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Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas
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Reviewed June 20, 2009

Shortly after booking our trip I made the mistake of reading almost every review on here regarding this resort. Shortly after, it had actrually crossed my mind that I should attempt to cancel our anniversary trip to Cabo to avoid getting things stolen out of my room, and having a horrible experience based on what I had read. We decided to simply take some extra steps to have a good trip and it ended up being far better that what I expected.

POSSIBLE PROBLEMS ---------By having the common sense of a 5 year-old and understanding basic kindergarten economics, you can avoid a lot of the problems listed by people. In regard to rooms getting things stolen, broken into, the doors remaining open when you leave,ect.....we did not experience any of this. The doors have a bad habit of not latching closed when you leave........Soooo pull it closed behind you (problem fixed). The safe, according to the manager and hotel staff who I contacted prior to the trip, has ONE key. You have the master key. They explicitly inform you in your hotel info available in the room NOT toleave the key in the room. Common sense should tell you not to lock a safe with cash and jewels and leave the key sitting out. They informed us that in the event that you lose the key, they would have to drill it out. We carried cash with us when we left anyway. We also decided to place the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door when we werent there. When anyone cleaned or we were leaving we would place small locks on our suitcases just to be safe. I do understand that some people have had problems, however from what I can tell the comment is followed by "I left my key in my room". The same things happen in the US or any other country..........use common sense.

ISTAFF------in regard to waiters, not being able to get drinks and tipping..........I must have visited the wrong resort. The ONLY people I was ever pressured by to tip was outside of the hotel. The waiters and staff treated us like royality, and I had even went with the mindset that it was going to be a horrible trip. I even got to the point a time or two where I was a bit annoyed because waiters were comming around so often wanting to give us drinks. Basic kindergarten economics will tell you that the person who tips usually gets more frequent service. These people are there to make a living...........Anyone I know would go back to the people who are tipping well. As I mentioned, this was never a problem for us and we rarely tipped at the pool or the bar with the shows.

ROOMS ------were beautiful granite. The beds felt a little like sleeping on a piece of granite which I didnt like, however I slept better than I have in a long time for some reason. The refrigerators are stocked everytime you have your room cleaned or anytime you call for something. The airconditioning gets COLD! I need it cold when Im sleeping and it satisfied me just fine. Room service is included in your package. We ordered almost every day. I must say I was shocked to see the room service after reading some of the reviews. Im not quite sure how much better they could have made the food look for presentation. The room service menu includes different types of salads, cheesecake and cake or fruit, and main courses such as club sanwiches, mexican toasties or different types of nachos. It is mainly for snacks. The refrigerator is stocked with Dos Equis, various types of soda, and large and small bottles of water. You also have 4 full sized bottles of Gin, Tequilla, Rum and Scotch in your room.

ANNIVERSARY------We went during our anniversary, so the hotel staff sent up a bottle of Champagne and Chocolate covered strawberries. Several guests I talked to told me that the hotel got their birthdate off of their passport and suprised them with food and champagne. (Nice touch)

STAFF----The staff were great. Most of the staff dress very formal. I had staff remember our names three days after we ate a 10 minute breakfast and hadnt seen them since. I never felt as if I was being scammed or someone was BS'ing me to get tips. They genuinly seemed to just enjoy their jobs and most of the people they came in contact with. Sometimes in the dining halls you would have several waiters who would come and go, so there was really no way to tip them anyways. Alex was a waiter that we had for both breakfast and dinner. He was probably one of the best waiters I ever had. Anytime we needed anything the staff made a big effort to get it for us.

RESTURANTS----The resturants were the only thing to really p1ss me off (aside from Expedia). Some girl at the front reservation desk (Not Brenda) thoroughly enjoyed being the 'reservation nazi'. Her method for determining reservations is a little like working a rubics qube while performing long division. She would have the menus for the day layed out and some you could book for the night, while others couldnt be booked until tommorow, however you cant make advanced reservations, so ...........just kidding, you really cant eat at this place or that place. I finally got mad enough (along with everyone else I could see) that I asked her why she has the menus layed out if you cant eat at them. She was OBVIOUSLY annoyed with her position at the hotel. Brenda was far more accomidating. You cant get reservations the first day. Its BS in my opnion, however the reservation desks open up at 7 am with a line of people and are usually filled by 830am. As far as the resturants go, here is my review:
-Crystal-----Fusion Gourmet-----Some of the most disgusting food Ive eaten
-Misaki------Japanese---Hands down some of the BEST Japanese food and Sushi I have ever eaten. The atmosphere was wonderful and the food was amazing.
The mexican place next to the beach (cant remember the name) was Decent. It had been closed and opened up shortly after we arrived. It was a bit more chaotic then the other resturants........I think due to the fact that everyone wanted Fajitas at the same time and they were trying to make them for 60 people. The drinks in the Mexican resturant were great. The rest of the dining is done either in a very beautiful dining hall or outside near the beach/ocean. The food was excellent compared to a lotof other resorts we have been to. There is a large selection of food, icecream, salad, pizza, chicken, steak, and other local dishes. Beer and drinks are everywhere..........and I mean EVERYWHERE!

