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“Fun place near the beach !” 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 #36 of 66 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Milpitas, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fun place near the beach !”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

This Hotel was really nice for the value you did have to wait in line to make dinner reservations but the food in all the restaurants were very good . The only thing is there is only one beer selection in the entire place . the rooms were nice our toilet backed up they came and repaired same hour. the noise in the hallways were loud in the morning and the grounds were very clean the disco was small but fun and the area around the resort was pretty fun to explore . I might stay again or upgrade to a better room . OH note to everyone there are no elivators in to the rooms on the third floor i am in shape but the HEAT and drinking made every step harder and harder :)

Room Tip: not the third floor carring your bags sucks ! and heels on the shiney floor um drunkin slip hazard...
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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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 (1,246)
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English first
Moorpark, California
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This was our second visit to the Riu Santa Fe, the first time being about 5 years ago.
Overall, this is a very nice resort hotel, with a lot of things to like. There are a lot of pluses, and a few minuses. For the reader's reference, we have stayed at quite a few all-inclusive resorts in various places in Mexico over the years, so I have a good base of reference upon which to evaluate this hotel. In keeping with my standard hotel review format, I will cover each area individually.

Resort Grounds and Layout: The resort is a very nice Mexican Hacienda-style design, with two primary sections; the upper section (main area), which has the largest pool, several buildings with guest rooms, the spa, bars, and all restaurants except for one. The lower section includes Building 7 with guest rooms, the disappearing-edge pools that overlook Land's End, and the two swim-up bars. We wanted to be close to the beach, so I asked in advance (by email) for 3 rooms in Building 7. This is where we spent most of our time, except to go eat at the upper restaurants. If you are going to ask for Building 7, you should be prepared to do some walking. The resort is well kept, except for one thing - no effective mosquito abatement. We had mosquitos in the room, and got eaten up pretty bad while eating dinner at the outdoor restaurants. This is one area that they really need to improve upon.

Rooms: The rooms we had were fairly nice. The bathroom was acceptable and large enough. There was a balcony with clothes drying rack, and a refrigerator which was kept well stocked with beer, water, and soft drinks after I asked them to do so. Riu also has the distinction of being the only hotel chain that I know of that has a 4-bottle liquor dispenser in the room. Why? Just in case you can’t seem to get enough at the bars, or prefer to drink in the privacy of your own room, or between the hours of 2:00AM and 10:00AM. An interesting novelty that we never used. The room was certainly not the nicest resort hotel room I’ve had, but was perfectly acceptable.

Food: The food was a mixed bag; generally, the buffets were not very good, but the a-la-carte restaurants were better. Typical for an all-inclusive, you get plenty of food included in the cost of your trip, but it’s not of the highest quality. I highly recommend booking your specialty restaurant reservations as soon as you arrive to make sure you don’t have to endure the buffets for dinner. The breakfast in the upper main restaurant was much better than in the lower (Bldg. 7) restaurant. The best food overall of the trip was the taco buffets that they had at the pool in the early afternoon – don’t miss out on that!

Drinks: Like all AI resorts in Mexico, you get one local beer selection. At the Riu, this is Dos Equis green on tap. This is something that I wish all of the resorts would change, and get with the program. American tourists want some kind of selection, but it is what it is; it’s not just the Riu. My son declared that he would not buy Mexican beer for at least 3 months after this trip, because he was so sick of it. This did not stop him from drinking plenty of it, however. Cocktail quality depended on the bartender. They have a limited repertoire of drinks that they can do, and they are never as good as the quality you get when you are actually paying separately for drinks. For an AI resort, I would consider the Riu drink quality to be about average. They have Finlandia vodka and El Jimador tequila, both of which are acceptable.

Entertainment: Pretty lame shows; we typically avoided them because we know from past experience that the shows are not very good. No amount of alcohol can change that. They do have a nightclub on site, which was fun for awhile. It’s basically the only late night entertainment to be had, so it is definitely a plus to have a disco on site.

Beach Access: The beach is accessed by a set of steps leading down from the lower pool area. Like most hotels in Cabo, the hotel itself sits on a bluff above the beach, so you have to go down the steps to get to it. Not a big deal. To get to the water, you will have to go through a phalanx of hungry vendors, which is also typical. The beach right in front of the resort is not swimmable – don’t even try it. You can walk about 100 yards toward town to a section of beach that is much safer.

Location: The Riu Santa Fe is fairly close of Cabo San Lucas (not in “The Corridor”), but it is not walking distance to the town/marina. We did walk from Medano Beach back to the hotel one day, but regretted it since it is not easy walking on the sloped beach. The cab/van fare is $20 each way for a group of 6 people, but I was able to negotiate it down to $15. You can take the bus, but this resort is actually about ½ mile from the main road, so plan to do some walking if you are going to bus it.

Overall Experience: We had a nice time, and it is very enjoyable to spend the day at the lower pool area, overlooking the signature rock formations of Cabo over the disappearing edge of the pool. Since both of the swim-up bars are also in their own small pool, it is very pleasant to hang out in any one of four pools in the lower outdoor area. We are not foodies, but we do appreciate good food. That being the case, staying with the specialty restaurants is a good idea. Would I stay here again? I would say that for my next Cabo trip, I will find a place closer in to town that is walkable, and maybe not AI. Although we have done the AI plan for years, I think I am pretty much over it now. I’d rather have less food and less drink, but with high quality.

A word about the airport: If this is your first time coming to Cabo, you should be aware that the arrival terminal is filled with hustlers who will lie outright to your face to get you to stop. The goal of this is to get you to attend a timeshare presentation. I recommend that your book your transportation in advance from someone reliable, like Victor's. Then, ignore everyone as you come out of the terminal, even if they tell you that you have to check in through them, they are offering free or discounted excursions, etc. None of it is true – ignore them completely.
Most of all, have fun and enjoy your stay. The Riu is a worthwhile place to stay, especially if you can get a good deal like we did.

