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Do deluxe hotels understand dietary restrictions?

Do deluxe hotels understand dietary restrictions?

Old Apr 28, 16, 8:16 am
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Do deluxe hotels understand dietary restrictions?

How well do deluxe hotels cater to dietary and beverage restrictions such as Kosher, Halal, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, Lactose-free, non-alcoholic?

Increasingly these days, restaurant menus include keys to denote ingredients, but do chefs and waiting staff really get it? What are your experiences?
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Old Apr 28, 16, 8:51 am
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My girlfriend is lactose intolerant and at both North Island and Fregate they've given her cheese and cream with and on her food. One of the chefs even proudly came to explain what type of cheese she used for the dish, only for us to remind her she cannot eat it, so they had to take it away and redo it. The only company that has delivered on the dietary requirements for this entire holiday was in fact Etihad, which really says something.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 8:59 am
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This reflects my experience of hotel chefs - many of whom seem to think that eggs are dairy products. I agree, too, that airlines, for once, are more savvy when it comes to intolerences. I just wish they could cook as well as hotel chefs!
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Old Apr 28, 16, 9:10 am
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Aman Venice and La Réserve Paris were the only hotel restaurants where the question was asked. We do not have any restrictions so not really concerned and I don't know how they would have handle it.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 12:19 pm
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Absolutely not. I have been a vegetarian for twenty-five years and have stayed in many luxury hotels. I always fill out the preference sheet to let the hotel know of my dietary restriction. It is rarely, if ever, acknowledged - even when I am a repeat guest or staying at a chain where the information should be in my profile.

There have been two notable exceptions. Villa Cora in Florence and Viceroy Riviera Maya. I just returned from my first stay at the latter and all of the restaurant staff knew I was a vegetarian, offered me alternate recommendations (as well as a set vegetarian menu), and the chef checked in on me during my stay. The food was the best I have had in my 20+ stays at luxury hotels in Rivera Maya.

I am flexible in the sense that I can pick chicken off of an airplane salad, eat around the pancetta in pasta sauce, or ignore animal broth or lard. Life is short and I don't make a fuss. However, when I am dining out I don't want to be asked to design my own entree, nor do I ever want to eat Pasta Primavera. Especially at a hotel, I think it's a reasonable expectation that the F&B staff offer suggestions or a special menu. Planning my own meal is a chore reserved for home cooking; not dining out.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 1:14 pm
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many here have discussed this aspect of their stays, including in trip reports. good idea for a thread.
at least a few here actually have food shipped by specialist suppliers to property where theyre staying.

not really any comparison to airlines. at least pre-cooked, if nothing else, from a city vendor, all ordered well in advance. as well as the costs of economy/business/first airfare, number of passengers, length of longest flights, ground operations.

chefs, management, waitstaff vary. remote is different from michelin restaurants whether in cities or relais & chateaux. there are going to be differences between large hotels/chains, and small hotels/companies, and independent properties. most of the time can probably be 'easier' for larger properties managed by larger chains in major metropolitan cities.

it can be like language training, requires educating/informing, and a little bit of procedure/process with kitchens/staff. but how much hotels offer in terms of dining, room service, whether they manage their restaurant(s) - can vary a lot.

interesting >
Vegan option The Brando commissioned the renowned Chef Kelvin Au-Ieong, chef and owner of the celebrated and revolutionary Invitation V, Vegan Bistro in Montreal, Quebec, to design an innovative and sophisticated vegan menu for The Brando. The menu is inspired by Chef Au-Ieong’s travels around the world and incorporates fresh vegetables handpicked from the resort’s own organic garden. He spent time at resort, expertly training The Brando’s chefs on each vegan offering.
casino properties are also going to be different, especially ones with thousands of rooms, and guests who are not paying.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Dec 28, 17 at 10:32 am
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Old Apr 28, 16, 1:39 pm
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It´s difficult. Some Chefs have really good knowledge, some don´t understand anything and can´t simply prepare vegetables. If I ask at a 5 star ++ property for a vegetarian option and I get something like "plate of vegetables" it´s disgusting. At the moment I´m on Mallorca which is sometime not easy as the like to use dripping a lot. As a pescarian I´m not so keen about it. Even if they tell you it´s vegetarian I sometime doubt it.... Good excample from the past as I asked for a vegan menu: On it were bacon and a cheese plate...... 5 Diamond hotel and restaurant....

P.S. A few days ago at Cap Rocat nearly every dish at the 5 or 7 course menu had a meat component. I asked for a pescarian menu and they were able to do all courses without meat. And it was really good.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 1:55 pm
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I was recently at The Wynn in Las Vegas. At every meal, they ask about dietary issues. They have specific Vegan menus at every place, and do other restrictions well.

I don't do gluten, but it's not an allergy, so cross-contamination isn't a problem for me. They asked about this to ensure I'm handled right.

