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“Paradise by the Sea”
Review of Hotel Riu Santa Fe

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Hotel Riu Santa Fe
Ranked #41 of 70 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Paradise by the Sea”
Reviewed 2 April 2010

I spent the last week of March 2010 at this hotel/resort, and was completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the facility, the friendliness and dedication of the staff and the great fishing in Cabo San Lucas. I would return again tomorrow if I could. Everyone should experience this great place, at least once in their life-time.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank kangaroo12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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britishcolumbi
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2010

This ended up being a long review so I'll summarize my tips at the bottom!

We just got back from staying at the Riu. We had been at a Palace resort on the Mayan where our friends are members and we were treated like royalty! We knew that was the ultimate so were somewhat concerned about what "downgrading" would be like and although this hotel had some of the best reviews, obviously there are some concerns. However all in all the resort was VERY nice. It is a beautiful property with infinity pools that were amazing! A warmer pool would have been nice but it was so hot that you certainly could tolerate the coldness. We were in building 7 which is quite a hike from all but 1 of the restaurants and the lobby but it is closest to the ocean and the infinity pools so there's good and bad. Our room was VERY clean - we had 2 double beds but my biggest beef would be that there is no way that is a double bed! They are at best 3/4 size - definitely cozy for my husband and I. We brought a cot in for our daughter. The fridges were not overly stocked (apparently they look once/2 days) but whenever we phoned and asked for something, it was there within the hour. The rooms are not soundproof but we can basically sleep through anything.
The pools got rowdier as the spring break crowd descended (Saturday/ Sunday) and we had hoped to miss them. We found one side of the infinity pool was definitely more party central than the other. We usually could steer our kids away from the crowds. They have plenty of chairs but to get the ones on the infinity pool or overlooking the ocean, you have to be up at at least 6AM and move your seats to the pool area and reserve them with a towel or personal items. This morning one lady accused me of taking her chairs because she had left her towels and shoes on them the night before but everything is cleaned and put away at night so she was out of luck. By the end of the week we were looking for umbrellas which the staff were willing to bring out new ones if you couldnt steal one and asked them. Very obliging staff I found.
The food is quite varied. Our first night at the buffet had us overwhelmed - it had something of everything. My husband went most mornings and booked dinner for that night and 2 days later so we ended up going to every restaurant and the steak house twice (which is ususally apparently a no no). I really don't get the reservation thing since they are NEVER busy and at the Palace resorts you just walk in. Also they are not really restaurants. Basically most of them have an option of 4 or 5 entres and then there is either a buffet for appetizers or you are given a set menu of appetizers. The big thing in terms of service is they seem to insist on getting your drinks for you. My family would actually probably rate the ASian as the best (surprisingly), the steak house and the Mexican (again surprisingly) would probably be tied, and our least favourite was the Italian. Very odd - no pasta at the Italian restaurant. Breakfasts were varied. Neither opened before 9 but you could get coffee there before. We ate at both options - definitely more choices at the Baja (buffet) but lots of options again. I'm talking mostly from my family's perspective because they enjoyed the food but I got quite sick from it by about Day 3 and by the end, I was afraid to eat anything except basic bacon and eggs for breakfast. I didn't eat anywhere else before that so you figure it out. My husband and son also had problems with their stomach but it didn't stop them too much. I don't care if I never see another buffet again. Lunch had hamburgers, pizza and other options but again, not like at home.. Lots of fruits but from what I read its usually cut up fruit and vegetables and meat that makes you sick so that makes things limiting. But I am not a big lover of Mexican food anyways - I find alot of it very deep fried and greasy. The bars however were very good and accomodating although I was happy with just the strawberry daqueris. We never tipped inside the resort and did not feel we were less treated as a result.
Another warning - phone calls are very expensive. We tried to phone a 1 800 number to put a warning on our Visa and were told to phone the regular number as it wold be just a $5 connection fee. It ended up costing us $5/minute.

Not alot of activities for an 11 and 13 year old. Definitely more going on at the middle pool but often more adult oriented (tequila shot volleyball) so not really appropriate. the Kids club looked pretty young and they weren't interested. I prefer the pool and this was by far the most beautiful pool setup so I was fine. For those that prefer the beach, the sand was much better than we expected and the vendrs are roped off and respectful if you just keep saying no gracius. I didn't see a red flag but ? if you should swim in the ocean.

The shows we saw were quite entertaining - Grease and Mama Mia - lipsinqing but really good dancing. Usually we were too tired to stay up and/or make the long trek to the other side of the resort!

We ended up doing a timeshare with Victor who has an office outside of Walmart. he set us up with Globequest for a morning to look at a new resort by the Corona owners. It was supposed to be 70 minutes but it ended up being longer but they were not pushy. It was a bit worrisome because it was so far away (San Jose) but they brought us back no problem. For that 3 or 4 hours (where my dtr was so burned she couldn't be in the sun anyways), we got the best breakfast of the week, free horseback riding for my dtr and I and ATVing for my husband and son, a sunset cruise, and 1/2 off swimming with dolphins which was the one thing we promised our kids but the $168 was a bit daunting. All excursions were great. Another family took a timeshare offer at the airport for a hotel just 2 hotels down and they said the same thing about them and got the same deals. BARTER with them (2 free activiities for your family and another (most expensive} 50% off. Another family we met did 2 timeshare presentations so that they could do even more activities, ie: jet skiing, zip lining. We were supposed to go on a pirate sunset cruise but the boat broke down and it was too late for us to reschedule the next night so they booked us on a different one that was excellent anyway.

