We loved our 7 night stay here over Christmas and the New Year.This was our first time at Garza Blanca and to Puerto Vallarta. Here are some highlights from our trip.
1. Airport Tax - The airport is a crazy mess, prior to coming we arranged a taxi from the airport to the hotel and couldn't quite figure out what that meant. As soon as we cleared customs with our bags we were bombarded by the time share sales people who I think were the "arranged" taxis. After trying to be sold a Rythms of the Night tour, whale watching, zip lines, etc. Edwardo finally arranged a car to take us to the hotel. He told us that he'd meet us at the hotel the following day for a VIP breakfast and sales tour of the hotel. We said ok because we'd get discounts on all charges to our room and a discount at the spa if we opted for the tour and breakfast. (more later) As far as the taxi, it is about a 30 min drive to the hotel. I think next time we'd try to dodge all the sales people and catch our own cab to avoid the annoying sales pitch.
2. Welcome margaritas welcomed us - thank you!
3. Room - gorg. We stayed in a Prime Studio or Junior Suite - I think they call it two different things. Loved our room so much. We had plenty of space for a week and a beautiful wrap around terrace to watch the sunset and soak in our own private tub. The terrace was the best part. Hot tub, table (where we ate breakfast every morning), hamock and a lounge chair. Highly recommend this room, as we saw the others during our sales tour and still think ours was the best.
4. Pool - the pool is great, we stayed at probably one of the busiest times so we had to get up early every morning to save a good spot, but it never really got that crowded. Wish I was at the pool right now. This is not an adult only resort so expect children to be playing in the pool.
5. Spa - we went to the spa for a couples deep tissue massage and it was great. We were the only ones there and had a wonderful experience. Recommend checking out the spa area - I think you can use the steam room, sanua, etc even if you don't have an appointment.
6. Shuttle service to downtown - do this! It costs about 100 pesos to get to downtown and the shuttle is free! You just need to call and arrange.
7. Beach - The beach is small but not private. If you sit down there be prepared for the locals selling you hats, blankets, etc. You can use the kayaks and paddle boards for free. We ended up taking the kayaks and going over to Los Arcos - it is a long trek but neat to check otu.
8. Restaurants at hotel/Grocery store - We ordered room service every morning and it cost us $25 - super cheap. The food is good but after a week we were bored with the room service menu. The restaurant at the pool is good, the usual mexican pool food and service - you will wait awhile to get your food. Blance Blue is very good, definitely check out but I'd advise to not do the all inclusive. There are plenty of great, affordable restaurants in town. But do check out Blanca Blue once, convenient and outstanding cuisine. We wanted to go to a grocery store to stock up on wine, beer and snack food at the begining of our trip. We ended up just eating at the hotel or going into town all week. But if you are seeking a grocery store I do beleive there is one in the Zona Romantica.
9. Sales service - Ok, here is the one down fall of this place and I am still bitter about it. I read before coming to not get trapped in the sales tour and we were roped in at the airport when they offered the discounts on the room charges and spa charges. Edwardo never showed up for our tour so some lady from the sales center took us for the tour. We ended up on a 3 hour sales presentation, not 75 minutes like they disclose. It is a long tour. The property is beatiful and they plan on building up the hill to become a mega resort - beware. It won't be as small as it is now - that is if they have the money to keep to developing, we didn't the crane move once while we were there but they could have been on holiday. Anyhow, we aren't in the place in our life right now to go through a time share so we said no after our long 3 hour presentation. Hey atleast we got the discounts on the spa and room charges... well that was not the case when we checked out! I guess we were suppose to get a card of some sort that we needed to use when charging things to the room and at the spa. So at the time of check out they would offer us the discount. Basically the lady forgot to give us the card and she somehow "quit" the day before so we couldn't even validate that we went on the tour. SHADY. DO NOT DO THE SALES PRESENTATION!
10. Downtown Restaurants and activities - Here are some places to check out while you are in town: El Bruya - great authentic mexican food, La Palapa - fabulous cuisine on the beach, try to catch the sunset there, Langostinos - good place for a drink on the beach but beware of the beach "sales," Trio - outstanding food, must go, River Cafe - go here for Breakfast and watch for iguanas., Unique ATV tours - we did the dune buggy tour and it was ok, the 4x4 was the more popular tour to check out, fun experience to check out. Zona Romantica is a cute place you have to check out, loved it!
- 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