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“Paradise on Earth”

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Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa
Ranked #13 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 August 2014

I can not believe I am leaving this place ;( We stayed in Tower 4, 5th floor in a 2 bedrooms unit, A modern luxurious apartment -the least to say. We had the view of the jungle and the beach and woke up every morning to the singing of birds and beach waves....The service is great, everyone is friendly here and treats you with genuine smile. Jessica did a great job on facilitating our stay during our whole stay. The gigantic rooms are meticulously cleaned everyday. There is a 24hr medical care onsite available and the fresh rejuvenating water in the pools comes straight from the mountain with no chemicals added. The activities are great, Tito took our kids on a mini hike, he works so well with the kids and enjoys what he does. Kayaking was fun and the adult hike is a must... The time share session was a bit of a pain. Although Mark was very friendly, honest and respectful of our time and wishes, however a couple of other guys that took over the conversation became very pushy and gone out of line trying to sell us the time share. The city tour was not that great and the las Marietas island activity was deceiving, I wish someone told us before we booked that the access to the island is not guaranteed and is only weather permitted. We were not told about that until after 1 hours boat ride. Overall, the place is a dream, my kids were never bored with all the activities in site. This is the place to reenergize, relax yourself and reconnect with mother nature :) The taxi rides were smooth everyone charged between 130 and 150pesos for the city rides. PVtans are very friendly and honest people!!! I loved every minute and I will redo it in a heart beat.

Room Tip: Get a room with a panoramic view of the mountain and the beach.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank fadoua k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,066 - 1,072 of 1,914 reviews

Reviewed 20 August 2014

This property has stunning views and excellent rooms and high quality finishes and landscaping. Everyone was exceptionally pleasant and friendly, it is hard to offer negative feedback. There are some substantial challenges with service, however. It is often slow and/or incorrect. Details, such as asking for the ladies order first, or clearling the appetizer plate prior to, say, the third course, are often overlooked. For a property this size and cost, the spa and gym are tremendously inadequate. Also, there were kids- everywhere. We were eating at their best resturant Boca Stsstk at 10:30 PM and a child behind me put on a cartoon movie on his iPhone loud enough for every table within the vacinity to hear. This speaks more to parenting than to the property however this kind of property should have adults only pools, resturants and other areas. I asked what capacity they were at and he said 40%. If this was true, I don't know how the facilities such as pools, beach and resturants could operate at 75% capacity with any level of service or comfort. They also need more than one true bar on this property. I couldn't give it a three star rating, but it is closer to a three than it is a five.

Room Tip: We stayed in 3101A and 4071A so we got the true experience of both tower three in the original compl...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank csiguyColumbusOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2014

We just got back a couple of days ago from the beautiful Garza Blanca resort, where we stayed for a week in celebration of our first wedding anniversary and the honeymoon we never took. We had an AMAZING time at this beautiful hotel. The scenery was stunningly beautiful, with clear, warm water on one side and the green jungle on the other side! We loved the breathtaking sunsets every night from the Blanca Blue or BocaDos restaurants, the infinity pool, and soothing, peaceful walks along the beach, as well as just the view from our room! Aside from the beauty of this location, the service is incredible! We were originally booked in a first floor suite, but when we got there and realized the panoramic view was blocked by a large tree, we asked that they move us to a higher floor, which they did within just a couple of hours! From the 11th floor, we could see the whole bay! Service was prompt and accommodating, from the women in the Hamara Spa (GREAT hydrotherapy!) to the housekeeping staff (our room always looked great!), to the golf cart drivers who took us from the lobby to our building (always smiling!). One night, they even drew a bubble bath with candles for turndown service! Jose Luis in the Blanca Blue restaurant helped make our anniversary dinner special (and every dinner special!) and Argelia our concierge helped us arrange activities like a river swim. We had a great time, even booking outside tours to Las Marietas and the Los Veranos canopy zipline tour (those guys were a riot). We traveled in August, which is the rainy season, but aside from maybe 90 minutes of storms roughly every day, the weather was beautiful, and it really never hampered our activities at all. Overall, this was a great place to stay, and we had a wonderful time! Definitely recommended!

