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Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas
Ranked #33 of 73 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 January 2009

This resort offers everything. We had great service, great food, and a beautiful hotel. The only thing I would advise is to be careful when chosing a room. We paid a lot more for what they call a "Ocean Front Room." I expected a room right on the beach front. In fact, our room faced the ocean but was behind the resorts pools and right above the eating areas and live entertainment stage. It was very loud. Overall though this is a great resort for fun and activity. If you are looking for a quiet place to rest and relax, you should probably look someplace else.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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Thank MidwestMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,170 - 5,176 of 7,023 reviews

Reviewed 17 January 2009

I went to the RIU in 2007 which was awhile ago but we had an amazing time at this resort. We booked through a travel agent and I really don't have many complaints.

The resort is so big there is more then enough spots by the pool. We never had to get up early to save our chairs. The rooms were also spacious and very nice. The only thing weird is that our room was to have two beds but they were pushed next to each other so I thought that kind of defeated the purpose :) The rooms had liquor dispensers which was an awesome perk and we defiantly took advantage of them! They were also pretty quick to restock the beer and beverages when they ran out. Leaving a small tip also helped.

We did not go on any excursions but did enjoy the wave runners which we had a blast on. Unfortunately the water is rough so no one really swam in it. We did not spend a whole lot of time at the hotel at night but instead went out to the town. There are so many great bars and restaurants even though the food was good at the resort, you have to spend some time downtown Cabo. The Giggling Marlin I think it was called was one of our favorites for entertainment and they had GREAT food! As far as the hotel I really enjoyed the Japanese restaurant.That is the one that really stands out. The lobby bar was always jammed when we came back if we wanted to continue drinking.

The only complaint that I had which was hard to get use to was the smell of sewer when walking through the hotel. There was a lot of construction occurring during this time so it may have had something to do with that.

Overall, we still talk about this vacation and look forward to going back!!

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled with friends
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Thank Klynn21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2009

We enjoyed the hotel. The food at the buffets were very good but after a week you do get sick of the food even though there was a good variety. The sit down dinners were okay with the best one being the japanese steak house. The room did smell musty but by using the screen door and/or the a/c, the smell went away. The grounds were nice, the pool area was nice as well.

The gym was not very good. The equipment was aged and there was no free weights. It is close to downtown ($10 cab) or a 45 min walk. The beds may be hard for some.

In the end we were quite happy with the hotel. I talked to some who had stayed there before or at the Santa Fe and the food at the palace was much improved (according to others).

The hotel staff was very friendly and I never had the feeling that there was a theft problem in the hotel. I did notice staff being searched with a metal detector on the way into the grounds. When we were returning to the grounds via a cab, security would search the cab/van to ensure that all coming into the resort grounds were actually guests (that impressed me!)

Would recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank flyersfan16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2009

We went in late May during memorial day weekend and it was cold. We could only get in the pool one day while we were there. This was hugo disappointment. I could not believe that I actually had to were a fleece at night because it was that cold. Additionally the food was mediocore. If you think the food was good you must be used to eating at fast food restaurants. But what can you expect for an all inclusive hotel. Also no where did it mention that if you wanted to eat at a restaurant for dinner you have to wake up by 8. You then must go to the common meeting room and wait with a hundred other people that want to eat dinner too. You have to do this everyday! The staff gives you a number and then when it is your turn you choose a restaurant...that is if there is still space left. Overall we had a good time. Definitely recommend parasailing.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mtamucc26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2009

We stayed at this resort in the Spring for a wedding with a crew of about 40 people and absolutely loved it! The view was beautiful, as was the resort.
As soon we arrived, our luggage was taken care of while we checked in and received our margaritas. One we all had our rooms and had settled in, we met upstairs in the lounge, with a view of the ocean. We found the staff very friendly, even if they did speak minimal English. If you treat them well, they will take care of you!

Our room was very nice, with a view of the fountains on the lower floor. The first day we had a towel arrangement of a puppy, and found that when we tipped the maids (with stickers/crayons for their kids and a little money) they got more elaborate- kissing swans, flowers, an elephant etc. Very cute!

The buffet food was the same every day, but there was enough variation that you didn't get sick of it. We had delicious meals at both the Steak house and the Japanese restaurants.

I expected to be able to swim in the ocean more than we did, but the undercurrents are VERY strong, and at the end of the week the weather caused massive waves and we were warned that it was unsafe. Someone from another resort decided to dare them and ended up on a spinal board to the hospital.

I ended up in a small accident and needed stitches, which I got in the small clinic at the hotel. The doctor did a very good job and was very kind. Although it probably helped that I had a nurse friend with me!

The night shows are kind of the same every night, but if you partake in the activities or know someone who does, it can be very entertaining! We also did a sunset cruise for the bridal party and had a blast! The food was delicious, and the views were amazing!!

One warning that I give everyone, is to be careful going out into the city with only women. Our group of about 10 women went to a popular bar where we were charged 3 times for a round of drinks! They were taking advantage of the fact that we were easy targets out drinking and with no men to help out. Other than that, the trip was great, and I would definitely go back!

