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“Amazing”

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Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa
Ranked #14 of 125 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Orange County, CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Amazing”
Reviewed April 22, 2012

Garza Blanca is the place to stay if you are in PV. A very private resort away from the tourists. Only about a 10 minute taxi ride into the downtown area. The beach is only for hotel guests, and often times we would be the only ones there. The service is great, the food is good. The restaurant could be a little pricey but the food was decent. The infinity pool overlooking the ocean is just gorgeous. We got a vacation deal on Priceline and glad we chose this hotel.

Room Tip: Get a room on the top floors. Corner rooms are not that quiet because of the traffic, but the middle...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sidra I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (702)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hollywood, CA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2012 via mobile

In one word, Amazing! We are a young couple and we went with my parents and two younger siblings (18, 22). As soon as you get out of customs you are welcomed by someone who takes you out to wash with a nice cool towel and out to the hotel.
By the way, don't stop for anything until you see your name. The people at the airport are the worst salesmen you'll meet and it's better to avoid completely.
The second we got to the hotel we had an understanding of the level of this place. We are a family of travelers, Asia, Middle East, South and North America, we've been everywhere but this topped them all. The infinity pool is beautiful, lobby and all common areas very well kept. Easy check in and off to the room. If you have a chance to get 1401, TAKE IT! Top floor (4th), hot tub on the deck, large balcony and picture perfect view. Comfortable beds and large living room/dining area.
When at the pool we were welcomed by Felipe and Jaime which were our go to guys our whole stay. By the second day they knew just how each of us liked our food and drinks and made sure to even inform those who replaced them on their time off. We were there for 5 days and enjoyed every second of it. Try the hill top restaurant, tapas with the best view you can ask for. We normally like exploring new places on each vacation but this is one that I will go back to.

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Uzi_Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2012

After much research we finally decided on the Garza Blanca when after wavering between three hotels Jetsetter offered a great deal we couldn't pass up!

Upon our arrival we were greeted with some of the most delicious cucumber margarita's I have ever tasted and great hospitality. Our room was very nice and the hammock on the balcony with the sound of the ocean and the actual ocean right there was phenomenal. I would have paid more just for the beach. It was amazing and we only had to share it with a handful of people (until Saturday). The infinity pool is quite amazing and the staff was very helpful. The only downside is that we arrived on a Wednesday and it was perfect and peaceful. However, by Saturday about 20 kids showed up and it got a little rowdy for my taste (I have two small children of my own but was on vacay without them). What was quiet became filled with screaming and water being sprayed on you and everywhere else. Given this, we avoided the pool the last two days and hung out at the beach where it was more quiet.

People complained about the wait times for service but I found that everywhere we went we were left waiting so I wasn't really put off. I just took it as the way it works in PV. The food at Blanc Blue was amazing as well but we only ate dinner there once just to try it. We did eat breakfast there everyday and I have to say the poached egg was AMAHHHHZING! We have no complaints on any of the food in the restaurant or at the bar.

We also did the spa which was great for me but bad for my sister. She actually walked out of hers she disliked it so much. Where as I fell asleep I was so relaxed.

They also offered a variety of activities each day which we didn't partake in as we had excursions each day.

Overall, we like this property so much I am taking my husband back next month!

Room Tip: I don't think they have bad rooms....
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank cocoanellie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2012

This was our second stay at Garza Blanca. The first time around, we gave it 5 stars, and had been considering buying. So let's go through this step-by-step.

This purpose of this trip was to celebrate my husband's birthday. We were so impressed with Garza Blanca the first time, that we decided to return.

Whenever I plan a trip (especially for a special occasion) I am always sure to be in touch with the manager and concierge staff to ensure a certain level of service. Miguel, the Manager, and Monica, the Concierge, were responsive and genuinely excited for our visit.

I planned with Monica to have a birthday cake in our room upon arrival, a special dinner at their new restaurant, and requested a spa menu for a couples massage. Everything was "set."

When we arrived at the hotel at 5pm, we were not greeted with margaritas. It was a nice touch during our first trip that we missed out on this time. We were taken to our room - no cake. The minibar was not stocked. The bellman assured me that it would be stocked within 10-15 minutes. We went to the pool for a few hours, came back, still no minibar. It wasn't until I approached the concierge staff before dinner that it was finally stocked. The same goes for the cake - on the second day I called down to ask the wireless password and at that point asked about the cake. They sent it up later that day.

Blanca Blue and the pool bar, as usual, were fantastic. Service was attentive, and the food was fantastic. A+ to the staff at the pool. I couldn't have asked for anything better.

The spa also gets an A+. Sure, I've been to better spas (the Mandarin Oriental in Boston is to DIE for) but Hamara Spa did a great job with our couples massage.

Here's my big complaint. Boca Dos STK is the new restaurant. It is affixed atop a spiraling road just above the residential presentation center. This was my husband's birthday dinner. The view was fabulous and the ambiance was super swanky.

