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“Great experience!” 5 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 #14 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

Beautiful setting! The one bedroom oceanfront suite was absolutely gorgeous throughout complimented by the beautiful view. The entire staff from poolside, grounds, restaurant (Allen, Francisco, Kevin, Oscar, Victor) were extremely friendly and helpful. Perfect balance of allowing you privacy while ensuring your needs were being met. We found the service staff in the restaurant to be well trained and attentive. We made it clear that we were not interested in the timeshare discussion and we were never approached again - which was a great relief and appreciated.
I would highly recommend for the traveler looking for exceptional surroundings, food - off the beaten path.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
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1,029 reviews from our community

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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 (413)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mexico City Kid
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

This place has a five star rating, but the food, service and amenities are far from it, in spite of the beautiful setting. First, the two restaurants have overpriced food that is the quality of the average US diner. Second, while the staff is friendly and helpful, they are not five star quality. For example, it took me two days to get fresh towels. I had to leave them on the floor AND point out to the maid cleaning my room that they were two days old. Second, my room service breakfast order came wrong 50% of the time. One time the waiter forgot the silverware. The Wifi is out most of the time. The in-room Wifi signals are so weak that if you are more than a few meters from the router you cannot get a signal. Each room has its own router. Third, the rooms are on the side of a mountain. The only two ways of getting down to the mail building to go to town, the airport or whatever, are a long, steep flight of steps or a golf cart. The golf cart does not come on a regular schedule. Guests must call the operator to call it. Quite frequently, I had to call two or three times to get it. Other times I gave up and took the steps. All in all, I will skip the glitz and go somewhere else, maybe a 3 star hotel, which usually has better service than this.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Crystal Lake
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

The resort is wonderful! Every inch is beautiful and the Penthouse Oceanfront suite is like no other room I have ever seen! The food was wonderful and the people friendly! I did not see any teenagers so I'm not sure if this would be the place for teens but the smaller kids looked to be having a great time! We went with adults and would absolutely recommend and go back. Just Beautiful!!

  • Stayed February 2014, 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
    • 4 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.
California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

Upon check-in on 12/25/2013, we were told that our 1 bedroom suite (prepaid 6 months prior) was not available until 12/26. They wanted to put us in a plain room - much cheaper - in the tower across the road. We specifically booked and paid for the suite in the Oceanside tower to be right by the infinity pool along the beach. As a compromise since they were not providing the room we booked, the staff gave us a room in the Oceanside tower with 'all inclusive rights' for that evening and the next day when we would then receive our originally booked 1 bedroom suite. We returned to the front desk as instructed on 12/26 when we were told that our prepaid suite was still unavailable until 12/27 and to come back then. We were terribly frustrated as they had already received their money from us and they are unable to give us what we paid for or even close. The only thing the staff would offer was 'all inclusive - free food and most alcohol' for the remainder of our stay while we had to keep our average room with a balcony 1/4 of the size of the one we were supposed to have with our 1 bedroom suite.

The disappointments did not stop there.....we found the main restaurant to be improperly staffed and have very poorly trained employees consistently every day. Including the hostess. We had to walk out twice due to no service at our table for at least 15 minutes. The most reliable place to get any meals was the pool bar/café. The wait staff there were fairly efficient and friendly. And the food was actually really good. Since we always had to wait to be seated in the restaurant, we would have wine at the adjacent bar which always had a dirty bar surface and again, a poorly trained bartender as we watched several cocktails being returned for being made incorrectly (I understand Spanish, btw).

This was our 4th visit to Puerto Vallarta and we love the town, it's people and the sites and restaurants that it has to offer. Although Garza Blanca is in an incredibly gorgeous spot on the Pacific, I can say with certainty this visit to Garza Blanca was our first and will be our LAST.

Overall, my impression is that this is the largest, newest property in town and they are aggressively selling their timeshares to a fault where they cannot provide the level of service that they are claiming to give to their guests once you are there. Garza Blanca claims to be a 5 star resort and spa but their level of service is equivalent to a 2 star facility. Don't let the beautiful location and scenery distort your better judgement.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

My husband & I visited for a week long stay and eveyrthing about the experience left us craving to go back. The food, service, views & even pool boys were phenomenal. Our suite was large with a lovely hammock. We came back one night to a beautifully decorated room with a bubble bath already drawn for us, chocolates & champagne (LOVED THIS!!).

Huge thanks to Francisco for such a fun & amazing hike that led to a gorgeous waterfall **beware, this is not for the faint at heart, be prepared to be hanging onto a rope off the side of a cliff**.

