Baha Mar Travel Guide + Gluten-Free Tips

Hi friends! It’s been a while, but today I am excited to share a recent trip my husband and I took to the Bahamas. This was our first visit to the Bahamas and we stayed at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. Prior to booking the trip, I didn’t know anything about the new Baha Mar area. Once I booked the trip and started sharing our plans with friends and family, I was surprised how much hype this area was getting. All of the positive feedback plus the details found in the blog world made me even more excited for this trip!

From NY, the Bahamas is a three hour direct flight which makes the Bahamas a great option for a long weekend. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt for 4 nights, but due to our flight times, we were able to enjoy just about five complete days at the resort. I booked our reservation directly through the Hyatt to make sure we earned Hyatt rewards points. The main reason that I chose the Grand Hyatt was due to the great experience we had at the Andaz Maui last year. The Andaz resorts are actually owned by Hyatt. 

I booked us a ‘king view room’ which ended up being upgraded to a suite. We didn’t ask for an upgrade, so we were pleasantly surprised when we opened the door.  Our suite had a full kitchen, living room, bedroom, washer/dryer and two balconies. It was brand new and beautifully decorated. I think the change of rooms was a result of us arriving at the resort well before our check-in time. The only downside to this room change ended up being the location of the room. We were on the 20th floor, which mean that both balconies had great views of the ocean, but also a  parking lot and the water park that is in early stages of construction. Our room was on the far west side of the West Tower. I suggest keeping this in mind when you check into the hotel, especially if the view is important to you. Also, be sure to remember that Baha Mar is a large resort. You will not be able to hear the ocean from your balcony at the Grand Hyatt, as it is set the farthest away from the beach.

Overall, we were very happy with our stay at Baha Mar. The resort is new and kept very clean. The Grand Hyatt also offers perks you may not find at other hotels. Similar to our stay at the Andaz, complementary flavored ice water and Sun Bum SPF were provided at all towel stations throughout the resort. Personally, I think this is such a nice touch.

We were only staying in the Bahamas for five days, so we new that we wanted to stay at the resort to max the relax. We at breakfast, lunch and dinner on-site. When you are planning your trip, I would recommend doing some research on the restaurants – they are not cheap. However, although food and drinks are expensive at Baha Mar, we felt that the portions were appropriately sided and the quality was excellent. We definitely felt like we got our money’s worth.

Before diving into the gluten-free travel guide portion of this blog, I will share a bit about the resort itself. Baha Mar is about a 10-15 minute car ride from the airport. It has three hotels on the grounds; Rosewood, SLS and Grand Hyatt. Each hotel has its own vibe and all are beautiful in their own way. The Rosewood is the most expensive and exclusive of the three. The pool is reserved for only Rosewood guests, but we were able to walk around the grounds. It is so beautiful and serene! The SLS appeared to be the smallest of the three hotels and appeals to a bit younger crowd. Also keep in mind that the west side of the SLS will face the waterpark which is currently under construction. The SLS pools are exclusive to SLS guests with loud music at all times. On Saturdays, one SLS pool hosts a pool party from 11am – 5pm complete with a blaring DJ, champagne and fog machines. If you couldn’t tell already, this is not my scene. The music from this pool party could be heard three pools away at the Grand Hyatt. But hey, if pool parties are your thing, you go girl. If they’re not, I suggest going to the beach on Saturdays where the music can’t be heard. The third resort is the Grand Hyatt. It is the largest of the three and has the most amenities. All Grand Hyatt pools, spa and casino are available to Baha Mar guests. Additionally, the bars and restaurants throughout all three hotels are available to all guests. 

We had some delicious dinners on this trip. I have to mention how well trained all of the waitstaff was at each restaurant. Each restaurant has is own unique cuisine, bar menu and all around vibe. The staff at each restaurant {or bar} was very knowledgeable on the menu offered. We also felt that everyone who helped us was happy to do so and very friendly. Great service just made the trip that much better. I would recommend making reservations ahead of time {and possibly before you arrive} because the restaurants book up quickly. Our room had a tablet that allowed us to easily book dinners reservations. This was actually a really nice touch because it was Baha Mar guide at our fingertips.

On to the food! In my research prior to this trip, I had a pretty tough time finding gluten-free recommendations. With Baha Mar being a new resort and the Grand Hyatt being a higher-end hotel, I was pretty confident I would have a positive experience on my search for gluten-free meals during our stay. Although not all restaurants have gluten-free options on displayed on their menu, everywhere we went was accommodating and welcomed my questions.

