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“Go but not for Spring Break” 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 #39 of 68 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Maple Ridge, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Go but not for Spring Break”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

My husband and I were at the Riu Santa Fe for 2 weeks from Feb 28 to Mar 14. The resort is really nice and there really isn't a lot to complain about... except the Spring Breakers ruined it for us. This was our first time to Cabo and the first time in an AI resort in a long time as we generally go to Playa Del Carmen and rent a condo.

The staff at this resort are amazing! Everyone was super friendly (especially Ariceli (sp) in the breakfast buffet go see her she will take the best care of you)

The al a carte: I had read a review saying the Asian was horrible.... it was my favorite and we made sure we went there twice. My hubby liked the steak house, it was just alright for me, I did like the baked Alaska a lot. The Italian was pretty good. I liked the salad/appetizer bar in both the Italian and Asian. The Mexican wasn't my favorite and I didn't like the little appetizer platter at all at the steak house it was all just deep fried stuff.

The Buffet: I am usually sick of the buffet after a few days and it really didn't happen here.
this resort has a huge buffet and there is always lots to eat and it was really good. If you don't like it you can always go to town and eat, we did a few times just for a change of pace.

the rooms; I wasn't totally impressed with the rooms. The walls are paper thin and hearing someone throw up somewhere above us is not my idea of a good time. I also would like somewhere to maybe sit and read if I choose to, and not on a plastic chair on my balcony.

I had read a review that you could only walk to town down the beach, so this is what we did the first time. It was an ok walk but hard on the sand and the slope. We stopped at The Sand Bar beach bar for a bucket of Do Esquis and we made it ok. We saw the rout on the way home in the $1 city bus (no big deal and way better than the $25 they want for the taxi vans) and asked the front desk the next day if it was ok to walk down the freeway. She said yes and it would take 10 min or so... now I don't know if she is a speed walker or not.. but it took us bout half and hour. And we do walk a lot. It was a good walk, we went to Walmart as well. But feel free to walk to town. for us it was great to just be off the resort and away from the all the noise.

The pools are really nice, at least the quiet pool was. I didn't get a chance to get into the infinity pools in the front area because it was standing room only with Spring breakers. The only day we could have gotten close it was cloudy and cold, therefore empty.

We did a whale watching cruise on a big catamaran, as well as a sunset dinner cruise on a pirate ship... totally recommend that. The guys on the pirates ship will show you the best time. it was a lot of fun.

the only real complaint I have is there is not table service at the shows and when you stand at the bar to get a drink they take a really long time to even acknowledge you. The pool bars were fantastic and they were a lot of fun as well.

All in all we had a good time, the weather could have been better for us. The nights were cold and even a few days chilly too. I think I would wait till April or May if we went back to Cabo.

Also if you go into town make a point of finding Mi Casa. it's a totally authentic little place we stopped at for lunch. Great food!!! and worth the trip.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
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NEPEAN
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

another very nice riu resort. nice buildings, nice sites and as always super clean. staff where great,food was good but not great.views from beach or pools is breathtaking.beach is very nice but can't swim there. pools are nice.entertainment is good but it's the same at all these resorts.cabos san lucus is a short ride away ,with lots of shops and restarants/bars.whale watching was amazing.lots of excursions if thats what you want.yes i would go back was a great holiday

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Appleton, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

I stayed at the RIU Sante Fe for a week in March 2013 with 6 other women, 6 of us in our late 40's to early 50's. Overall we very much enjoyed the trip and I thought it was a good value. We saw a lot of whales and some dolphins on a couple of boat trips and even from the resort, even seeing a whale while up parasailing.

We stayed in building 7. It was a fun area being near the beach and pools and there was a lot of activity going on during the daytime. It was fairly easy to find spots to lay on the beach or near the pools, even when we didn't get up early to put out our towels. Many days we returned to our room to find cute towel sculptures on our bed. I only heard noise in the hallways late at night a couple of times during the week.

The buffet had a wide variety of foods, but it was the same every day and did get boring after a few days. We ate at the Asian, Mexian and Italian ala carte restaurants during our stay, and they were very good. We booked our restaurant reservations in the lobby of our buildind and didn't really have any problems getting decent times....a couple times they were a day out but we were flexible so it didn't matter to us.

We attended several of the nighly shows which were a lot of fun. We also spent some evening time at the bar near the show and the Sports Bar, where we met a lot of other guests. The evenings tended to be a little cool and I could have used more light jackets and long pants.

