Eating Gluten Free at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Typically all-inclusive hotels haven’t been that great for me as far as food goes. It usually involves a high risk of contamination and eating a lot of plain rice, cooked vegetables, and whatever plain grilled meat they are serving. As a result, I usually lose weight on these types of vacations. At Hard Rock Hotel Cancun though, that was not the case!

One reason for this is that I recently reintroduced dairy into my diet which made eating a million times simpler. I didn’t realize how much of a difference it makes to only have one thing to watch out for. Even if I had been staying away from dairy though, there were still more options than the usual fare at buffets (they often had a variety of milks available such as almond, soy, etc.).

Breakfast

The buffet offered various eggs (hard boiled, scrambled,etc.), smoothies, fruit, yogurt, and gluten free bun type things (which were actually really delicious and sweet!). There was also an omelet bar where you could choose your ingredients and then watch them fry it up right in front of you (yay for low risk of contamination!).

I think there may have been an option for gluten free pancakes but I didn’t realize this until our last meal there. I saw someone beside me order a special pancake that appeared to be made separately from the rest…next time I will totally be looking into that!

Lunch

For lunch we often ate from the pizza/hot dog/hamburger restaurant by the pool. Their fries were delicious and fried in the oil by themselves. I didn’t ask about the specific ingredients but took a chance and didn’t get sick. I also filled up on nachos, cheese, and salsa from this restaurant. Some people got hot dogs and hamburgers without buns, but I was too wary of the ingredients in the meat to try one.

Dinner

At the buffet, there was always some sort of simple meat(not marinated, coated, etc.) that was amazing. Their roast beef was melt-in-your mouth delicious. Because of this, I was always able to get my protein in and actually enjoy it (wasn’t overcooked, under cooked, etc.). The buffet had your standard cooked vegetables, rice dishes, etc. I found everything to be very flavorful. Of course there is always a risk of contamination with a buffet and that was something I took into consideration when eating there.

They always had a gluten free station at the buffet which had bread rolls (very dry), and some sort of dinner dish. One meal it was pasta, another it was chili, etc.

We also went to the Mexican a la carte restaurant one night and there were a few things labelled as gluten free on the menu. I was able to eat tacos and nachos as an appetizer with some sort of shrimp dip. I had a seafood rice dish for my main course which was really tasty. For dessert I had the corn flan (not marked gluten free, but I took a chance and it worked out okay for me!)

Prior to going, I e-mailed the hotel to ask about gluten free options. I never heard back though and was disappointed about that. I think there were probably even more options for me to eat that I didn’t realize were available. In the end it was a great experience and my guts weren’t mad at me though. Every time we went to the buffet they asked if we had any allergies, I always said gluten and they wrote it down on a piece of paper we kept with us at our table. I’m not entirely sure the reasoning behind this as it didn’t seem to change anything about our meal. So I’m curious what that was all about. Overall I definitely recommend the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun for someone with a gluten intolerance. For those with Celiac disease, it can be a bit hit and miss with contamination so you would need to be more careful.

-Rachel

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