Do make reservations to participate in the free guided activities like kayak and snorkel to the Arches or hiking to the waterfall...space is limited and you don't want to miss the fun. Feel free to order top shelf beverages- even with the all-inclusive package, because Grey Goose, Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker Red and Black, etc.--you don't have to pay extra for good liquor! Take advantage of the knowledge and hospitality of your Concierge, they are always willing to help with daily needs and special requests. Ana was AMAZING!! Definitely try all the restaurants on the property, because they are included in the price if you choose the "all-inclusive" package, just talk to your concierge for reservations. My son had an amazing birthday dinner at Bocados Stk, and we actually went back for our last night because the perfectly prepared and beautifully presented food and outstanding service were partnered with spectacular views of the Bay. If you like Japanese, reserve a table at Hiroshi, the newest restaurant in the highest tower with views that might make you dizzy... The food was delicious, though the service took a little longer there. I didn't mind because we witnessed an awe-inspiring sunset while we waited for our food. But it's probably not a good pick for small, impatient children. I wish I found Garza Blanca BEFORE I became a Vacation Club owner with another hotel chain so many years ago. After taking in the (optional) sales presentation, and the tour of Hotel Mousai, I am convinced that I would much prefer the GBP ownership to any other company.. It was NOT, however, a 90 minute presentation. If you show any interest at all, you will likely be introduced to at least 3 different sales reps, and spend the better part of 3 hours trying to get back to your vacation. However, the day I scheduled was a little rainy, so my time was well worth the discounted excursion we took later in the week, and the discounted WiFi rate, as well as the opportunity to tour this ridiculously opulent, beautifully appointed top of the line hotel on the hill. I honestly can say that Garza Blanca Preserve is my new favorite home away from home--and I've been to ALL the Hawaiian Islands, Aruba, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and several other resorts in the contiguous U.S. The entire resort, the beach, the pools are immaculate, well-maintained, in a beautiful setting, and employ some of the most hospitable people I've ever met. From the servers, to the housekeeping staff, the activities guide Ramon, to the Bellmen and Concierges, everyone greets you with a warm smile and a helpful attitude. I will definitely plan a return trip in the future,
After doing my research I decided to go with Garza Blanca. The size of the room with living room, kitchen, and great ocean front view was great. The restaurants for dinner was outstanding, great service, and the bartenders made exceptional drinks. The beach was decent.. If the rocks were to be removed from the water it would have been a better experience, however we did enjoy the pool. The resort is great. The only thing they need to improve is the thieves on the staff. My girlfriend's gold Michael Kors watch was stolen from her luggage the day prior to us leaving the resort.
Who we are: Young unmarried couple, decent incomes, no kids, looking for fun/romance/relaxation. What we wanted: A very nice, all-inclusive, non-cheesy resort. In the past I've been to more than my fair share of kinda tacky resorts, and I was willing to spend some money to get a beautiful, fun, relaxing, and higher-class all-inclusive resort. What we got: Exactly what we were looking for and more. The only part that didn't match our expectations was the night life, but I think that's because we went to Puerto Vallarta during an "off season". We also weren't looking for all-night ragers or anything, but it was clearly a resort geared toward a generation looking to settle in for the night around 10pm. We went in to town one night to a club that was recommended to us, but even that was pretty dead. That being said, the resort itself and the staff overwhelmingly exceeded our expectations. At times we joked we felt so useless because the staff was there to meet your EVERY need poolside to the point of humor. I would have liked to walk along a longer beach (hence the 4 star rating there instead of 5) but honestly it was still a gorgeous beach with free water sports, so I can't complain at all. Also the tipping was pretty confusing - but eventually we settled on an average of 15% tips for services on food/drinks ...but I still have no idea if that is considered low or high. Overall, if you're looking for a nice place for a real vacation, with phenomenal food, great rooms full of character, modern luxuries, fun drinks and a superb staff, I would highly recommend Garza Blanca.
