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“Riu Palace MUST READ***” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas

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Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av. Camino Viejo a San Jose | Del Cabo KM 4.5 El Medano Ejidal, Cabo San Lucas 23410, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #26 of 66 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Riu Palace MUST READ***”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Just got back from the Riu Palace in Cabo. Lots of good things to say about this place but first and foremost....
Rooms.....
If you want quiet, try and get a room away from the lobby over the "quiet" pool. Rooms near the disco or lobby are loud. The rooms are small but so clean. Lots of hot water. Reviews about 2 twin beds pushed together to make a King are true. Our bed was hard and lumpy, pillows are crap. Our friends down the hall had a great bed. Hit or miss on this one. Ask the maid to make it as a king. Lots of hot water. Bottled pop and small/large water bottles in fridge. 6 Tecate canned beer per day. Take the beer out put it in your suitcase and 6 more will be in there, that way you can stock up for day trips etc. Bacardi rum, Jose Cuervo tequila (gasoline), brandy and one other in the bar. Safe worked good. We turned the a/c on once and the room stunk for the day, mildew and musty. Went away in a few hours with the window open.
Food....and Drink....
5 different restaurants. Japanese place was decent, steak house was ok. They seem to cook meat to death here, even the lobster was beaten up and hard. Mexican restaurant was ok, fajitas came out so hot! but chicken was way overcooked, dry and hard. They do try very hard though. Best of all is the large buffet restaurant. Killer food here. Excellent breads, breakfast, lunch and dinners. Ice sculptures, something different as a main display every day. Seafood varies every day as well. Big toasters, fresh juices, jams of all sorts, cheese trays, fresh guac and salsa all the time, omelette stations, lots of hot foods at each sitting. Waiters are very good, no Pacifico bottled beer at any of the restaurants or buffet. Dos Equis is the favourite here. The open area bar in the lobby is incredible, I drank lime Margaritas made from a slushy machine with Don Julio Reposado tequila every day!! The view from the Lobby bar out to the arches is incredible. Both bars at the quiet pool are good. Ask the waiter to make them strong with your brand, he will. Tip them 20 to 40 pesos. Beer at the pools is draft, i started taking the Tecate canned beer from the room down to the beach and pool. Ice machines are few and far between.
Transportation.....
Be careful. Cab company Capitan at the front will call you a cab but also ask if you have booked tours etc. We went to the Marina to grab a water taxi to Lovers Beach and the Arches ($10 US each person, dont pay more,) He asked me if where we wwere going and if we had booked a tour, I said no. he then got his buddy to come get us, this idiot cab guy drove us to the very far end of the Marina where his friend was standing. i was pissed.. we had to walk a mile to where we were booking a boat. I complained to the front desk.
Buses are 10 pesos into Cabo from the resort. If you take the bus from the hotel gate it gores north before coming south again. walk out to the main road, be careful crossing the traffic and wait in front of the blue store, it will save you 10-12 minutes of bumpy bus ride.
cabs in Cabo are all large vans. Tired after a day in town? grab a cab and ask how much. 120 pesos only, no tip, no more.
Tours.....
We hired a driver from Cielito Lindo after reading horror stories on here about the bus transfer service. Cost was $135 US incl. going back there. I would take the $20 transfer service when booking next time. We also used the same company to go north to Todas Santos shopping for the day. $260 US for 6 hours, ouch. Should have taken the bus, nice new Suburban though, driver Edgar was ok, not the best tour guide. Stopped at Cerritos Beach on the way.
water taxi to Lovers Beach and the arches was excellent. $10Us each. He will drop you at the beach for an hour of sun tanning then come back for you. Guy on beach will help get the wife /girlfriend back on the boat as the waves are big. Let him help. Give him 20-40 pesos, well worth it.
Typical vendors selling trinkets at the marina, not so bad in Cabo town. Watch out for the kids selling little toys, they will pull your heartstrings and sell you stuff for a buck each which the mother nearby promptly takes from them. They dont go to school. Buy them a burger instead of buying their stuff

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
London, Ont. Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Just returned from 10 days at Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas. Amazing! My son got married to his beautiful bride on the beach with fabulous ocean view behind them. The hotel itself is spotless, public washrooms extrememly clean and private. Giant pool areas and no problems getting chairs. Food and drink excellent. No bugs. Rooms immaculate. Can't swim in ocean as huge rip tide, but can watch whales and sea lions right from the pool. Fabulous 10 days!

