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“Relaxing” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Santa Fe

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Hotel Riu Santa Fe
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Camino Viejo a San Jose | Cabo San Lucas, Cabo San Lucas 23410, Mexico   |  
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Best Fall Getaway
Ranked #36 of 66 hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Relaxing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Two pools for a choice of quiet and resort/fun. Good value/all-inclusive.

Location is a hike from Medano Beach and about a $10+ taxi per person to town.

The steak restaurant was the best. I would pass on the Asian restaurant.

Making reservations at restaurants a hassle - have to be up at 7am to get in.

Room Tip: Even though a hassle, get at the reservations desk at 645am to make dinner reservations at steak hou...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,227)
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English first
New York, New York, United States
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

All the general stuff has been covered 100s of times so here are some other things I think you should be aware of:

Liars - because every time I went to either of the main pool bars to get a cocktail the liquor was so watered down I couldn't tell I'd had an alcoholic drink after. When I complained I was told I was incorrect - didn't I see them pour the 'bottles' in my drink? Of course I did, however that doesn't mean they had any alcohol in them. I had the same experience every time so I stopped trying. It's a total disgrace since the all-inclusive liquor is one of the main reasons many people go and they flat out lied to my face about it.

Thieves - because when I went to check out I found I didn't have one of the two room keys they had initially given me (my 1 year old daughter was playing with it...). The manager then told me that I had to pay $25 as a penalty. I said this was unacceptable since a) the cost of a standard key (no special markings and wasn't electronic) is <$5 in NYC and this was Mexico (!) and 2) it's antiquated to still have metal keys - all other hotels have key cards that don't cost anything if you lose them, so I shouldn't be penalized, esp as I'd stayed 2 weeks and so paid so much money to the resort. The woman manager told me I would not be allowed to leave until I paid the $25 and instructed the concierge not to let me get into my waiting taxi.

Begrudgingly I paid, however as soon as I had left I found the key in one of our bags so I called them to ask for a refund, offering to mail it back. They told me they would ask the manager but never called me back. I called 5+ times and sent multiple e-mails; no response. They were so desperate for the $25...the rudeness and aggression they showed me and my family incident totally ruined our trip.

I will never go back and I would highly recommend you to do the same.

Room Tip: Don't stay facing the main pool since it's extremely noisy due to all the (moronic) games th...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

So much at Riu Santa Fe is to die for - economical and all-inclusive. Beautiful buildings and grounds, well maintained. Great amenities. Very nice rooms. Great service and friendly staff. The pools are great - especially the infinity pool. And the Cabo area has great activities for all ages - golf, site seeing, snorkeling, shopping, etc. The climate is great. Very little chance of rain. We were there in late November and the day time high never dipped below 85.

While admittedly, we were not there during the spring break season, the variety of vacationers - families, senior citizens, international travelers, as well as young adults - we did not find the freely available booze led to any obnoxious behavior by guests. There was a great variety of entertainment on site.

As an all-inclusive, the food and drinks were bountiful. So what's the draw back? While the quantities of food and booze were unlimited, the quality of both left something to be desired. That's it...the food and booze were not the best. But if you can put up with that, this is a great vacation destination.

Room Tip: Spend the extra to get an ocean view room. That will put you in building 7, wrapped around the infi...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012 via mobile

Me and my husband came to the Riu Santa fe for our honeymoon and were very happy with this resort. From the second we got there it was amazing. This resort was very clean and very big. The pools were nice and clean and the staff was awesome!!! The food was really good, repetitive but very good. The beach was beautiful and we enjoyed swimming in the ocean so close to the resort, was easy to go downtown and lots of friendly people everywhere. Only thing I would change a bit was our room, our room had a smell to it when we first got there but other than that was good. Air conditioning worked and kept us very cool... All in all we had an amazing time and will be going back for sure!!!!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
antoine62
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

A 900 room hotel clean well kept grounds and rooms.Poor a la carte restaurants both for food and ambiance, horrible house wine and no other option than buy your own at Costco which a large number of guests did. The staff were very friendly and the buffet selection was awesome

Room Tip: rooms facing pools are your best option
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Vernon, BC Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

