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“"Zentastic"!”

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Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa
Ranked #14 of 124 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
1 review
“"Zentastic"!”
Reviewed May 22, 2013

Having travelled the world, and experienced fantastic resorts and locations, I give Garca Blanca the highest score! Rockstar service, excellent food/menu choices, over and beyond sweet and accomodating staff (all levels) and very zen/peaceful surroundings. Located only 15 minutes from Pto. Vallarta if you want to explore the city. Definitively a place to return to over and over again.

Thank you to all the staff at Garca Blanca for a superb experience!
Petra

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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Thank Petra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Houston, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2013

We stayed at the Garza Blanca in June 2012. I was 5 months pregnant and we were looking for a relaxing all inclusive resort that was quiet with excellent food. This resort did not disappoint (for the most part) in those 2 areas. Also, quick travel tip. Go to the zoo! It was worth the short cab ride. You can hold baby tigers, monkeys, and feed the animals. It was a unique experience.
First the Good:
-The food is EXCELLENT. My husband and I would consider ourselves foodies. We lived in New Orleans for 5 years, we dine at James Beard Award Winning restaurants, so I would say we can identify a good meal. We really enjoyed Blanca Blue and Boca Dos. I personally preferred Blanca Blue and felt that the dishes rivaled many we've had in the states. Breakfast is excellent and we enjoyed it on our balcony many mornings. Lunch was fine. Good, above average. Definitely NOT the inedible food that they serve at a lot of all inclusives or on cruises.
-The rooms are beautiful. They are new and well appointed. We stayed in a Junior suite (which is now referred to as a Honeymoon Suite) in the ocean front building. It had a Jacuzzi on the balcony which was nice. The balcony was HUGE and awesome with great views, hammock and a large table to dine at.
-The resort itself is beautiful. The pools and grounds are gorgeous. View is also very nice.
-Friendly staff, albeit sometimes slow, they were ALWAYS nice.
- It is, for the most part, quiet (more on this later). Even signs stating that it should be quiet after 9pm. We DEFINITELY like this. If you want a crazy party, go to Sandals. This place is not for you.
-Seemed inviting to couples and families of all ages. Although, I'd imagine if you had children that were older they would get bored here.

Okay the negatives (Positives, and let me say it again THE FOOD, far outweigh these negatives):
- The beds were extremely hard and uncomfortable. They had a lumpy down top on them but we had to remove it because I'm allergic. I doubt it would have helped.
-Room service was never cleaned up promptly. We would even call for its removal. Once, old plates from the room next door sat on the hall table for 2 days!
-The beach. Waves break in an awkward spot and lots of seaweed. Not good for swimming. Some okay snorkeling on the rocks though.
-Okay, we had one big issue that spoiled part of our trip. There were 2 children staying with 2 women in the room next to ours (they were side by side and shared a gate with doorbells to each room). For 3 nights in a row, they came in with the children after midnight, screaming, slamming doors and actually buzzing the doorbell to our room! Finally on the 3rd night I called down and we switched rooms. However, the front desk apologized and simply offered to me "well, they're children. They're loud everywhere." We were offered no upgrade - we may not have even taken it because we liked our Jacuzzi, but it would have been a nice gesture.
FINALLY, the reason we are not returning this year. That's right, we were going to return and bring our daughter with us this time. We had been receiving promotional calls from Garza so I looked into booking our vacation again. First, they quoted me an outrageous price which was even higher than their own website! Nice looking out for repeat guests. When I finally got the price down to reasonable, I inquired about babysitting. They quoted me $50 an hour! I said no way, then it was "oh okay, just for you $35." When I told them most resorts are around $15 they came back with $25.
Although we loved this resort, I just can't get behind a resort that tries to haggle with returning guests like used car salesmen.