Room Tip: Higher floors have amazing views (and fewer bugs), but they are building a new tower, so we had cons...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Kelsey K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2014

I agree with the overall opinions of most of the recent reviews, so I won't reiterate. Overall, if you want a perfect view, with outstanding rooms, and want to be centrally located to the boardwalk, this is a great place to stay. I found Puerto Vallarta to be a much safer feeling town than many other places I have been in Mexico. Although everywhere we went, including the beach at the hotel, we were hassled non-stop and relentlessly to buy something, there was no apparent "danger threat". My 19 year-old son and his friend went to the clubs every night until early morning without any incidents. Most amazing was the fact that I didn't encounter a single person begging; I wish I could say the same for Kansas City!

Here are some points that might be worth reading:

1. The two or three bedroom panorama view units are flat out awesome; definitely one of the nicer rooms/condos that I have ever seen. The views are incredible and the unit is essentially a 1.6 million dollar condo unit. BE SURE that you don't get stuck with one of the units in building 5 on the first 2 floors, or your only view will be palm trees.

Keep in mind that buildings 4 and 5 are up on a hill, which requires either a long walk or a golf cart ride and a shorter walk to the main lobby, beach, and the nicest restaurant. There is a great pool area and the steak restaurant at the base of building 4 & 5. We found the walk both to the beach (less than ten minutes, but we walk pretty fast and are in good shape) and back up the stairs to building 5 to be a great form of exercise; which is needed when you stay at an all-inclusive.
If you don't like to walk or ride in golf carts, get a room in one of the buildings located on the beach. (buildings 1, 2, or 3) In my opinion the rooms are not near as nice, and I prefer the views from building 5, which has both jungle and unencumbered ocean views.

2. The service during our stay was anywhere from really great to just flat out slow. On a few occasions it took multiple requests to receive service. Mostly the service was good, but typically slower than one would expect at a "Five Diamond" type facility. Checking in and out of the facility is very time consuming, plan at least 30 minutes to check out and a good hour to check in. There were multiple charges on our bill that we had to have removed. For example, with our package the Internet was included, but we were charged for the Internet and there was a charge for almost $600.00 that was simply a mistake. Eventually after getting supervisor approval, all the Internet charges were removed, but it was a timely process! In addition, we were quoted one price for the room, which I paid upfront, and at check out they said a mistake was made at they attempted to charge me an additional $120.00; that charge was also removed, but it took a lot of arguing and time. I heard other people experiencing the same thing right next to us.

3. The food was bad to good, but is not near on the level of the quality of the food available at a typical great restaurant. If you are really foodie, you will most likely not be impressed with the food. However, the food is FAR better than what is typically found at an all-inclusive. After being there for 7 days, the food got tired and boring. There are only two restaurants and the pool grill. The pool grill is actually quite good for a poolside restaurant. Keep in mind, on average it took at least an hour to get food no matter when or where you eat. Even though it states that gratuities are included, they very much expect a 15% to 20% tip; that is typical in my experience, but should be considered when budgeting your trip. It would be nice if there was greater variety of food choices. Overall, the food is all Mexican oriented. A variety of basic steaks are available, some limited seafood selections, but again, most have a Mexican flair. Fortunately for me, I love Mexican spices.

4. It is best to make reservations at both of the restaurants. Even though there were a multitude of empty tables, we were told that the seatings were all full. We ended up eating at the bar at Blanca Blue, the lobby area restaurant. One night, when we had reservations, it took us 70 minutes to get our food, and when we were finally served, it was pretty bad. The night before, the same dishes were far better; I am not sure what happened in the kitchen, but something went wrong! At this one meal only, had I been paying for the food, I was would have demanded my money back!

5. Keep in mind that all the restaurants, including room service close at 11pm; which in my opinion does not qualify this facility as a true five star facility. However, 11pm is when the kitchen actually closes, which means that if you don't order by 10:30pm, there is a good chance you won't have all food options available. We called room service at 10: 48 and we were told that only a few "easy items" were available; we only tried to order a pizza, but it was too late. Keep in mind that the pizzas are much better by the pool when they come out fresh than when ordering via room service. For some reason they cover all the food with plastic wrap and then cover it with the metal covers. This causing a lot of the room service food to be soggy, particularly the pizzas. On average it takes at least an hour to get food via room service.

