Staying Gluten-Free at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

We spread our travel wings a bit to celebrate our 15 years together and hopped on a (much quicker than Hawaii) jet plane to the Bahamas! Here’s my top 5 ways to stay gluten-free at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar on Nassau, Bahamas.

  1. Contact the Executive Chef on property. This goes for every Hyatt vacation property you visit. I was so thrilled to sit down and meet with Chef Sutti, executive chef of the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar during our stay.  He discussed at length with us the ways someone with food allergies or intolerances can stay safe at their property during their stay. THE most important thing was to make sure the head chef at your property knows your coming. Chef Sutti has a board in his office where he tracks all guests with dietary needs, when they are coming and where they are eating! Outline what your dietary restrictions are so they can prepare for you. Can’t stress this key point enough.

    Executive Chef Suttichai Sripolpa of Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

  2. Do restaurant research. The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is comprised of 3 hotels and 22 restaurants on property. When I sat down with Chef Sutti, he clarified that only 7 of these restaurants are directly overseen by Hyatt. The others are controlled by SLS and Rosewood hotel properties. I did not realize this! Our first night we dined at CLEO, an SLS restaurant. Whoops. Here I was thinking I was being taken care of by Hyatt staff and that was not the case. Read menus, ask the chef questions and be specific about what items you think you want to enjoy during your stay.

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    So many quick service options by the pool/beach. NOT gluten-free.

  3. Make all your dining reservations in advance. Chef Sutti has 9 chefs that manage the restaurants on property at Baha Mar. If he knows you are dining at 3 Tides on Wednesday he will make sure there is a chef there to oversee your meal preparation. I know this is hard. It’s really hard to know what you are going to feel like eating! Unfortunately impromptu fish tacos at the DRIFT pool bar WILL compromise the attention level your meal will get. It pays to make a plan, for yourself and your health.

    My ‘light’ dinner at the Hyatt’s Grand Club. Yum!

  4. Consider the Hyatt Grand Club. This upgrade, which cost us 12,000 Hyatt points, was a HUGE money saver for us. Dining and drinks at Baha Mar are not cheap. Two poolside drinks will run $40 and a nice meal for 2 with drinks will cost $200+. The Hyatt Grand Club had breakfast, an afternoon snack and non-alcoholic beverages, cocktail hour with a spread of crudités, cheese, salad and several hot dishes, and dessert to cap off the night. It was well worth the points. There were many families at the grand club which makes a lot of sense also. Feeding your whole family here and getting by with a light lunch is totally doable. We ate a late breakfast, and stopped for cocktail hour and ate a lighter late supper. It worked out great and the staff was very considerate of my needs and prepared special meal.
  5. Pack options. I brought along tortillas, chicken, guacamole cups and plantain chips. I didn’t use it all but it just makes sense to have some portable lunch options if you get in a pinch or aren’t trusting the situation.

 

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GLUTEN-FREE sunscreen! Free at every towel station. Boom.

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Gorgeous, Fresh, Coastal Rooms

 

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Gluten-Free in Steamboat Springs

Café Diva

Amidst the flurry of activity at the base of Steamboat Ski Resort is a true culinary gem.

Summer in Steamboat is a bit slower paced and quiet. The construction was everywhere at base camp. Our group had been by this unassuming restaurant at least four times during our stay on the mountain and never noticed the small entrance. Café Diva was our final meal in Steamboat and it did not disappoint. Reviews were great but our experience was better.

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Photo courtesy of Cafe Diva

Chef Kate Van Rensselaer noted the ability to accommodate gluten-free and vegetarian diets on their website and Facebook page and also had an updated summer menu that listed the gluten-free options. Updating allergen menus is usually something most restaurants let fall by the wayside. There was only one review on Find-Me-Gluten-Free but I was so astounded by the many positive reviews of the chef’s culinary ability that after a quick call to discuss I was excited to give it a try.

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The husband and I chose a nice Malbec from the extensive wine list and perused the appetizer and salads. They did ask if we would like bread at the table, which is something I always appreciate from the server. Instead of the bread service, I received rice crackers and warm house-made olives. I don’t care for olives but did try one just to see. Still don’t care for them!  It is pretty standard for us to split a salad at a nice meal but I was intrigued by the appetizer offerings. They all sounded good and I couldn’t decide . . . so the hubs chose the Peppadew Popper Kebabs.

 

Wrapped in prosciutto, and stuffed with smoked chevre, almond and basil and served with an arugula pesto and herb salad, this appetizer was small but mighty. Delicious flavor combinations when these components were melded.

The venison short loin received rave reviews from my husband and friend. Definitely order this medium rare to rare was the suggestion of our server, Gaye, who kept us chuckling throughout the meal with her unique personality.

I chose the scallop dish and it was divine. The scallops were seared to perfection and delicious but the accompanying flavors was what really stood out. Fresh corn, heirloom tomato and purple fingerling potato sautéed with a lemon-tarragon butter vinaigrette. The real star power in this dish was a later discovery of popcorn shoots. These thin green sprouts had an amazing true sweet corn flavor, mixed with slivers of green onions; it was the perfect garnish on this dish.IMG_0138-3621378672-1533397963796.jpg

Dessert had another wide range of gluten-free options. My interest was piqued with the Colorado Peach Parfait (on the GF menu with GF graham crackers!). The chef seemed concerned about the graham cracker cross contact issue and so we omitted them. I was a bit sad; as that was the primary reason I wanted to try the dish. We probably should have just cancelled that but we got it anyway as well as the crème brulee, after the server told us she couldn’t even find a crème brulee in Paris that topped Chef Kate’s crème brulee.

 

Both desserts were divine and a perfect nightcap to our delicious meal. Bravo to Café Diva for making a gluten-free menu that was so extensive AND for working with me and making me a safe meal. I so so appreciate it and can’t wait to come back some day!

A New Venture

I’m excited to open this new chapter with Gluten-Free So Good.  My path to living gluten-free has been a bumpy one and my outlook has grown considerably.  I feel like it is time to share my knowledge in hopes I can help others on their journey to health.

A little education, a little travel, and a little dining and fun. That’s what I hope to share. Because being in fear of food, travel and life is just no way to live. So take a peek at where I’ve been, what I’ve experienced and where I’m headed. Hopefully it has you saying. . .  it’s #SOGOOD!