Earlier this year I went on a short all inclusive holiday with a friend, this is the first time I had been abroad since my coeliac disease diagnosis so I was extremely nervous.
The hotel we stayed in was the ClubHotel Riu Buena Vista, I had emailed them in advance regarding my dietary requirement however had not received a response. At check in I informed the staff that I needed to eat gluten free and asked if this would be a problem, they assured me it wouldn’t and they were right!
On arrival at each meal I would inform the staff that I was gluten free and I was shown around the buffet and told which items were safe to eat and which were not. Whenever I asked for some bread I was given a few gluten free slices or a roll which were delicious.
For breakfast there were lots of meats, eggs, fruits and yogurts available. At lunch and dinner I always found something tasty to eat. I particularly enjoyed the lamb and garlic potatoes. The Canarian speciality ‘wrinkly potatoes’ and red cabbage are a must.
As with all buffet restaurants it’s important to try to minimise the risk of cross contamination as much as possible and I was impressed that each dish had its own specific utensils. I still used my own cutlery to get food out and took from the bottom of containers just incase.
One afternoon we visited the restaurant during tea time. I asked if they had anything gluten free and was given a whole loaf cake to myself! The looks on the faces of other diners were hilarious!
Near the bars are coffee machines which dispense different hot drinks. I am a big lover of hot chocolate so asked the staff if it was gluten free, the waitress brought me the bag of powder they put in the machine and let me check the ingredients myself which was very helpful.
Fruit got very boring for pudding and I was unable to eat the ice cream so I treated myself to an ice cream from the shop in reception one night.
When wandering around the town I noticed how well labelled the food items were, lots and lots of produce labelled ‘sin gluten’ with the crossed grain logo making it easily identifiable to both locals and tourists.
Overall my first experience abroad eating gluten free was much easier than I thought and I would definitely recommend this hotel.