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Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas
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Reviewed January 24, 2005

We just returned from the Riu Palace with our two kids(ages8 and 18 months) on Jan 22/05. I have to tell you that we went not really knowing what we would find when we got there, after all the reviews we had read on this website. I am happy to report that the Riu Palace, in our opinion is a great all-inclusive resort with friendly, helpful service, a great property, good food and drink and rooms that we weren't at all dissapointed with. I specifically went looking to find some or all of the negative issues that had been reported here and was so happy to not run into anything bad at all. As for the specific things I read about, this is what I observed.
1.Bees- I think they were wasps actually and we did see them around the hotel. My husband got stung while on a moped he rented. I don't think they were targeting the Riu, so chances are, you'd see them at any hotel here.
2.Service-from the shuttle from the airport to service at the front desk, service at restaurants or at the bars, we did not find anyone who was anything other than helpful and polite. Specifically, Jorge in the buffet at breakfast, Carlos at the main desk or anyone we stopped to ask a question.
3.Food-We ate at the buffet for breakfast and dinner most days and the Steak house 1 night. We did line up for 10 minutes for the steak house and it was a nice meal. Not into french or japanese so didn't try the others. We had no trouble finding something good to eat, there was a good variety of food.
4.Rooms-the first room we were given was located quite a distance from the main part of the hotel and it didn't quite look out on the beach. I checked it out as recommended before dragging our luggage there. I was a little far for the kids to go back and forth so I went back to the front desk and asked Carlos for something a little closer to the middle. He gave us a great jnr suite(we paid for) looking over the quiet infinity pool that had a king and a pull out bed. Yes, the mattresses were a little hard, but THEY ARE NEW BEDS!!!!! The bathrooms were big, clean with marble and granite with lots of new towels and shampoo, soap etc. There was a fullsize ironing board and iron. Ask for the safe key at the front desk. Fridge was restocked with lots of water, beer and soft drinks.
5.Mini-club-Jenifer at the miniclub(ages 4-12) is amazing. She really is great with the kids, they have a nice new clubhouse with clean toys, and do lots of fun activites at the pool and beach. My 8 year old boy met some other kids that he had a blast with. At night they have the mini-disco with awards for the days activites, one night they had a pinata and mexican fair.
6.Overall-the pools were heated, the grounds well-kept. Couldn't swim at the beach but we knew that ahead of time. I really have nothing to complain about and believe me I was looking for all the things I read about.
I just think that you get what you give. It doesn't matter if you are in Canada, the Us or Mexico. If you are nice and polite to people and reward good service with a tip or a thank you, chances are you'll get the same back.
The Riu Los Cabos is great and if we can afford it, we'll go back next year.

29  Thank cdnmommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2005

Here we go!
-Food: 3 star (just o.k but nothing to worry about, no one got sick)
-Grounds and Hotel 5 star
-Staff 4 star (still learning but try very hard)
-Security 1 star (use safe for everything of value, I did get a camera and charger ripped off)
-Golf courses (Raven) 3 star (Cabo Del Sol Ocean) 5+++ Star
-Bee Problem (no problem, saw a couple all week)
-Drinks 3/4 star (not that bad, if they are waterdown drink more!)
-Beds 3 star (hard but clean)
-weather 4 star (at my time Jan 15 to 22)
-Town of Cabo 5 star (great nightlife and food)
-Overall, we did have a good time, give this resort 1 more year and it will be 5 stars
-Beach 3/4 star
P.S Remember to Use the Safe!