We went into Cabo a couple of times and it was very easy to get a taxi for $3/person each way. Found that most stores in town did not take credit cards so we could have used more cash. The water taxi drivers were very annoying during the daytime, constantly offering us water taxis back to the RIU even though we weren't ready to go back. They knew where we were staying because of our wrist bands. We walked back to the Riu one day on the beach. This was a bit difficult walking because of the sloped beach but it was interesting to see the bars and other sights along the way.


Pros
- Fun entertainment staff; they were very friendly and good at getting people involved
- Very clean rooms and grounds
- Beautiful pools, with multiple swim up bars


Cons
- We had requested adjoining rooms with 2 beds in each room but this was not honored. We ended up with our rooms on separate floors in building 7,but fairly close together. We only got one room with 2 beds. One was a room with a king size bed....we did request one with 2 beds and got one the next day. The 3rd room was a beachview suite, even though we had reserved a standard non-view room, which would have been great but we had 3 people in that room. They brought in a portable bed for the 3rd person, which wasn't the most comfortable.
- The vendors on the beach constantly wanting to sell us their wares or some sort of excursion. They are roped off from the private beach, but they are located between the private beach and the water so if you lay out on the beach, they are right in front of you the whole time.
- In room refrigerator was only stocked every other day.
- Service around the pools was not as good as I've seen at other all-inclusives. We had to generally go get our drinks ourselves. Service at the bars was pretty good though...we did tip with American $1s which probably helped
- No fan in bathroom so mirror was always fogged up after showers

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
Lakefield, ON
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

We were 2 couples that stayed at the Riu Santa Fe the first week of February. We flew Sunwing from Toronto and left on time and arrived on time in San Jose del Cabo. Within 20 minutes of departing the plane we were thru customs, had our luggage (pearson airport take note)
and were pre-checked into the hotel. My husband was quite happy that they sold beer on our bus ride to the resort. We arrived around noon and our luggage was stored until our rooms were ready (note - if you have duty free alcohol do not store it, you may not see it again).

The resort is large as previously mentioned - feels like 2 resorts in 1 therefore depending on your mood you can experience a party atmosphere or a quiet one. The grounds are very beautiful and very well maintained. Lots of cacti. We were in building 7 and yes there was a bit of a walk to the main buffet and lobby but it only took 5 minutes.

We have stayed at a number of other all-inclusives over the past few years and this resort had the nicest infinity pool complete with an awesome view of Land's End. We also had amazing weather the entire week we stayed (sunny, hot and no rain).

Our room was as we requested - top floor of building 7, king size bed and a great view of Land's End (7403), since it was on the far side of building 7 it wasn't too noisy. They even had Hockey Night in Canada on TV 3 nights.

The food was fine for the most part. We were fortunate to eat twice at the steak restuarant and our 1st time was great and the 2nd time was disappointing. Also as previously mentioned the wine is very bad so I brought my own with me.

Almost all the staff at this resort are fabulous. Our favorite bartender was Armando.

We golfed across the street at the Cabo San Lucas Country Club and it was great. Guests at the Riu get special rates. We also checked out Cabo Wabo, Land's End and Cabo San Lucas. All are a must to see.

Yes the sand is quite coarse however the beach area is quite large. The Riu should utilize the beach area, perhaps installing a beach bar etc?

All in all we had a great vacation and would consider returning someday to this area.

