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“Great Resort with BIG Views of The Sea” 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 #40 of 69 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great Resort with BIG Views of The Sea”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

We've stayed at countless all inclusives around the caribbean (RIU's, Sandals, Grand Bahia Principe's, etc), so we feel we can give a well rounded review. We stayed at the RIU Sante Fe from Jan' 24 - 31 as part of a group of 10 adults. We'll just hit the highlights rather than go into too much detail: we really liked this particular RIU as it is designed and decorated in a very local/southwestern/Tex-Mex style which makes it stand out from the usual RIU decor. Very nicely appointed, very large, the grounds and buildings were absolutely spotless. We loved the cactus gardens along all of the walkways - very different from most resorts. The buffet was huge, had a great variety of quite good foods, and never seemed too crowded. It seems their restaurants and pool areas are large enough to deal with the high volume of guests. We ate at the Mexican and Italian specialty restaurants and really loved the food, the presentation, etc. The staff at this resort were simply the most genuinely happy and caring that we've come across for a long time. Didn't come across one stern face or any staff who didn't say Ola at the very least.

The very best parts of this resort for us were the dramatic sea views and the rock outcroppings across the bay. The beach is long and beautiful, but as everyone knows the water is not safe to swim in. The large and plentiful pools mostly make up for the no-swimming in the ocean.

Our only two issues were that the wine is probably the worst we've ever encountered (we weren't expecting the best by any stretch) and the nightly entertainment seemed to consist of endless audience participation bits (those get old after about the first 5 minutes).

Otherwise this is really one of the very best mid range all inclusive resorts we've been too.

Room Tip: Worth spending the little extra to get an ocean view room - they all tend to overlook the pool areas...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,339 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 (1,570)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

The Location- On the beach with a FANTASTIC view from the buffet, and an infinity pool that backs up to the sand. The water is rough here and it's a distance from town if you want to go out at night. So if you can afford it the Marina might be better for you in that case. We took $15 taxi rides each way which worked fine for our group. You will absolutely love Cabo, it's paradise.

The "All-Inclusive"- There are a variety of restaurants for dinner included as well as buffets for all 3 meals that have plenty of variety. This is Mexico so heavy on pork and fresh seafood items. Nothing spectacular but it's what should be expected for an all inclusive. The chips and salsa are great. The bar highlights includes Coronas Stoli, Bacardi, Jose Cuervo and Tangueray but you have to request them. Our group favorite were the mojitos with Bacardi. The alcohol in the room that is also included but less desirable alcohol brands. Tips are all included and there is a concierge that will make calls into town for you if needed, and will setup activities/excursions and transfers for you.

The Rooms- Pretty average. Not real up to date including the tv's. The noise from the hallways is pretty loud. Upon arrival there was supposed to be water in my fridge but there wasn't. I also didn't have an iron. I called but wasn't delivered anything for 30-60 minutes. Also, I had to have housekeeping come re-clean my toilet as there was nasty hair by the flush knob (eww). And the toilet brush water was yellow. The rest of the resort seemed very clean.

The Service- The staff at this resort greet you with a smile and try really hard. That said, They have manual keys for the room still (not electronic) so when I got locked out of my room it took 4 attempts and an hour before somebody let me in to my room.

My only other complaints- The nightclub needs to be redone, it's a dump and nobody goes in there. The coffee and the wine are also terrible. And there are no elevators to the rooms so it's stairs only.

The Value- When we went over a weekend it was about $125 for the room with all inclusive per person per night (dbl occupancy per room). I stayed by myself so I believe it was $160' ish after tax per night for me. If you can afford to stay somewhere nicer then do so. If you can't afford to stay somewhere nicer you will still find this to still be a nice place for an inexpensive vacay in Cabo.

Room Tip: Get a room near building 7 which is by the beach, otherwise you will have a long walk. It can be a l...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013 via mobile

Loved Cabo but definitely not this resort! I usually stay at the Riu Palace versus the downgrade Riu hotel which I reluctantly stayed at this time. In every trip I've ever taken, I've always been greeted with a Mimosa. Well not this time.. (Sometimes those small efforts go a long way with guests) I tried to upgrade my room at the time of check in and was rudely told NO! The staff member did not even attempt to check, which was really what ticked me off. The grounds had the look of a runned down arizona hotel, wasnt impressed. The room was old and a huge box sat on top of the drawers chest which I later found out to be a TV (Im kidding! But its like a 1996 zenith tv lol) The liquor selection in the minibar area of the room was filled with cheap no name liquors. My balcony view was that of an empty desert lot with old burned bushes and trash everywhere. Avoid building 2 at all cost! The buffet was awful, we didnt even bother trying out the dinner restaurants. Overall, I had a higher standard for Riu resorts but this byfar did not live up to expectations. I will return to Cabo but never again to this plain boring resort. I guess its true... you get what you pay for.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013 via mobile

