Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa
What We Love
- Enormous guestrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows framing ocean views and sprawling private terraces with hammocks
- Get pampered at Spa Imagine or book a treatment on your terrace; the Natura Bissé products from Spain have a cult following
- The two dramatic freeform infinity pools overlooking Banderas Bay
- Snacks (ceviche, guacamole, etc.) and cocktails are served beachside at Aquazul
What To Know
- The hotel is 10 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta
- Suites are great for families: They feature full kitchens
- If you’re looking to keep up your workout regimen, the fitness center has a live DJ from 6 to 8 p.m. three times a week
- Parking On Site
With a prime position on verdant Banderas Bay, Garza Blanca has a lobby that combines a cream and hazelnut color scheme with earthy materials such as exposed wood beams. But here it’s all about the views, and the open panoramas of sky and sea take center stage from nearly every angle.
Bed and Bath
All of the 164 spacious guestrooms and suites are richly detailed, with polished wood, travertine floors and granite surfaces. The furniture is brightened by fabrics in turquoise, lime-green and saffron, and accented with contemporary Mexican handicrafts. Flat-screen TVs and iPod docking stations keep things feeling modern, while private balconies with hammocks and separate soaking tubs create opportunities for pampering.
Take things down a notch, and lounge on the shaded patio overlooking the two freeform infinity pools and the bay with a signature cocktail and ceviche from Aquazul Bar & Lounge, or carve out an afternoon with a chakra-balancing ritual at the state-of-the-art spa. Bocados STK is a classic steakhouse with a twist, dishing up raw foods, small bites and prime meats with a side of ocean views. The Blanca Blue restaurant serves such dishes as roast rack of lamb over polenta with lima bean, fennel and mint salad; it also has some 2,300 bottles of wine to choose from. Work it all off in the fitness center, which has a live DJ from 6 to 8 p.m. three times a week.
In the Area
Professional marine biologists at Wildlife Connection will guide you before you swim with deep water mammals, or you can spend an evening collecting and relocating the fragile eggs of sea turtles, which come ashore by moonlight. Humpback whales show up between November and March. On land you can wander the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens, high in the glorious Sierra Madre mountains; they’re easily accessible, just 12 miles south of Puerto Vallarta. Or you can get active with Vallarta Adventures, which offers dolphin swims, whale watching and other outdoor activities. Or get on the green at one of Puerto Vallarta’s golf courses; the Marina Vallarta Golf Club and Vista Vallarta Golf Club both offer award-winning play.
How to Get There
We just got back from our first trip to PV. We were excited to chill at a resort that the rankings were pretty high. Lots of pros, a few cons. This is a resort that you want to research prior to booking based off of your likes and dislikes. Pros: Everyone, and i mean everyone is extremely kind and helpful. Some mention employee names specific but I don't think that is fair for all of the butlers, waitress, waters, housekeeping, concierges, host, hostesses.... ect..... They are ALL extremely professional and kind. A lot of Americans throw some money at some and of course they will be your best friends however to be fair, they are all excellent no matter if you throw some pesos around or not. Airport: a bit crazy.... A lot of flights come in at the same time. Customs took over two hours to get through. That was tough. When walking out to find your transportation you have to be persistent regarding the sales people. They are friendly however they are salesmen. A lovely woman was walking around it a beautiful Mexican dress offering mini margaritas.... I believe that was the only time we saw a Mexican outfit for the whole stay. Transportation went smoothly. Resort is big... A shuttle to get from building to building. You may wait about five minutes for the shuttle.... no big deal. Very friendly drivers. Food: BocaDos Stk was truly the best for both breakfast and dinner. Blanca Blu for dinner was also excellent. Buffet was not impressive at all. The Japanese restaurant at the Hotel Mousai (up on top of the resort was good also) Hotel Mousai is where you will find the spa and gym. The rooftop pool and the Terrace restaurant you are not welcome at unless you are a guests at that specific building. Pools, beautiful. Lots of shade or sun whichever you prefer. That staff around the pool are extremely attentive to there guests. Entertainment: I was a bit disappointed with that. At dinner there would be a woman playing a clarinet which of course was very nice however that is the extent of it. I was surprised that they didn't offer more at the resort. There was no evening life however I did notice that the general age group at the resort was 55 and older. Very limited in any entertainment or activity on the resort at all. Check in/Check out ran smoothly. Beach was beautiful. We didn't sit on it long as the locals will be on you quickly to sell, sell, sell. Now, to go off resort. We took a bus one down into town. A bit of a hectic ride and not as friendly as resort staff. We spent the day in town which was awesome. A few visits to different spots then lunch at Pipi's which was truly the best Mexican food any of us had. Two local men arrived inside with there guitars and started playing for us. Malicon (boardwalk) you should visit. We also visited the flea market... They were all a lot of fun too. Overall , nice relaxing trip. I would of liked to have had more action/activities to occasionally be entertained. A must see resort for sure... but remember, think in your head if you want to lay poolside for the day, perfect... If you want to explore, possibly other resorts a better decision. (PS: toilet paper smells like roses!!! And toilets have heated seats!!!!)
We love Garza Blanca and have visited a few times. I'm reviewing again to make specific mention of the staff and wonderful job that management has done in creating a culture of happy, friendly employees. The staff at this hotel is always on point, always friendly and welcoming, and always helpful. Special thank you to Jeane Dos Santos for going out of her way, and special thanks to Cristian and Jose Miguel at the Panorama Pool for making us feel at home.
I'd like to point out that Alejandro Rojas which works on the beach selling excursions is professional, trustworthy, and won't steer you wrong. If you want to fish or snorkel, ask for Alex Sanez - so kind and the best time ever!
Every year the Garza Blanca resort has gotten better. Jafet Glez is the pool concierge, and activities planner. Jafet does such a great job of making it easy to make plans for the family. Led us on a mountain hike. Activities at the pool, making appointments for us for the Spa and dinner reservations. He is always happy to see everyone at the pool. The Garza Blanca resort is a great place for the whole family.Thank you so much fun. Jafet Glez we are excited to see you again February 2020 at the Garza Blanca resort.
As a person with very high standards, I can report that Garza Blanca is among the top resorts we have visited in our many years of luxury travel (including a half dozen wonderful trips to Puerto Vallarta). The service is exquisite (extra special thanks to Odulia who left our place immaculate and with fun little surprises each day), spotlessly clean, the food is excellent and the beauty of the property nestled on the beach and rising into the hills south of town is exquisite. We loved all 4 restaurants that are available as part of a remarkably good and varied all-inclusive option (including delicious food and drink poolside.) The fitness center was excellent with a great view. We preferred the higher up panoramic pool close to our condo as opposed to the more packed pool bordering the beach below. Also preferred the two buildings up the hill as opposed to beachside condos, for the 180 degree view of the bay and lights of the city, as well as a large layout with 2-bedrooms and 3-baths, a large wraparound deck and private hot tub. Trolley runs regularly but the walk is a nice bit of exercise. Truly 5-star all around.
Beautiful, relaxing, the staff is kind and attentive, hiking in the steep jungle to a hidden waterfall is spectacular, kayaking on the ocean and then snorkeling. Really love the family time and especially Jafet Glez the director of activites is a stand out.