Must Eats at Baha Mar

  • 3 Tides: The Salmon was delicious and they offered gluten-free bread with honey butter.
  • Fi’ Lia: AMAZING! I had one of the most simple yet delicious pasta dishes ever; Cacio e Pepe with gluten-free penne. I have been trying to re-create it since we got home.
  • Carna: Mary’s Organic Chicken with a side of fries (be cautious of the fries).
  • Cafe Mademoiselle: Very limited gluten-free options, but great coffee.
  • Drift Bar and Pool: Gluten-free buns for burgers and sandwiches, salad and pizza (although I would skip the pizza).
  • El Jefe: Guacamole, salas and chips

Must Drink – Rosewood, SLS, Library Rosewood

  • Costa: Located on the grounds of the Rosewood and has the most serene outdoor dining area. We enjoyed a glass of wine in the outdoor bar area and agreed that it was one of the best locations at Baha Mar. The restaurant is surrounded by coy ponds and tropical trees. Although we didn’t dine here, sitting at this bar made me 100% feel like I was on vacation. A MUST see!
  • H20: A great swim up pool bar at the Grand Hyatt. My husband suggests traveling with a beer coozey to keep your drink cool at the pool.
  • Manor Bar: Located in the Rosewood. This bar has an cozy, old school feel and every liquor I could think of. The bar tender on the night we visited was top notch, and was able to make great recommendations on the wine as well.
  • Monkey Bar: Located in the lobby of the SLS, which is beautiful! There are tons of seating areas for large or small crowds. Have a drink here to start or end your night.

The only restaurant we were not happy with on our trip was The Swimming Pig. We felt that the service was slow, the food wasn’t great and overall it wasn’t our kind of atmosphere. I would recommend skipping this restaurant on your stay because there are many other excellent options.

Thanks for stopping by! If you visit Baha Mar, let me know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram for new updates.

Between our trip to the Baha Mar and putting together this blog, the Bahamas was significantly impacted by hurricane Dorian. From resort staff to the sweetest taxi driver who took us to the airport, so many people made our vacation a great one. We are sadden to think that many of them had homes, friends and family impacted by the hurricane. If you would like to donate, you can do so directly through the Baha Mar website (click here).

Royal Caribbean is Gluten Free Friendly!

I am long over do for a blog post, so I think it’s the perfect time to share my experience sailing with Royal Caribbean, Allure of the Seas! I recently spent a week cruising to Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico with my family. Before every vacation I always make sure to do my research on gluten free options while traveling. When booking my reservation my travel agent put a gluten allergy notice on my account. Later-on I also called Royal Caribbean to confirm that I would not have a problem eating at any restaurant on the ship. I was pleasantly surprised by staff’s knowledge and ability to accommodate my gluten allergy. If you have a gluten allergy you have nothing to worry about while sailing Royal Caribbean! You can eat EVERYWHERE on the ship! A major gluten free plus – Royal Caribbean uses a lot of Udi’s products!! I definitely recommend spending a little extra money for Rita’s, Chops and Giovanni’s Table. My family really enjoyed our meals these nights. For the most part, we felt the “free” dining options providing average an dining experiences.
Allure of the Seas in Labadee, Haiti

Here are some of my cruising tips:

-The first night you eat in the main dining hall for dinner, immediately notify your sever of your allergy (mine was already aware).  Although the menu identifies which items can be prepared gluten free, the sever will likely walk you through the menu. With the exception of the first sailing day, you will be asked to chose your dinner for the main dining hall a day in advance (ex – when you finish dinner on Monday night, you will be asked to choose dinner for Tuesday night). I believe this is done to ensure the best cross-contamination prevention.  The main dining hall is the only restaurant on the ship that severs fresh gluten free bread.
-In the main dining hall and any other restaurant look for a manager (they are likely wearing a different uniform and are easy to spot) and go to them with any food allergy related questions.
-In the buffet style restaurants, tell one of the mangers of your allergy and they will likely bring you a chef who will walk you around the buffet.
-If you are going to dine at a specialty restaurant, stop by ahead of time or the night before to discuss and select your meal.
-At the Central Park Cafe, one of the food managers took it upon himself to prepare my gluten free sandwich to prevent cross contamination.
-I suggest bringing peanut butter, instant oatmeal and a few snacks as backup, especially if you plan on exploring your destinations. If you are on an island for lunch it may be difficult to find a gluten free option! However, Margaritaville in Falmouth, Jamaica was gluten free friendly.


