It's rare that I am ever uncertain as to how to rate an establishment. I found this resort confusing. On one hand, the resort's physical attributes are top notch however the TIMESHARE tactics are make the resorts desirability to return questionable.
I'll take you through a logical sequence of what you will experience following your arrival:
- Location: It's only about a 20 minute drive from airport. IT's located right o the ocean in the best part of the bay where blue water is a luxury. It's a $10 cab ride to Old town, $15 to the marina area/mid town/Malecon and $20 to the airport. Great location for our intentions!
- Security & Concierge: Top Notch. The resort has a gated security guard who will ask you your name and room number everytime you come and go. Don't be annoyed. It's for your own protection. Also, there is always a nice and personalized welcome everytime you arrive.
- Check in: IMPORTANT!!! READ THIS!!! Despite the check-in process being professional whereby they greet you with wet towels and a wonderful margarita, the check-in person is a TIMESHARE stager. She or he will actually have the other receptionist run around doing all the traditional check-in paperwork. This person will offer up a glorious and magical tour that if you don't take, the world will apparently spin off its axis otherwise. Just say NO Gracias! They will inevitably persist by telling you all about the discounts you will recieve blah, blah blah. Despite you being couteous, they will be offended and perplexed as to the why's behind you electing not to commit in what they frame-up as a 90 minute "tour" and free breakfast. They want for you to follow their check-in path and when you divert, oh when you divert, the true behaviors of the check-in staff rear their ugly heads. Pure rudeness. We are not here for a sales pitch nor do we want our vacation time consumed for what numerous others told us, several hours of selling us your timeshare program. They use the check-in process to strong-arm their agenda and for that alone, I would give the resort a 1 star rating had it not been for the for the nicer aspects of the resort. (I suspect that management will comment on my review, cite the many glowing reviews from others. I would just like to say, good for them but I can in return show you numerous other reviews wherby they weren't happy with the approach. No means No. Accept that for your answer and let us move on with our vacation time.)
The Rooms: We ultimately upgraded from a One Bedroom to a Two Bedroom to accomodate another guest. The rooms are magnificent and on par with a 4-5 star resort. There are two towers on the beach. We stayed on the 3 and 5th floor and had great views. There is little to dislike about the rooms. They are well appointed with top of the line furnishings and appliances. They went all out. Nice job Garza Blanca. Other than their claims the rooms square footage was 1600 and 2100 respectively, I would strongly disagree unless they are adding in the balcony and even with that, I think the numbers are inflated. Maybe 1300 and 1700 sqft respectively at most. They are however more than adequate in space for someone who is planning to stay for a week, a month, a couple of months. For this I would give the resort a 4.5 stars rating.
The Grounds: Superb. Once again, they spared no expense and used quality materials and furnishings. The pool is beautiful... and heated!!!!! Nice touch. Everything about the the resorts architecture was spot on and for this, I would give the resort a 5 star rating.
- Blanca Blue: We ate at the beach restaurant "Blanca Blue" once for breakfast, once for dinner and twice for room service. Below average everytime. It's really a shame considering it is such beautiful place. What was horrible? The wait service, the wait time, the food, the regret of being captive at the resort and having to order the food 3 more times!!! It was highly disorganized from the moment we walked into the restraunt to the time we left. We waited 20 minutes for a menu and they weren't even busy! The food had been delayed another hour and parts of the servings were luke warm. I will say that we enjoyed the Tortilla soup though! The breakfast will leave you scratching your head whether it be room service or dine-in. The servings are minimal and uneventful to say the least. Parts of our order were missing on all occassions. Very sad. I would give this restaurant 2 stars.
- BocaDosStk: The restaurant on the hill. Ummmm... WOW! Exceptional in everyway! We ordered the filet. I usually stear far far away from this in Mexico. It was the best filet I have ever had. Service was excellent and the views spectatcular. It wasn't cheap but worth every penny/peso! Well Done Garza... well done! I would give this restaurant 5 stars.
- Pool Bar and Snack Bar: Drinks were great. In fact,they were great wherever we were on property. Not very expensive either. The food was what should be expected for a poolside bar and small grill. good, not great but fulfilled the occasional need. I would rate the pool bar and snack bar with 3 stars.
The Pool - Beautiful. The natural rocks does the trick. The only thing I would suggest is communicating that towels left on the chairs does not imply the chair is taken. The towels on the chairs are actually a courtesy towel drop by the staff. In most enviroments, this means the chair is reserved. Nice touch however, a bit misleading on day one or two. 4 stars.
The Beach: Soooo subjective that I'll only say that I only saw locals actually in the water.
The Spa: I heard from the other two persons I was with it was great but did not experience for myself.
The Gift Shop: Very nice. Does not accept cash. Prices are surprisingly fair. Good quality merchandise.
So, in summary, say no to the relentless TimeShare "Tour" pitch, enjoy the rooms, skip out on the breakfast and any other meal at Blanca Blue for that matter, go instead to the restaurant on the hill, enjoy the pool and the wonderful drinks and great pool service.
Would I go back? With some reservation, yes. But if they pushed the timeshare down our throat in the disrespectful way they did this time, I'll be certain to video it and share with you, the reviewers to see so that you can determine if this is how you would like to be treated upon arrival. Aside from that and Blanca Blue, it's a good place and would recommend.
DID YOU FIND THIS REVIEW HELPFUL? PLEASE CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW AND LET ME KNOW. THANKS AND HAPPY TRAVELS.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
February 10, 2013
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Thank you very much for your review after your recent visit to Garza Blanca. We will take under very serious consideration your comments which will help us to constantly improve. We are deeply sorry for your situation during your check in process, and for not fulfilling your expectations. Of course it is never pleasant to hear one of our guests has encountered dissatisfaction during their stay.
Just as you expressed it, Garza Blanca has a wonderful location, the green mountains on one side and a magnificent beach on the other side with a clear view to los Arcos, Puerto Vallarta's natural landmark, and of course one of the most beautiful bays. We are a hotel who truly concerns about security and attention for each and everyone of our guests, therefore your observation is very valuable to us. As for the rest, let me assure you that we will work very close with each involved Department towards improving every area of opportunity.
We hope that you give us another opportunity in the future so that we can recover your trust.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.