So, here's the deal -- I am used to going to Hawaii and staying at my aunt's house, which is a very different sort of tropical experience....less party, more relaxing.
If you are an all-inclusive pro or love the vibe of the main strip of CSL, then my review will probably not interest you.
If you are unfamiliar with all-inclusive or have not been to CSL, then maybe my experience will be helpful.
Two of my friends found a deal with Apple Vacations to go the Riu Palace, so I went with it. We went in August when it was incredibly hot, so there were few people around, which resulted in an upgrade to a first-floor ocean-side room.
Our room was great for hot weather - tile floors, heavy curtains, aggressive (adjustable) air conditioning. Housekeeping was excellent and thorough. Sound-proofing was good. Bathroom was huge. Exactly what I wanted me room to be.
What I was not expecting in the room was the built-in liquor dispenser -- endless rum, tequila, and something else (I think.) My inner 19-year old got very excited about this, but my adult self worried that the halls would be crawling with drunk 19-year olds. Fortunately (maybe because it was the off-season?), they were not and the hotel was relatively quiet.
The theme of Riu Palace was "endless everything you can put in your tummy" -- want a pork-chop at 3pm? ice cream at 2am? are you too lazy to get your own pina colada and need someone to literally step into the pool to bring it to you? All these things and more are yours for the taking.
Are you looking for authentic regional cuisine in an intimate environment? This is DEFINITELY NOT the place for you. Rather, they strive to offer comforting quantity of familiar foods, and they succeed. All without you ever having to leave your partially-submerged pool chaise.
There is the unavoidable general ickiness of staying in a super-touristy location: a man swam after me into the ocean to try to sell me bracelets, and when I told him that I obviously had no money on me ***because I was swimming*** he changed tactics and asked if I had a boyfriend. Not exactly the relaxing swim I had hoped for, but that's what you get for staying right along the tourist strip, albeit toward the end. I'm sure it's way worse in the middle of the strip, which is why some of the other hotels have little areas in the sand that the peddlers are not allowed to walk. Which also weirds me out.
More specific to Riu Palace, the shore in front of the hotel had a vicious break when I was there -- my friends and I didn't swim in front of the hotel at all because the pull of the waves was so strong. The pool itself was fine, with the infinity edges and fountains being a nice touch.
Anything that wasn't part of the all-inclusive, like snorkel gear or a shuttle ride, was not a great experience. For example, the woman who sold us our snorkel gear charged us for two sets when we bought one, and when I pointed this out, she denied it and refused to give us a refund. We took a shuttle in front of the hotel about 3 miles down the road to a drug store. The ride there and back was $15!!!! Let it be known that if it's not already paid for, people will proactively work to rip you off. Paying in pesos makes it easier to get less ripped off, as an aside.
With that said, Riu Palace did a good job delivering on its promise of an affordable, all-inclusive vacation. I simply now realize that all-inclusive is not the route for me, how important a swimmable beach is for my needs, and that CSL is not my idea of paradise.
- Also Known As:
- Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas Hotel
- Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas Hotel Cabo San Lucas
- Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas
- Riu Palace Cabo
- Riu Palace Los Cabos
- Riu Cabo San Lucas
- Riu Palace
- Riu Cabo
- Cabo San Lucas Riu Palace
- Riu Los Cabos
- Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas Los Cabos
- 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, Amex, Visa, Diners. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Amex, Priceline, BookIt.com, Tingo, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Fareportal , Otel and Agoda so you can book your Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.