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Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas
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Reviews (7,151)
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All reviewsjapanese restaurantspecialty restaurantsactivity poolquiet sideocean viewquiet poollunch buffetmake reservationswater taxiall inclusive resortlovers beachbeds pushed togetherlobby barall inclusivesstand in linesteak restaurantmain buffet
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Reviewed 12 November 2011

We kept saying throughout our trip "This is the best vacation of our lives, and when can we come back!" Traveled with my husband for our 5th wedding anniversary over halloween for 5 nights. I read many many reviews before leaving for our trip, the good reviews were accurate and the bad reviews must be very picky people. This was our 1st all inclusive experience but I still say the bad reviews are unjust.

We noticed that the staff was ALWAYS working. I think I saw only one person once not working and it was at 2am at the front desk and he looked to be doing paper work anyway. We felt as if we were the only people there and we were just as important as anyone else.

The room was spotless, along with the rest of the hotel. Im a germaphobe when it comes to hotels and I didnt even have the urge to lysol anything.We had a Junior suit on the 4th floor, suposedly ocean view but seem more a partial. We didnt complain as we got it on a discounted rate anyways and it was in a perfect location near the lobby on the quiet side.

The in room fridge was stocked daily and we always had plenty of bottled water to take with us anywhere we went. And beer!

There are a lot of stairs, but once you figure out where elevators and bathrooms are its quite easy to navigate the grounds.

The only problems we encountered, was that twice we had to go to the front desk to get new keys (they would quit working for our door) and that the air conditioning went out for 3 days. It was out throughout the resort but somehow the only places that got warm were the rooms. We left our door open at night and it was nice to hear the ocean anways.

The reivews about the resteraunts and reservaations are accurate. We had to get in line at 6:45am one morning to make our reservation at Krystal. And like they all say the resteraunt was only half full that night. We refused to get up that early again so the next time it was 9 by the time we made one and all we could get was a 2nd seating a day later.

We ate at Krystal, very good but gourmet and had to ask how to eat some of it! We also ate at the stakehouse which was average but good, could have been worse! Otherwise we were at the dinner buffet or room service. It became routine the breakfast lunch and dinner buffets but all the food was good and we never got sick. Breakfast was by far the best.

Drinks were plentiful and always refilled at the pool, bar, or tables. If you said no to alcohol they would give you a strange look and still try and give you more. We didnt find them to be watered down at all, but you would have to ask for premium. We never did. They didn't have Crowne which would be my husbands only complaint.

We would tip when service was above average, which they always appreciated. We tipped at the begining and end of the week for the maid. I would say thats a for sure, you should tip for.

We saw a couple shows, one of them being Halloween which was a lot of fun. They were all very well done and professional.

Robby is a must see at the shows and activity pool, he was always a character and now I wish we would have given him a tip at the end of the week.

The quiet pool was very nice and relaxing, I found pool side service to be better on this side. The activity side always had something goign on and music playing.

The two swim up bars on both sides were always nice to be at. They appeared clean, contrary to some reviews.

Reviewers also stated the loud housekeeping carts in the hallways in the morning. We never encrountered this and usually had maid service between 10am and noon so we were out of the room anyway.

True- There is no swimming in front of the resort. Cabs are 12 dollars into town about a 10 minute cab ride. We walked half way to the marina to The Office bar and took about 20 minutes. The Riu Palace is located at the end of the beach and is secluded and quiet and perfect.

When we return to Cabo someday we would have no hesitations staying at this resort.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank missa21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2011

This was my first trip to Cabo with a group of ten friends, and we had a great stay overall. The hotel was very clean, and the staff was very friendly, helpful, and attentive to needs. It was all-inclusive, and the food was very good in general. The only difficulty we had was scheduling reservations at the nicer restaurants on the property. It is best to try to do that in advance before arriving, if you can, or right when you arrive at the hotel. We did manage to get reservations at two or three of the restaurants for dinner by checking back constantly.

This was a beautiful property, with gorgeous views, nice suites, and very nice pools. The hotel put on a nightly show and we were amazed at how good the Michael Jackson show was. Great impersonator and dance group!

One drawback...the ocean is not swimmable where the hotel is situated. You can take a water taxi to Lover's Beach and Divorced Beach (which I highly recommend as a short excursion). It is an adventure trying to actually get in the water taxi. There are strong waves and riptides ~ be careful!

There was also confusion about free airport transfers through the hotel with HotelBeds. Some of us seemed to get free transfers arranged through the hotel, and others of us were not given that option. When I checked on it, the hotel told me I was supposed to book that 7 days prior to arrival, and they could not do anything about it. That was HotelBed policy. They were not helpful at all in this situation, and I'd say we're still confused about the shuttle service through the hotel! Everyone got slightly different answers. Luckily, I found a great roundtrip airport transfer through Cabo San Lucas Tours which booked me on a shared TransCabo shuttle for $34. That worked out wonderfully.

