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“Great staff, beautiful hotel!”

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Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa
Ranked #13 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 1, 2013

I spent 4th of July weekend at The Garza Blanca Preserve hotel, what a great experience. My friend celebrated her wedding that weekend and actually stayed for 5 days. The entire staff, starting with the doorman, lobby, pool, and restaurant are very accommodating and genuinely attentive, especially Enrico, the resident manager. The vibe of the hotel is very relaxed, comfortable and enormous rooms. Beautiful pool area and beach....fresh ceviche made by the beach was outstanding! I will definitely recommend this hotel to couples, friends and destination weddings. The Mexican buffet breakfast was out of this world!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank L M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 29, 2013

I stayed at Garza Blanca for 4 nights with my wife for my brother's wedding. I only have good things to say about it. When you walk into the lobby the view out onto the coast takes your breath away. All the staff members we encountered were friendly and helpful. I was upgraded to a one-bedroom, and it was one of the nicest places I've ever stayed in. I saw a lot of the rooms of the other wedding guests as well and didn't see anything to complain about. All the rooms in the towers on the far side of the pool have a balcony overlooking the water. If you leave the sliding door open at night you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves. Our room had a kitchen with basic pots/pans/cutlery, washer/dryer, a dining area connected to the living room with a TV, a small bathroom off the living room, a bedroom with a TV, and a large bathroom with a large tub and a walk-in shower. The room was decorated well and was honestly a lot nicer than any apartment I've lived in in the US.
We stopped by Walmart on the way from the airport and so we did do some basic cooking for several of our meals. We stayed at the hotel mostly, but took the public bus to town (catch it on the road right across from the hotel) and back a couple of times--it's very cheap--and took the bus the other direction once to get to the zoo.
The pools were fantastic and the beach was beautiful. Didn't really go swimming but used the paddle boards and the kayaks that the hotel has for guests to use for free and that was a lot of fun. Someone from the hotel helps you learn to paddle board if you haven't done it before. I mostly just ate fajitas and guacamole ordered poolside (both were amazing and very reasonably priced), but I also had a nice dinner up at Blanca Blue, which had great views (saw whales for the first time from up there, though later saw them in a water a lot from the pool).
My wife and I did the timeshare thing, and I actually enjoyed the breakfast and seeing the towers, but then the selling part takes a long time. Much longer than they tell you it will take. The discount you get for food after is nice though. Not sure if I'd do it again, but can't complain too much because I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for it.
For anyone considering having a wedding here, it was pretty amazing from the perspective of a guest. The set up on the beach was beautiful, the food was good, and they let my brother arrange things like fireworks and sending off paper lanterns from the beach. It was a pretty epic wedding, and relatively stress free for the bride and groom, and Garza Blanca was a perfect place to relax and spend time with family before and after the wedding.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank rustinpc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

We spent 6 days & 5 nights at the resort and is pleased with the property , beach and service. It advertised 960 s.f. for the ocean view suites, but it included the balcony, so it's more like 650 s.f. which is good enough. They should so state it. Staff were real nice and professional. We read about time share pitches so we told them upon check in that we didn't want it, and they never bugged us any more. The grounds, pools and beach were beautiful. Non motorized water sports equipment were included and we kayaked tandem to Los Aracos and back, so fun! Did stand up paddling too. The breakfasts were included and not bad, but don't ask them to change or substitute anything, so the didn't know how. Took forever. With the exception of the poolside restaurant and bar (which was very good for its purposes and Jaime was a great server), their two theme restaurants were disappointing and expensive. They were beautiful, but just need a new F & B director to turn things around. I wouldn't eat there. Plenty of good restaurants that you can take a taxi to in downtown or romantic zone. We did exactly that after trying these theme restaurants. Good service, just not so good food for the money. For the adventurous minded, you can also take a bus to go 3 stops to Mismaloya for 7 pesos each to experience some local seafood restaurants. The spa was very good and we enjoyed the massage there. Front desk was very fair. I signed up for more days than we were staying on internet service, and they refunded the money to me. Very good service and beautiful lobby and property throughout with tons of flowers and little wild lives that you can enjoy. We like Juan, the general manager.

Room Tip: Be aware that room size included balcony area.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank OctopusPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

I spent 4 nights at Garza Blanca over 4th of July weekend with another single girl and we were amazed by the beauty of the property. The infinity pool is a wonderful place to spend your day. We did venture downtown one night which was a nice excursion. However, we were just as content to stay on the beautiful property and be treated like queens by Juan, the hotel host and Jaime, the pool bar server. They and the rest of the staff were fabulous!! The rooms were fantastic and, more importantly, clean! I will definitely go back at Garza Blanca!!!!