Room Tip: Stay on the east side if you want quiet and west side if you are a night owl.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montrose, Colorado
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

A great relaxing resort with all the amenities. Great food, friendly employees determined to please all the time, from wait staff, housekeeping, entertainment, bartenders and front desk. A few minor hiccups but over all a very relaxing experience, clean, nice rooms, good food and great service. Wouldn't say 5 star but we difinitely cannot wait to return

Room Tip: fourth floor or ocean front
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Overall this was a good place. I found the food better than most all-inclusive resorts that I have been to, and the service was great. All parts of the resort were very clean.

My two biggest reasons for considering somewhere else when returning to Cabo:
1. Noise. My room was off of the lobby and it was ridiculously loud from the outdoor entertainment. The doors are not sound insulated so I could also hear people walking in the hallway and shutting their doors from a good distance.

2. Wi-fi was terrible. They have to give you a code, one per room which means either one laptop or one smartphone can be used at a time, and you have to continually enter this code if you want to have any internet access. And really the only spot where you could get internet access was in the lobby, so in most 99% of rooms and certainly the restaurants, beach, and pool area...no internet. If you need to conduct any business at all while you are in Cabo, you might consider another location that doesn't guard wi-fi like its Fort Knox.

Room Tip: Rooms directly off of the lobby are LOUD but are the only ones where you have internet access in you...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Alberta
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Spent one week at the Sante Fe, and one week at the Palace, so this review will cover both. Weather was very good for both weeks as Cabo apparently gets very little rain. It was the least humid beach destination I have been to as well. Be aware, the evenings are extremely cool, so you will need at least a hoodie. Both hotels are about a forty-five minute ride from the airport and are on the same property. For arrivals, once you have your bags, do not speak to anyone until you are outside. You will be herded into a roundish room with a couple of doors that will open to the outside. The timeshare people know that a Sunwing flight just arrived, and will try and trick you into believing they are with Sunwing. The room is deceiving, because if the doors are closed, it is not obvious, that they lead outside. There were a lot of tourists hooked into going to the counters. For departures, the airport is quite small, and not many stores to peruse while waiting for your plane. There is one sit down restaurant and a few fast food places. The tequila-tasting bar in the duty free may be a good place to kill an hour if you didn't get enough at your hotel.

The Santa Fe is a fairly large resort. Building seven is a “U” shaped building on the beach with the two pools and bars. This is where all the typical poolside entertainment occurs. There is a lunch buffet, which turns into the steak house a la cart in this area. The rest of the resort is set back with the lobby and other buildings forming a square, with a third quit pool and bar in the centre. The remaining restaurants and open stage area are in this area. Any of the buildings in the square are fine, however buildings five and six are the closest to the disco, which has a really good sound system.

There didn’t seem to be enough lounging chairs by the pools and beach. You have to get up early to save them. We didn't make it down to the beach one day until ten, and there were no empty chairs available. We were able to find some at the quite pool, however. This resort does not have servers waiting on the guests anywhere other than in the restaurants. You have to go to the bar for your own drinks, which were always backed up with people.

The food in the buffets was good. Great overall selection. My only complaint was that the omelettes were very poorly prepared. On the plus side, the bacon was abundant and always cooked to perfection. Skip the Mexican Restaurant, totally disgusting. The other three were good, each having their own highlights. The Hotel has premium liquor in all the bars, and they will give it to you, if requested. I found that if you didn't ask for Smirnoff or Bacardi, your drink would have a harsh taste due to the poor quality local liquor. That includes the assorted blended drinks that were available.

The gym was adequate, although there were no free weights, and a fairly limited number of machines. The crowd at the Sante Fe was younger, compared to an older, less rambunctious crowd at the Palace. The discos in both places were modern, and played current top forty music.

The Palace was five stars. It is one building that stretches parallel to the beach, so your room is close to everything. The liquor in the rooms was brand name, and you had lots of beer and water, which were restocked daily. The rooms were slightly bigger, and the chairs were more comfortable. The food was noticeably better than the Sante Fe. They had servers everywhere, although the staff in both places was very friendly and obliging.


We swam in the ocean everyday. After reading all the reviews on here about the not being able to swim in the ocean, I was a little nervous at first. The beach has a 45 degrees slope that carries well into the water, so the waves actually crest right on to the shore. On some of the larger waves, the water returning to the ocean, created a really strong movement. Once you were in the water, however, there were no undercurrents pulling at you at all. The slope continued well into the water, so it was deep instantly. The Palace didn’t drop of quite as fast as the Sante Fe. The water seemed a bit cold at first, but once you were in it for a minute, it was nice.

