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“Cant Wait to go Back to Blanca!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa

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Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa
Ranked #12 of 127 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Cant Wait to go Back to Blanca!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2013

After weeks of research & looking for a great destination city and resort to go to for my wifes 30th Birthday we ended up choosing Garza Blanca and Puerto Vallerta.

THE GOOD: Loved the city, lots of shopping and it would take you 10 years to hit all the great places to eat. (ZONA ROMANTICA or OLD Town was fun. Always felt safe and all our cab drivers were polite and freindly. Only about 40 min to airport from the resort and 10 min to Old Town.
We stayed for a week in Febuary17th to 23rd. Great time of year as the humpback whales are in the bay (we saw them breaching 100 yrds off shore from the pool.
The POOL was great at Garza Blanca, the food was our favorite at the beach grill & Carlos was our favorite waiter. We found all staff very helpfull and attentive. The one time a server forgot our drinks on a busy afternoon he brought them on the house just as we were about to ask about them. Resort never felt overcrowded but I worry about extra beach preasure when both mountain towers are open. We stayed on beach on fourth floor. I highly recomend the beach rooms if you like the sound of the ocean and quick walk to the pool and beach. We opened the door to balcony every morning and fell back asleep to the soothing ocean breaking on beach...just amazing!

Beautiful sand beach, but I recomend water shoes or keen sandles as their are some rocks for first few yards in some spots but once your pass that part water is not too deep and very nice!

We are not interested in being tied to one area so didnt want to see time share info at begining and we politely declined and were not bothered with it again. We thought a lot about doing the all inclusive and thought on futute trip we may buy a few days of it during the week but not worth the whole week since we like to explore too much. Cucumber Basil Margaritas were very good!

They should invest in some Garza logo foam pool floats for laying in the pool as the view with the rocks islands in distance is breathtaking!

Beautiful views and dishes at Blanca Blue and the Boca Dos STK (try the Crab Cakes!)

Room Tip: Ocean front on beach for soothing waves 4th level and up if you can get it! I only heard cars on ro...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JhentgesCSS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,759 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (678)
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English first
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2013

We could not have had a better time at Garza Blanca. The hotel staff is friendly and helpful, the rooms are beautiful, the facility is beautiful. We will definitely stay there again. The food was great. It is all inclusive if you choose that option, but its not the average run of the mill buffet all inclusive. All items, including breakfast are prepared while you wait and to your specifications. The concierge staff was very helpful. Puerto Vallarta was a safe and clean city to visit. Do not let the bad press that Mexico gets keep you from this wonderful town and this hotel.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CS61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013 via mobile

First of all I am known as a trip snob. My husband and I travel throughout the Caribbean and Mexico. We only stay in five star resorts. We know the difference in five and four star. I guess the people who gave Garza Blanca bad reviews are worse trip snobs. You really can't complain at this resort. The rooms are great. The tower rooms are brand new and gorgeous. They are built on the cliff behind the main hotel What a view. We stayed ocean front which are the rooms right on the ocean not the tower We liked the room on the ocean just because we like to hear the ocean in the morning and didnt want to wait on the golf cart. I still would not complain if I were in the tower The rooms up there are larger and nicer Food was great. Some hit or miss. The ground are beautiful. They spared no expense when they landscaped. Very tropical feel. We liked that we were not in the hotel zone. Your about 10 minutes away from all that.

This is a reccomended resort.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Begonia1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

The hotel, grounds, pools, view, Amazing. DONT BE FOOLED BY THE LOOKS!. Service,food,bar, everthing was just OK. When you check in you think your about to be amazed however this place just looks good on the outside. This hotel has only been open for 3 years and it shows with the experience of the employees. If your room is on the hill you have to wait for a golf cart to take you to your room or climb,climb,and climb the stairs. If you take any tours it's about 30min away and 150 pesos($15usd) approx each way. The room was advertised incorrectly on expedia so if you get the Jr. suite its a nice room but it's not 1322sq ft, it's about 400sq which is fine just saying, watch out for the advertisement. Puerto Vallarta is an amazing place but if I went back I would trade the flashy hotel for one closer to downtown with better customer service.

