Fabulous All Inclusive Resort with gluten free options!,
February 04, 2013
Our son was diagnosed with celiac about three years ago and we had given up on the idea of an all-inclusive vacation opting to rent a condo and prepare our meals ourselves. Fortunately, I stumbled across Leslie Hock's name on this website. Leslie is a travel agent from Travel Leaders who specializes in planning gluten free holidays and assured me that she had some great options for our family. She provided several options before booking us into the Azul Fives, a "gourmet all inclusive" resort in the Mayan Riviera. Our party consisted of three adults, and our seven-year old son (who has special needs including celiac disease) and our five-year old daughter. Leslie has a very close relationship with the folks at the Azul Fives and was in touch with the staff before we arrived several times to ensure that the resort knew we were coming. When we arrived at the resort, the business manager met us and introduced us to Chef Jorge, the head Chef, who was very well-informed about celiac disease and how to prepare gluten free meals. There are five restaurants at the resort, as well as 24 hour room service. We were advised to ask for Chef Jorge or the head chef in each restaurant when we arrived or wanted to order room service. Chef Jorge (who must have sprinted across the resort) typically arrived at our table within a few minutes to ask us what our son wanted to eat, then prepared a special meal for him, varying from french fries and a burger to grilled shrimp or chicken with vegetables. In the morning, the wonderful Chef Alicia would make our son gluten-free french toast in the shape of stars and sailboats! There was a smoothie bar just outside our room where they would make smoothies with almond milk and fresh fruit. I must say our son ate better on this trip than he does at home! On the day of our departure, Chef Jorge even made some food for us to take on the airplane home, which was truly above and beyond our expectations. We loved many things about this resort, including the beautiful setting, the wonderful staff, the delicious food (we all ate like Kings), the Kids Club, and the spacious rooms. However, we were quite amazed at the care and attention the staff took to make sure our son's meals were prepared properly. I would highly recommend both Leslie and the Azul Fives chain. I would strongly recommend booking through Leslie, as I believe the personal care and attention we received was as a result of her efforts and relationship with the resort staff. In addition, her prices were actually better than advertised prices. I will definitely consider returning to the Azul Fives and will also use Leslie who provided us with excellent service (including dealing with a last minute cancellation as one of the members of our party broke her arm).