We stayed in Garda and I thought it was the perfect resort, but I cannot comment on Bardolino because we didn't visit.
What did I like about Garda? The long waterfront, that had a wide selection of bars, cafes and restaurants to suit every pocket. It also had plenty of benches so you could just sit in the shade or sun without spending money.
It also has lovely quaint streets leading down to the waterfront, which is the old Garda, very very nice nice walkways, with cafes, restaurants and shops.
There always seemed to be something going on, whether it was singing with free wine tasting on the waterfront on a Sunday morning, Salsa dancing to watch one evening, classic car rally, art exhibitions, I could go on.
The area had embraced tourism without losing its character.
I loved it and can't wait to go back.