We were at Garza Blanca over the Christmas holiday: two parents and three young adult children. We were on the all-inclusive plan. We booked through a travel agent.
Garza Blanca is a beautiful resort that is very well tended. We booked a two-bedroom suite and it was wonderful: spacious, comfortable, and clean. Incredibly, the suite contains three full bathrooms. (What a plus!) The balcony is so large it's like having another room. And the view is priceless.
The swimming pools are beautiful, the towels are thick, and the beach is big enough to enjoy yourself and have some privacy.
Some of the staff truly are superior: Cecile, the supervisor at Blanca Blue, is smart, professional, and engaging; Teresa at the front desk willingly took multiple pictures of us in our family tshirts; Lorena is a terrific waitress at Blanca Bleu; Jaime does a great job at the always-busy Aquazul; and Victor may be the best bellman in history. No request of ours was too small or too big. Clearly the management has made some terrific hires who go a long way to making the guests feel appreciated.
No one tried to switch us to accommodations up the hill.
Finally, our bill at checkout was correct. No charges except for the additional tips that we gave. No hassle of any kind.
We travel to a different island and resort every year for the holiday and are aware of how busy the hotels get. The systems at Garza Blanca broke down when the house was full: it could take 45 minutes to get a drink at the pool. room service never came one time, and housekeeping missed our room. While annoying, these are not uncommon. What is particularly annoying however, is when you've paid thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars, you expect service that is closer to perfect.
We never were able to make the kitchen supply folks understand that there were five paying adult guests, not two, so we constantly were shorted our daily supplies. We fixed that by going to the pool and getting more.
Because we were on the all-inclusive plan, we ate only at the hotel. Blanca Blue and Aquazul are fine and both have some delicious options. Boca dos Stk is a a real trial for the diner: service that is so slow that you want to rest your head on the table and go to sleep, uncoordinated service, and missed items. It's fun to be up above the rest of the resort, but that's the best that can be said. And three of us are competent Spanish speakers so it wasn't a language problem.
Two things. The beach butler and the airport transportation. We were set up at the beach one morning and waiting for our three children to join us when one of the beach staff told us that he would take our chairs if anyone wanted them. He said that it wasn't permitted to reserve chairs unless we paid extra money and engaged the beach butler. We looked around and virtually every chair at the beach and the pool had "reserved" towels on them, but he only approached us. Was he looking for a handout? Was he a jerk? Hard to know but completely unacceptable.
Our travel agency's agent gave the hotel bellman the money to call a van for trip to the airport -- we saw this transaction -- but the bellman did not do it. After 20 minutes of asking and waiting, a van did show up but the driver wanted more money and unloaded our bags and us. After waiting 30 minutes -- and you know what the traffic is like in PV and what a mess that airport can be -- we got even more insistent and demanded to see the manager. The bellman then put us in two cabs, one of which drove on the wrong side of the road to avoid traffic, and we made it to our planes on time. This is completely inexcusable. We booked and reconfirmed the ride, and we were in the lobby ten minutes early. Either the bellman were incompetent or he wanted more money. Either way -- completely unacceptable and a rotten way to end a lovely trip.