From the airport to the resort and into the city, Cabo was amazing. The people we encountered were genuine and happy to see us. The resort was great. Very clean. The staff always had a smile on their face. The views were awesome. The swim up bar and pool volleyball occupied most of my time. The buffet food was so good, we skipped the restaurants. Took a guided adventure in a kayak around the "arch". The tour guide was awesome. I can't recall his name but it was perfect. We went snorkeling with him as well, really cool. Over all this was the second best vacation my wife and I ever experienced. Second only because our stay was short. I would recommend the Riu Sante Fe or palace in Los Cabos to anyone. We will go back.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Just recently spent a week at the Riu Santa Fe in Cabo San Lucas, It was one of the best times I've had. The staff were very friendly, the hotel is very well maintained and constantly being cleaned and groomed. Pool area was very nice and large but you had to go down early early in the morning to save your chairs for the day, the rooms were a good size and nicely updated. They have shows every night of the week at 9pm which turned out to be so good we watched every night in the outside theatre. Things that were not so great about this hotel was no store of hotel staff were prepared to change up american money. we went down there with a some smaller bills but some hundreds as well and they were all very irritated by the fact that we wanted to change up our money to tip their personnel. Another thing that were kind of annoying was the booking of the a la carte restaurants, they book 50% of the restaurant two days in advance and then the rest on the day of. So basically if you weren't in line to book at 7am you werent getting in to eat anything but the buffet that night. We tried all except the steakhouse and by FAR the Asian was the best. The sushi was awesome and the deep fried ice cream for dessert was to die for! All in all I would definitely go back to the Riu Santa Fe!

Room Tip: You would want to be in building number 7 to get an ocean view or to be close to the beach or the ro...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 5 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.
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We visited this resort from Jan 26 to Feb 2nd 2013. Travelled on a sunwing.ca package. Resort is very relaxed...you can dress up for dinner (or not). Trust us...when you arrive, give your bags to the porters and let them deliver them. It is a long walk to the rooms with a heavy suitcase in tow. Staff is outstanding...just one person who was less than pleasant in our entire stay (and maybe she was just having a bad day?) The resort is absolutely the cleanest we have ever stayed in...housekeeping staff was visible around the resort constantly. The wait staff and bartenders work such very long hours, but always have a smile for you, and seemingly boundless energy as they go about their tasks. One day early in our trip I left my beach bag with my IPad among other things hanging on the back of my chair when we left breakfast. We did not realize until about 15 mins later, but when my husband returned, our waiter, Joel, had given it to the manager of the main dining room and it was safely locked up. All was well with the world. Although it says no reserving of chairs by pools, you need to get up and get your towels on a chair by @ 10 am latest. Worst day seemed to be Sunday; other days there is a fair amt of tour activity and checking in/outs, so it didn't seem as much of an issue. You can walk to Los Cabos via beach, but this is a tough walk, as the beach is very steep, and one leg is always lower than the other. We walked about halfway by beach and then went up and travelled the rest on the sidewalk once the hotels got closer together. You can also take a local transport bus (school bus-like) with the locals for $1 USD or 10.5 pesos. Great way to get around. Exchange for pesos in Canada; better rate. We always asked if we could have our change in American dollars. You will need either USD or pesos at the Airport when leaving. Food was great in the buffets...lots of choice...a la Carte restaurants were Okay...we enjoyed Asian and Italian the best. Booking restaurants is a bit of a game...unless you get there very early in AM, for same day you will likely only have 8 or 9pm seating avail. They allow only one reservation per room to be made per day, so you cannot book for tonight and tomorrow night same day. We learned that they release only 50% of the reservations/times each day (always working only to the next night ahead), so if you are booking for the following eve today, and times are not suitable, you can always wait and try again earlier in the AM the next morning and get an earlier seating for that night. Resort guests are @70% Canadian with the rest seeming to be mostly US or South American. We highly recommend this property for a great and relaxing vacation. Can't wait to return!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We just returned, Jan 25th - Feb 1st. Nice resort, very clean and well set up. Pool and Swim up bars closest to beach are definitely the fun, party area. It was wise to save chairs by 8am (we were a group of 6) but you could still find chairs later, just not your preferred location. Water was rough but alright if you are a good swimmer, we preferred the pool area plus no Bar down by the beach. Food was just OK but no one starved. The wine was terrible so we bought a few bottles at WalMart and enjoyed them at dinner, they were happy to uncork them and provide an ice bucket. There are very few public washrooms but surprisingly lineups were not a problem. I would not recommend this for families with teens or kids, didn't appear to be much for them to do. Overall a great week and we would return.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 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:
#15 Spa Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#32 Family 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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