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“the most amazing resort!!” 5 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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Ranked #38 of 65 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“the most amazing resort!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

the riu sante fe was the best resort ever. The loser talking about overweight americans and international people by the bus loads doesnt know what hes talking about. The food was truly 5 star, delicious and huge variety. something for everyone! the resort was huge, but very easy to navigate. They have a big common area whereu shop, eat, and receive good entertainment the a la carte restaurants are in this location too. beautifuls views of the arch and downtown cabo. pool was huge! and drinks were delicous. th staff offer to do everything for you except whipe your bum! haha i had my chair pulled out at every meal and ws always checked on. 10 stars if a suitable rating for this resort.

Room Tip: no elevators in regular suites so try to choose something on the first 2 floors! oceanviews ave elev...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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4,558 reviews from our community

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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 (1,257)
Date | Rating
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English first
Denver, Colorado
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We spent Thanksgiving week at the Riu. The sun was shining the water is crystal blue
the free drinks were flowing all is good is this massive property called a hotel. We were
in building 7 which was as it turned out a great place to be closest to the beach and main pool. This hotel really caters to families with children, but watch out it’s a great place where it seems for the young 20’s who are just learning to drink like to hang as well.
We went deep sea fishing, tons of fun, and we were told we could bring back our catch for the chief to cook. We had a big dorado we brought back he cooked some the first night but then we went two nights later to request the rest of the fish that had been frozen be cook and low and behold it had disappeared, hum imagine that. I wouldn’t spend the money to go back, not just because of the fish, but after you check in you’re on your own the staff is so over whelmed with the number of guess, its please you at the door and then let them fend for themselves.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
VICTORIA,B C
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

I was not expecting to enjoy myself as much as I did. Yes the resort is large but really it is not that much walking. I felt I really needed a little exercise anyway. We were in building 4 & thought it central to everything. Our room overlooked the quiet pool & we were very happy with it. The fridge was a good size which was nice. Also having two sinks in the bathroom was a bonus. It would have been nice to have a coffee maker but I always bring my own anyway. I didn't realize until almost the end of the trip that the sports bar has a commercial espresso machine. I sat there a couple of mornings & enjoyed a wonderful latte. The food was very decent. A different theme each night in the buffet so you didn't get tired of the choices & there were lots of choices. We really liked the steak house but our least favourite was the Asian. I would not bother going. The wine is undrinkable so we just did a 15 min walk down to Walmart & also La Europea which has tons of wine & bought several bottles that we brought to the restaurants. They were glad to serve them to us.

The staff were wonderful especially Dr Love at the far ocean pool bar. He is a real pro & always smiling. We always stayed at the far side of the ocean pool closer to the arch as it was not as rowdy as the other one. The view was fabulous. Later in the afternoon we would go to the quiet pool. Lovely as well but definitely quiet.

We enjoyed the entertainment. Michael Jackson & Grease were favourites.

We went into town a few times & to the marina to take the water taxi to the arch. Found it too hard to get on boats in front of resort. El Kefe boat at the marina is very nice & clean & CheChe the owner was wonderful to deal with. $10 return is a bargain as he also gave us a wonderful narrative tour of everything. I also had a great massage in town for $20.

All in all I would definitely go back to the Riu Sante Fe & Cabo which I was not expecting.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the central location of building 4.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

2012/11/24-2012/12/01 stayed in building 7-- the one with the ocean views. if you dont pay for an ocean view, you will be in the main complex which is behind the riu palace, with a short walk to the beach. three infinity pools with amazing views. the Santa fe was the party resort. you can get a $4 boat taxi to lovers/divorce beach and see the sea lions. we walked into town along the beach. also there is a walmart across the street if you want to buy better wine than the crap the resort offers. we went parasailing and on the baja buggy tours..(dunebuggys)..the tour is along the pacific side and the views are amazing....we saw whales from the shore. The rooms-standard, nothing special, had to call to order water and beer everyday. amazing sunrises from the rooms in building 7. Food- not that great for Mexico...a la cartes -steak and italian were good. i got sick 5 days in....thinking from the chicken in the burritos. overall, the weather was fantastic, views amazing and atmosphere was good. good for 20-40's, not a lot of kids there, or things for kids to do.

