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Thursday, June 19, 2014
100% Gluten-Free in Costa Rica at Arenas del Mar
In only four days, I will be here: 

Photo credit: Arenas del Mar

Pinch me!

Do you ever think "I want to travel, but where can I eat gluten-free so far from home?" I know exactly how you feel. That's why I started my Gluten-Free Globetrotter website in 2011. Living with Celiac since 1981, I don't know anything else but gluten-free travel. I wanted to convince other Celiacs that they also can travel. I have connected with so many nervous Celiacs that ask me for ideas of where to go and now I have an awesome suggestion that I am testing it out next week! Tough job, but someone has to do it for the celiac community! 

About six weeks ago, I learned that Arenas del Mar in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, was putting its staff through the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness GREAT Kitchens training program"This comprehensive course teaches the essentials of gluten-free food preparation and cross-contamination avoidance – skills that are critical for serving customers with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity." This is impressive yet puzzling. I wondered why a hotel in Costa Rica was paying attention to the celiac guest.

Well, it turns out that one of the owners of Arenas del Mar has a daughter who has celiac disease and understands first-hand how anxiety about dining out can deter those with special dietary needs from traveling. When she travels, she becomes scared at each mealtime with concern for the ingredients in her food and cross contact in the kitchen. Sound familiar? I bet it does!

Arenas del Mar is a 38-room hotel on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. In 2013, Travel and Leisure magazined voted it the Top Family Hotel in Central and South America. It has also been awarded 5 Stars for Luxury and 5 Leaves for Sustainability by the Government of Costa Rica. This is all nice, but being able to eat gluten-free at this hotel in Costa Rica is really what stands out to me.

Photo credit: Arenas del Mar
In addition to being able to serve their gluten-free guests year-round, Arenas del Mar is featuring two weeks dedicated to the Celiac Community. During these weeks, the resort will go 100% gluten-free!

Here is more information about these extra special weeks:
A Week for the Celiac Community 
In support of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), Arenas Del Mar will host two Weeks for the Celiac Community. During the weeks beginning September 13th and again on November 8th.  Both restaurants at Arenas Del Mar will go 100% gluten-free for their guests’ safety and comfort. 
A Week for the Celiac Community was inspired by the daughter of one of the owners who has celiac disease and understands first-hand how anxiety bout dining out can deter those with special dietary needs from traveling. When she travels, she becomes scared at each mealtime with concern for the ingredients in her food and cross contact in the kitchen. 
The first week, beginning September 13th 2014, will feature guest Chef Monica Glass, who herself has celiac disease, accompanied by Chef Nicole Petrongolo. Monica has worked as a pastry chef at the acclaimed seafood restaurant Le Bernardin in New York City, 10 Arts in Philadelphia and now Clio in Boston. 
The second week, beginning November 8th 2014, will feature Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, the owners and chefs of the highly rated Zahav in Philadelphia. This restaurant was named best restaurant in Philadelphia by Philly Magazine. 
All the kitchen staff at Arenas Del Mar will also have completed the NFCA’s Great Kitchens training program which is accredited by the American Culinary Foundation.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the NFCA.

In only a few days, I am traveling solo to the jungles of Costa Rica and staying at Arenas Del Mar* for five days! I am beyond excited for this trip. Traveling the globe, searching for gluten-free friendly places, and then sharing that with my readers is exactly what I want to do with my life. It's why I write Gluten-Free Globetrotter. If I can encourage just one reader to step out of their comfort zone and book a gluten-free vacation anywhere in the world, then my mission is complete!

I will be reporting back on my Gluten-Free Globetrotter experiences in Costa Rica throughout the week. Follow my gluten-free travels via InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

For further details about Arenas del Mar, please contact Jeremy Allen, Program Director and hotel Partner at or 1-610-407-9371. Please tell Jeremy you learned about Arenas del Mar from Erin Smith of Gluten-Free Fun and Gluten-Free Globetrotter!

* Arenas del Mar is hosting my 5-day stay next week. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are purely and entirely my own.

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Richard, who I met at the Crumbs meetup last night, commented that we should have a meetup event in Costa Rica. I said it sounded like he was volunteering to organize it...haha! Hope it's been a blast. (This meetup went well, too. Next up...cupcake crawl, for real?)

Blogger Lauren said...

I am coming too! On Sunday!!!!

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