Every once in awhile, my husband and I take a weekend away to be alone with each other and enjoy the silence. Our children don’t understand why we need a break from them, because they are absolutely no trouble at all. And they are far cooler and more knowledgeable than we are. And not annoying, ever.
We try to explain that married people should be alone sometimes because it’s good for their relationship to have time to talk and have fun and maybe sleep for a few hours without interruption. They still don’t get it. However, they do accept it once they understand that they will be with their grandparents who buy them pizza and bake them brownies when we leave them alone for even a minute.
This year, we decided to stay in Vallarta and find a hotel room where we could relax and enjoy our time together. I’ve always wanted to try Garza Blanca Resort and Spa. It’s a beautiful resort located about seven kilometers from Old Town Vallarta on the highway leading to Barra de Navidad. It’s nestled into a lush, jungly setting on both sides of the highway. We booked a night during a great room sale on hotels.com (we later found out that booking through Garza Blanca’s website would have gotten us the same deal, as they say they will match the lowest price you find listed).
We chose a Junior Panoramic Suite, which in layman’s terms means The Nicest Place You Will Ever Stay in Your Entire Lives. After checking in and being transported to our building by friendly, helpful staff (as it turned out, one of the smiling staff members was ONE OF MY FORMER KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS… how old even AM I?), we stepped out onto the terrace and there was the breath-taking Banderas Bay, twinkling and rippling before us. We had a view of beautiful Vallarta on one side and coast and jungle on the other.
If that wasn’t enough (besides the two person hammock, which may not have actually been a two person hammock until we arrived), there was a free-standing bathtub right beside a floor to ceiling glass wall overlooking the bay. Now folks, if you don’t live in Mexico, you may not understand what a bathtub means to me. If you do, then you will know how long I spent in that beautiful piece of plumbing furniture. You will be able to imagine how pruny my fingers got. And you will understand why I can’t describe much of the rest of the incredible suite.
We had reservations at the hotel’s Japanese restaurant, Hiroshi, at 8pm. I took my third bath of the afternoon (I am not exaggerating), and we went up to the restaurant located in Hotel Mousai, also owned by Garza Blanca. I was excited to celebrate our anniversary dinner there, but I also figured that, like most restaurants, I would need to cobble together a dinner that a vegetarian could enjoy. I’m used it, but it does sometimes make dining out a little more challenging.
Not so with Hiroshi. First of all, let me say that the service in this little gem is impeccable. Not a single slip. It was attentive, warm, and efficient. They asked us immediately if there were any food considerations they should know about. When I told them I was vegetarian, they were quick to accommodate. Secondly, there were plenty of vegetarian items on the menu.
Thirdly, EVERYTHING WAS DELICIOUS. We ate rolls, dumplings, and main dishes; tofu steak for me and a seafood dish for Gilberto. We ate until we absolutely could not eat another bite. Except then they brought dessert, and suddenly we had a little more stomach room. We had to eat the delicate green tea ice cream and the crème brulee (oh the crème brulee).
Chef Carlos Leyva came out to greet us, and explained that it was very important to him that everyone who comes to his restaurant has a high quality experience, regardless of food sensitivities or special diets. He told us that the restaurant is open to the public, so even if you aren’t staying in Garza Blanca, you can go for a romantic evening of culinary goodness (and you should).
After dinner, we went on a walk around the lovely grounds, lit up at night to showcase all the greenery around the property. After a bit of exercise to encourage digestion, we returned to our room and slept on our cloud, disguised as the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever slept on.
Gil and I don’t get a night away very often. When we do, we like to make it count. If you are a parent and you want to enjoy every minute of one of your rare nights away, don’t hesitate to choose Garza Blanca Resort and Spa, with dinner at Hirohsi. Please say hello to Chef Leyva for me.