Room Tip: The 1 bedrooms in the ocean front buildings have a washer/dryer. The Honeymoon Suites with the Jac...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sara S
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 review, May 25, 2013
Dear guest,

We appreciate very much the time you took to share with us your experience, which will be very helpful to all of our future guests. We'd also like to inform you of the big and important changes implemented during thislast year at your home Garza Blanca, so that people like you who visited us last year be able to enjoy of our new attractions. From new towers with an incredible full bay view and green mountains, to enjoy with your family of ecofriendly activities as well as new menus at our restaurants. Also, we are honored to announce that Garza Blanca Preserve has received a TripAdvisor 2013 Certificate of Excellence.
Garza Blanca now offers:
Butler's service / Enjoy of a highly personalized service with oue butler's service that will give you more comfort.
Hiking tours, Paddle boards, Breakfast on deck, mountain and river (after rain season), Birds sighting, Yoga at the mountain or on the beach / Mountain trails summon hikers and bird watchers, who thrill at the sight of exotic flora and fauna in such a breathtaking setting. Here, nature and pleasure combine for a truly unique vacation experience. Why not complete your idyllic trek with a customized breakfast luxuriously served in the heart of the jungle as you plan you next adventures, maybe zip-lining, ATVs, swimming with dolphins or a tour on the pirate ship.
New menu at Blanca Blue / Enjoy our new menu which has been modified selecting our best cuisine, a vegan section and low fat meals.
Weekly coconut fair, Weekly Mole fair & Weekly fruit shape fair / An activity thought for you, our guests, during which you will be delighted with delicious and exotic meals and a little of art made of fruits
Courtesy sensitive water with healing propertis to refresh your stay at the pool / You will enjoy of refreshing courtesies such as sensory water and surprises cooked by our chef.
Romatic dinners at the place of your choice / If you wish to have a romantic dinner on the beach or at your room, it will be done.
Tequila tasting / Allow our expert to show you in amazing ways how to taste tequila and fell in love with its flavors and scents.
Wine tasting / Allow our expert sommelier to lift your spirits and take you on a tour of the world’s best wines with recommendations from France, Italy, California, Chile, Australia and beyond. Specializing in the finest of Mexican wines, why not ask our sommelier to guide you through our selection of national labels.
Bartending lessons / A fun activity that you cannot miss it.
Our chef cooking at your room / Our excellent chef will cook for you and show you new kitchen tecnics at the comfort of your room.

Among others, For more information, and/or reservation of any of those activities, please ask our concierge and butler.
We invite you to stay with us again, and to relive an unforgettable experience. It will be our pleasure to serve you again

Once again, we thank you for your feedback which will help us to constantly improve, which is precisly Garza Blanca's goal, to continue satisfiying each and everyone of our guest and to be a part of ungorgettable holidays and special moments.

best regards

PIERRE BONIN GENERAL MANAGER
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 20, 2013

**SORRY FOR THE NOVEL, BUT IT IS DESERVED!!!****My husband and i just returned from 7 days, 6 nights at Garza and it was perfection. I am a planner and was looking for the perfect place to take our "better late than never - moon" as we got married a year ago and haven’t been on our honeymoon. I wanted a high end all inclusive resort that was smaller so that i wasn’t surrounded by people the whole trip, and that’s exactly what i got. What i wasn’t expecting was how incredible the staff was. They made our trip the most enjoyable experience we could have dreamed of!!! It’s a quick and easy 10 minute cab ride into the downtown area (we took the bus which was super easy and nice to experience) and we loved being away from the hustle and bustle of town and being up against the beautiful mountains.

We somehow hit the resort during a really slow week (2nd/3rd week in May) and there were maybe 10 other couples at the resort other than us, it was fantastic to feel so secluded, but I think the staff was so great that even if we came back during a busy time that the service wouldn’t be lacking. However the weather was fantastic (mid 80s and not very humid), and the town was quite so I would recommend this time of year!

We declined the time share tour, and they tried to reschedule a different day, and we just told them the day of that we weren’t going to make it, and they were polite about it. We had breakfast one morning up at Boca Dos, where they do the time share breakfasts, and there seemed to be a lot of people taking advantage of it. For us, it would have been a waste of relaxation time, but I was curious to see the new buildings.

