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“Definition of Paradise” 5 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)   |   Camino Viejo a San Jose | Cabo San Lucas B.C.S. - Baja California Sur, Cabo San Lucas 23410, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #28 of 66 hotels in Cabo San Lucas
A TripAdvisor Member
“Definition of Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2005

Please ignore the bad reviews!! This is truly the place of paradise.

Stayed at the Riu May 16 - 23 and there is not one complaint about this place. We have stayed at many all inclusives and the Riu Palace is, BY FAR, the most beautiful resort we have laid eyes upon.

Food was impeccable and FRESH and the quality was top notch.

(hint:) Try the San Jose for the Italian lunch buffet. You eat lunch with a clear ocean view - what could be better?

Japanese restaurant - real sushi with real rice - none of the fake stuff.
Mexican restaurant - by far, the greatest service.
Gourmet restaurant - great food and good presentation.
Buffet - different theme nights so if you can't make it to the a la carte restaurants, you're not missing much in terms of variety. And the buffet comes with ice sculptures, which is a treat in itself!

Yes, the complaints you have read about waiting in line to make reservations to these a la carte restaurants are somewhat valid, but I rather enjoyed a pre-dinner Mojito (great mojitos, by the way) while sitting in line. It's also a good way to talk to other people! The trick is to get in line at about 5:30 - and if you don't feel like being social then bring a book to read (the reservation person comes at 6:00). Being in line 30 minutes prior should allow you to get first pickings on the restaurant of your choice. Never had a problem there.

Beautiful and clean and the mini-bar & alcohol dispenser are replenished very frequently.

We were originally given a non-ocean front room, but asked the front desk to change our room and they were more than accommodating! We had the perfect view of the ocean and resort!!

(hint: not that you're on vacation to watch TV in your room, but we discovered numerous English channels that were hidden - you can't find them by simply pressing "up" or "down" on your remote. You need to actually punch in the numeric number. For example "08".)

If you work out, this is a more than an adequate gym with a beautiful ocean view. Many people did not take advantage of the semi-private jacuzzi or sauna, but if you like these things, they are located in the gym/spa - no charge!

Gorgeous, beautiful, infinity pools. Paradise.
2 pools: a pool with many activities; the other pool is the "quiet" pool with no music or activities. Take your pick.

AMAZING deal at the Raven exclusive to Riu
Palace...usually $159, but got it at the Riu for $65 + tax (after 12:00). Prices go even lower in the summer. They will even reimburse your taxi ride to the golf course (5 minutes away). It's not ocean side, but great mountain and slight-ocean views (including the Arch), combined with Bermuda grass makes this course very enjoyable!

Everyone accepts US dollars.

Not one cloud in the sky. Gorgeous.
(Hint: at night, it DOES get breezy and slightly cool, so make sure to bring long sleeves and pants!!)

Yes, strong undertow, so they don't advise swimming (but we did see people swimming anyway). There is swimming and surfing at a nearby beach.

If you go with a tour operator (we were with Sunquest), then book the excursions with them, because they are cheaper (US$70 for parasailing and the resort was offering it for US$80) and they are RELIABLE!

Paradise. We couldn't have asked for anything more.

Last hint:
For great pics of this place, the RIU has its own website. You can see many pictures there.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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4,110 people have reviewed this hotel

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  • 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
bracebridge, ontario
1 review
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2005

Beautiful property with a tremendous view. Great staff, terriffic food, fantastic facilities, you cannot go wrong with this choice of resort. We came home relaxed and rejuvenated. Truly an outstanding property.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2005

My husband and I just returned from a visit to the Riu Palace that I won through work. We have been to some other very nice resorts (Royal Hideaway, going to Four Seasons Costa Rica) and have been to some not so great (in Jamaica). This property falls right about in the middle.

Pro's-It was absolutely beautiful. The resort looks outs onto the Sea de Cortez and the Arches. Absolutely breathtaking. The pools at the hotel are very nice and were not all that crowded when we were there.

The rooms were nice. Clean and spacious. Felt very safe. The resort is very large and we really only went to the side where our room was.

The shows put on by the hotel were cute and creative.

There were not tons of vendors to bother you which was a huge isssue in Jamaica.

Negs- The food was okay, not great. The buffets were pretty good for breakfast and lunch. We ate at the steak house with a big group and it was not great. We ate at the Sir Lawrence by ourselves and it was okay. I heard the Japanese restauraunt was great.

The service was pretty good, people always checking for drink refills, etc.

