we just got back from Puerto Vallarta last night after spending the week of nov 17-24/13.
+30 hot, humid and sunny. this is the first all-inclusive I have tried since being diagnosed with celiac 2 years ago, because I was leery about the whole no control over my food issues. we stayed at the secrets Vallarta bay resort in Puerto Vallarta. I emailed back and forth with resort customer service and was assured by violeta that they deal all the time with food allergies.
when we arrived I was given a gluten free card by the concierge that i was to show our waiters in all the restaurants. most of the waiters knew what i could not eat off of the menus and if they were not sure they would take my card back to the chef and check.
i was treated very well and had no problems the week we were there. the french restaurant was amazing we dined there on our first and on our last night. carlos our table captain and his wonderful crew found me excellent gluten free bread for our meal and on our last night even found me a gluten free crème brule for desert. I could have eaten at the French restaurant every night. the food and the service were by far the best at the resort.
the Italian restaurant was only very good. we dined there twice the first evening with another couple we had met down there. the food was quite good and so was the service. the second time it was just my wife and I and we were seated in an out of the way spot and the service was lacking, maybe a 4 out of 5.
the Asian restaurant had only one salad and one entrée that as a celiac I could eat, the service was ok but not up to our expectations, 3.5 out of 5.
we did not try the Japanese, which is the only restaurant that requires a reservation, because the dinner was cooked in front of the group at the table and I was not sure how I would be able to handle it being gluten free, we heard good reviews of it though.
lunches were spent at either the oceana seafood restaurant by the pool or at the marketplace buffet up by the hotel. both were casual and very enjoyable.
the first morning we had a breakfast buffet at the marketplace. when the matre de found out I was celiac he personally gave me a tour of the entire buffet, omelet station, quesada station and the usual breakfast buffet selections. he told me what was safe for me to and what wasn't, if he was not sure he called over one of the chefs to check.
the secrets side of the resort is adult only and the now side is family oriented if you are travelling with kids.
we went downtown and felt very safe, i did not eat down there so i can’t comment on the restaurants. we did a few excursions and i was careful what i ate. one of the excursions was “rhythms of the night” where we took a catamaran to a private island for a candle light dinner and a show “think circ de sole meets the jungle”. i found one of the chefs when we got there and showed him my own gf travel card translated into spanish and he walked me through the buffet showing me what i could and couldn’t eat, i was very impressed and felt safe and relieved about the food. our sever at the marketplace, carlos and sometimes ricardo, were very friendly and helpful. at our last breakfast I told carlos we were leaving and he told us not to leave and he disappeared for 5 minutes. he came back with a muffin sized chocolate cake on a white plate that was decorated with chocolate drawings and he had written "have a good trip home" in chocolate, it was beautiful. sadly we had already packed the camera because that would have been my picture of the trip.
one afternoon I got to put on a silly little chef hat and tour all the kitchen facilities at the resort. it was a very large facility, very informative and absolutely spotless. being celiac I can be a little anal about food cleanliness and cross contamination. after the tour I was quite impressed.
i would rate the resort as 4. 5 out of 5 as the asian restaurant was a disappointment for my wife and I.
on a couple of days our rooms were not cleaned until late in the day and they also missed the turndown service a couple of times.
if i can pry the gf bread recipe from yoana, the friendliest, most helpful and apologetic concierge I have ever met, i will change my rating to a 5 out of 5. i could have eaten just a loaf of the bread with butter and not even ordered off the menu.
if anyone wants to hire me to take them down and guide them through the around, let me know. lol.
my wife and I will definitely be back, maybe next year we will try the now family side if our grandson is old enough to travel with us.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Romantic. Refined. Remarkable. Located on the golden sand beaches of the Pacific coast within walking distance of the famous El Malecon boardwalk, this vibrant oceanfront resort provides adults 24/7 access to amazing nightlife, non-stop entertainment and Unlimited-Luxury(R). ... more less
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