For those on a special diet, do you find it incredibly difficult to find the right foods to eat while you’re traveling?
Whether it’s people who are strict vegetarian or vegan, those who may have Celiac’s disease and must keep a gluten-free diet (which affects 1 out of 133 people!), or perhaps those who are lactose-intolerant and need dairy-free options while on the road, people today have very diverse dietary needs. And now hotels are finally starting to recognize it!
A recent USA Today article highlighted some changes that many hotels are now making, including Omni Hotels & Resorts, which now offers a gluten-free buffet breakfast section at ALL of its properties. Pretty impressive! Kimpton Hotel’s are starting to introduce gluten-free items in their rooms minibars at certain locations of Hotel Palomar (though, who really wants to pay $7 for a bag a pretzels?)
In addition to gluten-free options, Fairmont has created a Lifestyle Cuisine Plus Menu which caters to guests who may be living with diabetes, heart disease, and even options for those on macrobiotic diets. They’re also releasing a lower-calorie kids menu (however, including chicken fingers isn’t very impressive, but I guess it’s a start).
For a few years, Westin (a Starwood property), has boasted their SuperfoodsRx menu, which emphasizes food rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, but doesn’t necessarily promote a healthy diet.
Last month, I was recently in Beverly Hills at another Starwood property, the SLS Hotel, and their minibar had separate “Naughty” and “Nice” snack baskets. If you wanted to splurge, you took from the “Naughty” basket, and if you wanted to be healthy, well you guessed it, you took from the “Nice” basket. At least they gave you the option! But I still never overpay for minibar food.
In a world where everyone has at least heard of gluten-free, (who even heard of it 5 years ago?), it’s good to see that hotels are making an attempt to offer these food items. However, I’d be really curious to know if any Registered Dietitians have even been consulted when formulating these menu offerings. With the recent implementation of MyPlate, will that influence menu items?
Have you recently traveled and discovered any hotels catering towards special diets?