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Even High-End Resorts Can Miss Opportunities to Wow Gluten-Free Travelers

Our family spent the Thanksgiving holiday at the gorgeous and historic Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford, Pennsylvania. Reopened in July 2007 after being closed for 20 years, this top-notch resort has been renovated and restored to its historic splendor. Dating back 200 years, it is full of rich history -- including visits by 10 U.S. Presidents. The resort has several restaurants to choose from, and I was assured by the Executive Chef when I called well in advance of the trip that preparing gluten-free meals was something they handled every week and that we'd be well taken care of. 

Although our experience at the resort was wonderful and we'd return again without hesitation, I have to say I was not overly impressed with the wait staff and kitchen staff's handling of our requests. Most of the wait staff looked at me like I had three heads when I uttered the term "gluten-free," and although I'd personally spoken with the Executive Chef before our arrival, we never got a chance to meet him during our stay. Granted, it was a busy weekend, and the height of the Thanksgiving dinner hour may not have been the best time to walk us through the buffet...but I always felt like the assistant chefs that we did speak with were a bit too quick to tell us what was gluten-free. Either they are really well-versed in the preparation of everything or they were just anxious to be done with me. I guess we'll never know. Our son did have some mild intestinal problems one day, but it's hard to say if it was from being "glutenized" or if it was just from overeating or too many sweets! 

I think I was expecting them to make more of a fuss over my son, offering to make special things like gluten-free waffles or pancakes, but instead the chefs staffing the breakfast just quickly pointed out which items were gluten-free on the buffet (but the "gluten free bacon" had pieces of bread at the bottom of the chafing dish to absorb the grease). If and when we return, I'll go about things differently, setting up a meeting with the Executive Chef upon arrival. To read my full review of our experience at the Bedford Springs, visit the Pennsylvania reviews at our sister website