Garza Blanca was a much-needed vacation and a great value for what we got. We bought the all-inclusive plan and went for four nights. Our suite was huge and luxurious (twice the size of our apartment) and we had a huge balcony with dining table, chaises and a hammock. It was right on the ocean front, so we'd open the sliding doors in the morning and hear the waves lapping 20 feet from our room. So relaxing. The concierge was amenable to come anytime to clean, bring coffee, bring extra supplies, etc. so I felt totally taken care of. There are a ton of events, which I wish we did (yoga on the beach, meditation, hikes), but we just slept in and read by the pool and on the beach. They constantly pipe very relaxing music through the resort (at a low-level), so you seriously are soooo relaxed the whole time. We also went to the spa, which I highly recommend. Not only do you get a massage, but before you get to relax in a room with six or so different stations -- a steam room, sauna, hot tub, cold pool, vitality pool with a bunch of different massaging jets, as well as chaises overlooking the ocean. The gym was really amazing as well, with views from the 18th floor of Hotel Mousai. Loved doing the elliptical overlooking the entire bay. The restaurants have incredibly quality food -- especially Boca Dos Steak House -- and the views from each are amazing. We loved all inclusive because we didn't have to carry money or credit cards all week, and felt free to try everything. The service is impeccable. My only complaint is that they push you to sign up for the timeshare or "membership" breakfast from the moment you arrive in the airport to checking in. The breakfast and ensuing hard sales pitch which we only went to for discounts (and because we felt bad saying no) was awful -- two hours of used car salesman tactics before we even got to experience the pool or beach. We were both annoyed... who really plunks down that kind of money before you even get a chance to experience the resort. I HATE being sold to, so the first day I felt a little icky. I would recommend saying no (even if you have to say it over and over) to the breakfast. Once that was over, total luxury, and an amazing experience. Will go back.
As a Honeymoon escape (10/12/15-10/18/15), I'd have to say we really enjoyed our stay! We stayed in a 1 bedroom suite, which was way too much for the two of us, but just played into the grand style of this resort. A full kitchen, washer/dryer, 2 bathrooms, Jacuzzi tub, his/hers sinks, etc just made the experience that much better. I don't think we ever even sat on the couch, and just spent most of the time in the hammock or down at a pool. The resort was GORGEOUS, and everywhere you looked was beautifully manicured grounds. I highly recommend going with an all inclusive plan as it offers a virtually care-free experience. We truly felt like king and queen during our stay. The food/drinks were excellent, the staff was eager to please, as well as help you in anyway(learned some new Spanish). The buffet style breakfast at Blanca Blue changed day to day so you always had new things to try. Bocados also offers a great buffet style breakfast and a la carte options as well, however we only had breakfast there once during our stay. We did however dine there for Dinner on another occasion and the Filet was cooked to perfection, the appetizers and desserts we're amazing and everything was not only delicious, but artfully designed and well laid out. I would have to say dinner at Hiroshi, a restaurant in the newest Hotel Mousai within the premises, was by far the best experience. We wish we would have discovered this sooner in our trip. We did splurge a little and went for the Kobe beef(which is not included), but WOW! Watching the sun set from higher back on the mountain was beautiful (attached photo). We stayed in tower 2 which is beachfront so we were a little worried about getting around to the pools/restaurants/bars set back on the mountain side as stated in some reviews. But, The Garza has rustic looking yet nice trollies that can escort you to basically anywhere on the grounds which was also nice going through the jungle via brick/cobble stone roadways as part of the "experience" within minutes. We were offered some additional promotions by taking a timeshare tour, which wasn't exactly what we wanted to do the day after we arrived, but gave you a nice tour around the resort to familiarize yourself, and learn how everything worked. Whether you buy into it or not, they offer you a nice VIP card that you can use for discounts at their small store as well as discounts to other local restaurants. It also included discounts for adventure tours which we fully utilized as well. Although they say it's a 75 minute tour, plan on a couple hours. The actual beach area was small, but was never crowded, so it didn't really make a difference to us. They also offer single/double kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, etc to enjoy your time by the ocean. We spent most of our time around 1 of the great infinity pools at the resort however. The Aquazul (by the lower pool) had great food/snacks as well as drinks, which you could hardly finish before being offered another one. I had a small snorkeling incident out at Marieta Islands in which I needed stitches(by no fault of the Resorts, just being a little too adventurous). Being in a foreign country, I was highly skeptical as to what I might experience at the hospital. Luckily to find out, they actually have a Doctor on site 24 hours a day which was a huge relief. Her English wasn't the best, but she had me stitched up in no time. My only minor complaint, which could also be of some fault of my own, was that the front desk was out of change to exchange USD to Pesos on a couple occasions. Again, I realize they are not a bank, but at a resort of this size, I felt they could improve on that. All in all it was a great vacation, CheapCaribbean offered a lot of information and a great package/price. We would return/recommend Garza Blanca to anyone!!!
This was my third trip to Mexico and the garza Blanca was probably the most beautiful of all three resorts. Our one room suite was comically large and well appointed. The pools were beautiful. The wait staff was friendly and very attentive. It had hands down the best food I've ever had at an all inclusive. My only complaint was the beach but it really isn't their fault. It's my understanding there was a hurricane last season that covered about half their beach in rocks. Since its on a nature preserve they are not allowed to remove them. This cut their beach size in half which obviously isn't ideal. Also, on our first day a bad tide came in and brought a bunch of trash and jellies. By day two they had cleared the beach and the jellies were gone though. It's not really something they can control. I would stay here again without reservation.
