How the Ritz-Carlton made one little girl feel very special

A friend of mine was sharing with me a wonderful experience she had at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, FL with her food-allergic daughter, so I asked if she’d write a quick blog entry. The following is what she wrote. It needs no further introduction.

Recently while on vacation in Naples, FL, I had the chance to visit the Ritz-Carlton on the beach. My daughter and I walked over to visit their sundry store one afternoon. Next to the store is their coffee shop.

I went in to get myself coffee and started up a conversation with the young lady who worked there. After she heard me tell my daughter there was nothing there she could have (her allergies are extensive, with the four biggest ones being Gluten, Dairy, Eggs and Nuts), the woman got her manager to help “find” something for my daughter.

In the end they made her a Soy Hot Chocolate – which she loved! It never entered my mind to see if they carried soy milk, and pure chocolate.

In the ensuing conversation I learned a lot about what the Ritz can do for their food allergy clients. And you do not have to be staying in their hotel for their help!

The manager informed me that if I give them a list of my daughters’ allergies, they will keep them on file with the ability to access them at any Ritz worldwide. Then when staying with them or visiting their restaurants, if I give them notice that my daughter will be there, they can make a menu for her.

The next month, I went to the Ritz for High Tea. We did not tell them in advance as I did not make the reservation. They were wonderful in making her the soy hot chocolate. The used the same chocolate (which they brought out for me to read) to dip her fresh Strawberries. They brought out to me ingredient lists, etc… and we were able to make my daughters 1st High Tea a very special treat!

That’s such a great story. And how wonderful it is to know that the entire Ritz-Carlton network will keep your food allergies on file for all of their restaurants to access… whether you’re staying with them or not!

Let me add one more thing to further illustrate just how accommodating the Ritz had to be (and how great a challenge this terrific mother faces) by sharing with you the list of allergies this wonderful little girl possesses:

IgE’s: Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Egg Whites, Gluten, Cow’s Milk, Onion, Apple, Sesame Seed, Tomato, Oat, Turkey Meat, Red Dye

IgG’s: Green Bean, Cantaloupe, Lemon, Coconut, Orange, Sesame, Squash, Tomato, Watermelon, Avocado, Eggplant, Grape, Black Pepper, White Potato, Black Tea, Sweet Potato, Lettuce, Grapefruit, Cauliflower, Cabbage

(For those who are not clear on the difference between IgE’s and IgG’s, the following web page is concise and helpful:

Given this overwhelming list of allergies, consider again how incredibly special this little girl must have felt to be treated so well! Kudos to the Ritz-Carlton on a job well done!

Thank you Kristin for sharing this story with me and allowing me to share it with the other friends of AllergyEats. (And thank you for being such a great ambassador for AllergyEats!)

For those of you who may not be aware of the main AllergyEats site, or for those who have recently dined out but are yet to rate your dining experience, please visit AllergyEats at While we are off to a great start, we still have a long way to go and need your support and your ratings. Every new rating boosts the value of AllergyEats for our entire food allergy and intolerance community… as does every new member you refer to the site who ends up rating restaurants.



    From Carrie Spillane Martin via Facebook:

    Our family had a very similar experience at the same Ritz several years ago! Our daughter was 5 and has multiple allergies. They made a special shopping trip to buy the brands and ingredients we needed — our groceries were waiting at check-in. They even designated a brand-new sandwich maker just for our daughter. It was incredible! I love the Ritz, they will truly stop at nothing to ensure the comfort of EVERY guest.

    From Catherine Holtzer Boarman via Facebook:

    This is just terrific to read!! I worked for Marriott International (who manages Ritz Carlton as well) for 19 years and I am a mother to two little people with multiple food allergies. I’ll be sure to share with my former colleagues as well 🙂

    From Amber Miller Borst via Facebook:

    WOW! These are the kinds of companies I will frequent for a lifetime. Long after my allergic son is off on his own and if even by some miracle he is cured of his allergies.


    After the mother in this article sent a thank you letter (and a copy of this blog entry) to the Ritz in Naples, here was their nice response:

    Dear Ms. [Smith]:

    Thank you so much for your kind note of June 7. It gives me great pleasure to read that our Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, Naples took such wonderful care of you and your family, specifically your daughter. As our credo states, “The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission.”

    It will be my pleasure to share your compliments, along with your blog posting, with the Ladies and Gentlemen of the resort.

    Ms. [Smith], again thank you so much for your email.

    I look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you and your family back to the resort in the future. We will have soy hot chocolates ready and waiting!

    Warm regards,
    Danielle A. Cole (on behalf of Lawrence T. McFadden, Hotel Manager)


    Two years ago we stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Naples and had the same wonderful experience. My son who was 3 at the time had the best time, and loved the tasty food they prepared for him. His allergies are tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, egg yolk and fish. Their attentiveness made for a relaxing vacation for my husband and I as well!

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