We just came back from the Riu Santa Fe in Cabo San Lucas. We have stayed at many Riu hotels, and this was our second vacation at the Riu Santa Fe.We had been there in January of 2010, after which we described this as one of the best all inclusive hotel vacations we had been on. Because we had enjoyed it so much, we were accompanied by a number of friends on this trip. Sadly, while we generally enjoyed our vacation, we were very disappointed in the hotel this time.
We found the ladies washrooms to be quite smelly by mid day and worse by evening. The majority of toilet stalls did not have working latches or locks and toilets seemed frequently to be plugged. The vents on a number of stall doors were broken as well.
There was one day were our room was not serviced at all, even though we brought it to the attention of the front desk before dinner , and one of our group had to call down to the desk on two separate days to request toilet paper be put in their room. It may seem picky, but this time the only towel animal we had left in our room was on the first day. Last time we were there, there was a new one almost every day.
The a la carte restaurants we attended were barely adequate, and after the third one we tried we decided the buffet was much preferable. After eating at the Italian restaurant, a number of our party of seven were ill – as, I found out from general discussion on the return flight - were a number of other people. At our sitting, the pastas we ordered (the pesto and the specialty seafood spaghetti) were in puddles of olive oil with little flavouring – and were, for the most part – inedible. The buffet restaurant was usually very good and you can always find something that suits your pallette, but I am sure that there was a larger variety the last time we were there. Perhaps it is financial cutbacks due to the downturn in Mexican tourism?
All the wine at the hotel was terrible. The white seemed seriously watered down had a slight tequila smell to it, and the red was both watered down and sweet. Our party ended up drinking water at all our meals as we all found both the red and the white to be undrinkable. This was another issue that was a common topic of discussion on the return flight, and we saw many people at the hotel who had traveled into town to buy their own wine for dinner. This was our 16th trip to all inclusive in Mexico and I had never seen this happen before.
The other major complaint from just about everyone we talked to (and ourselves) was the very bad internet access. The last time we were there, there was unlimited free internet access in the lobby and courtyard. This time you had 90 consecutive minutes of very, very slow service in the lobby only, which meant that if your computer internet shut down for some reason, you could not get on again until the next day. Many of our group and others could not access it with their ipods and tablets, and at least one of our group timed out within ten minutes of actually getting any results. Even the paid for $10 per day service did not work on some equipment. Not impressed.
For those who have not been there before – they do not exaggerate when they say the beach is not safe for swimming. This is a place where you do NOT let your children (or yourselves) play in the surf or anywhere near the water. At both our visits to this hotel, there were many, many people who suffered injuries from the undertow and the waves, and were in leg braces and on crutches. Not a fun way to spend a vacation. When I hurt my knee getting off the water taxi last visit, it was luckily on the day before we went home. At this resort you either have to stick with pool swimming or travel to a recommended safe beach to swim. One person sitting on the lip of the infinity pool, fell about eight feet to a concrete wall below. Two ambulances responded, and the word a couple of days later was that the man did not survive. Do not sit up on the infinity end of the infinity pools! Be careful, as well, on the tile stairs. They can be very slippery when even slightly wet. (Yes, I slipped but luckily only bruised my elbow)
Other than that, it is a nice hotel, and most of the staff are very polite and friendly, and very helpful. It is open and airy feeling, and the view can be terrific. There are a number of nice swim up bars as well as courtyard and sports bar. You can always find food of one kind or another at either the sports bar or the snack bar if you miss the regular restaurant hours. The pool decks are kept clean and there are ample lounge seats around them, though if you have a larger group you may have to do some chair, umbrella and table moving. The pool at the far end from the lobby (by number 7 building) can get noisy as it seems to be where most of the activities are, and therefore where most of the younger adults hang. Some bar tenders are much better than others. If you want a specific alcoholic beverage, be prepared to tell them how to make it. Otherwise, do not expect it to taste the same twice – the bartenders tend to ‘wing it’ when mixing drinks. Finding a Singapore Sling that resembles a Singapore Sling is a vacation long adventure and has been one of our goals over the past ten years of vacationing in Mexico. We have not yet accomplished it.
The best tours are ones that pick you up at the hotel and return you to the hotel to avoid you being gouged by taxi drivers.We highly recommend the Cabo Adventures tours. Our group went on the Desert / Camel tour. We arranged to have Polo, who was our guide last time we came to Cabo, take us out this time, and we once again had a blast. The lunch we received at their Camel ride/Desert Tour/ Turtle sanctuary and nature walk site was probably the best we had on our whole vacation.
When you get to the airport at Los Cabos, do not jump into the first Taxi you see. If you do take a taxi, before you get in, always ask how much it will cost. It should not cost more than $10US for you to get to your hotel unless you are with a group. We met an elderly gentleman who was conned into $60 US to take him from the airport to the hotel because he was traveling with only carry-on luggage and was out the door before the tour reps had gotten set up. If you are with a group like Sunquest or Westjet – find your tour rep and get on the bus – even if you have to wait for them! They will be outside the airport doors with their company signs and wearing company shirts. If you say you are with their tour, all they will really tell you is your bus number and where the bus is – they will not try to talk you into anything.
Do NOT let yourselves be stopped by anyone who tries to carry your luggage for you or lead you toward a desk. They are frauds and only going to hold you up to get your credit card number or try to sell you time shares or expensive tours. If they grab your luggage for you, they will also expect a decent tip outside -and they get nasty if you don’t tip them. The same applies to any trips into town. Walk away from street sellers of tours as they seldom have accident insurance. Ask the price of the Taxi before you get in. The hotel staff can tell you how much you should expect to pay to virtually any location. The local bus can be caught outside the hotel property and only costs $1 to get into town (about 12 pesos), and the same to get back.
Take any medications you may need with you on your trip – including gravol and immodium (or similar) . There is a Walmart closer by, but do not expect the pharmacist or the sales staff in those departments to speak English, and do not expect English to be on the labels of any meds you may buy there. Walmart prices are very similar to what they are in Canada – maybe a tad higher on some items. Costco is close by as well, but it is a bit more expensive than Costco in Canada.
We were told that the hotel will exchange Canadian bills into Pesos. They will not exchange it back, and they will not exchange US funds. They do not take Travelers Cheques of any kind, and I don’t think the bank does any more either. If you want to change US funds to pesos, you will have to do it at a bank. There is one right beside Walmart which is about 15 to 20 minutes walk from the hotel. If you need to withdraw money, the safest place to do so is at a bank.
Do not tip in US or Canadian coins as there is no way for the Mexican people to get them changed into pesos.
If you are bringing back alcohol from Mexico: If you buy it in town, you have to pack it in your checked luggage – which they will weigh at check in at the airport. Overweight is about $25 US per kilogram. You can not take any liquids that you buy before you go through security onto the plane. It either has to go in your checked baggage or they will take it away from you. It is not all that much more expensive to purchase in the airport duty free. 999ml of Jose Cuervo Especial was $14US in the duty free. Vanilla was $6 per bottle or 3 bottles for $14. Cabo Wabo Reposado was $40US. When you buy it in the duty free at the airport (AFTER you check your luggage and go through security), you do not have to worry about the extra weight and it can be carried on the plane. Any food or beverage you buy in the airport after you have gone through security can also be taken on the plane. (for those that do not like airplane food). A large chicken subway with chips and pop was about $12US or 150 pesos. If you bring back more than your allowance of anything – mark it on your customs form that you did so. They fine heavily and confiscate it if you don’t declare it, and declaring it will probably cost you little or nothing.

