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“Nice getaway at the Riu Santa Fe” 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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Ranked #42 of 69 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Regina, Saskatchewan Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Nice getaway at the Riu Santa Fe”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Stayed Dec 20-27/12. My husband and I stay at all inclusive 5 stars when we travel. We've learned that there can be alot of difference in a rating. We've stayed at Rius in the past (at the Palace next to this hotel a few years ago) and have never had a bad time. This trip was no exception, but a few notes...

If you are looking for that Riu "posh" factor, you will not find it at this hotel. The theme is rustic and charming. The resort feel is compact but not crowded, everything is within easy walking distance. Location is great. A reasonable drive from the airport, great views.

Our room was 4031 (building 4). The room was terrible. We reserved a room with a king bed. What we got was a room with two smaller beds pushed together. What was ridiculous was that one bed appeared firm and the other was totally worn out and had a huge sag in the middle. Esenially, my husband and I were expected to sleep separately for a week. When you enter, you are immediately hit with an overwhelming smell of mildew. I got an intense migraine and went right away to the front desk to get a new room. They did a lovely song and dance while trying to convince me they were trying to make things right. When we still didn't' have a new room the next day, I went back to the front desk, got the runaround until I insisted that we be moved....now. They moved us to 2123...a huge improvement. Staff keep the rooms tidy, but they do not feel remarkably clean.

Food was plentiful, but bland. Quantity over quality. Canadians...bring your own ketchup if you're fussy! My husband complained about the ketchup all week ha ha. The speciality restaurants were really poor experiences overall. Zashila (Asian) is buffet style, the sushi was tasteless and not even remotely authentic, the food was smothered in a red sweet and sour + fennel tasting sauce. It was not good at all. Best part of the meal was the fried ice cream for dessert...YUM! When we booked at La Mision (Mexican) I was hoping for some tasty authentic Mexican food...not so. The appie platter looked like pre-cooked frozen party food mix (jalapeno poppers, chicken nuggets, etc) it was laughable. Definitely disappointing. Torote (steakhouse) was our only option the last 2 evenings we were there (beware the foul odor of sewage on the walk there next to building 7). The first night was awful, another bizarre appie platter, followed by a low quality steak and cold potato. After our first visit, I didn't want to go back, but the second night was really impressive. Much better food preparation, presentation...and taste! Unfortunately, the service at all the restaurants was sub-par, terrible in a few cases. Considering that you have to get up by 7:00 am to book them, I'd recommend staying in bed and using the buffets or going to town for a dinner out.

For those not aware, the beach here is not swimable. The beach area is well maintained though, and peddlers are at a minimum.

Pool area is clean, bars staff are friendly and have a good selection of bevies. The pool is very large and divided into two parts, and one side was used mostly by fmilies with ids (which is nice if you want it to be a little quieter/adult). Resort rules ask that you not reserve loungers by placing clothing/towels, etc on them, but everyone does this. If you do not get there and do the same by 9:00 am you will likely have a very hard time finding a place to lounge.

We got a couples massage at the spa on our last day, and it was really lovely. The staff was professional and courteous, the massage was great, and the spa itself was clean and calming. A quick dip in their jacuzzi afterwards was awesome. Prices were reasonable.

Our week at the Santa Fe was just what we were looking for; a relaxing holiday after a stressful year. That's what we got. While we enjoyed ourselves, I don't think we'll be back to this particular resort. We much preferred the Palace next door.

  • Stayed December 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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5,361 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 (1,574)
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  • Italian first
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English first
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

