I recently travelled to Berlin for the 6th World Skeptic Congress, as a speaker. I was put up in the conference hotel, the Crowne Plaza. Therefore all my expenses were paid for so I can’t comment on the value for money of this hotel. However, I can highly recommend this hotel as being a safe and enjoyable place for coeliacs to stay!
Every morning there was a breakfast buffet with a few additional extras (e.g. omelettes) that you had to pay a supplement for. However, I didn’t feel the need for this as every morning, far away from the normal bread baskets was a special gluten free bread basket (choice of 3 types of roll) and some sliced gluten free bread. Not only that, but every day, there were lactose free cheese slices and yoghurts available! I couldn’t believe it – I didn’t even have to ask. At the buffet itself you need to take the usual buffet precautions, but the boiled eggs were quite safe and since every dish had separate tools, there was very little risk of cross contamination so I did indulge in a bit of bacon as well. They have plenty of fruit, teas and coffees as well.
The hotel also put on a lunch buffet for the conference goers. They did try to put a little sign “contains gluten” next to the offending items (I wasn’t the only coeliac at the conference), but this sign was conspicuously absent in front of a dish of Bulgar wheat, so some vigilance and common sense is needed.
I took precautions during lunch – I made sure I was the first down by the buffet, ready to go before any contamination could take place. However, there really weren’t a lot of dishes that contained gluten. The soups and bread were seperate, and most of the other dishes (bulgar wheat, couscous and pancakes) were clearly identifiable as containing gluten. Not only that but the quality of the food was excellent. There were fish dishes, chicken dishes, polenta cakes, wild rice, smoked salmon, pickled herrings, a great salad bar, and much more. I was in heaven!
I didn’t actually get to eat dinner at the hotel, but the staff are extremely clued up on gluten, and the standard of food was high, so I can’t imagine you’d have a problem with it.
- Food quality 5/5
- Peace of mind 4/5
- Not feeling like a freak 4/5