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“Best value for your money and the most fun !” 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
Sherwood, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Best value for your money and the most fun !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

This was our 3rd trip to the Riu for a girls getaway with 7 of us early 30's to 40. I've always requested rooms together etc, and never have asked to upgrade to OV despite paying garden ?? But for US ~ we only get ready and sleep in our rooms.

I've been here before but am always shocked to see such terrible reviews. From my perspective....usually people that expect a 5 star hotel ie, food, room service etc. We personally have had better experiences at the main buffet ~ which is huge, fabulous and a ton of variety. If you cannot find something to eat here any meal ~ you have food issues ! On a side note I'm a fit fanatic and even find ways to eat quite healthy here no problem. This year I did hear the steak house was better and Asian was great....Mexican was not good. Oddly, in the main courtyard nightly, they have something cooking outside the buffet building....EVERY night ....amazing food, grilled carne asada, fajitas, seafood ....YUMM! Some people complain about not having the exact brand of alcohol....but seriously ~ just buy your own . There is plenty of alcohol to go around and most people aren't staying at an AI because they want to enjoy only 2 quality drinks .
The grounds are ALWAYS immaculent....I've been t/o Mexico and not too many resorts this large look this good. We've stayed in several buildings...usually the back 1/2 nearest check in / lobby area. This year we paid for garden view but got into Building 7 ...large building closest to the ocean. What a difference in service ~ check in /check out ...no waiting for front desk crap. AND always accommodating/helpful.

Usually we always hear people stumbling home...no big deal ~ we bring ear plugs....THIS YEAR ~ we were in the back part of Building 7 ....did not hear ONE PEEP !!!! Was heavenly!!! room 7001~ 7005

The rooms are basic and clean ...nicer than some other older style hotels and all the conviences...fridge , fully stocked and a tip for the day kept our fridge restocked well and fresh flowers daily :)

THings I noticed this year that was an improvement : Increased bar service ......The lobby bar ( since last year ) now has champagne ( we stopped and picked up a case as last year they did not carry :( ) and a full espresso machine at BOTH lobby bars. We ordered baileys and coffee drinks after dinner and that was so nice! Additionally....the usually crowded crazy bar in the far left corner wasn't as busy....they has a small bar set up by the main pool (infinity) by the grilled lunch section....AND they had a rolling bar cart. Yes, it wasn't consistent , quick nor frequent....but was a great addition and I did notice a difference in the drink lines this year.

For the first time staying here I found the concierge to not really be helpful at all ~ little did I know until later that we had our own in building 7....THAT alone will be enough for me to pay for an ocean view ( even if a glimpse) or heavily request that building . Our concierge....made everything so easy...even checking out.

Past years and review have stated the disco stinks like puke. Well, this time....it's smelled like febreeze...much improved, no puke smells and everyone was in there dancing. Before there were only a few people in there ...as in under 12 people at any one time. Not this time. In fact a few nights....we ended up in the disco and not going into town ~ shocking ! LOL

Honestly, our entire group LOVES the Riu and the service !!! You simply cannot beat the value for your money nor the fun offered !!! I really feel most of the bad reviews are isolated incidences and people with very high expectations. Lastly, Please, thank you and a smile go a long way.

Room Tip: Building 7 is lovely, and rooms on the back side of any building are much more quieter. All rooms h...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,258)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Yakima, Washington
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

10 of us stayed at the Riu Santa Fe 4/20-4/27. We were greeted with foo foo drinks and treated like royalty! I had my elderly parents with us, so don't stay here if walking or your health is an issue. They did their best to accomodate us with a wheelchair for my mother when they could. They told us they only had one wheelchair, but they had several. The walk from building 7 to the main area for the shows and restuarants was blocks away. They should have golf carts for those that need them. Also, no railing going own into the pool bathrooms, which can be slippery.
Coffee in the rooms would be good.
The food was excellent! We ate at the Steak house twice and loved it. The Italian and Mexican were very good as well. The International buffet was awesome. So much to offer!
The Torte for breakfast and lunch had everthing you wanted. Loved the eggs!
I can't say anything bad about the staff! They worked so hard, and were so nice! Tip them!
The entertainment at the pool was alot of fun, as well as the shows at night.
Very clean resort. The staff was always cleaning, though I didn't see many supplies.
Rooms were good. Beds a little hard, however most beds are hard in Mexico. I have stayed at Palace resorts and this one was very comparable, but more rustic.
Would go back in a second! I am a travel agent and I approve...