Stayed here 9/26/12-10/1/12, sorry for the late review. Had an AMAZING time here. A few little hiccups but the staff was SO QUICK to make things right while keeping a positive attitude that I cannot complain! I must say the food was good for an all-inclusive at the "open" restaurants BUT the way they have the specialty restaurants set up in order to make reservations was ridiculous...getting to the desk by 630am didn't even seem to be early enough...we were only able to get a reservation once to what I believe was the Japanese restaurant. The food there was good but would have really liked to have tried some of the other restaurants. Also, the whole card for a towel set up seemed a little silly to me too. The beds are not great, not horrible and I slept fine...and its not like I paid uber luxurious prices. This is a large resort so plenty of room to spread out and do your own thing if you needed some space for a bit and little room for boredom. I would recommend to those traveling w/children or not into the party atomosphere to stay away from the "party pool"...however, my girlfriends and I enjoyed ourselves at ALL of the pools...whether we were partying, relaxing or people watching, there was a pool for it all...even the kiddie pool looked like fun. The entertainment staff is FANTASTIC...they are the reason my birthday trip went from already great to the best ever...RIU & their staff are a step above the rest w/their entertainment, birthday or not!! The spa was wonderful...I've had a few other spa visits at other locations home & traveling and RIU's spa staff definitely "held their own!" The grounds are beautiful and the location isn't bad...short cab/bus/boat ride to downtown or if you're up for it you can even walk the beach all the way. I really cannot say enough about the staff in general here......constantly cleaning (so clean!!), always helpful and always tending to even the smallest of details! I had even lost some of my friends when it came time to leave and was in quite a panic but the staff worked very hard w/our travel agent to not only find them but were also very consoling and considerate of our panicked state. While this was an all girls trip, I would have been more than comfortable traveling w/my teenage son to this resort. As far as traveling w/a significant other, I would have enjoyed myself but I am a girl who enjoys mingling and meeting new people...maybe not for couples looking for a more romantic, intimate environment. All of the ok, the good and the great things considered, the RIU staff is certainly the BIGGEST reason I would return and recommend this resort to others. Thanks so much to my travel agent for recommending this resort and to the RIU staff for making my 33rd birthday the best and most memorable thus far!!!!!!

Room Tip: We just had a basic first floor room right in the middle of the resort and were more than happy w/it...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

We booked our trip through Vacations to Go. The resort did not disappoint. Upon our arrival we asked for an ocean-view room and she gave us building 7. The walk to get back to the main building (Lobby) was enjoyable, so much pretty landscaping. After eating so much food you will need a little exercise anyway. Our rooms were very clean, and the staff there is amazing. Everyone is very friendly and we felt very safe. We ate at 3 of the specialty restaurants and they were all great. No complaints. The view from the resort is amazing looking at the rocks! Beautiful! We took a $10 water taxi over to the rocks at Lovers Beach and it was well worth it! We also walked down to the Marina/downtown area one day. The Marina area has a flea market for souvenir shopping. We tipped the bartenders, and the housekeeping staff daily. This was our third Riu, and I think it was the best. We have stayed at Palace Macao in Punta Cana, and Montego Bay in Jamaica.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Although I booked my trip 4 nights before the flight departed to Los Cabos, Mexico, I am extremely happy with my decision to stay at the Riu Santa Fe regardless of any of the negative comments/reviews I read during my research. With out a doubt I can unequivocally say that the view you will wake up too every morning by the beach is one of the best, and I have been to many cities in Mexico. I went to party of course, but if you need to relax you will have no issues with the Santa Fe.


I am a really picky eater and I do not eat pork or seafood. Moreover even if I did I highly doubt I would indulge in what they had to offer. More over the food is not as bad as other reviewers make it out to be. From 7 until around 11 there is an open buffet that is more often then not, stocked with all types of food. This is great because if one food group or area is awful you can substitute it with about 8 other things to make up for it.

Night time I got very cranky. I forgot to by snacks due to alcohol consumption. But the only food that was readily available later in the night or burgers/hot dogs in the fridge, and nachos with cheese. Which will do the trick if your under 35 and your going to pass out momentarily.

There are a few a la carte places that you have to book in the mornings, but your not really missing out. The Italian and Asian places were either awful tasting or just Kraft Dinner. The Mexican place on the other hand was pretty delicious. But they didnt have any Jalapeno Poppers, I wasnt thrilled. Until the fried beef Quissedias came, muchos cheese porfavore senyor.

The Room/Facilities:

I never used the gym, so I have nothing to add there. But a lot of people used it once and said they were going back but never really did. The spa has a steam room, sauna and hot tub. The two hot tubs can fit a lot of people and are great after along day of sitting in a chair tanning doing nothing. But you must make an appointment, they get antsy about that stuff for some reason.