Now for the details:
Activities: First, I booked this hotel because it wasn’t like other all-inclusive with nightly entertainment and beach bonfires… I didn’t want that, I wanted to do what I want, when I wanted, not feel like I was missing out on something. The kayaks were awesome as there are so many places that you can kayak to go see, and they did offer snorkels and paddle boards, and beach volleyball (but since it was really slow, playing volleyball was hard) I assume when its busier they probably offer more. We did a wine tasting one night, which was FANTASTIC!

Room: 3403B - Honeymoon Suite. The room was beautiful and we loved (and took advantage of) the Jacuzzi on the balcony. The corner suite in the third tower is wonderful for privacy, and the only thing you see is mountains and ocean, but the road noise was just that, noisy. It didnt bother us too much, but the big trucks going over the speed bumps were pretty loud!

Food: Some of the best food i have ever had, and the wine was tremendous too! At Blanca Blue you have to get the beef short ribs and the pork x 4 dish (pork prepared 4 ways... heaven!) We participated in a wine tasting one evening and it was put on beautifully and we ended up making great friends with the other couples we were with! Boca Dos has a beautiful view and the pork dumplings and filet was amazing. My husband enjoyed A LOT of wine at Boca Dos (thanks to the staff for reminding him he is on vacation, and therefore taking down BOTTLES *not glasses* of wine was just fine - he had a rough morning :))

Staff: Where do i begin? I dont think you can find staff that is better then this place. A few rockstars i want to point out:
- Alan (activities staff): Thank you for the kayaking tour to Los Arcos to snorkel, and thank you for being our savior when our kayak took on water and we became stuck in the middle of the ocean! You were so helpful and could laugh along with us on how crazy it was.
- Francisco (activities staff): Thank you for always having such an upbeat greeting every time we saw you and for trying to get us to go hiking with you, sorry, we were too lazy. I always looked forward to seeing you in the morning.
- Jaime and Ezekiel (pool staff): Not only did you always have a smile on your face and were always very kind and nice but you also made great recommendations and when I didn’t know what I wanted to drink would always bring me something delicious! You two were both so warm and friendly, but one of the highlights of the trip was when I told Jaime that we were going to have dinner by the pool one night and he was so excited and told me that he was going to have them put together a special menu for us. We were met with the most delicious dinner of shrimp and filet and Ezekiel was our waiter that night and was happy to go grab the chess board for us so that my husband could teach me to play chess. It was a memorable evening! (thanks to Rafael, the manager of the pool bar to always checking in to see if were satisfied)
- Kevin, Salvador and Margarito(I hope that is right) – the bell staff for always being helpful with not only luggage, but local recommendations and tips for transportation. You were always so bright and welcoming every time we returned from being out and about.
- All the staff at BlancaBlue and BocaDos – Fernando, Jesus, Alex (I hope that’s his name. The first night we were there we had a terrific server and he rode the bus with us the next day and was super friendly and a great guy!), Erik, and so many others I am probably forgetting.

Constructive Feedback:
A few things that I did want to comment on as areas that there could be improvement:
- We loved taking the bus, but a shuttle to and from town 2 or 3 times a day would be nice
- I know there isn’t much you can do about the road noise, but a girl can dream 
- I would LOVE to have a list of local recommendations from the staff. The staff is so wonderful and it would be nice to have a sheet with the places they love to eat, or the things they like to do with a map of where those things are. We spent some time trying to talk to everyone to get restaurant recommendations for authentic mole, that a list of the staff members name and their favorites would be neat.
- Desserts. The food was fantastic, but the desserts needed some work. We only had maybe 2 that we enjoyed (the chocolate at Blanca and for my birthday they gave me some chocolate macaroon cookie that was delish)

Thank you for an amazing trip! We will be back! (We hope the level of service and attention to detail stay the same despite the 7 towers being built, we booked it because it was a smaller boutique hotel, but the staff was so great we will return even if it is bigger)

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ZonaGrl09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2013

The Garza Blanca is an excellent resort that makes an immediate impression. The sweeping view of Los Archos from the lobby are beautiful. Upon arrival everything feels very personal: the check in process is more intimate than usual and the amenities are explained in detail. Yes, there is a timeshare pitch. Apparently this is par for the course in PV. But it was a soft sell and once we mentioned that we weren’t interested, there was no further hassle.