All in all a great trip but there's no doubt that the Palace has the Riu beat in more ways than one. Phone calls home are free. Restaurants are authentic and amazing. Golf Carts aid in going back and forth in the large resort.But Palace resorts are more expensive and they don't have one in Cabo so there's a tradeoff since its a much shorter flight for us in Western Canada.. Not sure I'd go to Mexico too soon again because of the stomach issue but go and have fun and look for the Wally cooler and pass it along.

TIP: If you're in building 7, get help with your luggage! We lugged it to the room but they happily brought it back before we went to the airport.!

TIP: Go to Walmart and buy cheap big plastic patio glasses for your drinks or bring them from home. We bought them for less than $2 each and left them there and they worked just as well as the thermoses that were more expensive and were WAY better than the timy glasses you get there.

TIP: Book a restaruant for 2 days ahead as soon as you arrive. The next morning you can book that night and 2 days ahead again so you'll get more restaurant seatings.

TIP: If you want to do excursions, do 1 or 2 timeshares the first few mornings. Know what you want to do and when,a then book your activities right away as things seem to often be on the fritz in Mexico and need to be rescheduled. Keep cash on hand to pay (50% off) since we had to use our visa with them for the dolphins and we ? how honest or secure they were (hence the hold on our visa)

TIP: Get up at 6 if you want to get good seats by the pool. We never exchanged our towels at the end of the day because the towel place doesn't open until 8AM

TIP: We booked through "BookIT" and declined the transportation since we figured $37, each was ridiculous and a family of 4 could easily book a taxi for less. The problem is at the airport, they control all taxis so the rate is always $85 for a taxi, $60 for transport. (taxis always charge per person, not per mile - ask hotel what you should pay before you leave. We met people who said they always book through Flight Centre who will match any other rate and the transportaion is always included (free). We still saved but not much when you consider its two ways..

TIP:Bring American cash because they will exchange your travellers cheques only for pesos at a VERY poor rate (2 cents less than airport). Most vendors would prefer American.

TIP: Good souveniers on the beach but BARTER! We bought the same t-shirts for $4-7 at the flea market in town and the (never below $12) t shirt seller on the beach came down to $7 as well. My daughter had a full head of braids done by Guadalupe for $30. as opposed to $90. at the salon. Often they will reduce theprice for a bottle of water or pop (probably why the hotel isn't in a hurry to restock the fridge).

TIP:Bring LOTS Of sunscreen! We went through almost 2 bottles of the spray in one day - another reason why we had to got o Walmart and there are no deals at Wamart on sunscreen!

Adios Amigo!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank familyof42teens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
1 review
Reviewed 30 March 2010

I just returned from a week at the Riu Sante Fe, with my 20 year old daughter and friends. Offer a tip to be upgraded to Bldg 7, it offers awesome views, closer to the beach, pool and restaurant. We had a great time, until it was time to depart and the night before we were robbed. The hotel manager and security came to my room and they advised the room had been accessed from the hall. It was then shared with me by other patrons , that be aware that the staff is watching your routines , knows your property and when you are checking out. The Sante Fe provides an in room safe, keep everything in it until you are literally checking out. Security does not exist at the Santa Fe, so dont expect assistance.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank girlsrun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, NY
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2010

My husband and I stayed at the Riu Santa Fe in March and had a wonderful time. Friends picked the location, we did not. We knew we were not staying at a 5-star or better resort so we did not expect top-of-the-line. After reading so many terrible reviews we were uncertain just what we would find. We were pleasantly pleased with just about everything except for the food. The Buffet was just plain ok, nothing special about it and we got tired of it quickly. There were limited choices for dining alternatives so we made the best of what we had. We found no problem booking reservations (later in the day) for the speciality restaurants but found them also just ok. Lunch could have had a better variety - how many days do you want to eat the same old hot dog, hamburger, and salad? There were larger dinner selections but how about just a regular sandwich? Being a morning coffee lover, I found that difficult to get it without hiking all over the place. There were no pots in the room (we were in building 7) so we had to go out to find coffee. After 2 days of walking all the way to the other end of the resort (to the buffet) someone discovered a pot in the unopened lunch buffet restaurant. That was fine but they unplugged it around 7:30 so we were left with cold coffee if there was any at all.

