I scoured this website for three months looking at the reviews of the Riu before heading down. I think your expectations of what you've experienced in the past before heading down are the deciding factor for how you feel about this place after you leave. We stayed at the Riu from June 20-27. We went with another couple, all of us are between 32-36 years of age. This was my second trip to Cabo and I've been on 5 cruises before the Riu, 2 Princess, 2 Carnival, 1 Disney, so just your middle of the road cruise experiences. I'm a teacher, and my husband is in construction, so we are no "big league la-tee-da" travelers, we just hope to have a good time. The Riu was just average, but overall, I was a little disappointed. I'll break my review down by topic.
ROOMS--Yes, check in was a breeze. We booked with Apple Vacations, had a blue band (you'll get these arm bands, the color is based on how you book--company, internet, etc). Went to our rooms, 1013 and 1014 and they were on the bottom floor, with a view of the courtyard and if you strained you could see the ocean over the bushes. This was NOT going to work for me. So, down to the front desk I went, $20 bill in hand as I spoke to the front desk and asked for a better room. No sly "Vegas Trick", just talked with the money visible. Well, he got out his little list, showed me the rooms available, where they were on the map, and we switched to a BEAUTIFUL view room, 4132, top floor, see the pool, arches, town, Medano Beach.... and he got his $20. Our friends were able to move the next night to a room 3 down from us. TIP: Tip the front desk, don't be afraid to ask for a better room.
POOL--This was the highlight of my trip. The chairs by the pool bar on the left side of the hotel (as you look at the water) are the ones to go first. I had to go to the pool between 7:30-8:00 to get a seat. Exchange your towels at the end of the day for clean ones, cause the pool gal doesn't have fresh towels until 8:00. If you go down later, no big deal. I agree with a previous review, the bar pool was like a sewer, nasty film on the sides and God knows what floating in the corners. TIP: Reserve early, exchange towels end of day.
FOOD--Absolutely no comparison to cruise food, if you ask me. Cruise food is 100 times better, both for sit downs and buffets. Breakfast buffet was the only food at the Riu that was decent. The lunch buffet--everything was WARM. The "cold" food sits on this cold metal slab, that in an open air eating area in 97 degree heat doesn't do much to keep it chilled. YUCK! Reservations: if you are there for a week, make getting reservations at the Japanese and Gourmet a priorty (Mikasi and Sir Lawrence), as they only seat about 50 people, it's much easier to get in to the other two cause they are bigger. My husband was SO SICK one day he could not get out of bed, and the other couple had Montezuma's Revenge the entire stay. TIP: Eat fruit
BOOZE--Hope you like Corona! We were all soooo sick of it by the end of the trip. You can get Negra Modelo on tap at the pool bar. Top shelf liquor? Well, not really. They have some, no Crown Royal, the selection stinks. Vodka selection terrible as well. Also, lots of chinzy plastic cups--like from a cafeteria. They are about 8 oz, so they go quick. We were very disappointed in the booze selection, as we were really hoping to get more bang for our buck at the all inclusive. Wine? Don't even think about it. I have maybe one glass of wine ffor every 100 beers I drink, and I didn't even care for it. Imagine how it would taste to a "seasoned" wine drinker. TIP: Got a Costco card? It may be worth a trip up the street.
SERVICE--The pool guys acted like you were making them go out of their way to get a drink. Bar doesn't open until 10. I was ready for a bloody mary WAY before then, then when I get one, its tomato juice with a dash of worsteshire, in a plastic cup, with about 4 cubes of ice. We tried tipping to get better service, or at least service with a smile, but gave up after a few days. Following other's advice, we brought $100 in ones, but didn't need to use them all. TIP: Save your money, didn't seem to matter to us whether we tipped or not on what kind of service we got.
FACILTY--I saw more people mopping the grounds and trimming the weeds than I ever saw cleaning that pool. The same 1 guy cleaning the same ole' spot. The pool was gross, but the grounds were immaculate. Gorgeous dining rooms, halls, lobby, views, rooms, etc. Very impressed with how nice everything looked.
BEACH--First day, very high loud crashing waves, but by day 4 people were swimming in the ocean no problem. Use your best judgement, if it looks unsafe, it is. Why chance it?
ALL IN ALL--Won't go back to the Riu. It was pretty, but that wasn't enough for me. I'd rather take another cruise, see more of Mexico and KNOW I'm going to get excellent service, food and drinks (even if I have to pay for them). My room would be cleaned EVERY day, my bed turned town, my stomach intact.... this would be a good place to take kids, as they seemed to enjoy the buffet variety and pool, but it was VERY warm for me this time of year and couldn't imagine having a little one there in this heat. TIP: If you are set on Cabo, get a middle of the road hotel, close to town, and try out the local restaurants and fun little bars, as there are lots of good ones. Cabo Wabo had the best food we had the entire time we were there, but get ready to pay big bucks for their booze. Try the little "Get Ripped" bar right in front of it for cheaper beer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the southern Baja California peninsula, 4.5 km/2.8 miles from Cabo San Lucas. 5-storey building. On the beachfront. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 32,000 m2 garden. 3.5 km/2.2 miles from downtown Cabo San Lucas. 40 km/25 miles from the airport. 500 m/1650 ft from a bus stop. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Diners, Discover ... 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