WOW! That is all I can say about our visit to the El Conquistador Waldorf Astoria in Puerto Rico. Two years ago I took my family on a vacation to Puerto Rico. We started at the Hilton in San Juan and were sadly disappointed by the food at the hotel. The restaurant wasn’t very clean and we really couldn’t eat much there. My family of four is all gluten-free and I thought the Hilton would be just fine for us, but I was wrong….
We were traveling using our Hilton points and when I called the Hilton desk they very kindly moved us to the El Conquistador – A Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. I was worried about the food there but figured it had to be a better situation than the Hilton. We had a lovely time but didn’t find much to eat. Then we bumped into the hotel manager, Dermott. He told us that if we would call ahead on our next visit, they would have plenty of food options for us.
Fast forward one year…. The manager wasn’t kidding! On our return visit the hotel had so many safe and delicious options for our family. I think they must have bought every gluten-free item that the local health food store had in stock. We were able to order pancakes and toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, pasta for dinner. They offered a gluten-free pizza but the crust wasn’t very good. They even had cookies for the kids. The restaurant used separate pans for the pancakes and a dedicated waffle iron for the waffles. None of us got sick and we had the best time!
When we go on vacation, I’m really happy eating salads and entrees without the starches, but my kids want to feel “normal”. The Waldorf Astoria went above and beyond to make our family have an amazing vacation.
Lesson learned: call ahead and ask if the hotel can meet your dietary needs. If you are lucky, they will even get you some extra special products to make your visit even better than you can imagine!
FYI: They Wyndham Hotel Fajardo, near the rain forest, also has many GF options and was very accommodating. Again, call ahead and they will take care of you! The chefs were great and we were able to eat safely.
I can’t wait to visit Puerto Rico again!