  • Stayed: April 2008
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2  Thank Reese713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Riu for our one year anniversary. Prior to booking our trip through our travel agent, we read many of the reviews on Trip Advidor and while we had mixed feelings, we went ahead and took a chance on the Riu. Big Mistake!! While the grounds of the Riu are pretty nice, the food, drinks, entertainment and customer service left much to be desired. We tried to leave and stay somewhere else but the hotel wouldn;'t refund out money so we were stuck there for 5 whole days.

Accommodations:
Upon arrival, we were shown to a room that was on the bottom floor overlooking the garden. Not only did the room not meet our expectations as a deluxe ocean view, the room was musty and smelled terrible. Additionally, the drinking glasses in the in room bar were dirty. We later spoke to the manager and voiced our unhappiness about the room and were told they would move us the following day after 3pm. The management made good and moved us to a new room on the 3rd floor which had a better view.

One mornign we were startled awake at 8am by pounding on the ceiling. We called the front desk to complain and were told that work was being done on the roof for the next few hours and while we didn't receive an apology for the disruption, we were told they would move us to a new room. Rather than go through the hassle of packing our belongings and moving to our third room, we got up and left the hotel for the day.

Food and Beverages:
To be quite blunt, the food was horrible, no exceptions. The outdoor buffet area was covered in flies and all of the food was left out in the open. None of the food was kept on ice including the items that had mayonnaise such as prepared sandwiches and salad dressings. Very bad for those that don't do well with montezumas revenge!!! We believe the food was resting on a cold storage unit however it was 90+ degrees and nothing that was meant to be chilled was ever cold.

While the indoor buffet was cleaner and didn't have the congestion of flies that we experienced at the outdoor buffet, the food left much to be desired. The service level of the wait staff was minimal.

The special restaurants were a joke. We failed to get reservations for our first night and when we made it to the steak house to celebrate our anniversary, the food was so bad that we left in the middle of the appetizer course and went downtown to have our anniversary dinner. The reservation system required guests to line up in the mornings to get a reservation however by 9am each day, the restaurants were already full. The odd part is that when we would walk past the restaurants at the first seating time, they were half empty yet we still couldn't get reservations.

The snacks that were offered pool side were help yourself tortilla chips and watery nacho cheese sauce and if you went to the lobby bar, you were offered the same nachos or microwaveable hot dogs. Not what we had experienced in other all-inclusive vacations and inteh end, we barely at at the hotel. Needless to say, we didn't have to worry about gaining vaction weight on this trip.

As far as drinks, there was no top shelf liquor to be found and the wine was terrible. When I asked for diet coke I was served diet pepsi and all they had for beer was corona. If you wanted bottled water, you had to go to the lobby or accept your water in a plastic cup that you would see at a children's summer camp. These cups are also how we received our pool side beverages.

Pools:
From a distance, the pools looked nice. As we got closer, the two swim up bar pools were a sickening green color. While people were swimming there was staff wading around scrubbing scum off the tile with brushes - while people were swimming!!! This scrubbing happened throughout our stay. The swim up bars were so unclean we went in once and never went back. There are two larger infinity pools, one of which was closed midday during our stay because it was so dirty. Hotel guests were also allowed to smoke while in the pools which inevitably led to them ashing and dropping cigarette butts into the pool as well.

The bar served drinks around the pool area and then the plastic cups were left littered around the pool for long periods of time until someone came to clean them up.

Guest Service:
The guest’s services at Riu Palace were also lacking. When we checked in, we mentioned it was our anniversary and the representative said she was going to have a bottle of champagne sent to our room. This never happened. When we spoke to the manager about our first room, we also shared our frustration with the restaurant reservation system so she asked us which restaurants we wanted to eat at and said she would send our reservation slips to our room. This never happened. On two other occasions we asked to speak to the same manager and she could never be found.

We were extremely disappointed, dismayed and upset about the experience we had at the Riu. The rooms were below standard and the sheets and towels were at best, the quality of a low budget motel. The rooms are not what we expected from a 4 star resort and seeing the starving, stray dogs and cats wander the property wasn’t appealing. The resort was also a smoker's paradise - there was no place to go to escape the cigarette smoke and ashes except for the beach. The food was so bad that we barely ate anything during our stay and needless to say, we both experienced stomach aches the very few times we ate from the buffet. This is not a testament to Mexico as we have both traveled there many times and never once experienced intestinal discomfort of any sort. Unfortunately, we found it necessary to leave our all-inclusive hotel to enjoy dinner elsewhere. This was quite a hassle as we had to take a taxi downtown which cost us $20 US dollars round trip in addition to the cost of our meals. Given the fact that we barely ate at the hotel and didn’t enjoy the drinks that were offered, we certainly didn’t benefit in paying for an all-inclusive trip. We paid to stay in a 4 star all-inclusive resort but my husband and I were so displeased that we spent much of our time telling each other to "suck it up" and "it will get better" but it never did. These are phrases you don't want to say on your vacation let alone when you're trying to celebrate a wonderful occasion such as an anniversary.