Everything seems pretty new and in great shape, the lobby is nice and open with a lot of great seating areas. I had one room with 2 double beds to myself (long story) on the first floor building 4. Which was great because I was an equal distance to the exit/entrance/bars as I was to the main pools/beach. The TV is a box and has 3 channels that play 50/50 english and spanish. I hope you like CNN....from China.

Everything is clean and tidy and there are always people cleaning the rooms, pools, beaches and the grounds. The maids are great, I left my watch and ipod out and they would be beside each other tucked away in a corner with an elephant folded out of towels. Small touches help. Tip 50 pesos here and there and you will have the African Lion Safari made out of towels on your bed.

The View/Activities:

The one aspect of the trip that really made visiting Cabo unreal was the view. We arrived on a cloud day, but walking through the resort and looking upon Lovers Beach and the Arches Cove across the beach will make you release any tension and forget EVERYTHING.

For $25 a person you can take 10-12 people on a Taxi-Boat with Snorkel gear for the dat. They will drop you off and pick you up, but keep your stuff close, me and my friend got our sandals stolen when they were unattended. The ride to Lovers Beach/Divorce Beach is a beauty. The site as the view gets closer and closer puts things into perspective. The water is beautiful in the main area, but be weary for the Divorce Beach, theres a reason it has that name. The beach is desolate because swimming there is a death trap. U went snorkelling in the main beach area and it was great. WARNING. I am a great swimmer so I was comfortable. But be prepared to feel the water literally tugging your ankles and pulling you back. Even on the Riu's beach the whole shore is slopped downwards, even having the water up to your knees can suck you in. No exaggeration.

The locals on the beach selling you things, LOTS of things, are really annoying, just avoid them and don't look interested or more will come. Seriously. A lot more.

There is a great beach bar called Nikki Beach near the ME Hotel which is quite the sexy time.

We went Jet Skiing which was obviously fun, 10 people for an hour cruising around the ocean circling around Cruise ships and riding by Dolphins.

The beach sand is very coarse not like Cuba or other places in Mexico. The sun gets so hot that you are real happy when you get into the pool and its cold.
The pools are also great, a lot of different ones to choose from depending on whether your want peace and quiet or drinks and party. Lots of places to sit or lay down or be with your friends/family.

Nightlife: Mandellas is awesome most of the time (friday-sunday). Squid Roe, Pink Kittys, Cabo Wabo are some of the other popular places for tourist to visit.

The Riu's are only about $15 and 10 minutes away so its an easy ride. Safety was not really an issue, they locals at the bars and clubs will make sure no one interferes with your good time, and police are everywhere, but my friends and I never encountered any problems.


We went December 13th and it was cloudy and pouring rain the first night and the weather was windy and over cast for 2 days but then it got super hot the last 4 days which made the trip that much more perfect. Although it may get so hot during the day, at night time it got really chilli if you weren't drinking or dancing, so a sweater or two is definitely needed.

Staff and People:

The staff there are awesome for the most part. I tip the crap out of the people I saw most often like Jacob the bartender. or Rosalita the maid. This helps I promise. Because when your friends are thirsty and they empty your fridge, its up to Rosalita to fill it back up... which she always did promptly. More over tipping the bartenders is crucial. When 50 people want 10 shots every 5 minutes its hard to wait 20 minutes between drinks. The more I gave the faster they came.
When ever I needed something or had questions they all spoke very well and were quite accomodating. And even if they didnt speak english they would try there best to do what they can. If you ask for 7UP they may bring you 7 Cups, but you never know when you needs cups...right?

For anyone skeptic about going, please lose all your doubts. If your Under 40 your going to have a blast no matter what. The people who happen to go when I was there were all amazing, I have travelled to many places for long periods of time and I wont even forget a week like that.

And adults who want to bring families. Do not hesitate at all, there is alot for the kids to do and a many areas where you can have that peace and enjoyment. I had a young family staying beside me, they were amazing, I even lent there son an Old school Gameboy, he was 9 and have never seen one before. They bought me a bottle of tequila and left me an awesome note the morning they left.

For the price, the value, and the view there is not many places that can compete with Los Cabos and the Riu Santa Fe. If perhaps you are the type of person that wants more luxury and you fancy, go stay at the Riu Palace right beside, you can even come in and out from both resorts as you please which is a nice bonus.

