We've been visiting PV for years and have always wanted to stay at Garza Blanca instead of renting a private home or condo. First, the setting is perfect, probably the cleanest most beautiful beach in the area. They clean the beach each morning like it was Pebble Beach golf club. The pool setting, landscaping is nothing less than one would find at at Four Season's or Ritz. Pool butlers are helpful and enough chaises are made available for everyone. (Have you ever walked through a resort pool to find it almost empty but every chair taken with someone's stuff on it all day for that one or two hours they may use the chairs?) Pool menu / food is nothing than the best and the best value at this place. We started ordering our breakfast by the pool as the setting is breathtaking. (Same full breakfast as in the dinning room)
The bellmen to the reception staff are professional and really are trying to work out any problems they've had in the past. After reading some earlier posts before arriving, I was on guard. No one offered any promo tours or pushed any marketing. Our room, one bedroom suite was tastefully designed with upmarket materials, clean, extra large plush towels and the same amenities as any five star international brand. With one or two minor service tweaks, they would fit a Four Season's brand. Pillow menus and free morning coffee in room would go a long way towards this end. The kitchen had all appliances one would need for cooking but only offered coffee for the first day. We like to cook in a few nights and were a little disappointed that they didn't have a large pasta pot and a few mixing bows so we could make pasta Carbonara. But, the staff were helpful getting us what we wanted. In retrospect, room service was great and so we'd order what we wanted and then made our own margaritas, and had ice cream or other snacks we bought at the grocery store. Best of both worlds. One night we just made guacamole, nachos, watched a movie and desert later.
We did encounter a few problems during New Years when the hotel was full. There were some breakdowns with room service and dining room service as some of their back staff are not as well trained and couldn't keep up with the demand. Hotel management failed here as they should have expected this.
Our biggest disappointment had to do with spotty internet service in the rooms. They now offer free internet WiFi in the rooms but they only have one provider available south of PV which doesn't provide the bandwidth they need. With a full house, the internet was slow and at times didn't work. While they provide WiFi in the lobby, pool areas and room, the service just wasn't reliable. And with almost everyone carrying an iPad, you'd think they'd get this fixed fast!
Management tells me they are working on this but it did present a problem. So sometimes it worked ok and then others it didn't.
I particularly appreciated the room, pool or restaurant bills they provided. Everything was clear with the added conversion of what the final peso amount was in dollars. This made it helpful. The servers certainly earned a 20% tip. And the housecleaning lady was great. I had no problem giving her some money as she certainly earned it. Everyday, she did something special for us - While an earlier post mentioned the pool butler expecting money, I really didn't have that feeling that I was being "worked" for a tip. I found the folks who served us were great and gladly tipped them as I would at home any day having a meal out or someone who was giving me a hand. But there is nothing more annoying than going to a resort where every two steps, you feel like you need to tip someone. I didn't experience this here.
And, I felt we had great values. As a promotion, we received free breakfast with our room. Same price in dinning room, by the pool or in the room. Other than our frustration with the internet, considering the quality of the room decor, size, cleanliness, landscaping, pool, food and spirit with which everyone really was trying, our stay was a great experience and value. Believe me, it would have been $200 more a day at a Four Seasons and a much smaller room.