This post comes from my girl Taylor who has been a Cosmopolitan Travels, Inc. travel coordinator for a few months now. And the toughest time for us to do is to have lunch as she is vegan and I’m such a carnivore. So when the trip to Jamaica came along for her I asked her to to take photos and keep notes of her food, because I already did the similar trip and the food really impressed me. This is in her own words:
Hi, my name is Taylor, and I’ve been a vegan for almost six years now. I love everything about it…except not being able to find good food when I travel outside of a big city. Then I get hungry. I don’t want to exist on a picked over salad bar EVERY time I leave California. It’s a misconception that Vegans aren’t foodies, we are. So, I heard that Sandals/Beaches resorts cater to anyone with specific dietary needs. I decided to test the waters, and toured all nine of their Jamaican resorts, eating my way through the country.
The first thing that I did when I got to the Sandals Royal Caribbean resort in Montego Bay was to meet with the chef. I told him I was a vegan, and he assured me that he would make some great dishes, and I would never feel left out. He can help people with ANY dietary preferences (GF,allergies,no sugar),not just vegan. I still had that picked over salad bar from other vacations in my head until…
He whipped up this vegan chocolate custard for me in a matter of minutes. That was when I decided Sandals is a friend of the vegan (or any picky eater for that matter). While everyone around me was enjoying their desserts, I happily dug into mine. Usually, I would jealously be eating an apple on the sidelines, but not at Sandals.
Dinner that night was even more amazing! I ate at Tokyo Jo’s in Sandals Montego Bay. I was so impressed when the Head Chef came out to personally stir fry my vegetables in front of me, and made a tofu and vegetable appetizer that wasn’t on the menu.
For the first time as a vegan on vacation I didn’t feel deprived. I was wow’d, just like you should be at a luxury all-inclusive resort!
I was very happy to see that each Sandals/Beaches stayed consistent. This dish was made at Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios. I decided I wanted a nice formal dinner at Valentino’s over-looking the ocean. Once again, the Head Chef came to greet me at my table, and made a custom vegetable dish, and minestrone soup. It may look simple, but the spices on these veggies were so good I wanted seconds. Another great restaurant at Sandals Grande Riviera was Soy the sushi restaurant; one night I got Avocado Rolls, and tempura vegetables. Delicious.
Throughout the rest of my stops at the different resorts I was continually wow’d. Whether it was waking up to a muesli, soymilk, and dried fruit breakfast. Or, the restaurants around the resort knowing they had a vegan on property, and being ready for me with a delicious veggie wrap, and sweet potato fries.
But, honestly nothing could prepare me for the grand vegan finale of my Jamaica trip! My room in Sandals Montego Bay was a butler category room. Our butler, Shoval, was amazing! He went out of his way to turn Jamaica into a Vegan paradise. And that he did….
On my last day he brought me a vegan, sugar-free dessert plate with champagne to the beach! Any vegan who has vacationed knows how insane that is! Basically, anything you ask of Sandals/Beaches the answer is YES. They will special order that gluten-free beer before your trip, or drive two hours to get you unsweetened almond milk, and coconut sugar.
Bottom line: Sandals/Beaches isn’t just a friend of the vegan, they are a BEST friend.
Thank you Taylor for your eye-opening blog. Our next lunch is vegan!