Gluten Free in Aruba

When I began my gluten free journey, I was a little worried about what vacations would look like for me. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my trips that way I had in the past. With my fifth trip to “The Happy Island,” approaching, I was really looking forward to some delicious dinners. In the months leading up to my vacation I was constantly researching gluten free restaurants in Aruba. I found TripAdviser and other blogs to be very helpful, but emailing a restaurant prior to my trip had the best outcomes. To my surprise, many restaurants in Aruba were more than willing to accommodate my food allergy. When I made a dinner reservation for my family, I would also mention my allergy. When we arrived at dinner, I also always spoke with our waitstaff directly. Unfortunately, gluten free beer has not made its way down to Aruba, but the grocery stores offer many gluten free items. In this blog post I am sharing the restaurants I dined on my most recent trip to Aruba.

Texas de Brazil

My family ate here on the first night and I was amazed by the staff’s knowledge of gluten. Our waitress completely understood my gluten allergy and arranged for a chef to show me around the salad bar. For those of you who have never been to Texas de Brazil I will explain the serving style of the dinner. First, guests visit the salad/appetizer bar for the first course. Next, you sit down at your table flip your card to green (“yes, I would like more food!”) and servers come around with a variety of meats that are carved right onto your plate. The chef walked me around the salad bar and told me all of the dishes and dressings that contained gluten. He also reminded me of which meats I would not be able to eat for dinner. For my entire dinner our waitress kept an eye on me and reminded me of which meats I could not sample. She even knew to avoid vodka in my drinks! I highly recommend going to Texas de Brazil while you’re in Aruba gluten free or not! Our dinner was awesome.

Smokey Joe’s

In the past this restaurant has been one of my favorites while in Aruba. The ribs here are amazing! My family ate here twice during our trip. Unfortunately (and not to my surprise) the ribs are not gluten free. The first night my waiter did not understand my allergy; he actually thought I said I was allergic to glue, so he brought the manager over. I ordered plain grilled chicken on a salad with oil and vinegar dressing. Although the salad was not nearly as satisfying as the rib would have been, I enjoyed my salad and did not get sick. The second night our waitress told me the dry-rub ribs did not contain gluten ingredients, so I decided to give them a try. After watching my family devour delicious saucy ribs early in the week I was green with envy. Although the dry-rub wasn’t as good as the saucy BBQ ribs I had years ago, they were still tasty. Afterwards, I did have a bit of an upset stomach, but nothing too terrible. In the future I would just stick to the salad and suggest others do the same, especially if you have Celiacs.

Linda’s Pancakes

One night my family decided to order in, so I picked up a gluten free pizza with peppers from Linda’s. I was definitely one of the best GF pizzas I’ve had. One of my cousins even said he thought it tasted just like regular pizza. Unfortunately, I got a stomach ache pretty quickly. Although several other blogs raved about Linda’s gluten free dutch pancakes I was too hesitant to go back after trying the pizza. The rest of my family stopped at Linda’s for breakfast one morning and loved it.

Yemanja Woodfire Grill

Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! Yemanja is the only restaurant I found with an actual gluten free menu. Most of their dishes are gluten free to begin with so I was able to choose from the same dishes as my family. They even brought me fresh, fluffy and delicious gluten free bread. This night I had grilled mahi-mahi and was able to eat the family style side dishes that were put on the table. I highly recommend dinning here if you have a gluten allergy or not. My entire family loved this dinner. It’s definitely somewhere we are looking forward to visiting again on future trips.


Definitely put Gianni’s restaurant on your list if you are looking for excellent Italian food. Although they do not have a gluten free menu, they do offer gluten free pasta and knowledgeable staff. All but two pasta sauces were gluten free. We actually ate here twice because the food is so good and they could accommodate my allergy. The first night I had gluten free penne with carbonara sauce. It was so good I had it the next time as well, but the gluten free pasta of the night was fusilli. Both nights my waiters took great care in noting my gluten allergy.

Chalet Suisse

When my cousin made our dinner reservation this night he actually spoke directly to the chef. The chef informed him that many of the restaurant’s dishes did not contain gluten and he would be more than willing to accommodate my food allergy. I had the delicious filet mignon special with spinach, mushrooms and a baked potato. This was yet another delicious family dinner that we all enjoyed.

At the end of my trip I ate lunch at the Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club when my waitress told me I could have asked the front desk to make note of my allergy in the computer. She said all of the restaurants on the grounds  would be able to see my food allergy in the computer when processing our meals. I will definitely remember this for next time. I hope this helps all of you gluten free readers who may be traveling to Aruba!