This was our second stay at Garza Blanca. The first time around, we gave it 5 stars, and had been considering buying. So let's go through this step-by-step.
This purpose of this trip was to celebrate my husband's birthday. We were so impressed with Garza Blanca the first time, that we decided to return.
Whenever I plan a trip (especially for a special occasion) I am always sure to be in touch with the manager and concierge staff to ensure a certain level of service. Miguel, the Manager, and Monica, the Concierge, were responsive and genuinely excited for our visit.
I planned with Monica to have a birthday cake in our room upon arrival, a special dinner at their new restaurant, and requested a spa menu for a couples massage. Everything was "set."
When we arrived at the hotel at 5pm, we were not greeted with margaritas. It was a nice touch during our first trip that we missed out on this time. We were taken to our room - no cake. The minibar was not stocked. The bellman assured me that it would be stocked within 10-15 minutes. We went to the pool for a few hours, came back, still no minibar. It wasn't until I approached the concierge staff before dinner that it was finally stocked. The same goes for the cake - on the second day I called down to ask the wireless password and at that point asked about the cake. They sent it up later that day.
Blanca Blue and the pool bar, as usual, were fantastic. Service was attentive, and the food was fantastic. A+ to the staff at the pool. I couldn't have asked for anything better.
The spa also gets an A+. Sure, I've been to better spas (the Mandarin Oriental in Boston is to DIE for) but Hamara Spa did a great job with our couples massage.
Here's my big complaint. Boca Dos STK is the new restaurant. It is affixed atop a spiraling road just above the residential presentation center. This was my husband's birthday dinner. The view was fabulous and the ambiance was super swanky.
We walked in and they acted like they were not expecting us (or anyone for that matter) to show up. Either the concierge staff had neglected to tell them we were coming, or the simply ignored it. A young waiter came over and greeted us - we asked if they had a wine list or cocktail menu. He said "Sure". A minute later he came back empty handed and simply said "What do you want?" We were obviously very confused and ordered a regular martini. I wish I could say this was a language barrier issue, but that simply wasn't the case. It was truly odd.
The rest of the dinner was fine...but nothing great. And they certainly didn't know it was my husband's birthday. They said nothing, and did nothing special. This was incredibly disappointing for me, and is not indicative of a five star resort.
Finally, we received turndown service only once. We did not spend much time in our room, we tipped the housekeeping staff and the resort was not at all busy while we were there, so I'm not sure what happened.
There are a few other little hospitality 101 lessons that the resort missed. The restaurants have long awkward pauses during their piped in music. The staff in both restaurants (ESPECIALLY in BocaDos STK) often congregate and chitchat in front of guests. This was a big problem during our birthday dinner and definitely slowed the service.
The staff is incredibly friendly, and these errors could be easily fixed and rectified.
Will we be back? I'm not sure. The property is gorgeous. But the service left something to be desired. I make it a point to only spend my money at the best resorts (If you're going to spend a few thousand dollars, it'd better be worth it.) Garza Blanca was not the best this time around.
- 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