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Hotel Riu Santa Fe
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Reviews (8,361)
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6,706 - 6,711 of 8,361 reviews
Reviewed 3 January 2009

My boy friend and I spent 4 nights in December. Initially we were told by someone who goes a lot to cabo to stay at the Riu Palace but we are so glad we didn't change our plans and stayed at the Santa Fe anyway. The hotel is so clean!! They staff there is always cleaning! And they are so friendly and always smiling. OUr room was kept very clean daily and they come clean your rooms really timely too. We loved the food despite some bad reviews I read. There is plenty of variety for everyone's taste at all meal times. I have travelled a lot to Europe, Caribbean, Asia, Mexico, Canada and I will definitely stay here again. The fresh friuts are great if you love fruits. We are fitness enthusiasts and we used the gym daily. It can get very crowded in the mornings which is when we usually go. I think the gym can use some improvements but to be fair it is ok for a resort. I am just used to really nice workout facility.
Do the whalewatching trip which you can sign up right there in the hotel lobby. It is awesome. We saw many whales upclose. The beach is nice but there is not much swimming because of the current. Go over to Lover;s beach which is right across from the resort. Nice to have a picnic there or just to hang out with someone you love.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank mnsp1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2009

Paid for an ocean view room, could not see the ocean, they would not change the room and didn't care that I had paid for an ocean view.

Paid for the use of 5 restaurants, but every day they claim they are all "full" so you have to go to the buffet. If you walk by, or happen to get a reservation, there is no one in the restaurant and they are certainly not full.

If you like wine, better get your own. The have some unheard of rot gut wine (choose from RED or White) and it is in a word, nasty.

there is no service at the pool, or anywhere else, other than the restaurants they won't let you in.

There is a minibar in the room, made up of jose cuervo (yuck) and no name brandy, vodka and something else. So I didn't drink that nasty stuff in college and i'm not about to now. There is no where to get a better quality drink even if you want to pay for it. Forget getting a bottle of wine of any sort. They do bring you water, and soft drinks, as long as the only soft drinks you want are pepsi, diet pepsi and 7 up and THATS IT.

The property is beautiful, but with the lack of services, it feels like motel 6. Sheets are sandpaper. The housekeeper wipes out the glasses in your room each morning with the used bath towels, so if you want a clean glass better bring some dish soap. My favorite was the day I came in the room and found the maid and the supervisor made hanging out having some sort of discussion in my room. Neither was cleaning, just hanging out talking and seemed to be bothered I interrupted their meeting.

God help you if you need the doctor on staff. He is always "at the hospital" and shows up when he feels like it, overcharges you and does nothing. Call your doctor back home, tell them the problem and then go get your prescription on your own. You will save hundreds of dollars.

If you want to eat crappy food, drink awful drinks and wait on yourself, go for it. Just don't pay for an upgraded room because you won't get what you paid for.

For some reasons all the canadiens we met loved the place. Got no idea why, maybe they are so happy to be out of the cold that nothing else matters.

If we knew what we were going into we would have paid less, brought wine and gone out to dinner. Instead they misrepresent the services to up the price and you leave feeling cheated.

Internet is $3 for 15 minutes, so forget it.

The 24 hour food means you can go get a stale sandwich at the putrid smelling sports bar.

There is NO room service whatsoever, in case you miss that fact.

Bright spot, the bar staff we did encounter was very pleasant and gave great service (we mostly brought our own bottle).

So if you like waiting on yourself, eating in a cafeteria, drinking nasty drinks, you'lll have a blast!!! The kids loved it, so maybe that is the way to go to someplace like this.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank Tropics_chick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2009

We stayed at the Sante Fe from Dec 11th - 25th and had the most amazing time! We can not say enough about the staff! They are so warm and welcoming, they go out of their way to ensure that this is your best vacation yet! They called our room 3 times in the first week to make sure that we were happy with everything and if we needed anything else. When we did request a couple of items (such as extra pillows and more hangers) they were brought promptly to the room (not like most Carribean resorts that take hours!). The entertainment staff were so full of energy and they really seemed to love their jobs and they made all the guest have an enjoyable time! We were sad to leave and we look forward to returning there very soon!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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6  Thank Boombarley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2009

Our family group of 5 adults stayed at the Riu Santa Fe from Dec.22-29. We booked with Sunquest Vacations and the flight was with WestJet - it was a significantly more enjoyable flight than past vacations we have been on, when we've flown with Air Transat or Skyservice.

