Another Gluten Free Trip to Grand Palladium Resort in Jamaica

Grand Palladium Jamaica Fruit

We had such a wonderful trip to the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica last year that we decided to go back again this year. I had just finished a busy period at work and it was such a cold winter that I wanted a quick escape to somewhere warm. Based on how busy it was and that we were going with friends who wanted to go to an all-inclusive, we thought it was easier to go back to the same resort as last year. I didn’t have the time to research other options.

My expectations were high considering the amazing service, great food, and lovely resort and grounds last year. Unfortunately, I didn’t find that my stay this year was as good as last year’s.

Don’t get me wrong, we had a great trip with our friends. Gorgeous weather, nice beaches, lots of snorkeling, refreshing pina coladas, and great company. However, it could have been a situation of new management or the fact that the resort has grown more popular and busy, because we encountered more unpleasant staff members than last year. I also found that while the quality of the food was just as high as last year, the service towards me needing to eat gluten free wasn’t quite as good. It didn’t seem like people wanted to help as much as before.

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My Gluten Free Experience at Grand Palladium in Jamaica Part 2

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I had a wonderful vacation as a gluten free guest at Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort and Spa in Jamaica. In part 1 of this series I shared my experience with the great breakfasts Norman prepared for me and the pina coladas I’d order without straws or fruit. Now I want to share my experience eating gluten free at the a la carte restaurants.

Grand Palladium has seven a la carte restaurants. Having many a la carte restaurants was important for me because they have set menus and the chefs are better able to prepare you a meal from start to finish. My hope going into the trip was that I should at least be able to eat well for dinner.

I have to say that the resort’s Guest Relations team made my stay as a gluten free guest much easier. They always let me make dinner reservations, which I really appreciated since it gave me the reassurance that I would be able to eat at an a la carte restaurant each night and avoid the buffet. It was also really convenient since the two restaurants that can best cater to gluten free guests got really busy each night. They also had each restaurants’ menu for on display, which helped me choose where to eat. Immediately, I eliminated going to the Mexican, Asian and Seafood restaurants. Reasons being the Mexican food was made with flour tortillas not traditional corn, I can’t eat soy sauce, and I don’t like seafood, respectively.

Below is a recap of my experience at the a la carte restaurants that I ate at (or attempted to eat at)…

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My Gluten Free Experience at Grand Palladium in Jamaica Part 1


I had an incredible all-inclusive vacation at Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The vacation far surpassed my expectations. The resort was beautiful, the staff was lovely and the food, oh my the food. The food surprised me in so many great ways. The kitchen staff took good care of me so I ate extremely well and never got glutened. The food was fantastic not only for me as a gluten free guest, but Ryan also agreed that he never thought we’d eat such amazing food at an all-inclusive resort. It was such an enjoyable trip and we will definitely be back. I wanted to share my positive experience of eating gluten free at an all-inclusive resort in the hopes of encouraging others to have the confidence to do the same. I think this will take two posts: the first will focus on the buffet breakfast and the drinks, and the second will be about the a la carte dinners.

The morning after we arrived I met with the Food and Beverage Manager to discuss what my dining options would be during my stay. He explained that the most important thing was to make sure that I spoke with the supervisor and head chef at each restaurant, each time that I went there. He said I should carefully explain to the chef what I could and could not eat and they would be able to prepare something separately for me. He cautioned me to remember that I was still in Jamaica so some of the staff would just really want to help and please me by saying “yes” without fully understanding the situation. So it was very important that I always speak with the head chef.

The F&B Manager also provided me with a Celiac Palladium Dietary Card that I would be able to show to the kitchen staff (they didn’t have a soy one though). What’s funny about that card is that sometimes when I would show it to the wait staff while I explained that I needed to speak with the chef, they would look back at the card with terror in their eyes. Thankfully the chefs didn’t feel the same way.

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Preparing for a Gluten Free All-Inclusive Vacation


Let me first say that I have wholeheartedly avoided going to an all-inclusive resort for the past four winters since becoming gluten free.  I mean avoided it like the plague. During the past two winters in a bid to skip out on the cold, we have thought about going to the Caribbean. But after reading many horror stories of fellow gluten free travelers and seeing the price tag at the Sandals resorts where you could eat safely, I always said no. Neither situation seemed worth it to me.

So this winter I once again found myself in the same conundrum, wanting desperately to escape the negative 30 degree weather but not wanting to spend $5,000 on a one week trip when I’d rather go backpacking for a few weeks instead. Then suddenly in the span of less than 24 hours there we were booking an all-inclusive trip to Jamaica. Looking back I am so glad we took the plunge. We went to the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica. My parents and friends have both gone there before to rave reviews. When my parents went two years ago they said the resort offered gluten free menus at the a la carte restaurants. I even found a couple references in an online review board that people with Celiac Disease were able to eat there safely. Plus, in talking with travel agents they said the company is known for being able to accommodate people with food allergies and sensitivities so they thought I would be OK. It sounded promising. Still I was scared.

To help alleviate some of the worry that I still had, I packed a lot of snack foods with me to ensure that I did not go hungry. Some of the essentials I brought that I would also recommend to other people travelling gluten free are…

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Heading to the Beach: My First Gluten Free All-Inclusive Vacation

My suitcase is packed with bathing suits, summer dresses and Lara bars. After a record-setting cold winter in Toronto, I am ready to escape to the sunshine in Jamaica to relax with the sand between my toes. I am going on my first all-inclusive vacation since becoming gluten free.

In the worst case scenario I will be spending the next week eating instant oatmeal, peanut butter and crackers, and the two dozen peanut butter energy bites I just made. I have homemade chocolate chip cookies, gummy bears and chocolate bars to get me through while Ryan is taking seconds at the dessert bar. Seriously, whoever said going to an all-inclusive resort was supposed to be relaxing and stress-free surely does not have a food intolerance or allergies. I’ll be honest, this is the scariest trip I have taken since becoming gluten free.

I’ll be sure to share my experience staying at an all-inclusive resort, be they good or bad. My aspiration is that by sharing my experience it will help provide tips and encouragement to others so that more people with gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease will be able to still enjoy going to all-inclusive resorts like our pre-gluten free days (without spending a fortune).

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