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“Some Good Some Bad - Not a 5 Star” 3 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 #41 of 70 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Sherwood Park, Canada
Level Contributor
45 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Some Good Some Bad - Not a 5 Star”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Where to start....

We booked a one week vacation through US Airways Vacations, which was a mistake to start. I will post problems with US Airways and Terramar (the transfer company used from the airport to hotel return) in a different post as they are not part of the hotel.

When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted with drinks and a friendly reception. This is the good part. The bad part is that we had booked double adjoining rooms for a family of 5, but recieved two rooms with 1 bed in each room, not adjoining. We had also requested quiet rooms on the top floor away from noise. I had read other reviews about noise at this hotel, and don't believe there are quiet rooms to be had. This truly is a party resort and if you like to party till all hours of the night you'll like this place. A lack of security to keep things quiet was obvious with numerous revellers yelling and knocking on doors at all hours of the night. Reminded me of Daytona Beach during Spring Break. I don't mind partiers, but the rooms are not sound proof, and doors that slam to shut with vibrations echoing down the halls is annoying.

When we were in line at check-in there were many upset guests who were attempting to change rooms as well as there were problems for various reasons. Over a couple of days were able to switch rooms, but all rooms had various issues. We had problems with the air, no shower curtain in one room, lack of remote in another, maid service missing our room for cleaning, beverages not being restocked, noisy in room beer fridge, etc. A call to the front desk did fix things for the most part, but I don't expect to have to be doing that. We also were able to switch rooms over a couple of days so that we were able to get double beds.

The resort is beautiful and has fantastic staff who take care of the landscaping. Pools are nice and we swam in all. The weather was hot during our week and the water was nice in all pools. The resort was very busy while we were there and there was a shortage of lawn chairs. A lot of reserving of chairs which started at 6 am and sometimes "no reservation" rules were enforced, other times not. Staff were not consistent with how they dealt with this. Also numerous chairs are cracked and beyond their life and should be replaced. Also tiles in the pool have gone missing, and some sharp edges where the tiles are gone.

Food variety was exceptional. There is something for everyone. We tried all the restaurants and everyone ate well. Here however, there also some issues. We saw numerous occasions of bad food handling. Staff often rearranging things, or touching food product. Staff also swapping out steam table trays and spraying water/debris on surrounding food items. Two of the five of us in our party did get sick from something we ingested, and it is easy to see why based on how food is handled.

Our family have various food allergies and staff are ill equipped to deal with these. They are not aware of the food ingredients used and have not been trained in how to deal with issues like this. Cross contanimation is a real problem here, both in how food is prepared, as well as, how it is served, as utensils are utilized and moved around from one area to another.

Another problem around the food area is the amount of flies on the food, and wasps that were extremely annoying. We did notice that this was somewhat sporadic over our week and wonder if there had been some spraying that did occur to try and reduce the amount of insects in the area. A last and major complaint that we had was the wine that is available. While liquor choices abound, there is a real lack of anything drinkable in terms of wine. We did go out to purchase wine as did many others and the best choices was the extremely large wine store at the mall by the Walmart. Costco had a limited but good selection as well.

The coffee at the sportsbar is one of the best places to get your early morning java and nice place to socialize and meet people who pop in for their morning fix. I found staff very friendly as well and always smiling, or a big Hola wherever you went.

The entertainment at the resort is poor. We've been to other resorts and on cruise ships and this was on the weak end of entertainment. In my opinion the Michael Jackson show did keep me entertained, and the dancers at the resort across the various shows did have some moments. But these were limited.

A tip for souvenirs is to head down to the Marina which seemed to be more reasonably priced for things. A bus just outside the front gate to the hotel will take you for $1 US/person. We were told the bus comes every 10 minutes and you can come back the same way.

A tip to make your room quieter is to put a damp towel down on the floor against your entry door. It helps reduce some of the echo you get from the hallways.

Room Tip: Ask for building two. It's a bit further out. Higher floor is better and at the end of the hal...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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5,526 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 (1,630)
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
142 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

This hotel is a great deal for the price. The grounds are kept immaculately clean, the staff is all very genuine and polite, and there are activities and events each night for guests. The all inclusive hotel includes buffet style meals, pool side bars, beer and liquor in the rooms, and a wi-fi connection in the lobby. The food wasn't great, but it was okay for a buffet.
The beach bars have pools that overlook the ocean, and the view is absolutely amazing. There are also sand chairs to enjoy the beach - but it is a non-swimming beach.
The rooms were very comfortable. Big beds, outside porch, large room and bathroom. We could hear people outside in the hallway, but overall slept well.
Great location, only a $12 cab ride to downtown and the marina. Would recommend for a trip with friends or adult family.