We will definately go back to Cabo San Lucas as it was beautiful.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2005

Just returned from a 6 day stay at the RIU in Cabo and I LOVED it!! I had read some bad reviews before I left--and I was scared. However, the RIU was a wonderful place and I will return. I took my mother for her Mother's Day trip and the 2 of us just soaked up the sun and enjoyed the gorgeous views from the infinity pool. Here are a few tips of you are planning on going to Cabo or the RIU.

1. RENT A CAR ONLINE BEFORE YOU GO. We rented from Payless online and paid $11.50 per day. We had a Dodge Neon. They will try to sell you the "extra" insurance for $14 additional per day-but we did not need it. Just check with your car insurance provider before you leave and find out what is covered when you rent a car. Taxis are $10 wach way to Cabo and a shuttle from the airport is about $50 per couple. Do the math. Rent a car and drive into Cabo (about a 10 minute drive) 10 times per day if you want. DON"T BE SCARED TO DRIVE IN MEXICO. It was safe and there is only 1 road (Highway1) so you can't get lost. Rent a car and you will have much more freedom and fun.

2. Eat at THE OFFICE ON THE BEACH. Cool restaurant and bar directly on hte beach. Just ask how to get there. There is parking available. It will cost $20 per couple to get there and back by taxi--so this is where the rental car is a neccessity.

3. TAKE A SUNSET CRUISE TO LAND'S END. Or, you can catch a water taxi for about $10 each. My mother disn't want to climb into the small boat because the current is strong and there are BIG waves. So, we took the pirate ship sunset cruise that leaves from the marina. Once again, a $20 cab ride to the marina if you don't rent a car. You can book the cruise at the Apple Vacations table in the lobby.

4. There is FREE parking at the Pueto Paraiso Mall (You can't miss the mall-it is just about all there is in Cabo) Just look for the signs. We parked there and ate at Ruth's Chris after the sunset cruise.

5. EAT AT LORENZLLIOS. It is on the marina and it is FABULOUS! We had crab claws, oysters, lobster... You can't get good seafood at the RIU. Take your money and go eat a GREAT seafood meal while you are on holiday. We spent about $200US for 2 of us and we had salad, apps, entrees, wine, dessert and cappucchino. YUMMY!

6. The food at RIU is good. Breakfast is best. Lunch in the little restaurant beside the pool on the left (as you are looking at the ocean) is the best. It was NEVER busy and the VIEW is GREAT. Go there and skip the main buffett for lunch.

7. The "gourmet" restaurants ----. We ate at the steak place and could not even cut the meat. Just like shoe leather. You are best off skipping the long lines for the reservations and just eat the buffett or go to Cabo for some good seafood at night. I know you will be tempted to get in the line, BUT DON'T. Sit by the pool.

8. As far a the "rednecks" and "drunks" someone wrote about...I have NO idea where they were!! The pool was quiet and very relaxing while I was there. However, I did not hang out in the swim-up bar pool. I just read my book and watched the parasailers and the cruise ships. It was great.

9. Be sure to tip a dollar here and there. Tip a waiter on the first day and then look for his section the rest of hte week and you will be fine.

10. have fun--I will be headed back to the RIU in September. The location is GREAT because it is so close to town. All of the other hotels (in the corridor) are at least 25 minutes from downtown. You are best off staying at the Rui and being close to all of the attractions.

Have Fun. I sure did.

Was this review helpful? Yes 35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2005

Stayed at the RIU Palace from 30April to 6 May and thought this resort was beautiful. Was just me, my wife and my 6 yr old daughter and couldn't of been happier with our stay.
-used Transcabo for the transportation, no problems at all
-our check in was smooth, fast, and no issues
-Room 2125 facing the main restaurant, the ocean, and land's end view (Jr Suite)
-the room was cleaned every morning, mini bar refilled each day, had no issues at all with the people who took care of our room
-the food (ate mostly at the main buffet restaurant) was excellent (a LOT of shrimp)
-active pool was fairly warm sometimes but was just refreshing enough usually, if you want to be more refreshed then head to the pool near the gym. Was not as busy as well. We usually stayed at the active pool, my daughter liked it better and was fun to watch all the activity there.
-never had a problem getting chairs at the pool, in fact if you wanted to sit closer to the pool and there were no chairs, one of the staff usually helped us haul stuff over
-there were bees around the area but I don't think they really were after people, they usually hang out at the pool bar and the bartenders don't seem to mind them
-only went to one specialty restaurant, Mexican, and was happier with the buffet. They were understaffed at the specialty and did not have the greatest service (plus only 5 main course choices, and bringing a 6 yr old a full adult meal seemed like such a waste)
-the line up for the specialty restaurants seemed a bit absurd to me, no way was I going to do that. We did book some other times (ending up going to buffet instead though) and to do that we just went after the line was gone. Also I noticed the restaurants don't seem to be full after all those reservations anyway, I am sure you could get in if you just walked up and tipped a bit at the front door
-The kids club was great, Carolina is doing a great job and my daugher had a LOT of fun with them (she was one tired little girl this trip)
-booked Scuba and glass bottom boat through Scuba Caribe (at the resort) and have to say both experiences went extremely well
-I have read a lot of comments about weak drinks, well if you think so, ask for more alcohol. I do not think they were weak, it just seems you can take in more when you are outside by the pool (I brought an insulated container and would usually get them to use that instead of a glass)
-not sure if tipping helps anything or not, they do appreciate it but overall I can't say that it got us better service
-walk to Cabo town took about about 1 hour on the beach, the sand is soft but it was good exercise (and if a 6 yr old can do it then anyone should be able to). Watch out for the waves though, it can be dangerous.
-I think the people heading to this resort will change, I have to say I saw a lot of very, very casual, dress in the restaurants, interesting activity around the pool and resort that I have not noticed at other RIU's. This was our first stay at a Palace and was surprised by some of the guests. Could be in for a shock next time they go to this resort.