We were very impressed with the "check-in" process - a Riu representative was on the bus from the airport to the hotel and checked everyone in right there, with our wristbands, towel cards and everything, so that when we arrived at the hotel, we didn't have to line up again. We arrived around 1:00 pm and our rooms weren't ready yet, so it was nice to be able to use the restaurant, bar and pool right away. We ended up waiting longer than expected to get our rooms (first we were told 3pm, and at 3 we had to check back every 10-15 minutes until we finally were in our rooms shortly after 4pm) but the rooms were very nice.

Our rooms were on the ground level, in building 3. We had emailed the hotel directly about a week before departure to request this. This was a good location - but most any building would be good. Buildings 1 through 6 are 3-4 stories high, and none of them have elevators, so if anyone has trouble with stairs, request a ground level room, or request building 7, which is much closer to the beach, but further from the main lobby/plaza/restaurant area, and it has an elevator.

We ate at the main buffet restaurant several times, and at the steakhouse and the Mexican restaurant. All were quite good and we certainly never got tired of the food. The buffet probably had close to 75 options at every meal, from salads, fruit, side dishes, pasta, meat, dessert, etc. Definitely something for everyone. Food was of good quality and well prepared.

A few of us tried out the gym and the spa facilities. The gym was adequate, a good variety of equipment but fairly busy in the mornings. The spa included free use of the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, which we took advantage of a few times. You are supposed to book appointments for the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, which we did, but we always got the time we wanted and there was usually no one else using the facilities at the same time.

The bars were all very good, the bartenders very friendly and service quick. If you don't specify, they will make your drink with the cheaper local brands of alcohol, so make sure to request Bacardi, or real Kahlua for example.

There are entertainment shows every night - the performers work very hard, especially the dancers, but the shows themselves are only "ok".

The beach in front of the hotel is steep, and there is a red flag (indicating no swimming) up everyday, however there were usually 25-50 people in the water at any given time, my husband and I went swimming and had no problems. We also took a water taxi over to Lovers' Beach ($10 US per person), which was an absolutely gorgeous place, a must-see for anyone going to Cabo. The boat drivers take you on a tour of the arch, the rocks and show you the sea lions before dropping you off at the beach.

We also booked a few tours through Sunquest - the Pez Gato snorkelling tour (very, very fun!) and the 4x4 Safari tour (educational and very fun!).

This was our first time staying at a Riu hotel, but we all agreed that we would definitely stay at a Riu again. Very clean grounds, good service, and friendly staff!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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14  Thank pegcitygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2009

Travelled to the Riu Santa Fe on 22 December. Went with my wife (late forties), my parents (late 60s) and my son and his girlfriend (late teens). The Santa Fe is rated a five star and worth the rating. One note, the star rating for hotels are not the same that you would find in Canada or the US. Guests need to bear that in mind and if they are looking for the North American equivalent, they would be paying a lot more than the typical 5* all inclusive charges.

Before getting into details, I should let people know that my wife and I have traveled extensively to the Caribbean and Mexico (15 plus trips) and always stay at "all inclusive resorts" so we have lots with which to compare the Riu Santa Fe.

HOTEL GROUNDS
The hotel is laid out beautifully. Combination of desert and tropical foliage. Architecture itself is great. Large resort so there can be a fair amount of walking so if mobility is an issue, you may wish to consider a smaller resort. I enjoyed the exercise. Lots of pools and I counted three swim up bars and 2 additional bars in the main courtyard. Lobby and courtyard are large and well designed. Entertainment area is also large and just off the main courtyard.

WEATHER
This is a coastal desert area so it really cools down at night. I was able to sleep with the balcony door open. Very few insects. No rain while we were there and daily temps around 80 with lows in the mid sixties at night.

FOOD
The Santa Fe is a typical all inclusive resort. Buffet food was similar to that found at other 4 or 5 * all inclusives. Lots to choose from and something for everyone. Wide variety of salads, desserts, meats, fish, fruit and breads. Lots of new things to try. My wife and son are very picky eaters and were always satifisfied. A la cartes were better than average. We went to the Mexcian, Asian and the Steakhouse and enjoyed them all. Loved the maid to order fresh rolled sushi at the Asian restauant. One note is the number of persons that ignore the dress codes for the a la cartes. This happens at all the resorts and I wish they would enforce that rule but few do. I think I gained about 10 lbs in the week even though I worked out. Anyone that complains about the food would never be satisfied so ignore those complaints.