17  Thank Party-Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2005

We went to riu palace from 1/17 to 1/23. We LOVED it. We have traveled a lot...im a flight attendant so we have been all over the world. We had a fabulous time. We were very sceptical after reading thesereviews, but gave it a shot anyway...well are we so glad we did. I truly believe people like to complain about anything and some people are imposible to please! That said.....we checked in early, got right into our room, which was beautiful, very clean, mini bar stocked....and restocked daily. since i stay in hotel rooms several days a week i think i have realistic expectations. the view was very nice and we were in room 4070 in the same wing as the disce....we slept with our door open every night and were never disturbed by the noise but we did go to the disco twice. its not webster hall but it is was you make of it....good music to dance to. the service was great and we never had to ask for anything twice. we had champagne brought to our room several times just call the front and ask for it. we had coffe and toast delivered to our room every morning with a full breakfast once and it was delivered at the time we asked. on to the food......no its not ruth chris, its an all inclusive. However we ate at the japanese resteraunt three times, the gormet resteraunt once and the buffett once for dinner. the gormet and japanese resteraunt were very nicely decorated and the food was well above par. i had filet mingon and my husband had lamb at the gormet resteraunt and it was cooked to order. the desserts there were so so, but anyone who has traveled knows foriegn desserts are not as sweet as american. At the japanese resteraunt we tried almosteverything since we ate there 3 times. as a joke my husband said he would have the beef and the chicken, and they ordered them both for him. So needless to say they never said no. The pools and the grounds are imaculate and clean. the drinks are available at all hours and are generally very good. order what you like and you should be fine. Go to lovers beach and go to the pacific side its so worth it. we did go into town to cabo wabo, squid row and some other tourist spots and it was fun to get out and see the sights and walk around. So to sum it up we had a great time and made the best of it and our expectations were met because we were silly enough to take some of these complainers seriously. So my suggestion is to look up on this site somewhere you have already been and liked and read the reviews, like the hotel i stayed at in paris got horrible reviews, so now i think of this site as kind of a complaint forum so i hope someone reads this and thinks twice about changing thier plans. If yu go thinking its going to be terrible, dont go. if you want to have a good time and not be super critical and enjoy a beautiful location then go and you will love it! any other specific questions ill be glad to respond amycdorris1@aol.com!

27  Thank AMYCDORRIS1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2005

My husband and I have traveled some. We've been several times to all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, the Dominican, the Bahamas and Jamaica. We stayed at this resort for your 15 year wedding anniversary. We had a standard suite and it was very comfortable and a good size room. I love English style hard wood and attention to details, and the RIU did a wonderful job. My husband and I are both in our 40's and we like to travel. I'd stay at the RIU again anytime. From a scale of 1-10, we both give it an 8. Here is our personal opinion:

Overall facility - Beautiful property. Mountains in the background beautiful rock formation off the beach area. Cruise ships come into the area so they light up the night. They don't come in that close to affect your stay, but they are interesting to watch and listen to when they're singling. For added bonus - there a sea lions about 50' in the water and they're fun to watch and listen to. And the skyline is absolutely beautiful in the evening.

Dining - standing in line to make dinner reservations before 9:00 a.m. is the only thing we did not like. But 4 out of the 5 dinner restaurants require a reservation and if you don't make one, then you'll have the one dining choice. Which really is not too bad because the dining room is very large and can accommodate hundreds of people. Buffet style selection with adequate choices. The dining room is very nicely decorated and the service is exceptional! By the way, this is where you have your breakfast. Great selection. Or order breakfast in your room. (The only room service.) Food - adequate but tell me what buffet style food has ever been over the top. Other 4 restaurants have good food.

Staff - they're new. Our bellman was there for 5 days. We found that out because after an hour of waiting for our luggage, we walked to the front desk to get it. (But we were walking around the property to see what was there so we really were not that inconvenienced.) One of the lunch restaurants had barely any service. We found ourselves getting our own water and drinks occasionally. But the other locations have great attentive staff.

Room - large and comfortable. Only one thing that I wished the room had and that was a coffee maker. Now the bed is hard, but not that uncomfortable. Separate sunken seating area to relax and watch tv if you're so inclined to do so. Entry hallway with a very large closet. (And they are creative with the towels if you're there for 5 or more nights. Standard swans - but a bunny - so cute.)

Porch: Most rooms have an ocean view. Not a full view, but a partial view. The chairs are padded and recline back. The porches have towel racks so that guest don't have to hand their towels over the balconies. (Which is a pet peeve of mine.)

Bathroom: Nicely tiled bathroom with dual sinks. Adequate supply of towels (hate when you only get 3 for 2 people.) Small but nicely tiled and comfortable tub.

Mini-bar - Fully stocked mini-bar which they replenish every other day. (Water on the property is drinkable, but not in the rooms. So use part of your water for your bathroom supply for brushing your teeth in the bathroom. )

Hallways - they're open, so yes the sounds of doors closing are loud and the flooring is tile so carts dragged across them do make a notice.
Pools - 2 very large heated pools. The ones where the water runs off the edge and looks like it flows into the ocean. Do not bring a float! Can't use them and they're not allowed. There are built in lounges in the water. (2 pools - 1 is the activity pool and 1 is the quiet pool.
Workout room - for a new facility, pretty sparse but adequate. Nice view and clean.

Spa - nice and you can have a spa treatment on the beach.

