Access to the facilities and activities list for the Garza Blanca Preserve
Trollies can ferry guests to beach and back (a 10-minute walk otherwise)
Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
Activities cost additional fees unless on the all-inclusive plan
European plan can be restrictive (e.g., no room service)
The beach is a 10-minute walk down the hill
The most exclusive property in the Garza Blanca Preserve, Hotel Mousai is a luxury hotel with 74 contemporary suites plus panoramic views of the coastline below. Everything is sleek and sharp, if a bit reminiscent of W Hotels style-wise (think: oversized chess pieces and lots of gilded Buddhas). All-inclusive rates are popular, and may be worth it given the fees that can otherwise add up, and the hotel doesn't allow anyone under 18. A restaurant plus two bars are on-site, but the entire Garza Blanca development is at guests’ disposal, including the beach (a 10-minute walk downhill). The sexy rooftop infinity pool, dazzling views from the Imagine Spa, and fully-equipped gym all make this a wonderful package. Those traveling with families should consider the Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa down below.
One of the most exclusive options in the Garza Blanca development, with stunning coastal views
The Hotel Mousai is an adult-only option in the heart of the Garza Blanca Preserve, and it’s the cream of the crop here. First opening its doors in 2015, the resort has just the right amount of glitz and glam to make guests feel like they've stepped away from the world of everyday life. The development at large fuses nature, the beach, and luxury amenities, and the Mousai benefits from its hilltop setting, with stunning coastal views. The setting works in the hotel’s favor as far as vistas from the spacious suites are concerned, but the location also means guests are roughly 10 minutes up the hill from the beach. It’s a bit of a hike to get back up, but thankfully the development's trollies make the trip easier.
The style throughout will feel familiar to travelers who've stayed in a W Hotels outpost, with a blend of glossy surfaces, stark black and white tones, plus abundant gray and pops of bright color scattered throughout the hotel. The lobby has a touch of Vegas opulence, with golden sculptures, red and black lounge chairs and chessboards, with a black-and-white checkered floor and giant chess pieces throughout, plus mirror strips and granite slabs on the walls. The style continues at the lobby bar -- where a massive chunk of hewn and polished granite for the bartop itself -- which provides views out over the rest of the resort and the beach.
Despite its popular all-inclusive rates and its youthful vibe, this hotel manages to stay relatively quiet and sophisticated. The infinity pool, for instance, is an oasis of calm up on the roof. The views out to the sea are stunning, and that zen-like ethos continues in the hotel's chic spa, done up in mother-of-pearl mosaic tiling and lots of gilded Buddhas. The resort's slick and shiny veneer stands out in the otherwise earthy development, and given its 18-and-older policy, it's not surprising that most guests here are couples in search of a romantic escape.
In Garza Blanca Preserve, a 10-minute walk to beach and 15-minute drive to downtown Puerto Vallarta
The Garza Preserve Resort takes its name from the highlands preserve on which it's located, and Hotel Mousai sits front and center in the heart of the resort on a hillside. The views are phenomenal, both over the ocean and the mountains behind the hotel. The only other things to see and do are within the resort, and guests have access to the other properties' dining and drinking establishments. Otherwise, a car rental or expensive cab rides are in order. Downtown Puerto Vallarta is roughly 15 minutes away by car or taxi, with a variety of bars, eateries, and beyond, for those who want to explore this historical seaside town. The airport is around 45 minutes away, depending on traffic.
Spacious, contemporary suites with stunning views over Banderas Bay or mountains
There are only 73 suites available at the hotel, and they are contemporary, luxurious, and elegant all at once. Though the decor is tasteful and restrained, expect to see a bit of dazzle, including gold mosaic tiling, purple couches, glass walls, and quartz and onyx detailing. Leather headboards, blood-red chairs, LED-lit mirrors, and plenty of marble, granite, and gleaming ceramic add to the sexy appeal.
Standard features include 55-inch HD TVs and entertainment centers, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, minibars, Nespresso machines, and iPad-controlled lighting and electronics. Entry-level Mousai Suites start at 1,069 square feet of floor space (99 square meters), including private terraces looking out over the ocean below. Higher-category rooms have luxe features like butlers, aromatherapy turndown services, and pillow menus. Bathrooms are done in marble, granite, and tile, and feature automated Toto comfort toilets. The walk-in rainfall shower walls are done in Venetian chocolate litmus and quartz plates, with an LED-lit mirror in an onyx frame plus marble pedestal sinks and natural hardwood surfaces. Luxury toiletries come standard.
Of course, the star of the show here is the Penthouse, which features a steam room and disc-shaped bed that matches the curvature of the architecture, along with views out over the bay. There’s a 55-inch HD LED TV in the bedroom, and an 80-inch version in the living room. Beyond that, Penthouse has a dining room and kitchen (plus a service kitchen for those hiring private chefs). The terrace has a jetted infinity plunge pool, and the room is outfitted with B&B Italia furniture plus Casamance fabrics and wallpaper. Views are out over both the ocean and mountain jungles behind. The Penthouse Suite bathroom also has two different sized shower heads, along with Moen sinks and dual vanities.
One restaurant, two bars, breakfast and tea room, fitness center, Imagine Spa, and outdoor activities
Despite the relatively small stature of this hotel, there are a number of premium features befitting a luxury property. Dining is excellent on-site, if a bit limited -- though guests can also access the other restaurants and amenities in the development. The primary restaurant is Hiroshi, serving Japenese cuisine with views looking out over the bay below. The Lobby Bar is attached to Hiroshi. Meanwhile, the Rooftop Bar serves snacks and drinks. The Terrace is where things get a little different. In the morning hours it’s a breakfast nook for those guests who don’t want to head down the hill to one of the Garza eateries. In the afternoons it turns into a teahouse, and in the evening hours (depending on the season and occupancy) it transforms into a cigar lounge and bar. It's worth noting that most guests do partake in the all-inclusive packages, and that the European plan can be a little restrictive.
The rooftop Sky Pool is particularly lovely. It's an infinity pool that looks out to the ocean and beach in the distance, with plenty of sleek loungers and an overall chic vibe that matches the hotel's exclusive, adult-only policy. The fitness center is equipped with modern cardio and weight machines plus free weights, with views out over the mountains behind the hotel and the beach and coast in front. The Imagine Spa has a full range of hydrotherapy and aromatherapy treatments, plus manicures, pedicures, massages, and beyond. There are rooms for individuals and couples alike, with saunas, plunge pools, showers, and plenty of lounge space with views out over the bay.
The Garza Blanca Preserve that stretches out beyond the hotel offers guests a variety of adventure activities to explore, plus there's a tennis court and squash court. The hotel can also arrange various excursions. Keep in mind that fees for activities can add up for those not on all-inclusive plans. While there is no beach directly on the property, it's a 10-minute walk down the hill, or the development's trollies can help ferry guests. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. There are plenty of events spaces here, including the stylish Red Room and Orange Deck.