Room Tip: Request building 7 if you want to be on the beach
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

I went on a girls vacation with 4 other friends from the Midwest and we stayed at RIU Santa Fe and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The weather was wonderful for the entire 5 days we stayed. The positives: Very, very clean grounds!! The entire resort was spotless. The drinks were very versatile and the bartenders were eager to make whatever you asked for. Pools and pool bars were always clean and classy. Negatives: The only entertainment is at night during the show times. I have been to other resorts where the entertainment staff is way more lively. The entertainment staff did walk around the resort in different costumes everday for our viewing pleasure. The food was pretty much lackluster and was the same everyday in the buffett. We tried the Asian restaurant and ended up leaving for the outdoors Fiesta which had some BBQ items and various mexican fares. Upon arrival one of our 3 rooms wasnt ready; we were told to come back at 3pm and it still wasnt ready. At 3:45 the friend was issued her key only to find the hotel staff STILL in the room cleaning it up! We asked to have the roomed switched but was told the the resort was full. Later that night she returned to her room to find it flooded from the toilet. The staff she called to clean it simply dried it with towels and then left her room balcony door open to allow it to dry. Her room was full of bugs! All in all the vacation went well. We did the sailing excursion to The Sea of Cortez, a Tequila Tasting complete with dinner and it was top notch! There were numerous weddings on the resort during our stay so it was definitely a couples atmosphere. I would love to go back.

Room Tip: Building 7 is the party building and closest to the Palace. The pool by building 7 is where all the...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cleveland, Ohio
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

This is my second review of the Riu Santa Fe. We last stayed at this resort 4 years ago. And it has stayed pretty much the same. The hotel is very clean, our room was comfortable, the mini bar was always stocked. The food was plentiful and very good with a huge variety, and the drinks were awesome, these bartenders really know their stuff. There was even a bartender that pushed around a portable bar around the pool area and made you anything you wanted. One thing I like to point out in all my reviews to all inclusive hotels is, bring your own insulated mug with you to take to the pool area. The cups the bar gives you are small. This will save you unwanted trips to the bar and keep your drinks colder longer. There is with no doubt a party atmosphere here, which I don't have a problem with, everybody was having a good time, nobody got really out of control. If you want a quite resort, go somewhere else, this place Is a place to have a good time at.

  • 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
    • 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.
nyc
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

I travel fairly often, so I always like to look for a good deal. At this hotel you have to take the good with the bad. I just returned last night from a week long glorious vacation in the sun of cabo san lucas. Although I am fairly young (late twenties), I was pretty concerned when reading about the total party atmosphere occuring in the weeks prior (during spring break...duh). However, it is fair to say that this resort was a lot of fun while not being totally out of control. Sure, you have some loud drunks, but big deal...that's what you get in an booze all inclusive. There are 4 pools by the beach (2 in the middle and 2 bar pools on the side). If you are looking for a quieter day, go to the pool all the way on your right and furthest away from main path. You can also find some available water front chairs there after 8am (all the ones closest to path and buffet are gone by 7am). That being said, you really do not have to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to get a chair, like some reviews say. 9-10 am was absolutely fine to get there. Unless you are looking to put a large group of chairs together, there are always chairs and umbrellas available in this area (not to mention the entire other pool that is close to reception and away from the beach). As far as the bathrooms go, down by the beach pools, the ones closest to the pool usually smelled pretty bad (despite the constant efforts of a tireless staff) and I found it more than easy to throw on flip flops and bathing suit cover and head into the buffett area to use those bathrooms-they were always pristine. The grounds are gorgeous, and if you are in any other building other than building 7, be prepared to walk. I was in building 2, but I found myself never in the room. The benefit of this building is it was a bit quieter at the end of the day when I was looking to sleep. The rooms are basic, but definitly not bad. Another tip- when you leave your room for the beach/pool, bring one of the large bottles of water from your room fridge. The bars give you little cups of water from the tap and I kept finding myself drinking too many things other than the water that I clearly needed as well. Also, if you enjoy beer as I do- the lager from the bars' tap was just gross. The tecate from the can (in room fridge) always tasted so much better to me. AS far as wine goes- stay away from it, just like other reviewers have said. I took the public bus (for 1 dollar)to costco and got some awesome napa wines (meiomi pinot noir, kim crawford sauvignon blanc) for great prices and enjoyed them pre dinner at night. This bus can be taken right from the outside of the resort gates, but I recommend walking to the main road and crossing the street and catching the bus there. This cuts off a good 10 minutes from your trip if you are going into the main town (they have to do a full loop before turning around). Now to my biggest issue with the resort; the food. Breakfast was always pretty good in both torote and the baja california. However, good luck if you are looking for egg whites or eggs that arent cold. That was the biggest issue with all meals. The food was hardly ever warm. If you are a chicken eater, switch to beef and pork for your vacation-there is rarely edible chicken. The poolside barbecue food was always a good choice. I ate only at the buffets though, and I cannot speak for the a la carte restuarants. As this review is becoming too long, all I can say is, despite not loving the food, I would definitely return as the good outweighs the bad. Have a great time!

