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Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa
Ranked #13 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 17, 2012

We just returned from 2 weeks at this wonderful resort. We booked the vacation expecting it to be marvelous based on all the reviews we had read, but must admit we expected "marvelous for Mexico". This resort truly compared with high end resorts we have stayed at in many other locations. We know if it was a cruise ship they would be advertising an outstanding "staff to customer ratio". Everywhere we turned somebody was ready to meet every need. When the type of small issues you expect when travelling might arise they were addressed with prompt courtesy. One unexpected addition to our vacation was the "activity schedule" and the service provided by the Pool concierges, Miguel and Alan, who also looked after all the watersport activities. They personalized everything to fit, and it was like having our own private instructors ready to make our vacation the best it could be. Spanish lessons, kayaking, and paddle board lessons - all at levels tailored for each of us - with fun added! The spa service was outstanding and both the pool food and drink service and Blanca Blue were excellent.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank RobandDebra1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,542 - 1,548 of 1,919 reviews

Reviewed October 16, 2012

Amazing! How else can I possibly describe the 5 days we just spent at the Garza Blanca?!?!? Everyone at the hotel are far and away the nicest, warmest, smile bearing people I have ever encountered on a vacation. I do not know how they did it.

The transportation was seemless. The staff is literally waiting when you step out of the cab with a smile and drink. We upgraded to the honeymoon suite and never looked back! Unbelievable rooms. Down by the pool (which is the perfect temp btw) it was like we were the only people staying there. Jamie kept the drinks coming with true smiles and charm. THE SPA...do it! I had a couples massage with my wife and it was one of the highlights of the trip. I really just cannot say enough about the staff. Each one of them made us feel special. WE WILL BE BACK!

If you are going to spend a few days anywhere and just want to feel special and pampered...the Garza Blanca is the ONLY way to go.

Room Tip: Every room will have an incredible view, but the corner suites are unbeatable. Speak with David. H...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GoN4theGreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Okay, we wish we would have stayed here longer - the condo we rented at The Icon was not even close in regard to the comfort and amenities we had at Garza Blanca. For those interested in a compare/contrast review keep reading.
Garza Blanca Positives Vs. ICON Vallarta Condo
1. THE BEACH/OCEAN
The beachfront at Garza Blanca is smaller, less crowded with hawkers and the sand is powdery white. There are no rocks and the water is clear - whereas the Icon's beach is brownish and the water is murky from gasoline powered toys and boats that come way too close to the shore. The beach at Garza Blanca feels like you are on a tropical island, like Maui. Icon feels like you are on Hotel Row (Hotel Zone actually) and horses and hawkers are a constant refrain. We were told numerous times at Icon that no one was swimming in the water because a man had been bitten by a crocodile that had wandered in from the Marina area. No signs, no warnings issued by the hotels. Both places had wonderfully warm water in October (at least 100 degrees - like bath water).
The weather was extremely hot and humid but no mosquitos thankfully at either place.

THE SERVICE
At Garza Blanca they are out to please you from the moment you walk in (complimentary massage, cold towels, bottles of water) - the most relaxing hotel check-in I have ever had. At the ICON the concierges rarely bothered to greet you and a simple request for using a printer at the business center was met with "you can't use the printer - it is our of toner". No one ever came to change the toner during the entire stay.

THE FOOD
Garza Blanca's dinner at Blanca Blue was spotty but well served and if you ordered correctly it really was amazing. Highly recommend their braised short ribs, japanese yellowtail and the roasted beet salad with grapefruit and vanilla vinaigrette. Stay away from the desserts as the ice cream served is always melted and ruins whatever is underneath. Icon advertises that they have a restaurant for breakfast and lunch. It is marginal and the service is extremely slow. I cannot imagine how it is during peak season. It is possible to buy groceries nearby at Soriana Market but a real drag that no grills are allowed on the balconies. It is possible to reserve the main BBQ grill there for $20 - not a very enticing proposition to have to lug your fish or steak to the beach and pay handsomely for the privilege. (Soriana's grills your meat for FREE on a wonderful charcoal grill on Fridays and Saturdays - so if you are staying for a week, get all your grilling done on those days and you should have plenty of stuff for tacos for the rest of the time) Garza Blanca does not have grills either, but the kitchen's are really well equipped in the larger one and two bedroom suites.

Food is pricey at Garza Blanca so I probably wouldn't eat there more than a few times.
They do offer a GREAT ALL INCLUSIVE OPTION which I would highly recommend if you are staying for 1 or 2 nights. After that I'm sure the limited menu options would begin to get boring.

THE POOL

The pool at Garza Blanca is small but it and the nearby jacuzzi's are open 24 hours.
They are clean, well kept and relaxing - and OPEN.

The pool at ICON Vallarta is closed for business at 9:00pm and security WILL KICK YOU OUT at 9:01 unless you own a unit there - in which case you get an extra 15 minutes. The security is obtrusive and will watch you in the hot tubs. The feeling is much more relaxed at Garza Blanca. The pool bar at ICON serves reasonably priced drinks ($3 for a margerita /$2.00 or less for a Corona. Garza Blanca's drinks were $10 each. Not really that good either.

So - if you want a romantic, exotic, secluded place GO TO GARZA BLANCA. If you prefer mingling with lots of Mexican or Canadian families on vacation - The ICON is a great place to find kids to play with your kids. The units at Icon vary GREATLY and some have very limited views.

All the rooms at Garza Blanca look out at the gorgeous waves and mountains and have wonderful beds and bathroom toiletries. At the Icon be sure to bring shampoo, soap and shower gel as they are not supplied. Hope this helps someone out!

2.