All of that said, it was a great trip and a very nice resort. I would stay at this resort again.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank TXGirl2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2011

We stayed for 6 days at Riu Palace and enjoyed every minute of it. The hotel is spotless and the pools are beautiful and the entertainment is great at the pool. I took more pictures of the building because every inch is elegant. The people working here were always working on the landscape. I never saw a wilted flower on a bush the whole time. We dont drink alchol but there was a fully stocked bar in the room that was restocked daily if need be. Drinkers would have a ball! The buffet at pool at lunch did get a little boaring. Overall the hotel and our stay was wonderful and will go back.

Room Tip: Make reservations upon arrival for the restaurants............
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank martha s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2011

I have been to Mexico close to 20 times and this is the best Hotel we have stayed at Mexico
I have been to numerous all inclusive and this was the best food of them all.
The staff was exceptional and English was spoken by most.
The only negative I can see is it is nearly too Americanised with McDonalds, Costco and Walmart.
. Pools were great we preferred the one with the music, swim up bar as normal is a great place to hang. The main pools and garden pools were crystal clear and the lighting at night add to a romantic atmosphere. Breakfast champagne, bloody mary's flooded go to the lobby bar for bailys as they coffee was instant and bad.
Cabo check out the Office, downtown and the Marina.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank jimuncorked
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2011

This is the third time in the last three year that my wife and myself have been to this resort and obviously love everything about it, from the 50 ft ceilings in the lobby to the elegant public spaces and the intimate Krystal dining room. Other reviews have covered the property in detail so this report will endevour to provide you with a guidline as to room choice and to compare it with it's sister resort, the Rui Santa Fe.
Room Choice; The Palace has basically two types of rooms which they call Rooms and Jr. Suites, and each of these is broken up into two categories, just rooms and Ocean view. We have stayed in both, which are equally spacious with the only real difference between the two being that the suite has it's sitting area down two steps of stairs and is about two to four feet longer in depth. What's important is to book the Ocean view category of either rooms or Jr. Suites, which have views of both the ocean and the pool areas, whereas without specifying this you may be stuck in a room on the outside of the resort looking into the fence separating the Palace with the Santa Fe, or bare desert on the other side.
While we have never stayed at the Santa Fe we went over to view the rooms one day for this report. Being a newer property we thought that they would be much fancier but found them, at least in buildings one thru six exactly the same as the Palace. Note that the main buildings of the Santa Fe are behind the Palace and this is where the main eating and entertainment areas are. To get on the ocean, beside the Palace, you have to specify Ocean View or Building Seven.which is usually about a $ 200 per person upgrade per week.

Restaurants: While we have not eaten at the Santa Fe I assume the main diing room offering s are about the same as at the Palace, and that the major difference in is their specialty restaurants. The Santa Fe has both an Italian and an Asia specialty restaurant but housed in the same type of space as their main dinning room and seem to have mainly buffet service.
The Palace on the other had has their flagship "Krystal" fusion restaurant housed in an elegant room., the Asian "Misaki" housed in a bamboo garden open to the stars, and the Mexican San Jose which hangs over the beach, as well as a steak house. All have superb table served menus, with unlimited champagne which is a feature of the Palace but we hear in short supply in the Santa Fe.
Pools: The Palace has two identical pools and swim up bars, one on the quiet side of the resort, and the other on the "Mexican" side with continual loud games and music. Both have ample lounge areas. The Santa Fe has a lovely large main pool area in the center of buildings one through six, and a main pool and two swim up bars ocean front in building seven (The newer Ocean View building). We didn't vist the main pool area in the daytime but hung over the fence between the Palace and the Santa Fe Ocean view pool a couple of times and couldn't believe the noise and crowding compared to the Palace.
Minor "Cons" These apply to the Palace, and assume the Santa Fe, but not staying there can't specifically comment.
TV: Lots of channels but only two, CNN and Bloomberg in English
Beverages: Top shelf brands and the Palace but from what we could tell just domestic brands at the Santa Fe. As noted champagne was freely served from breakfast to last call at the Palace and we hear that it was limited at the Santa Fe.
Safes: Old style safes with keys one had to lug around at the Palace jwhereas the rooms we looked at at the Santa Fe had newer style combination locks.
Money exchange: Apparently a Mexican law passed last March forbids changing $ 100 or over US currency into smaller denominations of US currency,. The resort seems to have taken this one step further and will only exchange US currency into peso, so take tip money in US currency with you or get one of the bell hops to change it for you.
Beds: We prefer soft beds and have such at home. Mexican beds all seem harder.

That's it. We hope that it has been some help in choosing between the two properties and between room types. If on a budget the Santa Fe should provide a nice holiday but for the extra money and a vacation to talk about forever the Palace is a true bargain.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Doug50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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