I chose Garza Blance for its oceanside location, gorgeous photos, and the fact that the "sleep quality" was rated high (I am a light sleeper, and wary of hotels with thin walls or near nightlife districts). I was not at all disappointed. In fact, the photos may not do this luxurious, beautiful facility justice. I walked into the front, outdoor lobby to a jaw-dropping view of the infinity pool/ocean. The views from the other two restaurants are breathtaking, as well. I went during the first week in March, during a slightly slow part of the season, so when I showed up for some of the activities, I was the only one! But tour guide Tito didn't hesitate, giving me private hikes or tours of the facility. Definitely sign up for one of his activities; he is very knowledgeable about the resort and Puerta Vallarta in general. The undertow was too strong when I went, so I wasn't able to go to Los Arcos, but I heard mixed opinions about it from the locals.
I wanted to go somewhere where I felt safe, traveling as a solo female, and Puerta Vallarta wound up being an excellent choice. This resort is in a private, remote location; I felt extremely safe the entire time. I recommend NOT booking your taxi through this hotel, however. I did, at the cost of $45, and discovered from the locals that all you need to do is walk across the bridge at the airport, where other taxis will take you to this hotel for about $10-$20. And walk out of the airport as quickly as you can; it's not as bad as Tijuana, but the tour operators/drivers are very aggressive and in-your-face. Kind of surprising and not at all indicative of Puerta Vallarta elsewhere.
I agreed to a timeshare spiel, since they gave me a return taxi to the airport, 15% off food and beverages, and a discounted massage in return. Plus, it was an opportunity to see the entire resort and the beautiful model units in the new towers. If the sales pitch lasted 90 minutes, that would have been fine, but it was over 2.5 hours! And I am not a softie. They were very intense, bringing in second and third-tier salespeople to pressure me with progressively cheaper deals. Way too much pressure, in my opinion. Don't have too many of the cucumber margaritas they give you!
Speaking of which, you must try the cucumber margaritas while here! I am a wine person, but these drinks were wonderful, and "just strong enough." The food I had here was ok. Not very good or great, but ok. But I can't say enough about how well-maintained and beautiful this resort is. I will remember the lull of the surf pounding on the beach forever. Just a beautiful place to relax, unwind, and enjoy beautiful views. Loved loved the pool, beach, activities, rooms, staff. I booked an oceanfront studio and found it to be spacious, with updated decor, and a cute balcony with a hammock. But I stopped at the wine shop on the way in from the airport and stocked up on wine (cheap here!) to help save money.
The only downside for me was that I expected the poolbar (open until 11 p.m. each night) to be a source of social life at night--something that I was looking for as a solo traveler. It wasn't at all. In fact, this place shut down after sunset. So if you want any social life at night, you have to go into the downtown area, which is fine, but not what I was looking for.
Take the bus downtown -- only 7.5 pesos -- instead of a taxi. I actually met a lot of people while going back and forth on the bus. People are so friendly and helpful with advice and tips and directions here, and they all steered me in the right direction. I will remember my stay at Garza Blanca forever!
- 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