There is construction going on between building 4 and 5, which did result in being woken up in the morning from the construction. I am a very light sleeper, others in my party were not disturbed.

The water is very clear around this hotel; we went kaiaking (kaiaks are free) and could easily see 20 feet down. The snorkeling is actually pretty good right of the hotel beach area. If you enjoy long walks on the beach, this beach doesn't allow for that type of activity. The beach is clean and plenty big if you only want to "play" on the beach; but the beach only covers a relatively short amount of shoreline, so long walks are not possible.

I would say that this is nicest resort in the Puerto Vallarta area. If you want much nicer, you will have to go to the Four Seasons, or Grand Velas in Punta Mita. Punta Mita is 40 to 50 minutes away from downtown Puerto Vallarta; this was not good for our needs.

Room Tip: Choose a floor 5th floor or higher in building 4 or 5 to get the best views.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank pickemtowin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2014

We had an amazing penthouse on the upper towers that had a beautiful 180 degree view of the forrest and the cove. The whole rental itself was very trendy and had the most modern kitchen appliances. It seemed as though the owners were trying their hardest to make this hotel the best it could be. However, the unfortunate language barrier lessened our service experience. Also, for a person to have "All Access" they have to wear this, very cultural, bracelet that serves no technological purpose but to distinguish all access visitors from everyone else. These bracelets were such a hassle, they fell off at least twice a day and the string was fraying to the point where you couldn't tie it anymore and don't get me started on the fee you have to pay if you lose it! We didn't experience that, but I believe there shouldn't be a charge for a bracelet that looks like a souvenir. The beach was a bit cold, it was March, but the water sports were great to have, even though there was a wait. Out of the three restaurants on the property, every single one of them failed to have the item I was ordering on the menu at least once a day. Also, the room service is practically a joke. I would also suggest only visiting suggested areas and not drifting out on your own except around the downtown/historic area. Also, the taxi system is set up to take your money, especially if you don't understand the language. I understand very little Spanish and the conversion of Pesos to Dollars, however, before our trip I brushed up on conversions and the language and was in multiple arguments with taxi drivers over how much the meter read and how much he was actually saying.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank cwestwood1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2014

I selected Garza Blanca for my wedding in July after lots of research. We worked with Annie as our wedding coordinator and she was fantastic. I told her what I was wanting and she made it all happen. I cannot stress enough how great Diana Flores photography was. She was professional and the photos turned out amazing. I highly recommend her.

We had 42 guest who all feel in love with the place. The service was amazing and we were all devastated to have to leave. I want to mention the people who looked after us. The pool bar was amazing and Emmanuel was the main server who took care of us and he was so friendly! Alvaro, Jose Luiz, Tony, Gonzalo all looked after other people in our party and they loved the service. I liked having the same waiter all week because they are friends by the end of it. In Blanca Blue Giselle and Jesus took care of us and were great. We stayed in the top towers so the drivers made a big difference for us Salvador, Jonathan, Viktor Manuel were always there and so happy. At the front calling taxi's for us and helping with bags Omar was fantastic. Unfortunately we never got a concierge person but others in our group did and it was helpful.

Some of the guest were in the lower towers while some were in the top towers. I would try and stay beach side if you want to hang out by the pool mostly. The view was amazing from tower 5 but it would of be great to be down by our friends. I will definitely be returning to the hotel!

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
Thank erinsa13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2014

A lovely honeymoon stay! Gorgeous setting and great staff. Margaritas are yummy just ensure you specifics tequila!! Gorgeous view in our room. Travelling in jan we got to see the whales in the bay!!!!!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Audrey B
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:
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre 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 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#9 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#11 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#11 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: £105 - £1,336 (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, Resort And Spa
Garza Blanca Preserve Hotel Puerto Vallarta

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