Beach - beautiful but hard to walk in the sand. But if you want 10 minutes down the property it levels out and easy walking. Plus the walk is nice. You get to see the other properties and walk to the marina. Bring cash so that you can stop at one of the bars or restaurants and have something to refresh yourself. Watch out for vendors. A lot of them. They are all dressed in white so you'll be able to tell who they are.

Bars/Drinks - plentiful and there are 2 swim up bars with their own separate pools so if you have children you don't have to worry about this. There are drink waiters who come around and will get you anything you want to drink without you having to get up. Even if you're right by one of the bars. And there are several non pool bars. One is like a sports bar with TV's and pool tables in a very large open area. Very nice.

Activities: There is a tennis court, horseback riding right on the beach, jet skies, parasailing, diving, snorkeling, walking, swimming, ping pong, pool, cards, darts, dominoes, etc. etc. My favorite activity was simply lounging by a quiet pool.

Summary: Overall very nice. Staff is new, but they are very friendly. Sure it's a work in progress, but overall a very lovely location and I had a relaxing time. My husband and I would go back and plan to do so.

18  Thank cmason2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2005

We stayed at the new Riu Palace, Cabo San Lucas from Jan. 16 to Jan 20. This is an absolutely beautiful resort, the largest in Cabo. I am glad I chose to stay here despite the early (December stay) reviews. This was our first time at an AI (All Inclusive). Yes, the Riu is going through growing pains but they are making great strides in correcting any problems or complaints.

HOTEL CHECK IN: When we arrived we were seated and brought a margarita. After paperwork was filled out we were given an envelope with our assigned room key and towel card. Also our wrist bands and safe key and lock. All very smooth and professional. All staff except the maids easily understood English.

ROOM: Our room was a Junior Suite with an ocean view balcony. It had a king bed, mattress was firm but not hard. I preferred this to a soft, mushy mattress. The mini fridge was stocked with Corona beer, Pepsi, 7 Up, Orange Crush, bottled water and club soda. Also there were 4 top shelf liquors of brandy, vodka, tequila, and rum. Our fridge was refilled every day. The bathroom had a tub/shower along with 2 sinks. Hair dryer was very efficient. In the double closet were an iron and board. There was a sitting area with a love seat sized sofa facing the television. Switch for overhead fan is by your bed light.

SPECIALTY RESTAURANT RESERVATIONS: For the 4 specialty restaurants, the new reservation system, as of Jan. 19, now has you waiting in the conference room with chairs. Previously you just lined up outside. Management is trying to make this system as comfortable as possible. They start taking reservations for the day at 9:00am. There are 2 seatings, early and late. For the winter, early is 6:30pm and 7:00pm and late is 8:30pm and 9:00pm. They stager the times so that the kitchen and staff can be more efficient instead of being hit all at once. Our service was just wonderful at each restaurant we ate at. The harder reservations to obtain are due to the capacity of each restaurant. In order of difficulty of reservations is Gourmet, Japanese, Mexican, Steak House. If you want the early seating at the Gourmet restaurant, I advise getting in line by 7:15am. Between 8:00am to 8:30am will generally get you early seating at any of the other 3 restaurants. Get a seat and then go get some coffee, juice, or champagne at the buffet. Come back and talk to others. I met a lot of people and learned from their experiences. The line goes quickly once they start as there are 3 women taking the reservations. One of the 3, Sugey was an absolute wealth of information. If you are having an anniversary or birthday, speak to a manager and see what they can do for you without getting up early and waiting in line. Ruben and the other managers really want to make your stay memorable in a positive way.

BEST TIP I LEARNED FROM WAITING IN LINE: Getting into Cabo San Lucas cost $10 per taxicab. The public bus system was 8 pesos/person. To catch it you walk up to the highway and you have to cross the main highway to catch it. Be very careful. Look for the green bus and ask for "central" Cabo. The tip is that there is a white mini bus that stops right outside the Riu gate and it only costs 6 pesos/person. Get off 1 stop after you see McDonalds on the left. To return back to the Riu, there are bus stops just past the Puerto Paraiso Mall. Look for the white van with "Hotel Riu" written on the front windshield.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: Bring lots of $1 bills for tipping. I suggest at least $2 per day for the maid and $1 per person for the waiters and bartender. They appreciate it very much.

Try speaking a little Spanish. A simple "hola" or "buenos dias" always brought a smile and a positive response.

As you can tell, I highly recommend this hotel/resort. Look at the reviews from guests that stayed here in January. It will only get better. Go to the Riu and have fun. We surely did.

I tried to enclose photos but could not add them as the files were "too large". Email me for questions or photos if you like.

40  Thank SFGiants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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