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“Adequate” 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
Fountain Valley, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014

Visited the resort mid-August for a friend's sons wedding. Had read many reviews, including the "terrible", and just can't see how those folks got so upset over such minor issues. Flew down on Alaska from LAX, no problems at all there (actually very nice flight, had the TSA pre-screen, so no shoes off, got an exit row window seat with no one else in the row, happened to be Alaska's free drinks day, got through customs in under 20 minutes). Used El Arco transportation to the resort, nice new SUV, met us with beer, water or soda, and included a 1/2 hour stop at Wal-Mart (picked up toiletries and sunscreen). Check-in was fairly quick and easy, met with margaritas that were decent. Bellman took our bags (carry-on only) to our rooms in Building 5, top level. We requested the upper most level (like the views, breeze and quite that upper floors can provide). The room was nice, clean and decent sized. We did have some concerns with theft, having read the reviews here, so we started by not bringing anything that we were too afraid to lose (no electronics besides phones, just paperback books and wife's inexpensive jewelry). Safe was a combination lock unit, but we didn't use it, locked anything needing it in our suitcases with luggage locks, figuring we'd at least have evidence of tampering should anything happen, however nothing did. Just used the pay for play computers in the Sports Bar to check e-mail and check-in for flights when needed. Had a minor incident when I tried to figure out what the other dark liqueur was in the dispenser unit. Tried to get some to pour, and the bottle fell out of it's holder, knocking over the Rum bottle next to it, causing its stopper to come out. Had to plug the bottle with my finger as I tried to maneuver the other bottle back into it's position. Told the housekeeper about it, and maintenance fixed it the same day, but we never used it after. Mini-fridge was stocked at all times with soda, beer and large bottles of water. Something worth noting, which was not mentioned during check-in, is that the water in the bathroom (shower and sinks) is non-potable, as indicated by a small decal on the mirror. Be carful not to brush your teeth, etc. with it, and use the bottled stuff instead. My wife and our friend thought the mattresses were way too hard, and found them pretty uncomfortable, while I slept great and thought they were fine. Room was made up early each day, no problems there, even got towel animals each day, and fresh flowers (tipped the maid about $5 a day, may have helped, but friend who didn't got similar service). Temps were in the 90's each day, but room was cool and comfortable, using the A/C and ceiling fan. Spent most of our time at the pool bars and infinity pools, seemed clean enough, no issues there. Passed the area others complained about smelling like trash, and how that 10 seconds of minor malodor ruined your stay, I'll never understand. Drinks were adequate, all tasty enough, and as a big fan of good Rum, I was always able to get the Barcadi Anejo (not great, but completely serviceable in a mixed drink). Didn't think anything was "watered down", and watched them mark the date on new bottles as they were opened, and on the empties as they were discarded. Also discovered an amazing cure for any weak drink concerns...just ask for a double. Always tipped the servers a couple bucks for the first few orders, and they showed their appreciation by their attentive service (best money you can spend, very few places a couple bucks can go so far). Did have to deal with bees at the pool, who are attracted by the drinks. Secret there is to move near to someone the bees seem to like more than you. Also got a couple of mosquito bites, but our fault for not using DEET. No other insect issues, did see a good-looking Tarantula on the sidewalk one evening, but he made it to safety before being stomped. Food was adequate. We visited the Steakhouse for the wedding rehearsal dinner, and it was fine, had some issues getting side dishes and condiments out at the right time. Did the Italian Restaurant which was OK, but found the Asian Restaurant a bit disappointing. Only entrees available were the Tuna, which was way overcooked, and either Teriyaki Steak or Chicken (did the Chicken, rubbery with a splash of Teriyaki and a small bowl of Rice). Only did the buffet for Breakfast, and it was adequate too (not bad, not great). I aimed for the Mexican dish area, and thought the Chilaquiles and Sopas were fine. Coffee was good, fresh juices and fruit were very good. Only caught bits of the shows, but thought the "Broadway" spectacular was very cheesy. Native Dance show the next night was pretty good. Found that the Sports Bar was a much needed icy oasis when needed, chilled perfectly by the always on A/C. The hot dogs there were pretty good, depending on your drinking activities for the day (really hit the spot at certain times). I know it's just our experience, but I didn't find that anything was too far of a walk, or that going up and down the stairs was any big hardship. Not being a triathlete by any means, I saw it as bit of a low impact work-out, and convinced myself that each round trip to and from the pool earned me at least one more drink. Overall, had a great time, wedding was done well, landscaping is very nice, lot's of cool birds active in the mornings.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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5,133 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 (1,517)
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English first
Boca Raton, Florida
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014