Room Tip: I would try to get a room in the building right on the water!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank K_Mathews71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

My family and I were pleasantly surprised by by the overall appearance of this hotel. We booked on Costco.com with flight and breakfast $200 credit included. The 2 bedroom suite with full kitchen and an amazing view.

When we arrived at the airport there were timeshare people waiting to make their pitch. Apparently they pay someone at the airport to have access to the passengers arriving before they leave the airport. I was willing to put my family through a pitch for 2 messages and 5 tickets to a water park. Yes I gave them $20 which was refunded after the presentation. I had heard That some people gave them as much as $200. After we got out of the airport the transportation people asked us if we gave any money to the timeshare crooks. What was very deceiving was that they were wearing Grarza Blanka shirts so I assumed that they were there to welcome us and take us to the Hotel. Not at all the case. They were their to sign us up for the times share breakfast which was not really free since our breakfast was already included and the presentation took 3 times longer than I had anticipated. One morning lost and three grumpy kids later we were finally able to enjoy this five star resort with two pools and a nice beach. This was a very nice experience. We still ended up spending a decent amount on drinks and lunch by the pool. Unfortunately the closest store is back in town about 25 min away. If you do not have the all inclusive then I would recommend paying the driver $25 bucks to make a detour to Walmart. They have groceries and most anything else that you may have forgotten. My wife even picked up mosquito spray bathing suits and sun block. And I picked my favorite beer. Bohemia :). Wish we had not waited until halfway through the trip to go to Walmart.

The paddle boarding and snorkeling was also allot of fun.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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8  Thank Johnyohti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

We meet in Puerto Vallarta since it is a middle point to all our family, for some reason we end up in Garza Blanca and I have the best time.

The hotel is beautiful, right there in the the middle of the jungle and the beach. Far from the noise and crowded Nuevo Vallarta. We went 6 adults and 2 kids, so we got the master suite, 3 rooms large closets and bathroom ammenities, 1 large kitchen, 4 TV with cable, 2 bathtubs, 2 amacas and 1 jacuzzi overseen the beach and hotel pool.

I was concern with the all inclusive food package we got since in Cancun and Mazatlan I have the experience that the good meats, shrimps and drinks were not included. In Garza Blanca I was amazed they have 3 full serving restaurants The Bocados, Blanca Blue, Aquaazul with all the good expensive food and drinks included.

The Bocados STK has the wonderful view from the top of a mountain, a cart takes you there from the hotel lobby. This restaurant carries all the good meat cuts for dinner, I had the filet mignon 350 grms, tuna, and 5 to 10 Buchannans 12 every night for a week, all were included. Maricruz the manager for breakfast is the coolest host and Feromin at night the most attentive
The Blanca Blue is right next to the beach, behind the hotel reception, very nice view and excellent gourmet food pastas, ceviches, salads.

The Aquaazul is where I eat the most since it is between the beach and the pools. They carried all the hamburgers, burritos, chiken nuggets, ceviches lots and lots of alcohol. My favorites the shimp burrito and the hamburger with like 200 grs of meat!

As soon as you checkin into the hotel, there is no lobby line, they seat you in a wonderful chairs they give you a pepino martini and explain you everything about the hotel. If you take the all inclusive everything is free, food, drinks, kayaks, playballs, palapas only the gasoline motors are 50% off like jetskys.

Everybody in this hotel is very friendly and helpful, from the gardeners, to the cleaning ladies, to the waiters and desk hostest but I like to say a special thanks to all the the guys in the Aquaazul that for 10 days give me the best service from 10 am to 11 pm: Supervisor Rene, Bartenders Noe and Leonardo, waiters Gonzalo, Jaime and very special to Ezequiel and Alvaro, these guys memorize what I like and wan and keep serving me with drinks and food every 10 minutes. One day I stay in the pool all day so they served me 40 whiskies until they ran out of my brand, so they ran to the other restaurant to get my brand and give me the whole bottle. I miss you guys!

For what we eat and drink with my family pretty the room was free. Excellent all inclusive food and drinks, best I have ever seen.

The owners spare no expense to build this hotel and rooms have the top of the line jacuzzies that are 24hrs heated, floors, beds, AC, TV, even the toilet paper is the good one!

So yes, if you go to Puerto Vallarta this is by far the best alternative. I will definetly go back at least twice a year.

One last comment, some company is doing the time sharing, just stay away and you be fine. They all threat you their best even if you do not attend.