Room Tip: building 7 top floor, far side facing Cabo San Lucas seems to be quieter.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Me and 2 of my girl friends went March 2013. (we are in later 20s). Food was just ok- but no complaints. There was a mixed crowd- families,singles, kids, adults. You had to walk far to get a good view of the beach. Riu Palace had a way better view of beach than Riu Santa Fe. Our room was NOT READY AT ARRIVAL. We had to wait atleast an hour. $10 cab ride to downtown. We NEGOTIATED $3 water taxi cab to Medano Beach. We parasailed and had to do some negotiating to get the price down- we paid $25 a piece. I recommend ordering the airport shuttle when you book the room--it was $11 roundtrip. The driver was 20 minutes late picking us up from hotel on way to airport--so make sure you schedule a pickup time very early. I RECOMMEND MEDANAO BEACH FOR LUNCH. We went to Mango Deck and Billygan's Island restaurants during day-- very affordable and decent food with GREAT beach front atmosphere and scenery.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We have travelled all over the world and have had various experiences with all of our vacations. We have stayed from an orphanage in Kenya to numerous 5 star hotels. We went to the Riu with expectations that were not extremely high. We had went through the reviews on Tripadvisor and took them with a grain of salt, realizing that you cannot please everyone. The reviews on Tripadvisor happen to be true. Cabos San Lucas is an amazing town. We had so much fun on the adventures that we took from ATV's to a bus tour of Todos Santos. This was our very first experience with an all-inclusive. We did not realize with an all-inclusive that you would eat the exact same food, everyday at all buffets. We had to eat at the buffet because we could not seem to get reservations at any of the 4 restaurants before 8:30-9:00pm. Not that we couldn't eat that late but we just did not want to eat that late every evening. It did not seem to matter when we stood in line to book reservations. From early morning (setting our alarm for 6:30am), to mid afternoon to evening. At 6:30am, there were 25 people ahead of us. By the time we got near the front, they were already informing people that they would be on the waiting list for the restaurant they wanted to get into. Only one evening did we get a reasonable time for dinner but that took us 3 days to finally get it. This is one thing the Riu definitely needs to work upon. Needless to say, we ate outside of the hotel a fair bit. The food at the buffet was not bad, it just wasn't that good for the amount of money that we paid for this trip. Another complaint - the WiFi. We paid to get WiFi in our room. It was erratic at best. Shortly after we paid for it, we complained and tried to get a refund. They told us it would take 3 days for that to go through. We ended up keeping it because we could not seem to get them to refund it to us. So for the week we were there, we could only sometimes get on the internet. As every other review has stated, the noise was unruly all night long. Staffing did not seem to do anything to try and keep any of the really loud people quiet. You could most definitely hear the people coughing in the room next to us and every word spoken in the hallway. We stayed in Building 4. Centrally situated. Other areas were much more noisy so we were pleased we were not in those areas. The hotel itself was fairly clean, no real complaints there. It is definitely dated. If you walk to the Riu Palace on the same property, you will see a huge difference in the properties. We complained about not being able to get reservations at any of the restaurants and we were given a pass to eat at the Riu Palace buffet. You only had to do that once to realize that we booked at the wrong Riu. We found the staff to be incredibly helpful in any of the circumstances that we found ourselves in. The wait staff, superb, no complaints there. We were traveling with our family for March break. We requested adjoining rooms. We had an emergency that delayed our trip and we arrived 1 day late. We notified the companies in which we traveled with what the circumstances were and what was happening. But when we arrived, they gave our rooms to someone else and told us because we were late we lost them. We have one underage child so we had to split up and have one adult in each room. We were not pleased with that, although we notified all involved that we were still coming and would be a day late and had paid full fees, we did not get adjoining rooms. I must say they did try to give us adjoining rooms 3 days later but we were already unpacked and settled. We still had a great vacation in Los Cabos but, would we stay at a Riu again....not very likely. Would we be staying at the Riu Santa Fe, definitely not. They have a few things that they need to work on as far a customer service is concerned. Not at the staffing level but at a more corporate/administrative level. I am curious if they ever read these reviews. More reviews are negative than positive. They would have much to gain if they paid attention to what their customers have to say.

Room Tip: As with every other tip, Building 7 is party central. The walls are paper thin and you can hear eve...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

I traveled with two children over Spring Break for a wedding.

The Good: Clean, large rooms. Well kept grounds. Friendly staff. Bar service is great - mostly top shelf alcohol. Last one picked up and first one dropped off for all my shuttles (less time sitting in a van - yeah!!). Nice views of the beach/peninsula. March weather is the perfect time to be in Cabo - bring a light jacket for morning and evening but during the day you are comfortable in shorts no matter the activity. We booked excursions through Cabo Adventures and highly recommend the whale watching and zip line activites. We also did the camel ride which was ok. They are top notch. Beach wedding - ceremony was beautiful, excellent officiant.

The Bad: Archaic system - they use envelopes and actual keys, no computers, no ability to leave messages for other rooms or find out room numbers. Front desk staff not truly bilingual - they know their specific job and that's it - can't answer any other questions (like where are the two backpacks that were with my luggage that didn't make it to my room?). LOUD - routinely had noise as late (early?) as 4:30 am - hallways echo and walls are thin. Food is blah - even when you make reservations for their non-buffet restaurants, the food you order is just the same as on a buffet but plated and served by a waiter - after one day it all tastes the same - no bar service in the restaurants (only beer and very bad wine). Spring Break college kids - drunk all hours of the day, language is terrible so we didn't get to really enjoy any of the evening on-site activities. Wedding planning didn't seem very seamless - the bride spent alot of time talking to the front desk about vouchers and guests and other things. Wedding Ceremony - beautiful ocean views to the left, to the right a construction fence, and behind us the thumping of the music at the pool and a crowd of drunk people hanging over the ledge watching and cheering.

Room Tip: Don't get a room with a view - these are quieter - be away from the pool and on a higher level.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 1
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:
#14 Spa Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#26 On the Beach 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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