Room Tip: Building 7 is right next to the beach bar and had access to the ocean. It's the only building wi...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheridan, Wyoming
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

We stayed at the Riu Santa Fe Jan 22nd thru 26th. Weather was fantastic but resort was not. The air conditioner in our room didn't work and by evening it was very uncomfortable so after the second day there I called and asked if they could look at it, this was at 9am. The girl at the front desk said that they would send a guy right up but that someone would have to be in the room. After 1 1/2 hours a guy did show up but he didn't have a clue what he was doing so after about two hours I was begining to wonder if I would have to waste my entire day waiting there with him so I called the front desk again and they didn't answer...at all. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that I had called down the first day to ask them to stock our room bar which was empty and for three different attempts no one answered at the front desk, the phone just rang and rang, yet when I finally made the 5 minute walk from my room down there, there were two girls and three young men behind the front desk but only one was with a customer. They said that they would get someone up "right away" to stock the fridge with beer, pop, and water as it is supposed to be but guess what? The bar was not stocked until the last day of our stay, right before we checked out! So...anyway... after Victor the service tech shorted something out and blew the circut breakers in the room, he disappeared up in to the ceiling to check on the a/c unit.... soon I heard what sounded like water gushing and sure enough dirty,rusty colored water started pouring out of the ceiling and on to the floor right next to the closet our clothes were in. I then went down and asked for a supervisor and reluctantly the young girl at the counter let me speak to her boss... they switched us to a different room but we had to carry our own luggage down 63 stairs, oh yeh guess what? no elevators. The help at the front desk didn't care about us as guests, all they wanted to do was to pawn us off on someone else... customer service was the worst I have ever experienced. I now realized how our travel agent was able to book this trip for so cheap at the last minute. As far as everything else was concerned? the pools were very nice and were cleaned daily, the food was not good at all, the best meal I had there was at the airport, The waiters and room maids were very polite and did the best job of all of the employees that we encountered. The bar tenders we not very friendly and took there time serving guests (slow). The wine was terrible, bring your own. They say the only beer served there is Dos Equis but I saw them changing out a keg at one of the bars and I could clearly see the name of an off brand beer on the tag. Keep your things locked up, a guy we met there said they stole his camera right out of his room, and a girl we talked to had her I-phone taken from her. Over all on a scale of 1-10 I give this place a 3. Despite the appearance..(the ground keepers did a great job) it is a dump.DON'T GO... you will be sorry.

Room Tip: Ask for Building #7 or for a ground floor room.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

This is my 3rd time in Mexico and a first in Los Cabos and RIU Santa Fe Resort. My wife and I stayed in building 5 of the resort.
We stayed from January 28 to February 4, 2013

I will be as honest as I possibly can in my review of the resort and trip.

Cleanliness: The grounds of the resort are exceptionally well maintained on a daily basis (day, morning and night - they never stop !), and swimming pools are cleaned and vacuumed daily.

Beach: A very long beach. You can walk a very long distance on either side. Although you are walking at slant and it could be discomfort to the back and ankles the following day.

Check-In: Awesome, the way it should be ! When we arrived at the airport and prior to getting on the bus to go to the resort, they had our bracelets put on and the hotel keys and towel cards were given to us, Therefore when we got to the hotel, no check-in line to wait for, straight to our room, got changed and began enjoying the sun !!!!

Resort Staff: The front desk staff or staff in general were just awesome to deal with. Very friendly and eager to help you in anyway they possibly can. Even if meant getting directions to the outside.

The waiters and waitresses were always there to make sure your glass was filled with water or your cup filled with coffee or if you needed something in particular.

Maid: Our maid was very friendly and always greeted us with a smile and an Ola (hello) every time she saw us and she made sure that all of our requests were met such as extra towels, etc.. All you need to do is leave a small tip every day (1$ US) and you should not have any trouble. Its amazing what a dollar can do !

Rooms: We stayed in building 5 which was central to the all the restaurants, buffet, main theater, spa, gym and the beach. Only building 7 is really the building you want to be if you want beach front or view.

Entertainment Staff: I guess they're ok, they really try hard putting a smile on your face and are very friendly ans pleasant. They also participated in the nightly shows and do a fine job. No complaints there.

Timesharing : Very surprised at this resort as we had no one hassle us for timesharing units which was great

Food: The food at the buffet and restaurants was good, no complaints there ! Let me put it this way, you will not starve during your stay at the resort. They have shrimps, fish, beef, chicken, pasta and the list goes on and on.

Wine : I strongly recommend you take a 20 minute walk to the WalMart store and buy your wine there. They don't mind at all if you bring your own wine to the a la carte restaurants

There are 4 a la carte restaurants and in my opinion all were good. We tried all 4 ! There's an Italian, Mexican, Steak House and Asian.

Shopping: You need to go to the marina as there's a huge shopping center which carry all the high end brands like Hugo Boss, Coach, Lacoste, and many more.

My Pros : In general this is a very clean resort and if you are looking for decent food, sunshine, adequate room and total relaxation you will not be disappointed at this resort. It definitely lives up ti its reputation - A 5 star hotel

My Cons : Beach is not easy to walk. Lots of under current in ocean so swimming is at your own risk and could be quite dangerous.
Should definitely improve on their wine - I would not recommend you drink it.

Overall my wife and were pleased with our stay at the RIU Santa Fe. Would I recommend this resort to friends or others ? Absolutely without a doubt !

Room Tip: Try to stay away from 1st floor rooms. There a lot of traffic and loud noise going on all the time.