Overall, it was a great value and in a great location. Our transportation took us directly to the gated hotel, and we never left...The food was mediocre, but the pools and beach were well maintained and room service was excellent. We went sailing one day, but it was very easy to take a water taxi to town and hop on the yacht.
The drinks were surprisingly strong, and the liquor and soda supply was always refilled in our room. I wouldn't suggest this hotel if you are looking for a good culinary experience or value fine meals each night.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed here August 23, 2014 - August 27, 2014. The resort is well kept and very clean. The food is horrible. We made reservations for the Asian and Steakhouse restaurants. The Asian was a buffet which was not much of a buffet. The steakhouse gave appetizers, your choice of meat, and your choice of dessert. We both got the ribeye which was OK. By the third day we ventured out to town to eat because we couldn't take the food anymore. Majority of our time was spent at the pools by Building 7 which is definitely the party pools. The alcohol is bottom shelf and the only beer on tap is Dos Equis Lager and Amber Lager. I don't think they clean the bar taps because the beer smelt like mildew. I got a deep tissue massage at the Spa and I would definitely recommend getting it. It was $90 which is about the price of good massages in the city (I'm from NYC area). If you are looking for a party resort and don't mind cheap watered down liquor I would recommend this place but I wouldn't return.

Room Tip: Building 7 if you want ocean view and short walking distance to the pools.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Victoria, Canada
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

We went to the Riu Sante fe for our "babymoon". It was a nice resort, we were there in April and the days were warm but evenings got a little chilly. The pools were really nice and people did use them but I found they were still a bit too cold to use, they are a few swim up bars. The view of the arches from the beach is great and you can hop on the water taxi right at the beach and they will take you over there. The food was decent, nothing to rave about but there was always something to eat. The resort grounds were beautiful, very clean and nice to walk around. The staff was very friendly. I would stay here again for sure!!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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dallas, tx
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014

I had the horrible displeasure of spending the day at the Riu Santa Fe to attend a wedding. We had inquired ahead of time what needed to happen for us to visit this hotel for the wedding and we were told that we could give the bride's name and we would be taken care of. Instead, we were assessed a day fee of $95/per person to obtain a day pass to attend the wedding. We didn't want to cause a stir so we just paid. But not before we had to stand in line, sweating in the lobby for thirty minutes. The lobby is open air, but there is no air movement and you just stand there and perspire.

After we got our wrist bands, we enjoyed the sights of douche-y frat boys walking around drunk and puking off their balconies. We could not have left fast enough.

Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
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Houston, Texas
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014

I'll start off by saying this, we wanted a fun party time resort close to town for a bachelor party and the Riu Santa was just that. It fit everyone's budget and was agreeable for a party of 8.

Building 7, pools, swim up bars, Sport Bar (open 24 hours, coldest A/C in the resort)

The Food was sub par at best (yeah I know it's an all inclusive, but man, it sucked), bottom shelf booze, leaking rooms (ocean view)...we had a big storm push through the second to the last day and we had a leaking roof, mind you we were on floor 3 of a 4th floor building. The staff offered up another, more interior room, and also informed us that all of the rooms leaked.

If you leave the resort, everyone is one a commission basis, so it's really hard to get a honest suggestion on a local place for dinner or drinks...but town is close by so you can walk around.

Other than that it was a great time, everyone in the entire resort is there to party and party HARD, so if that's your thing, you're in the right place.

I would definitely NOT bring any children here.

Like I said in the title, it served it's purpose. If I was in my mid 20's and not my mid 30's, I probably would have thought it was the best thing ever. Did I have a good time, yes, would I go back, probably not.

Room Tip: Building 7 is where the party is at.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Santa Barbara, California, United States
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014

After reading all the negative reviews, I was extremely apprehensive about what awaited us at this resort. I am happy to say that I can contest ALMOST all of the negative reviews. My husband and I stayed here August 18th - 23rd.

Let's start with the bad and just get it out of the way. The food is mediocre. If you're coming here looking for romantic dinners or a new dish to rave about, you won't find it. Contrary to most reviews, we didn't have trouble getting a reservation at the specialty restaurants (we did arrive in the lobby before 8am though to make them) but we did find the buffet more appetizing and stopped trying after our first two nights.