Room Tip: Building 7 is closest to the beach.
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Reno, Nevada
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I can only say great things, The food, rooms and staff were outstanding! Sonia the director was a true pro. She took care of every need and managed her hotel like it should be done everywhere. If you are thinking about Cabo please give the Riu a strong thought!!!!!

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I honestly felt like I was on a cruise ship the whole time. The food is similar as well as the service and the clientele. If you like to party, this is your place! We don't, so it was kinda annoying, but it wasn't unbearable. At the pool there is always loud (but good) music and young drunk people, and the entertainment is the staff trying to get people involved in dancing and drinking contests, or volleyball games, bingo, etc.

The resort is huge. We were in building 7 and there are pros and cons to that. It is close to the beach and has it's own pools, restaurant, bars & concierge, but you still need to go to the front desk quite often, especially if you are leaving the resort, and that is a pretty far walk. The biggest problem I had was that I paid for ocean view and I really couldn't see the ocean unless I leaned pretty far out on my balcony. It was pool view, partial ocean view at best. It was also not easy to get to the rooms on the west side where our room was, because you have to walk through the whole U-shaped building around to that side, and there is no cut through.

The free wifi (90 min per day per person, all has to be used at one time) is only in the main lobby. We bought the extra wifi for the rest of the resort and it only worked in our room and it was still spotty. It doesn't really work by the pools or in the restaurants. The food was sub par, but I recommend the a la carte Italian restaurant, as it was the best one we had during our stay. The buffet food was lukewarm but other than that it was alright. I liked the drinks too, they weren't all that bad, but I'm not much of a connoisseur when it comes to alcohol. In our room, there were only 2 pillows but we asked for more and they gave us more without a problem. The bed was okay, but I am spoiled at home with an amazing bed. The bed spread is thin, but there is a better blanket in the closet if you like to have something thicker. The air conditioning worked great in the room, especially compared to the rest of the hotel where there wasn't any air conditioning.

I am not sure if we will be back because we can hopefully afford something better next time.

Room Tip: building 7 is far away from front lobby but the only building by the beach, and has its own pools, b...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Vancouver, BC
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

We travelled for the first time just the two of us, and could not have enjoyed our stay more. The staff is what made our stay above all else-- everyone offers a friendly "Hola!" whenever they see you, workers are up at 8AM cleaning and pruning the resort to perfection, and the servers constantly demonstrate genuine work ethic (plus they literally work around the clock!).

We booked our reservations throughout our stay (which is fine as long as you book them early in the morning). Definitely recommend the Steakhouse and Italian. Coming from Vancouver, the Asian restaurant was subpar. The buffet had huge variety. The only remotely negative thing was one night when we arrived 10 mins late at the Steakhouse and the host turned us away rather rudely (He said "Look at the time on your watch. Now look at the time of your reservation."). Instead, we went to the manager of the Italian restaurant who recognized us from breakfast and he was kind enough to give us a table without a reso. Now that's guest service!

We were quick to make friends with many other couples at the resort, as well! We didn't really enjoy the nightclub, Pacha, as they played salsa until midnight when we were there. We took the bus (2 pesos per person) into town twice and were surprised with how modern the mall and marina was. We also took a glass bottom boat to Lover's Beach ($20 USD each) where we could swim in the ocean, which was probably the best part of our stay.

We requested Building 7 and got a room on the 3rd floor. Our room was absolutely excellent. The AC made our room like a walk-in refrigerator. However, we did hear people in the halls and adjacent rooms into the odd hours of the night, and you will hear the housekeeping's walkie-talkies outside your door at 7AM. We also got a lot of mosquito bites in the nighttime, so we skipped housekeeping every other day to stop the bugs from coming in.

I was also kind of nervous from reading the other reviews on here, but I honestly feel that those who write unpleasant reviews are in some ways inviting a negative experience. From someone who used to work in the hospitality industry, this resort exceeded our expectations considering what we paid to stay there.

My best advice is to keep your things in the safe, leave tips for everyone because they deserve it (housekeeping, servers for every meal you eat, bartenders, bus drivers), bring bug spray!! Join in on the activities-- one guest won a free week trip back to the resort! Enjoy the beauty of Lover's Beach and visit the city!

Room Tip: It's true, Building 7 is the only one with elevators. During our stay there, the air conditionin...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Mount Holly, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

I have stayed at a few other all-inclusive hotels but was very impressed by the Riu, its staff, food and rooms. Plan to stay at some of their other facilities in the future as I was so impressed. Also joined the Riu club for future points for staying.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Staten Island, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The location of the hotel is great, the grounds are beautiful and spacious. A cab is 14 dollars per trip, so the more people you get, the cheaper it becomes. There is a city bus that will take you to Wal-Mart for any necessities. 2 of the pools have swim up bars and one of them is not connected to the main pool, which is nice because who knows what's in that water. 2 pools are right by the ocean, and the view is spectacular. It is a party hotel, which was nice because we are in our 30s and don't like dealing with a bunch of loud screaming kids if we don't have to. There are no elevators in the buildings, except for building 7, but we didn't mind. Drinks and food were average, but we didn't expect much. We went our to the city to eat a few times. I would definitely go back to the hotel if I was going back to Los Cabos. We did not have issues with mosquitos, at all, but I was prepared with spray after reading the reviews. The staff, from the pool guys to the barkeeps were all pleasant and easy to deal with. The water is a little rough, but take a boat to surfers beach, amazing!

Room Tip: Buildings 3 and 4 are in close proximity to the pools, ocean and restaurants.
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#23 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*
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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