It always amazes me what people find to complain about! The Riu Palace is exceptional! We stayed May 18th thru the 25th and absolutely hated to leave. We are in our almost mid 60's and were celebrating our 7th anniversary. I had emailed the hotel a couple of days before our arrival telling them that. They apparently did not get or read the email until we mentioned it after we arrived. Charlie read it and immediately sent a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to our room. All the staff are extremely friendly, very attentive, and eager to serve your every request and desire. The pool bar staff was exceptional. They kept us "watered" all day. Speaking of the pools, we did stay on the quiet side and spent all of our time at that one. If you want a chair by the pool bar, get there early but if you just want chairs with or without an umbrella they are always available. We loved going down the last flight of stairs to the beach where there are tons of chairs, great shade and breeze under the coconut palm trees. Great place to come after you have baked in the sun by the pool. It was also a great place to watch the beach vendor action and probably take a little siesta. Yes, the sand is very coarse and somewhat hard to walk on but that is just Cabo. So, if you are a beach bum, want to spend a lot of time walkin' the beach, and the coarse sand would ruin your trip, go the the Caribbean instead. But, don't complain about the Cabo sand if you choose to go. You knew. We read lots of complaints about not being able to swim in front of the hotel. Well, that is really the Pacific all up and down the western coast of Mexico. So, if that is your biggest deal, go somewhere else. But, don't complain about it if you go. You knew. You can walk down the beach or take a water taxi to Medano beach where you can swim. Lots of action down there including restaurants, bars, etc. The walk is about 30+minutes. It definitely looks closer than it is.
Water taxies. Great way to get to Lover's Beach, town, etc but do be warned. It can be treacherous getting in and out of them in the waves. Some have ladders but probably less than 50%. I have always been all my life like a "beached whale" trying to get in and then back into a boat whether it's the lake or the sea so we did not even try the water taxi. We watched a lot of younger people do it but I think not without some pretty good bruises to show for it.
We took a fabulous sunset sail with Cabo Sailing. We would highly recommend them. The boat seats a maximum of 12. Ramone and his crew were great. They took us out to Lover's Beach and Divorce Beach, filled us full of a lot of great information, had lots of wine, beer, and mixed drinks as well as snacks. We saw the Dinner Cruise boat which looked really nice if you want to share the sunset with 200 people. Just a different kind of experience. But, something we might do next time. There was also a big catamaran boat doing the sunset thing with probably 30 or 40 people on it. They were up on the decking dancin' and drinking-looked like they were having fun as well. We have been on those type of excursions before and just decided to opt for the more personal, quiet trip with our own crew. Our emphasis this entire trip was to truly relax and we achieved fabulous success.
The restaurants: We had heard the Riu described as a cruise ship on the ground and that is a very good description. There is no way anyone could go hungry! And, the food was very, very good. We did the Krystal one night and it was excellent. The Japanese restaurant was fabulous. Go to that one very hungry as they start you out with enough sushi to fill you up and then you have an appetizer, the main course, and dessert. That restaurant probably has the most ambiance. We did the steak house twice and thought it was very good. I wanted a 2nd lobster tail and our waiter went and got me one! We did not do the Mexican food restaurant as we are from Texas and we believe we invented Mexican food! But. we eat it all we want and we saw a menu full of what we can get every day of the week. Lots of people talk about going to the Mexican food place for lunch cause it is less crowded and has an Italian flavor. It does. But, the buffet in the middle of the resort is not crowded, is open from 11 or so until 5 or so, is very open air, has all kinds of choices, ( I ate my way through boiled shrimp, grouper,mussels, a myriad of salads, some Italian food, Mexican food, the usual hot dogs and hamburgers, and some very good, not frozen but hand cut french fries. Honestly, if someone complains about the food at this place, they would complain about anything and everything. The International Buffet for breakfast is as all describe-outstanding! You could have breakfast or lunch for breakfast there as there is everything in the world to eat. Don't pass up the Bloody Marys there as they are spicy and better than the ones at the pool bars. That restaurant at night is also great. We ate there twice and I had everything from lamp chops to steak, to pork chops, to seafood-you name it-you can find it! I was laughing with a girl from the South about the breakfast. She said, "the two things I have not found at breakfast are".......and I finished her statement with biscults and gravy and grits!" We died laughing because that was all that was missing!
We had absolutely no trouble making reservations for the restaurants and the place was about 80% occupied. I woke up the first morning before 7-too excited and afraid I could be "burnin' daylight"! Went to the reservation desk. There was one person there besides me at 6:55. Got our reservation for the Krystal that night immediately. Now, I think a lot of people check out on Saturdays so that could have had an influence on getting one so easily that am. But, we could go at any time during the day to get reservations to the others. And, if you get one and then change your mind, you just trade in your ticket. We always ate at the later seating. We do not like eating at 6:00-that's drinking time!
Cabo is absolutely gorgeous. The mountains and the dry vegetation are in stark contrast to the lush grounds of the hotels and villas. Reminded us much of Palm Springs-both deserts. It only rains about 5 inches max a year and they told us that was in Sept so keep that in mind for your plans. I can't imagine going there and experiencing 2 or 3 days of rain when there are 360+ rainless ones.
The Entertainment: The Michael Jackson show was great as was the Vegas Revue. We caught snippets of the others as we enjoyed hanging out in the fabulous open air bar adjacent to the magnificent Lobby area at night. Or taking a drink from the bar to our room and hanging out on our balcony and taking in the view of the resort.
The beds: We did not find them hard. They were not 5 star Four Seasons beds but they seemed fine to us. But, we have not gone to the temperpedic mattress yet so that may be some peoples' issue. We did think the pillows lack a bit.
The noise: We did not have issues with people in the hallways all night being loud but we staying on the quiet side. We did think that the maids could take their voice octave levels way way down in the mornings. We mentioned that on the hotel's survey. They mow the grass at least 3 times a week whether it needs it or not. They start mowing before 9 am. Now, we were already up but we have a neighbor at home who seems to love to do that before 9 so we could have done without that.
The drinks: They fall all over you making them for you. They are weak so if you want something stronger just ask for a double. No problemo. They did not have much upper shelf liquor. My favorite is Jack Daniels and my husband's favorite is VO and neither were available. However, that was certainly not the end of the world. We took insulated glasses for the pool and beach and they were handy. But, we forgot them in the room a couple of times and you are really drinking your drink gone before it truly melts.
This is a gorgeous resort and we will come back. We have been south of Cancun before and loved it. I think we will definitely try to Riu Palace there.
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