Also, I remember seeing comments about theft. One day my wife left the key in the safe lock sitting out and headed off to the pool. When I got to the room we had a note saying we left our key in the room and to come to the front desk (safe was locked). Went to the front desk and got the key. Nothing was missing from the safe, I was very happy about the outcome.

Our only real complaint was that this is the first RIU that did not make the towel animals...lol. Not a big deal of course, was just surprised that not once did they leave any for us.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Canada
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2005

We spent a wonderful week away for our honeymoon at the Rui Palace (May 9th - 17th). We truly enjoyed the weather and the atmosphere. We would definitely recommend this resort for a honeymoon vacation.

The service was prompt, the staff were friendly, the house wine was great (especially the white) and the buffet always had a good selection of foods.

We hope to return to this resort for our 1 year anniversary.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2005

Just returned from the Riu Palace in Cabo. This was our third trip to a Riu Palace....we stayed at the Playa Del Carmen one 3 years ago....there is no comparison to the one in Playa. Although the property is beautiful both inside and out we found that the service was lacklustre and the calibre of clientele was nothing short of a trailer park atmosphere. Taking into consideration that the resort is fairly new ( opened in Dec/04) and the prices are introductory there was reason to believe that because of this the rif raf had a field day ( or hay day ) with the discounts. We vacationed for two weeks and with each week brought a fresh busload of undesirable eager drunks who made fools out of themselves at the swim up bar. You know who you are.......we didn't need to see your moon when the sun was shining brightly all day ! The food was good at all the restaurants. The a la carte reservation deal truly ------. My husband and I left the pool area early each day ( the sun is out until 7 ish so there would have been no rush to go upstairs). He jumped into the shower and ran down to stand in line for at least 45 minutes to make reservations. On our last day we noticed that the line was no longer taking a vertical position. Most were camping out on the floor playing cards or drinking in order to get lucky enough to book into one of four restaurants. We tried them all because of my husband's patience and we enjoyed them all. The system has to change as it was not necessary to endure this at any of the other resorts we have visited over the past years. The other problem was location of rooms. There is a section of the hotel that is located directly over the disco. Choose this if you are hard of hearing or you don't mind the booming sound until 2:30 a.m. There is also a quiet side pool and an activity pool. We spent one week at the activity and then decided enough was enough.....we choose to relax at the other side and endured the frigid pool temps. Yes it was cold but refreshing. The gym was equipped with 3 treadmills ( 2 usually worked, one broke several times), 2 stairmasters an eliptical and NO FREE WEIGHTS. There were weight machines but the gym was sparse. There were 4 bikes as well. This translates to long waits if you want a treadmill in a resort with 650 rooms.....need I say more? The view from the gym was awesome, overlooking the ocean ( which is unswimmable due to a strong undertow) and the cruise ships. Watch out for the Horse dung if you attempt to walk the sinking sand. Your calf muscles will get a workout so you don't even need to worry lining up at the gym ! Many a fool or drunken hillbilly got caught in the undertow and needed rescuing. Be careful ! Cabo is nice, we walked around bought souveniers and ate dinner there......prices vary so ask first. All in all would I go back ? Definitely......they need to raise the prices by about 2 grand ......that should keep the undesirables where they belong at their 2 + star hotels.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
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: Camino Viejo a San Jose | Cabo San Lucas B.C.S. - Baja California Sur, Cabo San Lucas 23410, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > Los Cabos > Cabo San Lucas
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#19 Luxury Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#19 Family Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#20 Romantic Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas 4*
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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