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Bedford Springs Resort
Avg. Customer Review (3.5 Palms): 3.5 Palms
Number of Reviews: 1

Review Type: Resort
2138 U.S. 220 Business, Bedford, PA 15522
Dedicated GF: No
Phone: 866-623-8176
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Bedford Springs Historic Splendor,

Reviewer: from South Riding, VA, USA - See all reviews by Gftraveler

3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Our family enjoyed three nights over the Thanksgiving Holiday at this beautiful and historic resort. Dating back 200 years, it is full of rich history -- including visits by 10 U.S. Presidents -- and was just reopened in July 2007 after being closed for 20 years. It was completely renovated and restored to its historic splendor. It boasts a top-notch spa, one of the country's first 18-hole golf courses, one of the first indoor pools, and a beautiful interior complete with ballrooms and several restaurants. The rooms were nice -- decorated using historic colors but complete with modern amenities. Now...for the FOOD. I have very mixed feelings about writing this review. There is no question that the food was outstanding. Most meals during our 3-day stay were buffets, including a mid-day Thanksgiving dinner. Typically, I'm not a fan of buffets unless the food is really high quality and beautifully presented, and this certainly was. In fact, all our meals at the resort -- from the wonderful breakfast spread to an elegant dinner in the Crystal Room -- were delicious. My only reservation was the lack of attention we received regarding our 5-year old son's gluten-free diet. As always, I had called before even booking our stay back in August, and I was assured that the resort handles special dietary requests frequently and with ease. So I was relieved and excited for our stay. I called again three weeks before our arrival at the resort to personally talk with the Executive Chef, Konrad Meier. He assured me they'd have plenty of gluten-free foods available. Just as a back up, however, we brought some gluten-free mac-n-cheese for our son, along with a frozen g-f pizza and some g-f pasta. Our first night we were just in the mood for something light, so we opted for the Frontier Tavern, which is really more like a bar with a limited bar-type menu. To keep things simple and because there wasn't a lot other than a burger on the menu that we thought our son would eat, we asked them to prepare the box of mac-n-cheese we brought. That seemed to throw the server for a bit of a loop. It was obvious she had never heard of gluten-free diets before. So we asked to talk with the chef. An assistant chef came out and assured us it would be no problem to prepare the mac-n-cheese and also offered to bring out some fruit for our son. Everything worked out well. I figured we'd meet the head chef the next day, at the Thanksgiving meal, but again, when we asked, they sent out another assistant. His first inclination was to offer to cook our son a steak, which typically would have been fine, but I had been assured when I spoke to the head chef weeks before that our son would be able to eat plenty from the Thanksgiving spread. We wanted him to be able to enjoy as much of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as possible. The assistant chef was fine with that and fortunately he seemed quite knowledgeable as he walked me through the buffet, telling me what was gluten-free and what wasn't and how they used cornstarch, not flour, to thicken their sauces and gravies. However, I found myself wondering just how careful the resort is when it comes to food preparation and avoiding cross- contamination in the kitchen. I also questioned just how much they knew about potential hidden sources of gluten. In general I just felt very rushed through the process and ended up having lots of questions like was chicken broth used in the rice pilaf? If so, was it gluten-free? Was the ham gluten-free? They told me yes, but often ham isn't because of how it's marinated/cured. Our son ate well but did have a stomach ache later. Was there gluten in something? We'll never know. In their defense, it was a busy time, and I probably should have met with the Executive Chef at a less hectic time before the meal. The breakfast buffets were the same, with someone from the kitchen briefly telling me the obvious about what was g-f and what wasn't. I had her double-check the bacon and sausage, which she confirmed was g-f. But it just seemed that there wasn't the level of engagement on the part of the chefs and wait staff that you'd expect from a resort of this caliber. I think I expected them to be more proactive in offering to prepare something special for our son (gluten-free pancakes perhaps?), and it always seemed like a lot of trouble to hunt someone down for that element of special attention. We made due just fine, and I'd recommend this resort for g-f and non g-f diners alike. I'd just try to sit down with a chef upon your arrival to discuss your specific needs -- especially if you want them to prepare anything special for you.

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