Took a water taxi to Lovers Beach. They give you a bit of a tour, and the area is very nice. I think it was fifteen bucks a person, and then the same boat comes back and picks you up at a negotiated time. Rented snorkel equipment for ten bucks and saw lots of fish near Pelican Beach, which was a very small hike to Lovers Beach. We also rented Seadoos for Fifty bucks (CAN) for half an hour. I negotiated an extra ten minutes with the guys renting them off the beach. The Parasailing is the lame kind where they winch you off and back on to the boat. If you have never done it, this is a great way to try it. Everything is done for you, and you don’t have to land the chute yourself. I think it was forty bucks. Buy that off the beach as well. All the vendors and sports guys take Canadian dollars at par with the USD, so you don’t have to exchange a lot of money.

Found the best deal for tequila at Costco, a three pack of assorted Don Julio 750mls for 670 pesos. Wal-Mart has a huge liquor selection as well, and is fun to look around, and both are very close by. They were the only two places that didn’t take Canadian or USD for payment. There are lots of markets, restaurants, and bars around the Marina, and the streets surrounding. The vendors are the least aggressive of any, I have seen. The marina/area is a twelve-dollar CAN/USD trip each way. El Squid Row was a very uniquely entertaining bar, and a must see/experience. Cabo Wabo was also a really good time, playing excellent music. Neither place had a cover charge, although CW was pricier. The in town restaurants all had deals to lure you in. We picked one that had a six-pack of Corona and nachos for 10 bucks. We also stopped at one of the massage places in town that had $20/hr Swedish and $35/hr deep tissue massages. Definitely cheaper than in the hotel, and very relaxing.

While I prefer the Caribbean, Cabo was a lot of fun, and I would definitely return.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellevue, Ohio
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

First of all realize you are in a different country! Be a courteous guest and not a pompous [--]. Second, you are not in America, try and speak their language and interact with all the people. We stayed January 7th to 11th. Booked thru Expedia and the offer was u could stay at one and play at two..the Santa Fe. Also book your transportation with Expedia. We were booked with grey line transport. Fill out your immigration papers top and bottom u will get thru customs faster. Meet your transportation outside airport walls. The people inside are trying to sell u something. 45 minute drive pretty scenic. Check in was easy. Try and ask for extra codes you may or may not get it but its worth the try. Our friends got four codes. Weather was a little cold first two days pack warm clothes. When u r on the beach look for Omar. Get to know them he will treat u fairly. He will get you a water taxi to the peninsula for about 5 bucks a person round trip. Water in sea of Cortez cold but calm for swimming. Watch outside on the balconies and you will see whales on the distance follow the boats. It would have been nice to go on a whale watching excursion. Cheap trip is to Go to the peninsula and to lovers beach, explore, snorkel at pelican beach swim climb the mountain lay out. Bring ur beers from the hotel. Snorkel 10 bucks at the dive shop. Best time for peninsula noon to 3. Bring bread and fruit loops if u r snorkeling the fish will go crazy. Israel on the "Jose y Maria" can give u a cooler. Bring lots of singles for tips. Do not bother exchanging your money. Room was just fine. Cleaned every morning and turned down every night. Pool a little chilly warmest is the west pool. Check out sante fe if you want a younger wilder crowd during the night. Shows were entertaining, but corny still a good time to relax and chill and hang out. Restaurants weren't great if you are a seasoned restaurant goer u might be disappointed but the buffet was great. Morning and and evening main hall lunch by the beach and pools. Go into town explore check out Cabo Wabo. Very safe! People are always trying to sell u something don't be afraid to bargain. Fishing season currently they were catching black marlins wish we would have went but short time. Enjoy! Drink! Be merry! Do not listen to the naysayers and blow hards they obviously don't know how to have a good time.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

This is our second trip to Cabo but our first to the Riu Palace. I have to say that we are somewhat disappointed. The service was incredible but the food was really lacking. My husband was disappointed because the hot food was almost cold, and at every meal. There was a Lack of variety which makes for a very long week of the same thing.
My biggest issue is that I have a severe gluten allergy and I was told that I would be accommodated and had a couple of conversations via email prior to arriving. When I got there, no one seemed to know about it or wanted to assist me with it. I was grateful that I brought some gf items with me...
I agree that the rooms do need an update and do have a musty smell. The housekeeping staff were amazing and went above and beyond to please you and did an exceptional job.
Overall, service was outstanding in terms of wait staff and at the bars. The grounds are stunning and immaculate. Food was below average. Drinks were plenty.
We would definitely return to cabo but would not stay here.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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 | Del Cabo KM 4.5 El Medano Ejidal, Cabo San Lucas 23410, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > Los Cabos > Cabo San Lucas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#17 Spa Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#18 Luxury Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#22 Family Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#23 Romantic Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas 4*
Number of rooms: 642
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 
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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

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