Setting a place for the gluten-sensitive

Customer comfort is vital to the hospitality world, and this is why many hotels have expanded their breakfast options to include gluten-free choices.

A gluten-free diet has all the markings of being a fad, like Paleo or the Zone Diet. After all, gluten is essentially a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley, and sometimes oats, and most people can digest it without any side effect. However, some can face severe, if not fatal, reactions after ingesting gluten or gluten-contaminated food.

In Miami Beach, Florida, St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort offers a complete gluten-free breakfast at the restaurant Atlántico, and the Wellness Mini-Bar offers further healthy options. Hyatt House in Frisco, Texas, offers an omelet bar and other gluten-free breakfast alternatives.

Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida, has designed a full menu with creative gluten-free appetizers, soups, and entrées at the resort’s classic steakhouse The Grill. Try the Maple Farm Duck with roasted pumpkin, lemon goat cheese, and pumpkin seed jus? The brand has even gone a step further by incorporating CropBox, a vertical farming system that produces microgreens and other produce in a fully controlled and sustainable environment.

Budget hotels can very well accommodate gluten-free guests as well. These travelers will not be partaking in the fresh pastry spread, but fruit, yogurt, some granola, eggs, meats, cheese, and vegetables are all gluten-free.

And whether your accommodations are luxury or budget, please consider dedicating a separate serving area and utensils. Knowing that even a crumb of whole wheat bread can cause a guest with celiac disease to become terribly ill, Omni’s Amelia Island Plantation Resort thoughtfully provides a gluten-free station with dedicated toaster.

A gluten-free diet can seem like the latest trend, one that is being adopted even by people who are not intolerant or even just especially sensitive to the protein. But just because it is fashionable doesn’t mean it has to be complicated or costly. Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune reaction to gluten that affects small intestines and the patients are strongly advised against gluten consumption for life. Gluten intolerance, with lesser side effects, is another reason for gluten avoidance. With the rise of awareness towards such conditions, many big names in the food industry have revamped their products to meet the needs of those who suffer.

By Najook Pandya