Our room (in Tower 3) was spacious and well-appointed in a sort of modern hacienda style. Perfectly appropriate. The hammock on the balcony was terrific and received a fair bit of use during our stay. We didn’t visit the newer towers but I’m sure they’re lovely. The beach isn’t enormous, but we never felt crowded or that we had to “hurry down” to find a spot. There was always plenty of sun and sand to go around. (Although the pool is so gorgeous the beach feels kind of “optional.) The activities on the resort were nice; we met some of the nicest folks at the wine tasting.

I will say that there were some oddities. For example, our suite had a washer and dryer in unit. Very neat and unexpected! However, they didn’t provide a single/sample size of detergent or dryer sheets. Kinda of a “half complete” amenity, no? Another quick story: the toiletries provided were lovely and plentiful. However, when I ran out of toothpaste I had to buy a tube from the gift shop. I’ve gotten a free small tube of toothpaste from a Marriott in Minneapolis before! Look, neither of these examples are not the end of the world, but it’s these kinds of small (very fixable) details that keep GB from feeling like one of the very elite resorts.

That said, there is one area where GB is very much first rate: the service. The staff at the resort gives the feeling that they REALLY care about your stay. They make every effort to learn your name, drink of choice or any other relevant personal preference. From the activities guys (Fernando & Alan), to Raphael’s team at the pool, to everyone in the restaurants…they really have the “experience” side of a luxury resort nailed down.

Despite a couple of minor bumps, I have no qualms about recommending GB. We’ve generally a couple that doesn’t return to the same town over and over, but if we find ourselves in PV again you can bet we’ll be staying at Garza Blanca.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AOski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mercer Island, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

I only spent a few days at Garza Blanca, indulging in the all-inclusive option, but left feeling relaxed and pampered. It was tough making decisions throughout the day like beach or pool? as well as what delicious item to eat from the menu. Staff was fun and engaging without being intrusive; a perfect level of interaction. Next time I go, I will stay longer to take advantage of the great looking activities they offer, like hiking in the Preserve.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Travis K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Semiahmoo Resort Washington
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Francisco..FidelCastro...Miguel...Alejandro...Alan...Jaime...Osvaldo...Ezequiel...Arnold...Rafael.our wonderful services staff... We love you...you made our trip amazing... Your service...your kindness... Your hard work does not go unnoticed....You are truly outstanding!!! My booking agent... And concierge!.. Thank you..for the most beautiful room in the World....(Honey Moon Suite)..My Wife was turning 40 Cinco de Mayo ...and she always dreamed of Mexico to celebrate the occasion...I started the search for an amazing place many months ago..and.Garza Blanca seemed like the place...I am so glad I made that choice because it absolutely exceeded our expectations...from the beautiful entrance, to the stunning views, to the infinity pool, the impeccable service, incredible food and drinks and the picturesque grounds... It is stunning. The paddle boards and kayak adventures to Los Arcos were so fun too! My wife and I Are Truly Grateful... And only wish we can make it back one day soon..perhaps to show our kids...You made us feel like family...I wish we could take you home with us.... Thank you from the bottom of our hearts...and finally let me just say....MUCHAS GRACIAS...:)

Room Tip: Building 2...ocean front... Rocks!!!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Simon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2013 via mobile

Garza Blanca will take your breath away! From the moment you arrive and take in the view to the last day when the staff offers complimentary water for the cab trip to the airport, everything about this place says relax and enjoy your home. Beyond the amazing natural scenery and beautiful rooms, my favorite part about staying here was the amazing staff that genuinely went above and beyond to make our stay perfect. Francisco, Teresa, Oscar, and all the wait staff at aquazul, Blanca blue, and boca, Thank You, for making this a trip to remember!

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Petey032
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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#10 Spa 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 Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort And Spa

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