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“Needs improvement in services” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa

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Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Km 7.5 a Barra de Navidad, Puerto Vallarta 48390, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #9 of 119 hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Needs improvement in services”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

I booked a room through mexvax.com at a competitive price for last thanksgiving week for this place. I booked it with all inclusive option for me and my wife.

Cons:

* This place is a time share place so at the airport if they know that you're heading towards there, they'll lure you into this time-share presentation which will steal your precious vacation time. They'll cover it up with some benefits like free breakfast (which was not an extra for us since we were already on all-inclusive), excursion offer (ours was city tour but you can ask anything I guess), bottle of tequila and refund of your airport taxi lift. It may look like a good deal but I wouldn't trade them to 2 hours of my vacation time. It is partially my fault that I got tricked into it though but I still think that a place of this caliber should make everything as clear as possible from the beginning and shouldn't press any further if I'm not interested in.

* We stayed in the new tower and it is always an hassle to go back to your room since if you cannot find a cart around you have to climb 3-4 flights of stair and then a steep incline. Half of the time cart was there half of the time I just didn't wait or call for it as it is not a big deal for me but it became boring real fast.

* New tower is still in construction even though it looked finished and we woke up to talking and hammering workers a couple mornings. We could've asked to be moved down but our laziness prevented us to so. If you're going here I would suggest that you stay in buildings next to the sea though. Also there is a slight background noise from the other two towers that are currently being built.

* Food service is quite slow when restaurants have more than 30 people dining. I think we averaged around 2 hour per dinner. Breakfast is relatively faster and we used the bar next to pool for lunch but they were still relatively slow in general.

* Since all-inclusiveness is optional they kept us signing the bills all the time. Bills were eventually waived as we check out but it was still a bit annoying. They were even asking for us to sign for bottle of water. I mean come on. I understand that why they do it but there are other ways to achieve this like those band wrists that other places use which signify that you're on all-inclusive deal.

Pros:

* Room in the tower was quite luxurious and the view was breathtaking.

* Food at restaurants and the bar near the pool was amazingly good except the special thanksgiving menu which was a cold turkey but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

* Rooms, pool, restaurants, pretty much everywhere was quite clean.

* Beach next to the place was nice. It was a bit wavy but nothing dangerous. Also at the end of the beach there are rocky formations where you can snorkel and see lots of fish.

* Staff was quite polite, friendly and helpful.

All in all, I enjoyed the place but they need to fix the issues that I listed above to live up to the awards and standards they've been showing off.

Room Tip: Stay at the beach buildings but not in towers.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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711 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (270)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
houston, tx
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

(I wrote this review 3 years ago before the hotel towers were built, but someone managed to forget to post it)
We came here twice in October 2009 and liked it so much we got married here in December! The accommodations are top notch and the staff is all very professional, courteous and helpful! All of our guests were blown away by the amenities in their suites at the hotel. In fact, one wedding guest mentioned that he had been to Puerto Vallarta before and didn't really like the experience, but the Garza Blanca changed his mind about coming back again! We stayed in the 4 story penthouse only building where every suite had a jacuzzi and modern GE appliances, including wine chillers, washer/dryers, full kitchens, and more. Everyone said that it was the best wedding they have ever been to and one of the best vacations ever thanks to the Garza Blanca hotel and staff. Even if you don't stay at the hotel, visit the Blanca Blue restaurant for one of the few gourmet dining experiences in town. Patrick, the chef is phenomenal.
We are in our early thirties and travel almost every month all over the world. This is one of the nicest hotels we have stayed in all year. The only reason I am giving a 4 for location is because you do have to take a taxi into town. Many parts of the beaches in PVR only have rocks and no sand, but there is a sandy beachfront at this hotel. This is more of an adult-only luxury environment, but the staff was very accommodating to our guests under 3 years old, even providing a crib for us.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

This was my second time staying at Garza Blanca - last time for five nights, this time four. We love this place for the relaxation and the world-class gourmet food, so I would like to see it do well in the long run. To that end, I highly recommend more training for the restaurant wait staff and better planning for all the restaurants. There is no reason that breakfast should last more than an hour due to the unorganized and purposeless manner with which restaurant staff move about. I know these wonderful people are working hard, so all they need is more training from and better planning by the restaurants.

We ordered room-service breakfast once during our most recent stay and was told on the phone that it would take 25 minutes for the food to arrive. Lo and behold it took more than an hour just for the food to be delivered to the room! I understand that morning is a busy time for the restaurant and for the room-service department, so they should not have promised 25 minutes! Ultimately, breakfast was excellent, and the delivery person was fairly professional (though he almost forgot to give us several items ordered), but the long wait was frustrating.

