My boyfriend and I went down to Cabo Nov. 5-11 for the first time after a lot of hesitation. Neither of us had much interest in visiting Mexico due to the overall safety concerns the country poses. but we are thrilled at this experience at the Riu Santa Fe. We booked through Alaska Airlines Vacations and got a wicked deal. As our first choice for this holiday was going to be Hawaii (would have been over $2500 just for flight and hotel only) the value this resort offers was fantastic. We booked airport transfers with the package so that alleviated the stress of trying to get to the hotel. With all the pushy timeshare sellers as soon as you walk out,it's a bit much. The drive from the airport is approx. 30 min. you go past all the malls, run down down buildings, timeshares, costcos and walmarts. It's a weird mix of Mexico and America in Cabo, I guess kind of like Cancun. When we arrived at the hotel, the porters take your bags into the lobby while you go check in. Check in went smooth and quickly although they didn't have a room assigned to us when we got there,they found us one right away. We were placed in building 6. which we both felt after walking around for the week was a great location. Close to the lobby bars and entertainment, and buffet. short 2min walk to the pools by the beach.
our room was on the 2nd floor so had to lug the suitcase up, no elevator, but no big deal for us. the porter in the lobby did ask if we wanted our bags brought to our rooms and we did decline so that we could have them right away.
clean, modern, king size bed (not too hard, but not plush by any means)
Pillows are a bit flat and lumpy though (I'd go to walmart next time and buy one, lol)
washroom was in good condition, clean deep tub/shower combo (though very narrow, if you were a larger person you def. could not have a bath)
bar fridge and liq. dispenser - fantastic. restocked daily with litre bottles of water, soda and beer - brush your teeth with the bottled water, the tap water is not drinkable.
My only complaint about the room would be temperature control. It's either really cold if you have the AC on or really warm if you turn it off. There is a ceiling fan above the bed, but again its on fast or off, no other settings, so you get really cold quickly when laying in bed.
TV has about 3-4 english tv shows with spanish subtitles so if you dont feel like being out partying one or two nights you can chill in your room and veg out.
beautiful, clean, well layed out - there is always someone cleaning or gardening.
Location is amazing, view of the arches
Water is beautiful, (I thought it would be dirty brown like the Mazatlan) - though you cant swim in front of the resort. water is crazy rough
The pools- by the lobby is a huge pool with swim up bar. It seemed like the more mellow pool to be at if you wanted to get away or if you had the kids with you.
The pools near the beach were great, always had something going on, there are 3 infinity pools with swim up bars at 2 of them.
The only thing that was really annoying is the sound echoing down the hall when people come in late from the bar, as everything is stone it's sooooo loud, also people slamming their doors- can wake u up.
Dont mind the GIANT moths and small bats everywhere, they're harmless.
the drinks at the lobby bar were always great in the evening.
the drinks at the pool bars were good, but like anywhere different bartenders make the same drink differently
They had a lot of brand name liq. which was great, but they also ran out of it quick.
The wine in the restaurants is disgusting, I wouldn't recommend (buy a bottle in town and bring it with you)
The beer in the restaurants tastes off as well.
The beer at the pool bars isn't too bad, but it's all draft at the resort, except for what you get in your room.
The mix/juice.- beware if you don't like artificial sweeteners, everything tastes like it - which to us is gross. they don't tell you it isn't regular stuff either so if you had an allergy to it you could be in trouble.
The buffet was great. always a huge choice in food options. Most of what I ate was delicious, only a few items were not to my liking, but nothing to fuss over.
The dessert bar is huge, though some items that looked beautiful and delicious turned out to be kinda gross and bland.
The a la carte restaurants:
This whole procedure kind of annoyed me, and not because of anything bad at this resort, it's just the concept of having to go early to put your name down for a reservation. when we first got here it was hard to get an early seating for any of them. who wants dinner at 9pm? I dont know if i'll be around at that time. Being on holidays means not having expectations to be somewhere or plan in my books.
The service at the restaurants was fantastic,
tons of sushi
tons of fried food
a mix of all asian cuisines
The miso soup was good
If you dont eat ocean products like me, you can leave this experience feeling gross from the all the fried options.
great service, near the ocean
the fried food appetizer wasnt my thing, but my boyfriend ate it.
the soup was a tomato on one half the bowl and potato on the otherhalf- very good.
Cesar salad was good
We missed our reservation for this one unfortunately as i had a very long hangover that day. but I was told you got the same sort of pasta like the one you could get any day in the buffet.
the all day snacks option is kinda gross in the sportsbar (nachos and cheese-like 711 nachos, hamburgers and hotdogs that are in a fridge and you microwave, and pastries that look like they've been there all week and had a fly buzzing around in the display case, eww)
AMAZING! so warm, friendly and helpful.
everyone was always smiling, and genuinely seemed to be happy to be there and always said hello when you walked past.
Bartender work their butts off
The housekeepers do lots of towel art on your bed - so cool.
The entertainers work so hard to engage and entertain the guests. always something to participate in or watch.
WOW!!! so good. first day we got there and there was a Michael Jackson thriller tribute. unreal! I dont really even like michael Jackson and it was beyond fantastic.
Next day was Grease, then Broadway, then a bunch of other shows,
Disco seemed dead every night, the place to be on the resort at night was the lobby bars.
went to the disco one night after we got back from being in town.
only can use it in the lobby and you have to use your free 90 minutes all at once, you cant be on for 10 min and come back later and try to get on again, it will lock you out till the following day.
Onsite Bank Machines:
sneaky, have certain commands written in spanish and english, but when it comes to asking you to accept service charges it only writes it in spanish. wtf. so you dont really know what you're agreeing to. We figured it out with some help.
Bring lots of sunblock with you, we had 2 bottles and ran out. they are $20 US for a bottle onsite
Bring LOTS of small bills, $1,$5 USD
Tip the housekeeper daily- you'll get great service and it could safe you a theft
Tip the bartender upfront and you will get great service
tip the wait staff in the restaurants, they work hard.
Lock you suitcase when you're not in your room. - we didn't have any issues in our room, but we also didn't create opportunities for theft either. a couple we met had their laptop stolen, but they did leave it out on their nightstand.
If you take the water taxi over to lovers beach, it's really crazy trying to get in and out of the boat, be prepared for bruising.- on the other side people will assist you and then ask you for money and make you feel like a douche if you dont give them a tip
Going into town for a night out is approx. 140 pesos each way
We had a great time here, met some amazing people, relaxed, partied, chilled. Great overall value. Fun resort. a mix of older, younger, weddings, friends, couples, families - suitable for all without offending any one demographic.
On our trip the majority of people at the resort were Canadian - British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, much to the dismay of some of the Americans we overheard complaining about it, lol. There were a minority of Americans, Germans, English and Brazilians. We met some fantastic couples from Chicago, Michigan and Montreal. Going as a couple was fun, and quality time together, but we both said it would be a great place to come back with our friends in tow.
I would def. recommend this resort we didn't really leave it for the week, and don't really feel like we missed out. We had a great time. Will be back again.
Building 6 was great. Very central to everything. we faced the Riu Palace it was very quiet.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.