We have been to a lot of all inclusive resorts throughout the Caribbean but Garza Blanca was a step above the rest. Aside from the view, which is absolutely stunning, the rooms, cuisine and service were all truly exceptional. We didn't have a bad meal the six days we stayed and we can't wait to go back. If our kids were a bit older, we likely would have become owners in the private residence club but we felt as though the resort catered more toward adults. That being said, there were several families with children who all seemed to be having a great time.
Wanting my daughter and husband's first trip to Mexico be unforgettable, I selected Garza Blanca with the incredible support of Steve Smith from Cheap Caribbean. Steve made sure to describe exactly what to expect and made sure to plan the trip according to all my wishes. The place made such an impression in my family that they decided not to go anywhere and spent all the time at the resort. There were so many activities and places to sight see at the hotel that there was no interest to go anywhere else. The menu on the restaurants have new items everyday so there was no way to get bored with the same food. Room service was excellent and with great presentation. All personnel was extremely attentive and willing to assist in a very relaxed and friendly manner. Our suite was so inviting that some days we just could not get out of it. The brazzilian event one night was very nicely set up at the beach with romantic tables and candles. There was also a platform for the dancers to perform and the buffet with food was extensive and with quality dishes.The atmosphere was relaxed and enjoyable!!! The water at all pools was warm and inviting and the bar staff was always ready to prepare any drink you were craving. I have nothing to say but great things about this trip. I must add that at one point when I called the hotel and there was a discrepancy on my days of stay, I called Steve Smith and he immediately arranged for the discrepancy to be corrected by the hotel. I felt so well taken care of and confident that every aspect of the trip was organized with no mishaps. Thank you Steve and Cheap Caribbean, as soon as I financially recuperate from this trip I will be calling back for the next one!
Bottom line: This resort was fantastic. The room was great, the food fantastic, the drinks plentiful and the view priceless. My wife was hesitant about travel to Mexico given all the stories in the news, but we felt safe the entire time and the resort itself is very secure. A word of advice, when you clear customs in Puerto Vallarta, go past all the vendors trying to sell stuff, they're relentless, just tell them no and go to all the transportation outside the airport. They do try to get you to do their tour at the resort, but we told them we weren't interested and we weren't bothered the rest of the time. The resort itself was extremely clean and our room was amazing. We did stay at the Garza Blanca, not the adults only hotel, but we had access to those facilities. The food was great at all the restaurants and there was a steak or chicken available for those that don't have an adventurous palette. The steakhouse was our favorite, the view was just as incredible as the food. The drinks and poolside service was great as well...be sure to take care of your servers because they made sure our cups were full and food was with us soon after we ordered it. Be sure to book a kayak trip to los arcos...it's a 5 mile paddle round trip, but it's well worth it. It's included as part of your stay at the resort. We also did the couples package at the spa - and it's probably the best spa and treatment we've ever received...it's definitely worth the money. The beach, although small, is nice and clean, with rock breaks out a bit to keep the waves manageable. There are kayaks, snorkels, and paddleboards available for water activity. We'll definitely be putting this on our list of places to return. This place was awesome, go ahead and book it.
I have been to several resorts in puerto Vallarta and this resort had the best food. It is sit down dining style with several restaurants to choose from. You have the option of breakfast buffet or menu dinlng. You will want all-inclusive. Even though you are all-inclusive the waiters bring you a bill to sign which has the price of the meal in pesos and US dollars. Dining for 4 adults ran around $300. That is why you go all-inclusive. They also have higher end liquors. Most dining is reservation but we never had a problem calling 10 minutes ahead. This hotel is geared for relaxation. No swim up pool bar. Soothing bacground music. On certain days a person may be playing a flute, saxophone, or violin. There is no night time shows. This did not bother us since sit down dining was its own nice experience. The lack of shows also helped push you to see downtown puerto Vallarta. Room. We stayed in the one bedroom suite on the beach. Very spacious with kitchen, washer &dryer, 2 bathrooms, pull out couch, and hammock on the patio. Enough space for 4 adults (2 per bead). We used the kitchen pantry as a closet. There are larger suites across the road but they have a nice trolley moving between buildings every 15 minutes. You do not really notice the road. Advantage of staying across the street is the view and you are able to use a rooftop infinity pool and bar all day. Other guests only have access after 6 pm. But again it only has bacground music. I would not hesitate staying in the larger streets. Beach, not much of a beach. They had to put rock breaker barrier to keep sand from washing away. Very small but rocks make snorkeling better than a sandy beach area. Staff. Best ever. Only negative I have is when they try to get you to take do some type of time share style presentation. I did not do it but others that did said it took 3 hrs not 1.5 hrs. They will give you discount trips, wifi (in room only & only 1 device). You can negotiate. Gym- very nice,enough equipment for any gym rat.