On a different note, I had the best deep-tissue massage at the spa, after which we enjoyed sitting on the spa's massive terrace, drinking the complimentary healthy-tasting "green juice" and eating the little sachet of nuts, while admiring the breathtaking view.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shawnm2009
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

To the management - you should have just let us leave after the first day instead of making us stay and refusing to refund our money. For the price....forget it. You should have refunded me for the mornings I was up at 7am woken by construction workers opening our hotel room door!!!

I've stayed in Puerto Vallarta a few times and decided to extend my 5 day trip by 3 days. I booked at Garza Blanca last minute and what a terrible end to a great vacation. The pool is right off the main road so you hear street noise. I had to move room 3 times...the first junior suite had a balcony that had lights shining in from the street. If you go, do NOT stay on the beach side. Room are terrible. After finally moving to the newly opened tower, I thought that would be better. They promised me nobody would bother us yet both mornings at 7am we were woken up by construction workers next door. Guess they were not done!!! One instance they actually opened our room door since they didn't think anyone was staying there.

The food...awful except for the new restaurant. The people for the most part were very nice but you are required to sign every hour which is a pain. They track you down in the pool to close out tabs on an hourly basis. I honestly don't get that.

I usually stay at nice resorts and this I can say is not one of them. I would NEVER stay at this place again and would NEVER recommend to anyone. I asked after the first day to cancel our last two nights and move hotels but the refused to let me. They honestly could have just ended things there but chose not to. The management is clueless and they have no idea how to run a resort. At the new tower its just construction workers running around everywhere and lots of noise at the pool with a crane swinging over.

Trust me, there are plenty of better places to stay in PV. Feel free to contact me for more details.

Room Tip: Don't go. If you do, good like finding a nice room.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napa, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

This hotel has everything going for other than being pretty far out of town, especially with all of the road work. They have tons of staff who are eager to help but don't know what to do in order to help. The check in was smooth and easy, they didn't press us at all on the time share, guess my husband has that look to him. The bartender in the main bar was very eager to help and very nice, however, he can only take one drink order at a time and make each of those one at a time. The rooms are very nice, needed to ask each day that our mini bar was re-stocked. We travel to Mexico a couple times a year and know the service is slow and we can relax, Garza Blanca took waiting to the next level, we waited in one of the restaurants for 30 minutes before our drink order was taken, once again the orders came one at a time. I would recommend this for relaxing and especially if the management gets it together to train these very eager employees.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County, CA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

We stayed at Garza Blanca from 11/15-11/19. This resort is amazing! The views, the lobby, and the customer service exceeding all of our expectations. This resort was under construction while we were there because they are expanding to several towers. When we arrived, we were told we got an upgrade to the brand new tower. They told us no one had ever stayed in that room, and we were the first, so we took it! Once we got to the room, the view was spectacular, nothing I had ever seen! After a few trips to the private beach access or the lobby, we began to feel like our upgrade was more of a downgrade because to get to the beach/lobby/main entrance/restaurants, you have to take a golf cart ride down. It was fine the first few times, but then it got really annoying. Despite that our stay was so great! The staff is so friendly, and you really get the feel that they will go above and beyond to make sure you are comfortable.
The restaurants are pricey and sometimes the food was a hit or miss. I ordered the same dish twice at the Boca Dossk restaurant and both times it tasted different. Blanca blue feels like a high end restaurant and their presentation of food is spectacular! The outside seating for both restauants is a must!
We had a issue with our billing at checkout, but the manager Hans was so nice and understanding about it. At the end, he took care of it. He seems like he is very compassionate about his job and where he works!

Would definitely recommend this place!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taos, New Mexico
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

I found Garza Blanca to be lovely. The room was very clean and nicely appointed. I fell in love with the hammock on the patio. Great views and quiet area. Good place for relaxing and good swimming beach. We were greated with a delicious and refreshing cucumber margarita but then hit up for a " presentation breakfast" I hate that! Several spa discounts were offered then withdrawn when we opted out of the breakfast so that felt offputting. The pool is spectacular though and I was content just to gaze at the amazing views from the edge of the infinity pool while watching the sunset over Banderas Bay. We only stayed 2 days and it was a great start to a 3 week vacation.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa

Address: Km 7.5 a Barra de Navidad, Puerto Vallarta 48390, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#5 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#6 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#9 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#14 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa 5*
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, Resort And Spa
Garza Blanca Preserve Hotel Puerto Vallarta

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