Trip date Feb 24-Mar 2 2012. 4 people.Cost 6500.00 US for all inclusive,room and air fare from Edmonton to Puerto Vallarta.Make sure your paperwork that the airline gives you when you are entering is filled out properly and signed before you get to customs.Once customs stamp your paperwork keep it safe because you will need this paperwork to leave the country.Dodge all the sharks when you come out of customs. Just say NO Gracia(no thanks) and walk through them.The cheapest way to get to Garza Blanca is to get a taxi across the street. When you exit out the front of the building go left and walk across the foot bridge to the other side of the hi-way and flag down a taxi. It cost $20.00 US to take us to Garza or 200 peso,s. If you have several bags this option might not be attractive and the cabs out side the airport can be had for $30.00.The exchange rate at the airport was 10 peso,s per US dollar from the booths that do exchanges. The rate is better from the interact machines but the exchange was 12.2 pesos at the Garza resort. We were met by Samantha, the concierge at the hotel. We were greeted with Cucumber Margaritas and damp hand towels(would have been nice if they were warm) to wash up with. Nice touch after a long trip. Samantha did a perfect job explaining the all inclusive, the shuttle times and info about the grounds. She mentioned to us about the residency(time share) program but was not to pushy about it which we all liked. I have stayed at several places that had time share options but this was the one place I would not have minded it if had taken it. She also arranged a little birthday desert plate at the new restaurant for our daughters birthday which she will remember the rest of her life. The room we booked was the deluxe room with 2 queen beds. It equated to a 4 star.Due to having 4 people (Mom,Dad,Son and a Daughter) we had to take this room our other option was a 2 bedroom with a sofa. All rooms have an ocean view and a hammock. We all took a turn snoozing in the hammock and it was a pretty good sleep.We checked out the Junior suite with hot tub as well as a one bedroom suite and they were 5 star quality. It is true about the charge for coffee after the first day, I can,t figure that one my self so just plan for it and bring coffee. Our fridge was stocked every day with beer and pop and water . The nice thing about the inclusive here almost everything is fair game to eat other then a couple of items in the Blanca Blue restaurant.The teenagers ordered room service several times and it was quick and no automatic gratuities were added.I will mention this now before I forget, you can get DVD's from the hotel as there is a DVD player in each room however there is a RENTAL CHARGE which they do not tell you about ($2 a day). The room has an ironing board and iron as well as a hair dryer, bath robes and slippers. Our room also had a do not disturb sign to put on the door. We always left a minimum $5.00 tip for the maid. We also saw whales from our balcony of our room.The beach is white sand. The infinity pools are beautiful and warm. The pool activity centre has games, books and magazines. They also supply suntan lotion, bug spray and reading glasses.They have volley balls, foot balls,kayaks, towels etc. There was always plenty of loungers to use. We only saw one child the whole time we were there. The grounds are stunning and well looked after. The staff and the service people were always friendly and ready to serve(thanks Jaime and his helper). I had no problems with service. One of our guests had a severe peanut allergy and they looked after him with out any issues.Here is a tip. I would tip the waiter $5.00 when we first sat down by the pool. A little while later I would give another $5.00 tip and $5.00 more towards the end of the day.Worked out to about $100.00 for 7 days.We also left $20 to $30 tips($140-$180.00 in 7 days at the Blanca Blue restaurant.Tips were shared between the two families as we always sat together. You may think this is not right to do at a all inclusive but this is Mexico and tips are appreciated and earned. The extra two hundred fifty dollars in tips made it worth while. Now the food. I read other reviews about food being good or OK or not that great.I don,t know where some of these people ate before they came here to form this opinion. I have stayed in $1000.00 a night hotels in Greece, Hotel Mcdonald in Edmonton, Banff Springs hotel in Banff, and the food here would be comparable if not better then those places I just listed. Don't get me wrong, I am no judge from Iron Chef or a Sweet Genius but the food was 5 star all the way. Where do you go where the pool menu has Lobster salad or Filet Mignon (which was cooked perfectly) that did not disappoint. Our teenage son and his cousin said the hamburgers were some of the best he has ever eaten and I had to agree with them. The presentation was 5 star quality also. When ordering remember it takes extra time to prepare these meals in this fashion, which might answer some of the slow service comments. If you are not familiar with fine cuisine it is an eating experience and as much time goes into the preparation as the cooking of the food. We never had a bad meal. There is a hour in the morning where you can not order food from the pool area and the restaurant. It is from 11:00 to 12:00 so if you are a late riser its something to consider. I read at least 50 comments before I chose this place and some of the comments saying the food back home is this and the service back home is that well stay at home if the food and service is so good there. This is Mexico. If we changed every country so it was like back home there would be no use in traveling. I have been travelling for 40 years to countries all around the globe and enjoyed every one of them. This place lived up to and beyond what we were expecting. There was 4 of us as well as 3 family members and we all agreed we would come back. The all - inclusive option was well worth it. Supper the first night would have been $500.00 US with out the inclusive package. A word to the wise. 7 days of high end food can be trying. You must be open minded to try new food cooked different ways for example the Potato ice cream.Two out of five liked it but all 5 enjoyed the experience.If you are a calorie counter or a exercise fanatic maybe this place is not for you. There are so many great things to try, and to order fruit and yogurt seems a shame. Save that for the other 51 weeks of the year.If you would like to be one of the 1% instead of the 99% book away. We were the first people to eat at the new restaurant opening at the resort and the chef personally cooked for us sample of each entree they will be serving. The Kobe beef was wonderful as well as the cerviche sampler which consists of tuna,salmon,and butter fish. The service was over the top. I can,t wait when the whole complex is up and running. We have tons of pictures of the menu and the food. I will post as many of them as I can. P.S. try the toilets in the Blanca Blue restaurant. Lets keep people that have not travelled here guessing what is so special about this bathroom. All I can say is WOW.Never seen anything like it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Spectacularly flanked by the vibrant blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and the verdanant tropical forests of the Sierra Madre mountains, Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa nestles gracefully just minutes south of historic Puerto Vallarta, one of Mexico's most dynamic and sophisticated vacation destinations.All Suites feature in-style decor that include marble floors, granite countertops, private terraces, whirlpool tubs and artisan in room amenities.Our ultra-chic gourmet restaurant is one of Puerto Vallarta's most sophisticated and premier dining options, catering breathtaking ocean views, a stylish lounge, a 230 label award-winning wine cellar, and a selection of unique contemporary dishes tailored to scintillate your senses. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Garza Blanca Preserve Hotel Puerto Vallarta
- Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort And Spa