The grounds, rooms, and hallways were spotless. I do not think I have stayed in a cleaner place. One day I called from the room and asked for an extra pillow and bottle of water. Both arrived within 30 minutes, delivered by two different staff members. All of the staff we encountered were friendly and helpful. The front desk person moved our room when she found we were at the opposite end of the resort from our friends. The bartenders were always attentive and friendly. In general, the faculity and staff were top-notch. Lots of beautiful pools!
I would recommend this place for the location, the facility, the staff, but not the food.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nancy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2010

I have been reading the reviews for the last month on here and I can tell you that in some way or another what I read I have found to be true. Here's the catch. There all a no big deal thing. For instance the towels. Yeah there a little like sand paper, you cant really swim in the Ocean, the place is HUGE!. But I would imagine that all these people would complain if their ice cream was to cold or the sun was too hot! Nothing affected my trip. My wife and I had a great time. The food was not that bad. Repetitive, yes, but not bad. I was in building 7. It was for the most part quiet. It is the closest building to the Ocean. But I think the pool in the middle was nicer,water warmer, and less crowded. The beach bars were the party spot for sure. One pool was a bit chilly, but the sun was HOT. The loungers in the water you see. No one uses them. You can get your spot in the same place everyday. The restaurant in building 7 servers breakfast. IT'S VERY BASIC. Eggs, sausage, pancake,fruit. If you need more of a selection you have to go to the Baja California restaurant. They have everything. But if you need everything all the time, your probably the one complaining about every little thing. We went twice. The walk is not that far fro building 7.

Lock your stuff up. Nothing happened to us. People from 7013 had some things stolen. If they would have put them in the safe they would still have them. USE YOUR SAFE!! We were in 7007 and I think in the best location. Figure out where you are because you might be real close to another exit you don't know about and it could make your life a bit better. We made reservations at 1pm for two nights Steak, and Italian.The food was good we thought. The steak at the Italian restaurant was better then the steak house steak. The only real complaint I have was the waiter we had at the steak house. He was a * ( rimes with lick)

They did a good job on the shows. They went super fast. But for the ones who complain about it, I'd like to see you go do it. They worked hard and did a great job. The bar closest to the stage had the top shelf liquor and the bartenders were great. I smelled no vomit or anything at any bar or restaurant. We went to the disco once.



I'll wrap it up here:

If you don't want to have to walk far and want a huge choice of food all the time everyday, don't go here. If your able bodied and want to eat decant food and don't need to be catered to you will enjoy your time. The beds are nice and We found no bed bugs. It's a real nice place. All the good reviews were true. Remember, your in Mexico. Be safe

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jeff441
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2010

We loved the Riu Santa Fe during our week long stay. The location was great, the view was amazing, and the staff went out of their way to accomodate whatever you wanted. I was a bit reserved after reading several reviews that it might not be as great as I had hoped, but every aspect of our stay surpassed all of my expectations. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The food was good, not excellent, but you could always find something tasty. The pools were clean and warm, and the drinks were plentiful. Please tip the staff!!!!! The longer we were there, the more I wanted to tip everyone. Israel at the pool bar Tequila and Jorge at the bar Hola in the plaza were fantastic! I can't say enough about our experience overall at the Riu. We can't wait to return with family and/or friends so they can share in the experience we had! Bravo, Riu Santa Fe!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank summerlovingteachers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carmel, IN
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
Reviewed 28 March 2010

Spent spring break 2010 at the RIU Santa Fe and couldn't have made a better choice. We stayed in Los Cabos 2 years ago at the Royal Solaris and loved the weather, it is absolutely guaranteed.

The RIU Santa Fe is extremely large, we read a few reviews complaining of the expansiveness but you'll never walk more than 5-7 minutes anywhere. The grounds are beautiful and very well kept, rooms are kept the same. This place was spotless.

The Santa Fe and Palace are basically a single property, built separately, they are divided. The full expanse of the Palace is ocean front, only building 7 of the Santa Fe is on the ocean, the remainder of the complex is directly behind the Palace.

General observations reveal the Palace is quiet and relaxing, the Santa Fe is the party resort. There are two main pools at the Santa Fe, the upper pool at the larger part of the complex is more relaxing, all the structured activities are held here. It is very appropriate for families with younger children.The pool and two ocean front swim-up bars at building 7 can get (and were) loud and crazy. Drinks were served in a timely manner. Again we were there in March, the guests were about half and half 18-30 crowd and the rest family spring breakers.

The buffet food is well above average compared to other all-inclusive resorts we have visited. The optional dining was good but not exceptional. Sorry for the rant here but this is one part of other reviews I cannot tolerate - Don't forget what you're paying to stay here, when not at an all-inclusive it is very common to pay (for 2) $20-30 for breakfast, $50-60 for lunch and $100+ for dinner. If you want a 5 star meal, do your homework, leave the resort, and pay for it!

We were very impressed with the RIU brand and all they have to offer. I will definitely consider booking a RIU resort again.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Paul P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Santa Fe

Property: Hotel Riu Santa Fe
Address: Camino Viejo a San Jose | Cabo San Lucas, Cabo San Lucas 23410, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > Los Cabos > Cabo San Lucas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#27 Spa Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#31 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#31 Family Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Santa Fe 3.5*
Number of rooms: 902
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located in the southern Baja California peninsula, 4.5 Km/2.8 Miles from Cabo San Lucas * Opened winter 2007/8 * 1-story main building and 3-story and 4-story annexes * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 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 ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Santa Fe Cabo San Lucas
Riu Santa Fe Los Cabos
Riu Sante Fe
Hotel Riu Santa Fe Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Mexico

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