Garza Canela has a very Griswold Family Vacation feel to it, probably because it hasn't been renovated or updated much. But if you dig the style, it's not big deal. Everything works well, is clean and is sufficiently lovely. The neatly manicured gardens and the Christie Brinkley-ready sparkling blue swimming pool easily support that Clark Griswold appeal.
Still, of all the hotels I saw along Riviera Nayarit this feels like the most authentic to the local population. It’s not a new development, but again, it is well-kept and updated enough where it counts. There is a computer with Internet access in the lobby and the entire lobby has free wifi if you have your laptop. The hotel is about a 20-minute brisk walk from the beach too.
The best part of about Garza Canela is the restaurant Delphin, which is helmed by one of the four sisters; Betty Vasquez, a Cordon Bleu-trained chef. (Good luck trying to tell the sisters apart.)
And it makes sense that San Blas has such stellar cooking. It is a fishing town and agricultural center. International birding enthusiasts head here to catch some 300 migratory birds that spend their winters in San Blas. Ecotourism is big here too with mangrove swamp boat rides and whale watching.
Insider Tip: Be sure to synchronize watches with every single person you deal with. There are two sets of times in Nayarit: local time and airport time. Find out who uses what and go from there. Everyone is different and it can be really confusing if you ever have to meet somewhere! Garza Canela has no phones in the rooms so you have to walk all the way over and knock on the door if someone is following the wrong time and late for dinner!
Room rates start at $76 a night for standard room.
Shira visited Riviera Nayarit courtesy of the Riviera Nayarit CVB and the Mexico Tourism Board.