We happened to visit the week after Thanksgiving, which must be a very slow travel time, the resort felt very empty & we didn't get a chance to meet very many people besides the staff. The gym needs to be expanded for the size of the resort with only a few cardio machines and one multipurpose weight machine. Besides those minimal downsides, we loved our stay and have hopes to come back!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Claremont, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014 via mobile

My sister and I recently stayed 8 days. We arranged transport from the airport which was well organized. We were greeted at the door, given a glass of champaign and oriented by one of the hotel's agents. I was a bit tired and was not aware until later that the price lists were for those who took their VIP tour, which I had no interest in. She did keep saying there was no pressure. I would have preferred a general orientation of the hotel facilities , WIFI setup, restaurant schedules, etc, with the VIP stuff done after.

We had a beautiful room in tower 2 on the 4 th floor overlooking the ocean. We were lucky that our neighbors were usually courteous. The room was spacious and well cleaned. The sound of the surf at night was wonderful. We enjoyed the pools and the beach. It was only a problem over the weekend when the facility was extremely crowded with wedding attenders and partying guests. The service at both the pool and beach was excellent. The employees were all very friendly and helpful. The resort helped us arrange a whale watching tour through Vallarta Adventures, which was very helpful.

We tried both restaurants and the poolside cafe. All the food was tasty and fresh.

The only complaint is that the dining room staff became very over stretched when the resort was full. I could see the supervisors were trying their best but we did have one breakfast where we were pretty much ignored.

I highly recommend this resort but worry that as the new tower is finished they will have trouble managing the crowd and for the guests to find places by the pool or on the beach.

We both tried the spa and I had a wonderful massage.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Marina del Rey, California
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

Firstly, must say, you will not ever regret coming to Garza Blanca. My now husband and I have been 4 times and each time it gets harder and harder to leave. From the moment you step into the hotel, it is the best service you can imagine. From the bell boys to the pool boys and the towel boys, everyone remembers your name and is always ready and waiting to help. Jaime, at the pool absolutely made our stay this past time. By the end of the trip, all 50 people in our wedding party knew Jaime and he knew them and each of their favorite drinks. Him and all the guys at the pool took such great care of us (Gonzalo and Oswaldo!). One night, after my dad went on a fishing trip, Rene and all the pool guys put on an amazing dinner by the pool for us and cooked up all the fish my dad caught on only a couple hours notice! They made it beautiful and all the guests loved that they were eating fish my dad caught! we had a great time. Also, the staff in each of the restaurants are amazing. We didn't have one bad meal or server the entire stay, and I was there 2 weeks.

Really, every event we did with our group was amazing. Annie, the wedding planner at the resort was on top of everything. From the welcome cocktail party, which she let us add on extra hours and a taco bar for everyone, was beautiful and so fun. And 5 minutes after it was supposed to end, we wanted to add an extra hour on and Annie made it happen totally seamlessly. The guests didn't even notice, and no one had an empty cup the entire night.

For our rehearsal dinner out in town, Annie arranged for all the transportation for our party. All 50 people got there on time and without a hitch.

The actual wedding was so beautiful and amazing. The decorators were perfect, and the ceremony and reception venues looked amazing. The night went perfectly, everything looked amazing and again, the service shown through and each guest was totally taken care of. Even the food was amazing, and still hot after we decided to do all the speeches at once and gave the chefs no warning. IT was perfect.

Not a single person at the wedding left without saying it was the most beautiful, fun, special wedding they had ever been too. And a few of the guests are already planning trips back.

NOw, a couple things to keep in mind. They are unfortunately expanding this paradise to include a bunch of time share towers on the hill behind the main hotel. The rooms are beautiful, but they are not on the beach and the pool up there is lovely, but you can't hear yourself think as there is so much construction going on. So make sure you book an oceanfront room! Also, they will try to sell you a time share if you let them and those people get really aggressive and annoying, so unless you are very interested, resist the 10% off drinks and just don't go.

If you are planning a wedding, have faith. You must put yourself in a Mexican mindset and remember, stuff doesn't happen as quickly there and email is not a top priority. I really started to loose it a couple times when weeks would go by without an answer back, but I kept with it and everything turned out perfectly. Also, read your contract. The management at this hotel is not super helpful, for instance, if you are going to amend a reservation for a wedding party member, you must do it 2 months in advance, even though the normal hotel policy is 48 hours. Us and a few of our guests did end up paying for nights not needed because we tried to change closer to the date. This was annoying, but it was in our contract, and that was management's answer. Will say, it says a lot for the rest of the hotel staff, if everyone leaves happy even after paying an extra $300. Lastly, be on top of reservations. THis was the biggest headache, i had to keep checking that everyone was in the right section of the hotel. I didn't want any of my guests stuck in the towers, and it took many tries to get everyone in the right place. Also, it is hard to book reservations over the phone. I know there is a language barrier, but they should really just give everyone in the party a code to enter on the website, and that would have saved me hours and hours and hours.

Overall, could not have asked for a better, more beautiful wedding. So happy we went with Garza Blanca. Thank you to Annie and everyone that made it so wonderful.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
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:
#6 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#9 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#11 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#11 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#12 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 165
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

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