The first night we ate at the buffet as we had arrived too late to make dinner reservations. I have to say that for a buffet it's rather good. You can have or make almost anything you want really. A very fresh salad bar to start, then you can pick from any variety of other food. Use your imagination and mix and match to suite your tastes.

The second night we ate at the Steak House which seems to have gotten the best reviews. The worst thing is that the shrimp were not deveined. My husband made this lovely discovery after I had already eaten two of my shrimp. Having to de-poop your own shrimp before you eat them at a restaurant isn't really appetizing, however the shrimp WERE cooked pretty perfectly. My chicken skewers were dry and tasteless. The "rib eye" is not a rib eye, more like a flank steak kind of cut. That being said, the steak wasn't that bad after adding some salt. They did have some amazing Sangria though!

The third night we tried the Italian place. The appetizer portion of this particular place is buffet. So you get there, then get up to get your own salad and apps and then sit down for your ordered entree. Just a little weird and takes away from any atmosphere that might have been created otherwise. I think I have made better veggie lasagna with my eyes closed. It was mushy... I couldn't distinguish between pasta and veggie or cheese and it was pretty tasteless. My husband once again encountered shrimp that had not been deveined and just removed them from his pasta dish.

After those two disappointing meals we opted to just go back to the reliable buffet for the rest of the trip. The breakfast buffet is also just as reliable. All kind of eggs, omelet bar, toast/muffins/breads, tons of fruit and fresh juices, bacon and sausages, pancakes and waffles. You can definitely find something. A tip for anyone doing an off-site excursion where you might need a meal or even if you have kids and want something for them without having to go to the lunch buffet - for some reason they only have cold cuts at the breakfast buffet, so make yourself a sandwich then. The lunch buffet is much closer to the dinner buffet, option wise.

Okay enough about the food. Service was professional and based on the reviews, exceeded my expectations. We arrived and were handed a cold margarita upon check in. Our bags were put off to the side and the bellman said he'd bring them to our room; they arrived maybe 5 minutes after we had been in the room. The rooms were great! The beds could be a little softer and if you have a bad back I'm sure you might have an issue, but it didn't prevent me from sleeping. Everything was clean and the rooms were made up every day. The fridge has sodas, big waters, Dos Equis and 4 different liquor dispensers, very handy.

The property is beautiful and well maintained, very clean. We were in building two and our walk to the main pool took maybe 3-5 minutes. Unless you are elderly, carrying children or physically disabled in some way I do not understand how this can be considered a 'long' walk. The pools are amazing and so much fun! Our favorite pool was one, Cabo side with Enrique and Magic Mike as our bartenders. They are entertaining, friendly and made our days. Yes, there are some annoying drunk people but you are going to encounter that almost everywhere you go. Just ignore them and don't let them ruin your time.

Alcohol... yes there is only Dos Equis, yes it gets old. I'm mostly a beer and wine drinker, so you just compromise a bit. Mimosa's or just champagne in the mornings, beer with LOTS of lime until you get sick of it. If he's not too busy, ask Magic Mike to make you a FRESH margarita, it's ten times better than the mix! They also have a really decent house red and white wine. I started getting white wine in the afternoons and putting it ON TOP of a glass of ice so that the ice didn't water it down... worked great! Also, we didn't have a problem with watered down drinks either, all ours were fine. If you're going to start drinking at 10am, do you really want them to be overly strong? Oh, if you are a bloody mary fan, they make a really good spicy one!

You can walk to Cabo along the beach although it IS quite the work out. If you are reasonably fit and don't mind feeling like you got a work out then I'd recommend it. It takes about 45 minutes and by the time you get there you are ready to sit down, enjoy a cold beverage somewhere and cool off. We walked all through Cabo and had lunch at Tacos Guss, PLEASE go there to eat if you can, best taco experience ever. We took a water taxi back and made arrangements with the same guy for a pick up the next day to do the tour of the arch and drop us at Lovers Beach. Whatever you do, do not book things through the hotel, you will end up paying twice as much. Book something online or go to the marina and talk to the people down there.

All in all a very positive experience.

Room Tip: I don't think that it's necessary to have an ocean view room here unless you want to pay jus...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
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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