The Best Luxury Resort in Puerto Vallarta

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March 24, 2021

I was extended a comped stay at Garza Blanca in exchange for honest, organic content. All opinions are 100% my own.

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It’s hard to even put into words the exquisite luxury I experienced at Garza Blanca in Puerto Vallarta. I’ve been to luxury resorts all over the world–from an African safari to a floating breakfast in our private pool in Bali and everything in between–and nothing quite compares to the beautiful views, palatial suite, and impeccable service I experienced at Garza Blanca. The staff made this a trip I’ll never forget for as long as I live, and I have a feeling I’ll be comparing every future trip to this one.

I’ve already shared a rundown of traveling in 2021, but I have to say it again: Mexico was the perfect choice. It’s close enough that getting back home is quick and easy, but it’s far enough to forget the daily stresses and enjoy life. Garza Blanca in particular makes traveling super easy: they offer covid tests on-site and free of charge! We booked ours as soon as we checked in, and they came right to our room to test us. We had our results that same night. It was awesome! It also made me feel a lot safer at the hotel knowing most guests had been tested as well.

Speaking of checking in, that’s when the personalized luxury began. For this trip, Ryan and I were joined by his sister Stef, her husband Jake, and their daughter/my bestie Evie. We were welcomed by a team member in a unique costume. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but when we got to our room, there were four people dressed up in Star Wars costumes! It was amazing!!! If you don’t know, I LOVE Star Wars, so it was a real treat (Evie was amazed!). It was just the beginning of a very special stay. When my room was booked, I received a questionnaire from the team at Garza Blanca. They asked me my favorite movie, show, food, drink, sports team, and more. I figured they’d reference a couple things through the visit, but they went way above and beyond my wildest dreams with the personalization.

It’s pretty typical at a luxury hotel to be surprised with a bottle of wine, a dessert, or fresh flowers during your stay, but at Garza Blanca, we had a surprise waiting for us every time we came back to our room. And instead of a random treat, they stuck to my favorites, which was definitely a first for me. We got Game of Thrones themes cookies; a charcuterie board with fresh local cheeses, fruits, and nuts; locally made dark chocolate, fresh ingredients for margaritas; and so much more! I even had a waiter tell me my food came from the Death Star – ha!

The room itself was one of the biggest I’ve ever stayed in. It’s a close call between Garza Blanca and The Penthouse Collection in Cape Town, but either way, it was enormous. We were lucky enough to stay in the three-bedroom panorama suite. I literally almost started crying when I saw the view. I got choked up. It was heavenly! In fact, for the first time in my entire life, I extended my trip. The moment I walked in, I knew two nights wouldn’t be enough. I called Delta and changed my flight on the spot!

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As for activities, there was so much to do that I experienced another first: I didn’t leave the resort at all! There was simply no need to. And I knew that if I did, I’d feel like I was missing out on what Garza Blanca had to offer. I can go back to Puerto Vallarta anytime, but I don’t know when I’ll have the chance to stay at such a beautifully luxurious hotel again.

It happened to be whale season while we were there, so we actually got to see whales jumping out of the water from our room. It was breathtaking. When we weren’t enjoying the gorgeous view from our room, we were exploring the grounds. There are three pools at Garza Blanca: two near the beach, and one right next to our building. We opted for the pool by the beach most days and enjoyed the gorgeous infinity pool…and maybe some nachos and a margarita or two. It was vacation, after all! The poolside food was actually extremely good. We dined out here all three days and had the best quesadilla of our lives!

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We also went to a really awesome tequila tasting where we tasted Clase Azul tequilas. We learned all about the process of tequila-making, where it comes from, and the difference between blanco, reposado, and anejo. I have to say, I never thought I’d be someone who can sip on tequila, but Clase Azul is just a delicious blend of vanilla and smooth liquor. No burn, no tequila memories from college (IYKYK), just good, high-quality tequila that I probably won’t ever get my hands on again.

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We got physical when we joined a group hike on day two of our trip. This was led by a team member at Garza and there were about 10 other guests on the hike with us. It was pretty arduous, including parts where a rope was needed to get up steep inclines. I felt like I got a really good workout, and was rewarded with beautiful views. They actually usually hike to a waterfall, but since that site is open to the public, Garza Blanca isn’t doing it. Their main goal is to keep their guests safe and healthy so in an effort to avoid crowds, they only lead hikes on their private property at this time. It was still awesome though!

We were also lucky enough to go to the Imagine Spa at Hotel Mousai, Garza Blanca’s adults-only sister hotel which is actually on the same grounds as Garza Blanca. It was without a doubt, no question, the best spa experience I have ever had in my life. And the perfect way to unwind after an intense, 2-hour hike. Our spa experience started out with a 6-step process to put us at ease and loosen us up. This included some pool time, hot tub time, steam room, sauna, and more. I’ve never felt so relaxed and calm. Then we were led to our spa room. I got a 60-minute massage while Ryan got his first facial ever. We both absolutely loved our experience and are dying to go back for more!

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And finally, let’s talk about the food. This is where I have to say, if you aren’t sure about doing all-inclusive, let me tell you: do it! There are three delicious dining options at Garza Blanca and one in particular at Hotel Mousai that I absolutely recommend. Even the room service was incredible! (Do yourself a favor and get the breakfast burrito.) On our first night, we dined at Bocados STK. We went with wine that night and all loved our meals. One thing that stands out is the orange tree dessert: a cotton candy and chocolate treat. Since we did have a five-year-old with us, we decided to get it for her and we all indulged!

The next night, we went to Blanca Blue. I had the best soup of the trip there and we all really loved our cocktails. We dined outside, right by the beach. It was beautiful! Finally, our last night we ate at Hiroshi at Hotel Mousai. It’s adults-only there, but Garza Blanca provided us with a private nanny for Evie for just $20/hr. That, combined with the free-of-charge kids club from 9-5 daily made this trip perfect for everyone. Anyway, back to Hiroshi. The two people Ryan and I went with are big foodies. They do not hold back when they order and only accept the best. They both were in awe of how delicious Hiroshi was. If you like sushi, prepared to be blown away. In fact, even if you don’t (like me!), you will be blown away. We ordered almost everything on the menu (yay for all-inclusive!) and it was beyond delicious. I absolutely loved my veggie roll and the black & white roll was a crowd favorite.

I hope I’ve been able to convey just how incredible Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta is. I really feel like words, photos, and even videos don’t do this place justice. I can’t recommend Garza Blanca enough and I hope everyone has the opportunity to feel the way we did when we were there. Here’s to hoping for more travel in the future!

What’s the best resort you’ve ever stayed at?

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Photos by Ryan Carpenter and Jake Meyer.