Room Tip: Do not stay in tower 4 or 5 they are on the hill and you will spend half of you vacation walking to...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank brandon m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for 6 nights in May.
When we arrived we were met my cold drinks and an amazing view through the open foyer to the ocean.
It's a really great place but I'm not sure we would go back.
We live Puerto Vallarta, just not sure about what it would be like to revisit the hotel with the huge amount of building work that was going on.
We were lucky we weren't too disturbed when at the beautiful infinity pool but it's going to be a huge complex which will possibly over shadow the nature of the current resort.
The beach in front is lovely but slightly worrying that there was armed security patrolling the boundaries... But this is Mexico.
The rooms were nice but an odd decor choice... Slightly dated already!
The food was ok,oddly the food at the pool was better than the restaurant.
They try to tie you into a food package on arrival... Maybe do it for 2 days but it would be a shame not to explore the beautiful town which is a short taxi ride away.
It was nice to visit once but I think there are probably much nicer places in PV.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lovenyc81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013

Rooms: traveled with my best friend, and requested a room with two beds. Sure enough, we got there and there was only one bed (same as last time...), so we were essentially downgraded. The room was perfectly functional, but after seeing the fancier one, a bit disappointing.

Food: Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day here; order off the menu and skip the buffet. The poolside food is good too, especially the fajitas and guac.

Beach: much bigger than last time; plenty of room for the chairs & cabanas. Beach was never crowded (4 days in Feb.). The (very few) beach vendors can be slightly annoying, but just keep smiling and saying no gracias and they'll get it eventually.

Sunset: exceptional. If you're a sunset person, go up to the bar in the tower at around 6:30 (in late Feb., at least) and spend an hour with a couple of drinks and a snack. And take your camera.

Service: Reception is slow, and you sometimes have to ask twice, but they get the job done. The bellboys and pool staff are exceptionally friendly, and Lorena knew our breakfast drink orders by the second day.

Taxis: always waiting, super fast and cheap. About 100 pesos ($8) one way into town.

Checkout: if you want late checkout, ask when you arrive. We asked the morning of our checkout and were denied. Extremely inconvenient.

Money: you can change money at the hotel, and the rate is decent.

Safety: we were two female travelers, and never once felt the least bit unsafe -- either at the resort or in PV. The enhanced police presence in PV is slightly off-putting, but better than the alternative I suppose.

All in all, Garza Blanca is a lovely place; I wouldn't hesitate to stay here if you're heading to PV and you want something just slightly out of town where you're right on the beach, and you can see the beautiful jungle. I understand they are building 10 more towers. It will be interesting to see how that affects things; although I was told for every 2 towers there will be a separate pool and restaurant, so not everyone will come to the main building. Sounds smart; we'll see how it develops.

Room Tip: If you like the sound of the waves, insist on beachfront. If you just want view, go for the tower.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AbbyChicago77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

First impression: WOW! a beautiful room, we were upgraded to an amazing suite that was beyond anything I've ever seen (and I usually stay at 5 star hotels). Delicious first meal, and excellent service. Turn down service, friendly staff, everything was perfect.

Second day: Timeshare presentation, which was described as low-pressure "because we don't want to hassle our guests". We did it to enjoy some of the discounts with no intention of buying. I explained that I wasn't impulsive and wasn't interested, yet they came at me from all directions and tried every ridiculous sales tactic they could conjure up. They were often rude, condescending, and arrogant. Plus, the "free" breakfast which we didn't order (and we were on all-inclusive anyways) ended with the horrible lady (Laura) telling us to leave the tip for hers. Appalling!

Third day: Spent trying to forget the timeshare and emailed management to let them know about the attitude we had to deal with and how it affected our wonderful first impression. He was very nice, but made no apology and it didn't seem like my words meant anything.