Room Tip: choose the one with the jacuzzi, great view of the pools and beach
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Salvador S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

I spent 5 nights at Garza Blanca for my 1 year anniversary with my Husband. We had the All Inclusive package for 5 days. If I would have known that we could do 1/2 all inclusive and 1/2 not, I would have chosen that option. Below is my review:

Food & Beverage:
Wine for all inclusive is decent at best. There are 4 options for Red Wine and I believe 4 for White Wine.
I Googled their Pinot Noir and online states it’s the “affordable Pinot Noir”. It’s a $13-14/bottle and they sell it for $14/glass. When on all-inclusive this is obviously free, but none of their other wine is available to you without purchase. The Cabernet was the best that they have, for my taste.
For high end liquor on all inclusive, Ciroc Vodka is not included.


Restaurants:
Blanca Blue: We did not like this restaurant. I rate it a 5/10. The service was poor. Very nice young men trying, but they obviously have NO training in how to service a 5-star restaurant/hotel. We waited for water, bread, ordering, etc. The food was “fine”. I ordered seared tuna and my husband ordered pork roast. He said it was average. We ordered for desert the sorbet (for me) and the chocolate cake (for him). The sorbet was terrible - we took one bite. The chocolate cake was hands down the worst dessert we’ve ever tried. It had sweet potato ice cream (weird) and it was a rubbery brown thing. It seemed like they put it in the microwave. We didn’t eat that either… They had a Cuban band playing in the middle of dinner. There were three tables, including ours and we weren’t able to talk. Needless to say, we never went back to that restaurant.
The servers need a ton of training, the managers need to be around to make sure that things are running smoothly.

Boca STK (I think this is what it’s called - the one at the top of the resort):
We enjoyed this restaurant more than Blanca Blue. The Filet Mingon was HUGE. The appetizers were pretty good. The view is amazing. The servers are it or miss. Last night we had the BEST server ever - he treated us like we were at a 5-Star Restaurant. However for breakfast, the servers were bad. They forget a lot of things. (I ordered an egg white omelet no cheese and of course it came with cheese). It takes about 5 minutes to get a cup of coffee for breakfast when you sit down.

Pool Food:
I’ve tried a few of their ceviches, and I would give them a 3/10. Not good. I’m from San Diego and I’ve had good ceviche… this stuff isn’t good. Shrimp caesar salad wasn’t great either. My husband did like his pizza…. but who can go wrong with a pizza :) The chicken is very oily.

Room Service:
Decent Coffee. They have Soy Milk, so I was pleased with that. Standard room service food.

Rooms:
We booked the Honeymoon Suite for our 1 Year Anniversary Trip. How could you go wrong with that, right?! It had a jacuzzi and hammock and table outside to relax with an ocean front view. AND…. when we checked in we also had a view of the awesome ROAD!! And Construction!! And wire polls. Wow, needless to say I let them know immediately that I didn’t want to hear traffic and sit in a jacuzzi over looking a road. I was told most people love the corner room because it has a better view. Yeah, I came to get away from traffic not listen to it. They did upgrade us (no fee) to the 1 bedroom suite with no road view. They are at 37% occupancy, so that was easy to do. The 1 bedroom suite is very nice. No jacuzzi, but huge patio with hammock, great accommodations, laundry, full kitchen, huge bathroom, 2 tv’s, etc. We were very satisfied with this room.

Service:
As I mentioned the waiters need serious training if they are going to consider this place 5 Star. (There was one waiter that was Outstanding, but everyone else needs training) But besides the waiters/waitresses, I was pleased with the service. Argie (her nick name) was our concierge for the trip, and she was fabulous. The bell guys at the front were cool too. A lot of the employees talk up the Hotel and say how awesome the owner/developer “Mr. Corona” is and how much he cares. Well, if you have to talk everything up, you’re probably not that good. You don’t go to the Four Seasons and here the managers tell you how amazing they are and how celebrities vacation with them. They are amazing without bragging. That’s why I know they are struggling to get this place off the ground.

They also charge for internet. Not expensive, but still. It doesn’t come in with all inclusive (internet).

What I really enjoyed:
I liked the pools. Very relaxing, good temperature. The beach is nice but small. The water temp is great. Breakfast at the top restaurant (up in the tower) was good. They have all different “juicing” drinks. I eat very healthy and there were options for me… very good egg white omelet...not oily like most places.

It’s secluded and you’re in the jungle. Very pretty, hotel is new and clean.

All in all, we paid a lot for this trip and that’s why I’m picky. I enjoyed it, but I’ve enjoyed my stays at other hotels much better. This could be a great resort in the future. The new towers being built are beautiful with breath taking views. The town is not far away, $100 pesos. I also didn’t realize that we came in the slow season. There are very few of us staying here which is nice. It rained daily during our trip, but we actually enjoyed the rain and even sat outside for dinner in the rain a few times.

Room Tip: Do not book the end unit Honeymoon Suite - The Jacuzzi sits on the ROAD and overlooks utility polls...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Natalie V
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

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
#9 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#11 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#11 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $156 - $1,788 (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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