard it is when youâ€™re in a strange place, donâ€™t know any of the local restaurants, and may not even be able to translate the menu! For someone like me who lives with celiac disease, going on vacation is like skinny dipping with sharks!
Thatâ€™s why I was so thrilled when Lesley Hock, an amazing travel agent, invited me on a five-day trip to an all-inclusive, gluten-free resort in Cancun, Mexico. Imagine, a vacation where I didnâ€™t have to worry about accidentally eating gluten and spending my time abroad curled in the fetal position on the bathroom floor. Plus, Cancun! I told Leslie to sign me up.
My Trip to a Gluten-Free Resort
My destination was the El Dorado Royale Resort, which was every bit as beautiful as
you would imagine a Cancun destination to be. The resort sits right on the beach, so you can catch a tan next to the crashing waves. Unfortunately there are concrete barriers next to shore, which makes swimming difficult. They are building the worldâ€™s largest artificial reef in Mexico to restore valuable habitat for marine life. I didnâ€™t let that stop me from having fun! You can also enjoy a dip in the pool and swim your way up to a poolside bar and ask for a gluten-free cocktail.
My favorite amenities, however, were the meals, amazing presentations from all eleven restaurants, and excellent service from the staff. On the very first morning of our trip, the gluten-free group met at the Santa Fe Restaurant, where the entire staff and the chef greeted us. All I can say about that incredible breakfast is â€“ Yum!
Leslie kept our group busy throughout the days with a long list of activities. Some of them were typical of a Cancun vacation, like pool volleyball, garden tours, and my personal favorite â€“ pool-side yoga. Other activities were tailored to our group, including private gluten-free cooking demonstrations and gluten-free cocktail events.
I got to work on my tan and learn some nifty new gluten-free recipes. Pretty cool!
Meeting a Gluten-Free Superstar
The very best part of my trip was the opportunity to meet Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD, Founder and Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also the author of the book, Gluten Freedom. I attended a private dinner event where Dr. Fasano spoke and then met with him one-on-one for a consultation about my gluten-free lifestyle. I learned a lot!
Ready For Your Gluten-Free Trip?
If you are like me and often feel so worried about traveling that you wonder if itâ€™s even worth doing, then consider taking a gluten-free vacation at El Dorado Resort. Shoot an email to my friend Lesley Hock at Travel Leaders at email@example.com, and she will give you some great trip ideas.
Donate to find a cure
Finally, if you are interested in supporting Dr. Fasanoâ€™s efforts at the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, you can make a donation at: https://secure.massgeneral.org/celiac-center#.Vt8bWJMrKYU.
*Please be cautious when traveling to Mexico; always go with a group when leaving the resort.
*Please read El Dorado Resort reviews before booking a vacation at the resort.