Fourth day: Looked at the hotel through an entirely different lens; our ability to overlook certain things was drastically affected by the timeshare presentation and the awful spell it cast on our stay.
-Our fridge was never stocked, like the staff didn't know we were on an all-inclusive. Why not throw a few beers in there, and perhaps more than just one or two bottles of water?
- Every time I put the cover on our amazing patio hot tub, the housekeepers took it off - and often before I could enjoy the heated water. Someone needs to increase the awareness at this hotel. A hot tub, no matter what the climate is, needs to be covered in order to heat beyond making it a warm tub. These things are all going to burn out, and who wants to sit in a hot tub at 86-90 degrees water temp? Cover them unless in use! With the cover on, they were great tubs and would reach 104 within a couple of hours if that's what you want.
-Staff at the pool/beach (except for Jaime, Alberto, Miguel) are extremely inattentive most days. I wouldn't say always under staffed (probably overstaffed actually, by the looks of it!), but I would say some of them are just lazy and don't care that you spent thousands to get away and have drinks brought to you next to a pool or down on the beach.
-Got served fajitas with pitiful amount of salsa and a small spoonful of guacamole, and only two tortillas when there was meat for 4 or 5. When we asked for the proper amounts and refills, it took more than twenty minutes while our meat just sat there.
-Having to sign ALL THE TIME, closing checks just for the hell of it? I don't understand the point of this.
-I would tip American dollars to create incentive for them to come, yet it still didn't consistently work. (and this was annoying because it was an all-inclusive, including tips. I thought I'd be nice thinking they didn't benefit enough from the included tips to provide consistent service)
-Wearing a bracelet, yet still having to tell them your room number over a dozen times per day!
-No good, authentic Mexican food available on site. Became friendly with an excellent employee and he was able to get some spice added to my food, and worked with me to get the reigns off the cooks so that I could taste some creativity and local food I don't get in Canada or in my own kitchen.
-Poor mountains; timeshares kill trees. It is set on an extremely beautiful property and the landscaping is wonderful. But, by the time they are done building the forest will be gone and they aren't doing anything unique you would hope beautiful new hotels like this would do. Insulating hot water supply pipes is a no-brainer, instead of having everyone run the shower for at least a minute to get hot water on the upper floors (save water/power). Cover the hot tubs so you can get them to the set temp and save power and evaporation. Put in cards to invite guests to conserve towels for reuse, recycle bottles, compost waste, solar panels, wind turbine...nothing special happening here from what I can see. I only bring this stuff up because it's called a Preserve...from what I can see nothing is being preserved at this resort, in fact it feels like the complete opposite is happening. They should get with it, or change their name and remove the preserve part.
-Giant rock will take out your knees on the beach. One of the days I saw two little girls bleeding a little on their legs and I also got nailed by it. It would be easy to move it with a front loader, or at least drill a warning flag on to it so you don't forget where it is when your getting slammed back to the beach by the often heavy waves.
-The music... Bocados, Blanca Blue, Pool area, lobby....all need to have more variety. You are there for a week, and you will hear the same songs every day. Blanca Blue, the pool, and lobby are all good mostly (excluding repetition), but Bocados (the best restaurant) plays irritating music too loudly. Especially at breakfast! having to hear good music several times is one thing, but hearing lousy noise over and over is just bad and it seems with all the money pumped into this place they could have afforded a satellite system or something so they wouldn't have to rely on a 5 disc cd changer (that's what it seems like at least)!
-The hotel is too insulated from its environment; except for the staff you'll forget you're in Mexico. Some people like that, we didn't. No Mexican/Latin music, almost no Mexican food. No place to dance if you wanted to.

Rest of the days: Got out of the hotel to eat some Mexican food and experience something real.
-Enjoyed some improved service up at Boca Dos. Fermin, Flavius, Jose, Alvaro, Oscar, chef Leo (who quit) were all excellent. The pool servers Jaime, Miguel, Erik were the only standouts. Blanca Blue servers Alvaro (another one) was great on his first night.
By the end, we had started to forget about the timeshare hostilities. We enjoyed our spectacular room with its amazing view, but overall the inconsistent service and horrible timeshare experience turned what should have been a 5 star hotel into a 3 that I marked as a 2 just to be clear.
- Spa was nice.

Final word: don't go here if you're single. Unless you've taken a vow of celibacy.

Room Tip: We stayed in the new tower. All rooms are ocean view, some road noise (trucks) and construction ruin...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Adrian S
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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#9 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#9 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#10 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#11 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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