Stayed Jan-Feb 2013 and traveled as a couple.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

This was our first experience at a Riu, and after this past week, it definately won't be our last. The resort was immaculate, the work force at the resort should be proud of themselves for the way they keep the resort clean. The gardens are beautiful and the pools are spotless, as well as the rooms. The staff at the restaraunts are very friendly. We had a regular waiter at the buffet whose name was Martyn, he was a fine young man who was very friendly and always smiling. We never had to ask for a beverage as he knew exactly what we wanted. The entertainment was great(especially Michael Jackson) and the daytime entertainment staff were excellent and worked very hard to keep the daytime events fun. Downtown Cabos was fun and had great shopping,we took a cab there for $12.00 each way. I was very surprised that the vendors took Canadian money and actually prefered it over the US. dollar.You should know that the hotel only exchanges Peso's and not American money. Cabo adventures had great choices for day trips. We did the whale watching, which exceded my expectations, that became a highlight of my trip. We were able to get within 10 feet or less of the Humpback whales. I highly recommend the cd. of the trip for $39.00.We also did the Luxury Sailing through Cabos adventures. The captain(Andrea) and his first mate Hugo were very knowledgable seaworthy sailors. We had a great day sailing and snorkeling with them. They showed us some great sights and served up some great food. I also recommend this trip, we had a great day. Our over all experience at this resort was excellent, and we plan to visit again.

Room Tip: Building"7" was at the rear of the resort on the water. It was like a resort within a reso...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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.
Peterborough, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

My best friend and I visited the Riu Santa Fe in September 2012. Upon arrival they served us a strong, but delicious margarita. When we booked we had requested two double beds however, when we got to our room we realized that they put us in a room with just a king sized bed. We just called the front desk and they changed our room right away with no problems.

The food in the buffet was great with a huge variety to choose from. The "grill" a la cart was my favourite and the Asain one was my least favourite, but I am a big sushi fan and i am pretty picky when it comes to that. The drinks were very good as well.

The view is honestly to die for. From the beach side of the resort you have the perfect view of the infamous "Los Arcos". Unfortunately, the ocean is not safe to swim in at all so, we paid $30 each and got to spend the day @ "Lover's Beach" with lunch included. I highly recommend that everyone takes this excursion it was amazing! A guide takes you in a glass-bottom boat to see the sealions and the diffrent rock formations then he drops you at "Lover's Beach", where you can swim safely, and picks you up at a certain time.

All of the staff at this resort were very friendly and helpful, however the entertainment staff were hands down, the most genuinly friendly staff i've ever met at a resort. Especially Paris, he went above and beyond to make sure that everyone was having a good time.

The only negative part of the trip was the noseeums a.k.a. sand fleas. The resort would spray everyday to keep them away, but one of the days they had run out of the spray and for half the day they were EVERYWHERE! So, it put a damper on part of our day, but once they sprayed later on, it was fine. Also, the moths were giant and would hang out in the corridors of the villas, but they were harmless.

Overall, this is a great resort to go to.

Room Tip: If you can get a room close to the gym you will be central to the important amenities like the main...
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  • Stayed September 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mesa az
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Spent 4 nights at the Santa Fe. Check in was seamless. Even got a drink while I was checking in.

Building 7 room was nice although bed was on the hard side. Ate breakfast at the main restaurant and it was very good. We aren’t 4 or 5 plate eaters and the heavy greasy stuff isn’t our thing. More like fruit and pancakes . Also had fresh made omelette.
If you get to the opening of the restaurants like we did for dinner one night, it’s a hoot. They open the doors and clap.. I guess it’s a celebration of food. We walked in and there was tons of food. From hamburgers to fish. All sorts of fruit and lots of other stuff. All freshly made. If you get there an hour later some things are just about gone and really don’t get refilled.

Steakhouse dinner was great. It’s at building 7 and you can sit out and watch the sunset.
Lots of drinking going on and all ages were involved. I saw 20 somethings and 60 somethings all having a fun time. Easy to get caught up in it so unless you have self control you just might be that person who goes to bed at 7.
Get up early to reserve chairs. The ones on the rails are the most coveted. I got up at 5.15 am one morning and I was 10th down the line..There’s about 30 chairs on each side..

Hotel was clean and they made our room daily. Restocked bar over other day. That was ok. Although we had run out of water. Entertainment was BAD...Kind of a joke. They can really seat a lot of people but don’t take advantage of it.

Wifi was another joke. I was able to log into it with my ipad but only got emails. Computer was super slow and wasted my wifes time.

Gym was so-so. 5 treadmills and some universal equipment from early 2000’s I guess.. I worked out the first day and then played beach volleyball a couple days later. Hard to be on top of your game with .04 BAC the next morning.

80% Canadian people. And they are fun. Will and Michelle had us laughing the whole time and made our trip that much better.

Never saw anybody complan or upset. Remember to tip the servers and bartenders. They did a great job and they work ALL the time.

Oh last thing I bought mine off Hotwire for $164.00 a night for 2 people. It’s under ( 3.5 star all inclusive ) in Cabo.

Room Tip: Dont stay on bottom floor...of any building..
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 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
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:
#19 Spa Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#32 Family 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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