Room Tip: If you want an ocean view, it is building 7. Say facing the ocean but be prepared to have more nois...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

Recently enjoyed a week stay at the Riu Santa Fe. Would definitely consider a return. Lovely resort, immaculate grounds, spacious and clean rooms. Make use of the safe in your room for valuables. Dined at all 4 restaurants as well as the buffet. The food was delicious and presentation was very nice. The house wines aren't great, but they are happy to pour your own bottle if you choose to bring one. ( excellent wineshop at the Walmart shopping area) We found the service to be outstanding - with the exception of a couple grumpy bar tenders. Not sure if the resort was at full capacity, but never had trouble finds lounge chairs at any of the pools. ( unless you are a fanatic about being on the perimeter facing the ocean...these spots would be 'reserved' by people before 8am). Small gym was clean and all cardio machines were working! Enjoyed some of the evening entertainment, but never made it to the disco. Seemed like there were fun programs for children and adult games & competitions poolside. Fun bus ride into Cabo for $1 or a taxi for $12. Rented a car for a day ( at the resort) and did the trip to Todos Santos and San Jose del Cabo. Good adventure!

Room Tip: Paid a bit more for an oceanview room. Quieter at night yet close to pool and guest services for di...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Santa Fe

Address: Camino Viejo a San Jose | Cabo San Lucas, 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#24 Spa Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#32 Romantic Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Santa Fe 3.5*
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

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