I promise you will not be disappointed! Enjoy CAAABBBOOOOO!

All loaded pictures are my own and taken on my glorious iPhone5. Credit given.

Room Tip: Building 7 is the best building. it is the newest, has the best ocean views, its own connecting buff...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Overall the Hotel Riu Santa Fe was a great experience. The hotel was very great, especially for the price we paid.

I went with my boyfriend for a week. Our check-in was very fast and the guy at the desk was very friendly and let us know where everything was located. We opted to take our own bags to room because of previous experience with having to wait on them to get there via bellboy. Our room was big enough, with plenty of space for 2 people. Sure the room decor could be updated a bit, but we don't go on vacation to sit in our room so we didn't mind.
The food was really my only concern. Breakfast seemed to be the best. The omelette station was fantastic and so were the pancakes and French toast. Plenty of fresh fruit. And the oatmeal was good with a slightly sweet, vanilla taste. I had been eating yogurt with my fruit until one day it tasted quite sour and spoiled. The lunch and dinner buffets were just a bit lacking. Everything was very greasy. I was sick the last 3 days of our trip and 2 at home. Not sure if it was the food or water? The ala-carte restaurants were a bit lacking as well. We loved the fried ice cream at the Asian, the chicken and steak at steak house (do not get the ribs, so tough!) and the mushroom pasta at the Italian. The food overall was just a little sub par to other places. And the only 24-hour place has just nachos, burgers and salads but no dressing for the salads. This is at the sports bar.
The pools were fabulous. Plenty of room for all. We preferred to stay at pool 7, the party pool. There were always lots of activities. Fernando, Perris, Susie and the rest of the entertainment staff were all so great about getting people involved of all ages. We played a lot of beach volleyball, which included people of all skill levels and ages.
There are plenty of activities to do. We got 2 massages. Miroslava was so great! The best price is down on the beach. Almost half the price of at the spa. Although you can talk them into doing that price in spa, but we liked on the beach. We also did parasailing. Look for Ozzy or Umberto on the beach in orange shirts. The company was so fun. We had a blast and they gave us a great price. 80 for 2 of us. We also went zip lining with outdoor adventures. A must do! One of the most thrilling things I've ever done! We also walked down to the Mango Deck. It's a bar down the beach. Most people would want to take a water taxi as it is quite a walk, but we didn't mind. It is a fun little bar on the beach with a lot of entertainment and contests.
Overall, the trip was great. Food was only issue. View from Riu SF is so breathe taking. Staff always smiling. Carlos the bartender will make you drinks at pool 7 so fast and always with great attitude. Room always very clean and restocked. The servers were always so great and remember you everyday. We took a bunch of 1$ bills to tip the servers, bartenders, bell boys, taxi, etc which was well worth, their service was excellent. The pools could use a space just for water. It can take some time when bar is full and we like to stay hydrated.
Overall, I'd recommend Riu SF to friends. It was well worth the price we paid. We made so many memories!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

From the moment my wife and I arrived at the hotel we were met with drinks and fantastic service the entire stay. The pools and the beach are just awesome we saw baby turtles on the beach and hump back whales from the infinity pool! The swim up bar was great with never ending strawberry margaritas!! I just don't see how it could be any better at this price point I feel we got every pennies worth. We felt safe the entire stay and so did all the other Americans and Canadians we talked to. Go and you will not be disappointed and feel like you paid too much like going to Hawaii.

  • Stayed December 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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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

I would not recomend this place to anyone. We have traveled to many other places and even in mexico and we were not impressed at all. The view is wonderful and that is It. This was my honeymoon and we had booked with a travel agency and they had said the hotel was wonderful about doing things to help celebrate. Once we checked in they gave us room keys to someone else's room they had all their bags unpacked and everything! I was so upset! Once we finally got the key to the correct room after waiting in line and wasting over an hour it was very musty, old, & small. They didn't have anything we could upgrade to and looked nothing like the pictures. The food was awful! Their "nicer" resturants they just have a buffet for their appetizers and looks like left overs from their lunch buffet. We both got deadly sick from the food and spoke with other guest who were also sick as well. Just don't stay here! Breakfast was the only decent buffet but lunch and dinner was always a disspaointment.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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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
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:
#17 Spa Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#34 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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