Don't waste your money or your time at the Riu.

  • Stayed: September 2008
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1  Thank LitaDoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2009

Stayed at the RIU Palace from December 29/08 to January 05/09. Two adults, one 12-year old sharing a "junior suite", as they are called (in reality a large, comfortable hotel room with good marble bath facilities).

The property itself is beautiful, always immaculate as others have said; staff are constantly cleaning, pruning, etc. Good-size grounds....it is about a ten-minute walk (maximum) to get from one spot to another anywhere on the property. The hotel is adjacent to the RIU Santa Fe, which is much larger. We had room 3137, which had a superb view of the grounds, ocean, and land's end.

Overall, we had a good experience at the RIU. Not choosy diners, so we were more than satisfied with the buffet most evenings. There is, in our opinion, a great selection that should satisfy most. Had lunches at the Mexican and pool restaurants; once again, no complaints, variety is present.

Beachfront is, in our opinion, quite nice, with coarse sand. Swimming is possible for those who are confident in their abilities, however we would not recommend it for children unless supervised. There are vendors along the beach, however a simple, "No thank you" suffices and they wish you a good day. They were certainly not overbearing as others can be in different locales.

Took a water taxi ($10US per person, return) from the hotel to lover's beach. It is quite nice and would recommend this excursion. Just be careful when getting in and out of the boat at the hotel beachfront. Went on the "Taste of Los Cabos" tour - would not recommend this, as it is basically a bus ride to Cabo San Lucas, where the bus will stop in front of a "recommended" jewellery shop -"where they will clean your jewellery for free!!!" - wow - then you are permitted about 45 minutes to "shop" downtown; back on to the bus for a 45-minute drive to the town of San Jose del Cabo (with a non-stop, agonizing local history dissertation from a tourguide who really doesn't seem to know what he is talking about). You then have the "included" lunch at the "recommended" restaurant - ooops, they forgot to mention that the term "lunch included" does not mean "drinks included". Just a minor aggravation, however it was enough for us to be dissatisfied with the whole tour. For $76US per person you would think that they could include a soft drink with lunch.......

Despite the tour (which really does not have anything to do with the RIU), we were more than satisfied with our stay and the property. Only other point of frustration was breakfast room service; we chose to use the service on 3 occasions - first time it arrived exactly on time; the second time, we waited for more than 30 minutes past the requested delivery time, then simply went to the buffet; when we arived back at the room it was sitting outside our door. Unfortunately it went to waste as a result; the third time, it just simply never showed up. Advised the front desk staff, who apologized, but that was the last we heard of it.

Evening entertainment is, as others have descdribed, "cheesy", but the staff are not professionals and they do their best to have fun.....don't expect broadway performances, simply watch, have a couple of drinks, and you will chuckle.

If you are willing to put up with relatively minor annoyances such as those examples above, you will have a good time and enjoy your visit to the RIU Palace. We have travelled extensively throughout the Caribbean and Mexico (including stays at other RIU properties) and were satisfied with this hotel.

One other point - regarding these reviews - we use TripAdvisor on a regular basis to read what others have to say about properties and hotels that we are considering - however, why would someone wait over a year to post a review, as in a recent earlier post? In our opinion, reviews are meant to be as current as possible in order to provide the most up-to-date info and opinions of others. We would like to encourage others to post their reviews as soon as possible following their return in order to assist others. In any event, the review was appreciated, however it should have been done almost a year ago in order to be current. Just our humble thought.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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7  Thank LizDez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas

Address: Av. Camino Viejo a San Jose, km 4.5 | Del Cabo KM 4.5 El Medano Ejidal, Cabo San Lucas 23453, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > Los Cabos > Cabo San Lucas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Business Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#21 Romantic Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#21 Family Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#24 Spa Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#27 Luxury Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
Price Range: £203 - £348 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas 4*
Number of rooms: 692
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 24-hour All Inclusive Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas opens all year round and is located directly on the beautiful white sandy beach El Medano. RIU Palace is the most elegant category in the RIU hotel chain, with hotels that meet the highest standards in terms of luxury, excellence and sophistication, creating a unique experience. The location is ideal due to its proximity to Los Cabos Airport SJD (40 km) and Cabo San Lucas (4.5 km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 692 cozily furnished rooms with free Wi-Fi and offers many amenities. Relax in our spa, or get in shape in the gym. 4 outdoor pools and 2 children's pools. Day and evening entertainment. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking at our main buffet restaurant, Japanese, Indian and Mexican Specialty Restaurants, Steakhouse, Fusion Restaurant, as well as 7 Bars, our Capuchino Pâtisserie & Ice Cream Parlor. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas Hotel Cabo San Lucas
Riu Palace Los Cabos
Riu Cabo San Lucas
Riu Los Cabos
Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas Los Cabos, Mexico

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