  • Stayed April 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
    • 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.
Bellevue
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

We visited 4.12-4.18, stayed in building 5 facing Riu Palace garbage recycling dock.
Our family agreed that Cabo is beautiful, clean, felt very safe and location of hotel is central.

Food was OK. We tried all reservation restaurants, the Italian was slightly better than the others but the Mexican an Steak were so terrible we left and went to the buffet. Like most All inclusive options quality is declining with each vacation it seems whether it is a cruise or on land. Foodies would HATE IT HERE. Breakfast was the best option we thought and we also agreed that the main buffet's were best for all meals.

Location was great- we took the local bus for a dollar to town- picks you up right next to guards gate.

Pools were freezing- maybe two people would be in them at any given time. No hot tubs-

Drinks- I am a non-drinker. The ONE TIME I was well enough (had the flu the whole trip) to walk up to the bar by my building I asked for a virgin strawberry margarita. The bar tender had 3 other patrons sitting around the counter (so he was not busy) and actually said, "It is faster to just let you try this pina colada pre-mix solution from the machine." I found a way to beat the system though- had my 8 year old daughter order me one with her request :-)

Ahh, the Flu. This little tag along visitor was a major bust for this trip- and I do not blame Cabo- this one is on Seattle. The very scary detail to this issue was just trying to find a doctor through the hotel (to send to my room) After 5 attempts at 10 o'clock at night, a doctor came to our room. I was charged though from the Riu for all the dropped calls routed through the hotel at a dollar a pop. They knew the issue because I would call the front desk over and over telling them I kept getting disconnected but they would not adjust my bill? Its the little things like that as to why we would not return to this property- poor service at check in/check out.

The rooms. LOVE the bathroom, nice balcony-especially if you had a view of something besides a load dock/parking lot. That's it. The beds are just so odd and I am surprised that other reviews do not comment??? We were told at check in that there are only two options on the whole resort--One queen bed for double occupancy or two double beds for quad occupancy. Well here is where it gets weird- the beds are pushed together into some type of "love bed" configuration- custom fit to a head board so it is not by mistake. This combined with terrible linens, thin cheap mattresses fitted with egg crate toppers (I kid you not) and the low to the ground profile made for 6 uncomfortable nights sleep :-(.

Maid service and maintenance staff were as others posted, fabulous- hard workers. My concern though (as a clean freak) is the lack of cleaning supplies on the carts- Yikes!! I bring my own disinfecting clothes and wipe down but.....

Anyway- we will return to Cabo some day but not return to the Riu Sante Fe.

I think I would like to try staying on the gulf side of the peninsular. Supposedly better beaches.

Room Tip: Get room with view of pool or beach.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Bellevue, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

I have no idea how this hotel has so many good reviews. We booked our wedding here and their service for weddings was nothing short of horrible. It was as if customer service was a concept they never heard of. Two months before our wedding they changed the pricing of our wedding and moved our dinner from 7 pm to 8 pm. What couple wants to start their reception at 8 PM! After that we switched locations for our wedding, best decision I ever made!

We had our guests stay at the Riu Santa Fe because we had already sent out the invites. We had a rehearsal there on the beach and also watched another wedding. We were so glad we switched locations after seeing where they hold weddings. Their beach wedding site is right between their massage tent and a chain link fence! Right above it is the pool with drunk guests hovering over your ceremony, some guests were even yelling comments. If you are getting married in Cabo this hotel should be the last one on your list!

As for the food it's barely eatable, one of my guests found a hair in one of his pancakes. I booked this hotel so my guests would save money on food and drinks but all of my guests ended up eating out every night. The only positive is the service at the restaurants which was pretty good, I just wish the food was.

The grounds are pretty but be prepared to walk a lot. Also all but building seven don't have elevators. Also keep your belonging locked up and get luggage locks for your clothes. one of our guests had his suit stolen. Luckily it was after our wedding.

Room Tip: Dont stay here and definitely don't have a wedding here!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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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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