We had a Teppanyaki meal at Mizumi - I got a different salad to start, no soy-sauce on the grill until after my fried rice was made with Tamari, and then a whole gluten free desert plate, all without needing to prompt twice.

It can be done, but someone in management needs to care enough to make it happen.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 3:40 pm
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Originally Posted by luxtrvlwrks View Post
Absolutely not. I have been a vegetarian for twenty-five years and have stayed in many luxury hotels. I always fill out the preference sheet to let the hotel know of my dietary restriction. It is rarely, if ever, acknowledged - even when I am a repeat guest or staying at a chain where the information should be in my profile.

I am flexible in the sense that I can pick chicken off of an airplane salad, eat around the pancetta in pasta sauce, or ignore animal broth or lard. Life is short and I don't make a fuss. However, when I am dining out I don't want to be asked to design my own entree, nor do I ever want to eat Pasta Primavera. Especially at a hotel, I think it's a reasonable expectation that the F&B staff offer suggestions or a special menu. Planning my own meal is a chore reserved for home cooking; not dining out.
As another vegetarian, I completely agree. And the quality of a property does not in any way correspond to how well they deal with this. In my experience, Aman is one of the worst offenders here. And in my experience, the luxury hotel chain that does this the best is Banyan Tree. All of their properties (that I've been to) seem to have separate vegetarian menus at all of their restaurants.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 5:28 pm
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The various Amans that we have been to have done well .. Perhaps being Amanjunkie from ' 89 helps ?
As what is assumed / expected for :-: :-: :-: :-: :-: :-:

Looking forward to Puri next week after MOHK , which isn't quite there .
At TUH now , also tries but yet to " arrive " .
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Old Apr 29, 16, 9:13 am
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Some of the worst experiences I have had were in Michelin star hotel restaurants. Michelin chefs have very carefully designed set dishes, so if you canot eat, say lactose or gluten, in many cases you cannot eat in their restaurant. Either that, or they just remove the offending items and you are left with a fraction of the dish (at the same price of course!).

However, this is not always true. At Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, we had superb food - all of which we could eat, and including some excellent suite amenities.

My daughter is vegetarian and when a hotel goes out if its way to not only accomodate that, but also delight in providing tasty dishes, your loyalty to that establishment is huge.

Chefs, on the whole, need educating about food preferences and intolerences. It is shocking how many are completely ignorant and/or indifferent, yet in a world where a vast proportion of people now suffer from allergies, surely this should be a priority?
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Old Apr 29, 16, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
My daughter is vegetarian and when a hotel goes out if its way to not only accomodate that, but also delight in providing tasty dishes, your loyalty to that establishment is huge.
We sent one of our nieces and her husband to the Conrad Koh Samui for their honeymoon. I wrote in advance, explaining that she was a vegetarian and asking if they could accommodate her. They assured me they could. They had the executive chef sit with her soon after their arrival and discuss her food preferences. Thereafter, at each meal, they had a special menu for her with the choices available to her. She ate very well and was very impressed with their service.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
We sent one of our nieces and her husband to the Conrad Koh Samui for their honeymoon. I wrote in advance, explaining that she was a vegetarian and asking if they could accommodate her. They assured me they could. They had the executive chef sit with her soon after their arrival and discuss her food preferences. Thereafter, at each meal, they had a special menu for her with the choices available to her. She ate very well and was very impressed with their service.
Now, that is exactly as it should be - very impressive.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 5:40 pm
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My experiences in New Zealand have been great. I have troubles with specific seafood, such as clams. On both my trips, the luxury lodges all knew and the chef or head server would confirm with me the exact areas of concern before a meal. Specific lodges this occurred at where Otahuna, Blanket Bay, Cape Kidnappers, Bay of Many Coves, Hapuku Treehouses, and Wharekauhau.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 9:17 pm
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
Some of the worst experiences I have had were in Michelin star hotel restaurants. Michelin chefs have very carefully designed set dishes, so if you canot eat, say lactose or gluten, in many cases you cannot eat in their restaurant.
While I certainly agree that, in general, hotel restaurants ought be able to accommodate the dietary restrictions of guests, I'm not so sure I agree that the Michelin starred (and similarly regarded) ones should change their approach.

I freely admit, though, that I assume if a hotel has one of these types of establishments, it has other dining options as well.

Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
Chefs, on the whole, need educating about food preferences and intolerences. It is shocking how many are completely ignorant and/or indifferent, yet in a world where a vast proportion of people now suffer from allergies, surely this should be a priority?
I'd say the priority ought to be discovering and rectifying the "Why" -- as in, why the explosion of allergies in individuals since the Industrial Revolution?

I think it is nice when a chef goes out of his way to accommodate a patron, but is it a must? Diners do have the option to eat elsewhere, no?

But, back to the point of this forum - yes, hotels should be able to cater to their guests, and in better forms than a plate of vegetables or boring pasta dish.

Last edited by aa213bb; Apr 29, 16 at 9:23 pm
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