We walked in and they acted like they were not expecting us (or anyone for that matter) to show up. Either the concierge staff had neglected to tell them we were coming, or the simply ignored it. A young waiter came over and greeted us - we asked if they had a wine list or cocktail menu. He said "Sure". A minute later he came back empty handed and simply said "What do you want?" We were obviously very confused and ordered a regular martini. I wish I could say this was a language barrier issue, but that simply wasn't the case. It was truly odd.

The rest of the dinner was fine...but nothing great. And they certainly didn't know it was my husband's birthday. They said nothing, and did nothing special. This was incredibly disappointing for me, and is not indicative of a five star resort.

Finally, we received turndown service only once. We did not spend much time in our room, we tipped the housekeeping staff and the resort was not at all busy while we were there, so I'm not sure what happened.

There are a few other little hospitality 101 lessons that the resort missed. The restaurants have long awkward pauses during their piped in music. The staff in both restaurants (ESPECIALLY in BocaDos STK) often congregate and chitchat in front of guests. This was a big problem during our birthday dinner and definitely slowed the service.

The staff is incredibly friendly, and these errors could be easily fixed and rectified.

Will we be back? I'm not sure. The property is gorgeous. But the service left something to be desired. I make it a point to only spend my money at the best resorts (If you're going to spend a few thousand dollars, it'd better be worth it.) Garza Blanca was not the best this time around.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank Drsamsonii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2012

When I first arrived a Garza Blanca, I was immediately struck by how beautiful the facilities are, the natural surroundings, and the friendly staff. Also noticeable, however, was the annoying airport-counter greeter who was trying to convince us to join some timeshare presentation [my advice, decline!] and the spotty service when I first arrived at the hotel (eg. asked several waiters for a beer). I brought these issues up to the management, and I have to say that they went above and beyond to rectify the situation and to make sure that my stay there was relaxing and enjoyable. Paola at reception and Benicio (the GM) was extremely helpful in listening to any feedback I had to offer and constantly checked up on me and my friend to make sure the service and facilities were to our utmost satisfaction. In addition, the rest of the staff there, in particular, Samantha at concierge and Aldo at the pool were super friendly and helpful in offering local insight onto good restaurants, bars, etc in town.

I not only ended up spending a very relaxing week in Puerto Vallarta, but also made some great friends amongst the staff! I would say that aside from the natural beauty and amenities of the resort, the people there are Garza Blanca's biggest asset.

Thanks for making my trip as enjoyable as possible!

Room Tip: -There are free shuttles downtown a few times a day -The resort provide sunscreen, tanning oil, and...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank milosdayoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
117 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2012

My fiance and I have traveled all over the globe and this is by far one of the nicest resorts we've stayed in. The views, staff, intimacy, etc. made us not want to leave after our 8-day stay. Food- incredible. Drinks - Amazing. Beach - just lovely. Enjoy!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Taya K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2012

I just returned from my second time at the Garza Blanca resort. I was a little worried heading there for a second time that it would somehow me disappointing and not live up to my first visit. I was wrong; the resort has made some key improvements which made our latest visit better than the first. Some of those changes were the free shuttle which is available to guests throughout the day and the second being the improved quality of food and drinks at the poolside bar. Having free use of Paddle boards and Kayaks are a further bonus.
The staff at this hotel are just so hopeful and will do pretty much anything to make you feel welcome. I have eaten at each of the three restaurants and the addition of the new STK Restaurant at the top of the hill is a welcome addition. Just for the view alone it is a must. My girlfriend thought she was having a “Bachelor” type of date minus the Helicopter and the drama. Food was good at this restaurant, but I do wish Mexican resort hotels would turn to a different cuisine other than Steak or Sushi for their upscale dining option. It would be welcome to go to resort where the focus is on regional cuisine rather than options that seem to be designed to cater to their guests rather than the skill set of their chefs.
I have only stayed at Garza Blanca while in PV so I really don’t have any regional hotels to compare against but I have stayed at some resorts in Cabo and rest assured Garza Blanca is deserving of their 5 star rating, grounds are kept immaculate, pool is beautiful and clean and access to the beach and facilities is second to none.
OK so the only gripe I have with Garza Blanca and which I really do hope they would change is the quality of their bedding and towels. Sheets are very rough to sleep on at night and not at all comfortable, throw in some sun exposed skin and it literally feels like sleeping on fine sandpaper. Bathroom towels are of similar quality, very rough and not at all welcoming after spending a hard day poolside. I am planning to go back to this resort and will no doubt be packing some nicer sheets with me. It’s a shame would be a definite 5 star rating with better linens but have to take them down to a 4.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrew M
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

Property: 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:
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#9 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#10 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#11 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#12 Luxury 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, Resort And Spa
Garza Blanca Preserve Hotel Puerto Vallarta

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