Room Tip: building 7-is the one in the picture on the ocean., the rest of the rooms are in the main complex be...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Small town, Colorado
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

Pools and beaches. Views. Proximity to town and Arch.
Food. It's not good. Try the restaurants if you can reserve them.
Beautiful views. 5 minute water taxi to the Arch. 15 minute ride into downtown.
The service was wonderful, very friendly staff. Hotel grounds were meticulously clean, rooms were clean but tile floors need to be swept hourly otherwise everything sticks to your feet. Pools and beaches were the nicest I've seen in a long time. This was a cheap last minute vacation that allowed us some adult time in a warm location.
Down side:
Pools close at 6pm (wth?) and there's no hot tub.
The only free wifi is in the lobby for 90 minutes a day.
$65 charge if you lose your towel card.
The food - there's no sugar coating it, literally, it's ridiculously bad. Cruise food is fine dining in comparison to the resort food.
The reservation system for the restaurants - You can only make one reservation per 24 hours. The specialty restaurants are better than the main buffet but trying to find a reservation is frustrating. We'd try at 7 am and all they would have for the evening would be 6pm or 9pm. Half way through the trip we realized that because the hotel was only half full only 2 restaurants would be open each night. Poor system.
Plus side:
The weather, It's absolutely perfect.
The Riu is a stop on the Public transportation loop into town. It's 9.50 pesos or $1 pp each way. Save yourself $30 on a cab..
Alcohol was free - thankfully, because it's not great
Roped off area of beach where vendors cannot approach you. Expect to be ruthlessly persued constantly for sales.

Room Tip: Put a towel along the bottom of the door to avoid hallway noise.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Spent 11/24-12/1/12 at the Riu Santa Fe and loved Cabo.

OVERALL RESORT
For the price, the Santa Fe was a great value and we had a wonderful time.

The highlights: Very clean buildings, grounds and rooms. Nicely stocked fridge with water, pop and beer. Main pool music and daily entertainment gets a little obnoxious. Beautiful pools, views and landscaping. Food and drinks are fine (for what you pay, don't expect top-shelf liquor or gourmet food -- many complaints are unfair, we felt). Check-in was pretty slow, but check-out was a breeze. Great help with activities at various desks in the lobby, and getting taxis at the entryway. Great daily maid service.

Can't wait to come back to Cabo, but would try another resort next time. More detail:

FOOD AND DRINKS
The food at the resort is fine, the main buffets are better than the restaurants - not worth making any reservations. Stick to the made-to-order omelettes and fresh fruit in the morning, and rice, beans, fish, pico, guac, tacos for lunch and dinner and you'll be very happy.

The drinks are okay, but we'd rather pay a little more next time and have our choice of beer and liquor - the beer is Dos Equis on tap and the drinks are pretty watered down. Small cups, so bringing a mug for size and to keep it cold is smart. Can't drink the water in the room, but they keep you nicely stocked with big water bottles, and we had no problem with ice from the ice machines or bars/restaurants. Coffee isn't very good, and frequently out (same with hot water for tea) - plan accordingly if a caffeine addict ;).

TECH AND MONEY
90 mins free wi-fi per day, per device, in the lobby only (SSID: FREE_HOTEL) but can pay for wi-fi throughout the resort (RIU_SANTA_FE). Remember to turn your cellular/roaming off from your mobile unless you paid for an international plan for your trip. You can use wi-fi to make calls with apps like Voxer.

We could never get calling the US from our room phone to work using a credit card or the operator - not sure what was wrong, just used our mobiles for a few quick calls.

ATMs in the resort dispense pesos only. Check the exchange rate, but approx. $1 to 12 pesos for us. US dollar ATM at the Wyndham by the marina, but a $20+ fee. Bring a TON of small bills for tips and trinkets!

ROOMS
We stayed in Building 7 and were very close to the main pool, beach and restaurant for breakfast/lunch. May be worth requesting this building depending on your preferences (check out the map, it's a huge resort). Hallways are a little loud/echo, but no trouble with bar or party noise as some reviews mention.

Very clean room, great maid service, comfortable stay. A couple of towel animal/candy decorations throughout the week. There is a shampoo dispenser in the shower, but no conditioner or lotion, so be sure to pack your own. There is bar soap as well.

No coffee/tea maker in the rooms, and the coffee carafes and machines in the restaurant and lobby are frequently empty or not working, and not good when they are. May be worth packing some Starbucks Via packets if you're a coffee nut.

