Scott and I (Bex) are pretty easy to please. Through his own business travels, Scott has a knack for noticing many of the details before I do, but I'm slowly gaining an awareness of what more luxury service looks like. And, the learning process has made me excited to implement many of the details it takes to truly serve a guest. At Elk River Guest Ranch, my goal isn't to make the stays so costly that the folks we love can't even afford to visit us. Instead, I want to continuously be growing so that each time you visit you have an incredible experience. And then when you come back, you realize we've even improved the experience from the last time.
Both of us had an amazing honeymoon experience last week at the Garza Blanca Preserve and Resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We enjoyed the rays, lack of snow and activity. Of course, during all of the relaxing and exploring, we've constantly got our brains working about how we can make our own all-inclusive haven better. I guess that's just what makes us dude ranchers.
The Nuts and Bolts:
There were several random things that I recall from our stay at the resort. Some of which we already provide and some of which we'll be providing in the upcoming season: staff reorganizing the dining tables once guests sit down; branding of resort items on the tables as well as in our room; cold wash cloths before meals and after activities to cool down and wash up; a well-done daily room service; great in-room amenities including luxury toiletries, robes, slippers, and linens; and access to a full schedule of activities and meals where you can do as much or as little as you please.
Itinerary of All-Inclusive at Garza Blanca:
And, to give you an idea of our daily experience here's an itinerary:
-Had a big breakfast featuring a huge buffet of Mexican cuisine, different fruits, cheeses, etc.
-Took a kayak and snorkeling tour of Los Arcos (a series of islands not too far from the resort)
-Had lunch at the resort's poolside dining service
-Took an afternoon hike into the jungle to a waterfall where we could swim
-Had a luxurious dinner with plenty of seafood, Mexican, Japanese or steakhouse options
Similarities and Differences
The biggest difference in Garza and us is obviously the setting. They have jungles, ocean and water that you shouldn't drink in large quantities, and we have pine and aspen forests, a babbling Elk River, great drinking water, and are situated at 7,500 feet above sea level. Oh, and our summer temperatures are way better than their summer temperatures. However, you can't beat the winter temps in Puerto Vallarta. The resort is also high-end (the honeymoon was a gift from my favorite father-in-law), and we offer a more personal experience (I never saw the owner or talked to the other guests).
The biggest similarities were the options for scores of different activities on different days, incredible meals and great staff.
The Summer of 2016 is Going to Rock!
But like I mentioned, there is always room for improvement. While you can't beat our intimate setting and great staff from this last summer, we're looking to improve upon the service, amenities and activities experiences in this upcoming summer of 2016. We'll be updating you on just what that means as the summer nears via facebook posts, Ranchside chats and other methods, but for now I'm going to leave you in the dark. Just know that you most certainly don't want to miss out!