Room Tip: The one bedroom suites are great and come with kitchens. Make sure to bring your own coffee/filters...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank TravellingRover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

So my husband and I just had the perfect honeymoon here! Pure luxury! The hotel is very stylish and beautifully designed. As we walked in we immediately felt the upscale standard of the resort and glimpsed the spectacular view of the pool and the ocean from the lobby. They have a fabulous infinity pool where we spent most of our time. The rooms are really gorgeous. Clean and spacious. We enjoyed the luxury of having a jacuzzi on our balcony and often slept in the hammock they provide for you. You can totally fall a sleep to the sound of the ocean waves. Bliss! They also have a fabulous turn down service where we would walk in after dinner to find rose petals on the bed and towels in the shape of swans. So beautiful. The staff are really nice too and very friendly which was refreshing. The waiters in particular made us feel like old friends. Also the all inclusive is the way to go otherwise your bill will be crazy high and it's also really nice to have all inclusive that is actually fine dining and not a buffet! This was a real treat and we will ABSOLUTELY go back. Love this place.

Room Tip: Only con is they are building 2 towers next to the hotel as they are expanding their time share. so...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Paulette I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

I stumbled upon this Garza Blanca via Jetsetter earlier this summer and spent my 4th of July holiday here. I must say that photos do not do the place justice. It is comparable to a Four Seasons property. The design is beautiful. I had booked a 1 bdrm initially, but when I arrived they had put me in a junior suite. I actually preferred the smaller room as it came with an outdoor patio with a hot tub. It was also a corner unit on a lower level so I had nice views. I loved the suite overall. It had a jacuzzi bath tub in it. I dined at all 3 restaurants and was not disappointed. I especially liked the higher end restaurant above. I went there a couple nights. The property is a bit out of the way, which I prefer because it's more peaceful, versus being in the midst of the craziness by the boardwalk. It's also close to the zoo, which was an amazing experience. While I was there I also enjoyed a massage at the spa. I spent most of my time in the pool or exploring town. I also willingly signed up for their timeshare tour as I love to travel and thought that this could be a nice property to start with. Indeed it was and I ended up signing up so that I can return to Garza annually and explore other comparable properties. I highly recommend this property for a romantic vacation or a getaway with friends. It's breathtaking here.

Room Tip: If you're a couple ask for a junior suite with an outdoor hot tub. Higher floors are quieter
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SprVxn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

My wife any I initially booked a timeshare transfer through my uncle at Costa Sur for a 3-nights stay during Labor Day weekend for her birthday. However, upon arrival at the airport, we were solicited to attend a presentation at a new resort. We were a little hesitant at first, but the friendly agent ensured us that it would be worth our time. After checking in and staying at Costa Sur for our first night, which we were a little disappointed with, we attended the presentation the next morning and instantly fell in love with the property. Despite being fairly new and still under quite a bit of construction, we could already tell that the resort is full of potential. After a bit of negotiation, the sales staff made an offer we couldn't refuse by offering us a free, all-inclusive stay in a 1-bedroom sutie for the remainder of our nights as a birthday gift to my wife. This kind gesture instantly put tears in my wife's eyes and we can't thank Claudia and Scott enough for making this happen. The great amenities and professional service of the staff truly made us feel that we made the right choice with the perfect combination of quality and value. Our only complaints were some mold that we found on face towels in the bathrooms due to the humidity and a few wrong orders made by the staff during our dining experiences. However, the concierge made up for these inconveniences by, first and foremost, providing us new towels as well as complimentary desserts and fruits sent directly to our suite. Despite these qualms, we were more than happy with our stay and can't wait to return with our kids and/or other family and friends. Also, we can't wait to check out their other resort in Cancun...thanks Garza Blanca!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ryan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

The best part of this hotel is the fine stonework and the high quality dining available on premises. Unfortunately there will be construction noise for some time as they are building a series of massive towers above the hotel on the hill. They will pressure you to take a tour and invest in a timeshare. The pool is very nice, though mainly for show. The beach is also quite nice, though not quite a big as it appears on some photos. The hotel is south of town but within easy City bus access of both PV and the interesting areas to the South. The staff at the the hotel were very friendly and the rooms were well appointed, especially nice were the showers. The premises are secure, if that matters to you.

Room Tip: Select this hotel for fine dining, if you can afford it.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Nancy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Administration, PIERRE BONIN at Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 8, 2012

NEW PANAROMA TOWER TO OPEN THIS YEAR :



Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa is pleased to announce the grand opening of our Panorama Tower this November.

Suites in the 24-room tower will start at 985 squared feet and boast a spacious modern feel, with an earthy palette of brown, taupe and gray accented by splashes of lime green and bright red. The luxurious restrooms are ample and loaded with marble floors, whirlpool tubs and double sinks.

Framing the breathtaking panoramic views are the expansive living areas, catering lush sofas, stone tables, hardwood floors and custom cabinetry with a premium wet bar and Chef kitchen. Included in the 24 suites are two luxury 2-story Penthouses.

Panorama Tower features a private entrance separate from the rest of the property. It was also built with direct access to the Resort´s gardens, second mountain-top pool and new signature restaurant, BocaDos STK bites & meats. Set to open this November, Panorama Tower is sure to awe our loyal guests.

“With the opening of our new tower, Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa is now elevated to a class of its own and is set to become ‘the destination’ in the city,” , “It will reinforce our position as one of the leading Resorts in Puerto Vallarta, and allows us to better cater to the increasing demand for luxury accommodation, innovative restaurants and bars, and comprehensive meeting facilities.”

PIERRE BONIN GENERAL MANAGER

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#9 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#9 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#11 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#11 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $159 - $1,803 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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