Our bed was large and a little hard, but didn't bother us. Some people we talked to had king/queen beds that were actually just twins pushed together, but we didn't experience this. Rooms have ceiling fans and the AC works great.

Partial ocean view room was behind a palm tree and in a corner, wouldn't pay for the upgrade again.

CABO IN GENERAL
People hustle you everywhere - from selling jewelry/henna tattoos/hats/pot/etc. all over the beach to 'escorting' you to your marina destination (for a tip, of course) and balloons/shots/pictures/etc. at restaurants and on excursions. Be prepared to politely decline frequently, and have small bills handy.

If you take a water taxi into the marina, be mindful that to return to your resort beach, you'll be charged a 'dock maintenance fee' of $1 per person to walk onto the dock you'll enter your water taxi from (then the return taxi charge, anywhere from $3-8 per person, plus tip, in our experience). Many offer a roundtrip fare, but we weren't sure how we'd find the same boat to return on.

Taxis (car/vans) to the marina or into town from the Santa Fe are usually $3/per person or about $12 total, plus tip. Smart to confirm your rate before you get into the car.

OFF-RESORT RECOMMENDATIONS

FISHING: We went deep sea fishing through the BookIt agents in the lobby, via the company Top Anglers. Our boat was a 35 footer, the Don Pancho, with captain Kiko and first mate Roberto. Went 8 hours, paid $180 per person for 5 people (so $900, plus tips) which incl. licenses, lunch, beer/water/pop. Caught 3 big mahi mahi and 1 nice marlin (three other marlin hits, but didn't get 'em). Great boat and crew, had an amazing time, can't recommend them enough!! Also saw a humpback whale, sea turtles and flying fish. First time deep sea fishing, and were fine with Dramamine the night before and morning of. The resort will prepare your fish for you, as will several restaurants in the marina (for a $6-8 fee), but we didn't do this.

FOOD: Went out for drinks and a dinner at The Office on the beach and loved it. Great margaritas, liquor selection, service and food (we had sea bass and the cheeseburger). Candle and torch lit at night, nice ambience, live music certain nights. Was a $15 taxi ride from the Santa Fe, but we didn't try to negotiate - you'll find most prices are negotiable.

SUNSET SAIL: Took the Tropicat catamaran sunset trip as we wanted a more relaxing boat trip out around The Arch than a booze cruise. Awesome boat. Great crew, one man in particular that stopped by each passenger frequently to check in on drinks, to take pictures for you, etc. Apps were pretty good (fruit/veggies/cheese/crackers and dips) and drinks were great (wine, beer, liquor). They used Sirius/XM for the jazz music they advertise. Got great pix.

TOWN: Went in for some flea market shopping, exploring and to grab a Waborita at Cabo Wabo and drinks at Senor Frogs in the marina. Didn't do Squid Roe, Giggling Marlin, etc. or any clubbing but that's very popular post-10pm. If you like to haggle, you'll be in heaven in the flea markets. Had a ton of fun, felt very safe, glad we checked it out vs. staying near the resort the whole time. Lots of hole in the wall little bars we wish we had visited - next time!

AIRPORT TRANSFER: Our airport transfer through Epic was great, we would definitely use them again - they stopped to buy us beer before taking us to our resorts, much appreciated after a long day of flights and a very fun start to the trip! Also stopped at a scenic overlook on the way back for some last photo opps. Slightly annoying about tips, but reminders/requests for tips was very common everywhere we went. About a 40 minute ride from the airport, longer depending on stops before you.

Room Tip: We stayed in Building 7 and were very close to the main pool, beach and restaurant for breakfast/lun...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut Creek, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

First off let me say that this place is horrible. If you like a crowded "cruise ship" vibe and don't mind low grade cafeteria food and the worst alcohol available and smokers everywhere and smoking allowed everywhere, then you may like this place. The Riu has average rooms and a nice location and the Infiniti edge pool is a nice design, but other than that this place is a dump. The clientele is a mix of super overweight americans constantly grazing and gorging and an odd international mix that gets dropped off by the busload. The facility is impossible to navigate, entirely too big - guessing it is around 1,000 total rooms and there is no "nice" or upgraded food or drinks to be had unless you drive into town or take a taxi. Please take my advise and avoid this place.

Room Tip: Book at a different hotel, dont fall for the all inclusive crap
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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
#33 Romantic Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Santa Fe 3.5*
Number of rooms: 902
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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