A new study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Travelex, investigated the travel habits of 2,000 Americans and discovered that they spend 284 days every year thinking about vacations. Why? Because a vacation represents an escape from the daily grind and a time to create lasting memories. We research, poring over reviews and travel recommendations before taking that plunge to book airfare, hotels and activities, ensuring we can get the most out of a trip.
While some people may travel with the intent of having an adventure, 52 percent of Americans say relaxing is their top priority when choosing a destination. And for people with celiac disease, one of the keys to being relaxed on vacation includes gluten-free food. In fact, many plan our vacations around where we want to dine. Why not visit one of the five 100 percent gluten-free travel destinations (in the United States and abroad) and leave the gluten-free cuisine to the professionals?
Yes, there is such a creature as a dedicated gluten-free hotel with exceptional food and accommodations. We found two bed and breakfast inns (one coming soon) and three hotels where great care is taken to ensure the cuisine is 100 percent delicious and free of gluten.
Let’s talk about the two bed and breakfast inns in the United States first:
Do you like wine? Then a trip to the Inn on Randolph in downtown Napa Valley, California, is a must. Guests stay in stunningly renovated rooms or private cottages complete with expertly manicured landscaping and all the modern conveniences. Have a seat on one of the outdoor spaces perfect for appreciating the breathtaking scenery or stop by the onsite spa for a rejuvenating treatment or two. Gourmet breakfasts, made with fresh and local ingredients, feature two courses, beginning with homemade granola and fresh-made yogurt paired with seasonal fruit or homemade baked goods, followed by a hot entree. Whatever your pleasure, the Napa Valley region delivers a vibe of rest and relaxation that tantalizes the senses with its wine country charm.
Riverside Inn transitioned to a gluten-free environment in July 2012 and remains the first and only bed and breakfast inn in New England offering a safe experience for gluten-free guests. Serving as their headquarters for exploring nearby North Conway, the surrounding Mt. Washington Valley and White Mountain National Forest, the three-story Victorian-era home in Intervale, New Hampshire, hosts guests in one of the lovingly restored rooms complete with cozy fireplaces. A full country breakfast greets guests every morning, curated from local eggs and vegetables, seasonal fruits, regional honey and herbs from the Inn’s garden, served with homemade breads and baked goods like English muffins or coffee cakes. The sounds from the East Branch River combined with the beauty and serenity of the landscape create a tranquil and relaxing getaway.
Now on to the international locations.
Located in the tropical beach town of Montezuma in Costa Rica lies the Anamaya Resort, offering 100 percent gluten-free and organic meals prepared by Chef Jeff Horton with local and natural ingredients. Anamaya is Sanskrit for good health, and this exotic resort delivers a true sensory experience with incredible ocean views from all eco-friendly and open-air cabanas, soothing sounds from the Montezuma waterfall, and stunning views of the surrounding rainforest. Knowns for its yoga classes, Anamaya puts its guests in touch with their bodies and minds, creating an ideal location to recharge and relax while being immersed in nature. Rates include accommodations and three daily meals.
The chefs at Tauber’s Bio Vital Hotel in South Tyrol, Italy, are trained to prepare all gluten-free dishes with great care to guarantee 100 percent safe organic and gluten-free dining experiences. Fresh, homemade pastries are paired with breakfast, and homemade breads accompany the four to six course evening meals. The menus, which rotate daily, are full of gorgeous world-class cuisine. Each room in this boutique hotel (that looks like a castle) uses natural woods and chemical-free materials to create a welcoming space. Take advantage of the outdoor activities of hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter, then head over to the spa for a steam in the sauna or soak in the outdoor pool. The family-owned hotel exceeds in delivering an unforgettable experience from start to finish. Rates include accommodations and three daily meals.
By the end of August 2019, guests will be able to travel to the city of Parella in the Piedmont region of northern Italy for a stay at the Villa Vigne di Castello. Parella is about 30 minutes north of Turin, one and a half hours from Milan and an hour’s drive south to the Italian Alps, where you can pretty much ski year-round. The bed and breakfast inn is owned and operated by Jackie and Mama Jim, the same team who run Mama Jim’s Gluten Free Kitchen food truck in Arizona. The property overlooks the restored Castello di Parella, now called Vistaterra, and features a vineyard, lush landscaping, private gardens and a cantina for the daily cocktail hour. There will be six guest rooms with modern conveniences, some with private terraces, and breakfast will be included with a stay with the option of adding lunch and dinner. Jackie and Mama Jim are taking their food concepts created for Mama Jim’s to Italy, giving guests a taste of their cultural backgrounds of Mexican, American, Indonesian and Italian cuisine. Their motto is to “provide comfort food without the discomfort!”
If only we could take five vacations a year, we would be all set.