ROOMS
We stayed on the fourth floor of building #7. Large building with a layout that can be confusing to find your room. Follow the signs. Easy access to the pool and beach. Rooms were very nice. Lots of hangers and drawers for clothes. Maid service was excellent and done by 10:00 each morning. Bed was the best I've had in Mexico. Never ran out of hot water and the power never went out. Lots of towels, wash clothes etc. Mini bar was filled every couple of days with beer, soft drinks and water. They even had Corona in the bottle. Great for a beer on the way to breakfast or the beach. We had a great view of the main pool and the ocean. They provide bath gel, shampoo, and soap. Rooms have hairdryers and ironing boards and small balconies with areas to hang bathing suits to dry and a table and chairs for sitting. Building 7 also has it s own concierge to book a la cartes. No other building has that.

POOLS AND BEACH
Pools were large, clean and gorgeous. Loved the swim up bars and the infinity pool. Lots of loungers around the pools and on the beach. Like everywhere, lots of people put towels out early in the morning to save spots so if you want a specific spot, go with the flow and do the same thing. If you have your towels out by 7:00 am, you can likely get any spot you want. Loungers come with mats and are comfortable. I did notice a tremendous number of hummingbirds visiting the flowers around the pools. Beautiful little birds.

Beach was quite interesting. Fairly course sand when you first step onto the beach and it gradually get finer as you get closer to the water. Beach drops off steeply near the water and there is a strong undertow most days but a lovely sandy bottom. Not recommended swimming for anyone but good swimmers.
Lots of vendors on the beach past the rope fence but they were curtious and we got better prices for items haggling with them than anywhere else.


SPA & GYM
Nice spa facilities for just about everything. You get a 15% discount if you are a Riu class member. Can sign up a the resort on on Riu's website. Use of the jaccuzzi and
sauna are free but you must make reservations. Gym is well equiped but can be busy. I always went at 7 in the morning and had no trouble getting the machines I wanted. Another option is to speed walk or jog around the resort. Great in the morning.

BARS
Bars were fast with curtious staff. Even at busy times, service was quick. I always ask for name brands in my drinks as all the house brands at all inclusives are watered down. Try them straight and its obvious. The name brands are not watered down. When I spent an afternoon at the swim up bar I never asked for a drink, they just keep arriving just in time.

TIPPING
Although tipping was included in our package, we always tip the maid daily and the waiters at meals. We also tip the bartenders daily but not for every drink. I don't know if this gets us better service or not but I think it is the right to tip when people provide quality service and that is what we received. I know some folks complained about service at the bars but we never experienced anything like that at all.

BEHAVIOR
Most folks were well behaved. This was a younger crowd than many of the all inclusive resorts I have been to but no problems that I seen. I did have to call security one night with young folks partying on their balcony at 3:00 in the morning and throwing bottles of their balcony to the walkways below. In 5 minutes, security was there and the problem was resolved and crews were cleaning up the glass at daybreak. I am ashamed to say that these folks were from Canada.

EXCURSIONS
Lots to choose from here. Local transportation is good as are the roads. For the adventurious, there are the dune buggies, ATVs, zip lines etc. and the classic shopping site seeing for the others. Lots of water based activities (catamarans, para-sailing, jet skis etc). We took a water taxi to Lovers Beach and enjoyed a great opportunity to see the arch, sea lion colony and enjoy the beautiful beach for $10 US return. You catch the water taxi on the beach in front of the resort starting in the morning and running to around 6. Recommend you take drinks from your mini bar. Snorkelling was also good just to the left of Lovers Beach. Boats are glass bottom and they stop at the snorkelling areas so it is easy to find later. Take bread or bananas as the fish love them. Many of the site seeing tours include this but the cost is much higher.
My son and I also went snorkelling to Santa Maria beach and had a great time althought the snorkelling was the same as by Lovers Beach.
Parents, wife and son's girlfriend went on a sight seeing tour of the local towns and enjoyed the day but much preferred the water taxi trip.
Lots of golf courses in the area and although I do golf, I did not try any of them.

SHOPPING
Lots of shopping in Cabo San Lucas but prices were higher than on the beach. You are about a 20 minute walk from Walmart, Costco and Sams Club. Walmart is the cheapest place to buy liquor. Cheaper than the duty free shops. Bus service is available to Cabo as well as taxis with set prices.

COMPLAINTS
There are a couple of things that I do not care for at all inclusives. Unaccompanied children at the buffets, and children in diapers in the pools. This is not the fault of the resorts themselves as they have signs regarding these activities. Can you imagine resort staff trying to explain this to a parent who lacks this kind of common sense. My issue is not with the resorts or the children themselves but their parents who are incapable of being responsible enough to understand the basic santitation and hygiene issues associated with these activities.

Overall Rating
Concensus from all of our group (fun for all) is that we would definately go back and would recommend this resort to others. Good service, meals, facilities and service oriented staff. Enjoyable holiday for all, whether young, middle aged or seniors.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
25  Thank timbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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