EXCURSIONS-----Go talk to the guys on the beach. We talked to a guy that moved from Colorado. We initially booked a trip in the hotel for the ATV excursion for around $130. We went out to the beach and found that the guy could get it for us for $75.......AT the SAME PLACE. I was a bit skeptical to pay him, but didnt say anything. He simply told me that if I didnt need to pay him.........that I could just pay at the the ATV place. We were there with people who had payed far more to the hotels. The ATV tour was amazing. They took us to a national park where you can ride the ATV's through the mountains, the beach, into the desert and through a dry lakebed. They also take you to the area where Troy was filmed with Brad Pitt. It was about 20 minutes to get to the beach and then you are on your own to do whatever you wish for about 2-2.5 hours. They provide water, helmet, bandana and goggles. The desert was actually cooler in terms of temperature then it was in town, so we didnt get that hot. We were encouraged on the plane ride over to do the ATV tour............it was a blast. We also rode horses down the beach which I thought sounded a little boring and touristy, however the guide took us riding through the desert and to a private beach. It was a lot of fun. Go early morning or late afternoon. We went mid day and got burned pretty bad.

POOLS......If you are facing the ocean from the resort, the pool on the right was quiet, the pool on the left had a lot of music and activities and the pool bar in the middle was the most fun. We met a lot of cool people there.

TOWN.....The last day, we decided to go into town, This is where you get Hounded for tips and to buy things just like any other vacation spot. There are tons of resturants in town. A taxi from the hotel into town costs $10 total..........not per person. Have the hotel call them for you and ask the price at the hotel. They will be in Gree vans and the same company is all over town when you get done.

FISHING.........if you are into fishing, the hotels offered Deep Sea and Offshore fishing. We were told to look in the Marina. Aparently due to the economy, they are pretty desperate for business. Were were offered a $500 hotel fishing trip for $200 at the marina.

MOTORCYCLES.....You can also rent a Harley in town as well if you are into riding. The charge is around $180 per day.

SPA...We also visited the Spa. One hour Sweedish massage was around $65 per person. They have a beach option or balcony option as well.


Overall, it was an excellent trip and place to stay. We talked to several people from various hotels who were not happy, so were were thankful we chose the RIu Palace. We are already planning a trip back.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank SADAMS2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2009

Recently stayed at the Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas. Very nice resort if dining at an average buffet is all you want. This resort advertises 4 ala carte dining restaurants but it's very difficult to get a reservation at a good time. We arrived at the "reservations desk" at 7:55am (they were supposed to open at 8am) and there were no dining reservations open at preferred times (you have to make reservations in person, no phone or advance reservations allowed). We were told that the desk opened early but they didn't inform us. I complained and eventually did receive a preferred time reservation. However, what's perplexing is that the restaurant was only half full. Don't know what's going on but this aspect pulled this resort down from a 4+ to an average 3. Would recommend but don't expect to eat at a nice sit-down dinner (as they strongly advertise).

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GPHSalemSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2009

The overall resort is very reminiscent of Morocco. The lobby is gorgeous and the grounds are nice and clean. The pools and beaches are great, however, the rooms need to be updated. Also, I thought the food was disappointing but the drinks great :) So after a few cocktails, the food tasted better. The resort is located very closely to the harbor, about a 5 minute cab ride.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LioraRez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2009

Overall this place is a good hotel. I stayed at the RIU in aruba and this one is exactly the same including the resturants, which was a little disappointing but still very good. The pools are huge, one note that one pool is heated and the other is not. I talked with a couple of people that did not know the other pool was heated b/c their room was right near the "cold" pool.

The rooms were clean and the staff was great. They have some pretty good entertainment.

We walked to town a couple of times (during the day), in the evenings take a cab.

If you are looking for things to do outside of the resort check out http://www.cabo-outfitters.com/ ... we went out with casey (owner) and had a great time. The Jeep tour through the mountain was amazing. We also did the kayak trip which was so good we went for the jeep tour later in the week.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MeanGoldfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2009

This was are third trip to Cabos and the first time at the Riu Palace. I will say that we were completely satisfied with the hotel in (almost!) every aspect.
Let's start with the STAFF - EVERYONE was so friendly, from the front desk staff, to the bartenders (Miguel at the swim up), Omar at the breakfast Buffet, to the housekeepers service folks. No complaints at all. We were welcomed with a margarita at check in and everything was perfect.
ROOMS - AMAZING. Period. We only had the junior oceanview suite, but the location was simply AWESOME. We were on the 4th floor and had a beautiful balconied room overlooking Lands End and El Arco. Very spacious. VERY clean. (Bed was hard, but that seems to be a typical Mexican thing. But the linens were high quality count and the pillows were wonderful. Made up for a "firm" mattress.)
SERVICE - Terrific. Never had to wait for anything. Mini bar was continually stocked. As with typical Mexican hospitatlity - well, let's just say that they are as warm as their climate.
FOOD - The food here was good. Not FABULOUS, but certainly not like many of the reviews. The Japanese restaurant was yummy, the Krystal fusion as well (although small portions), the breakfast buffet was pretty good, with a nice variety of foods, although we're not really buffet kinds of people anyway. The Steak house was decent as well. We've been to other all-inclusives where the food was definitely better, but this one was pretty good. The lunch buffet was great - with a huge variety of things to from which to choose. It was great being able to grab a slice of pizza and get back to the pool without having to waste precious sun time!!! Word to the wise - DON'T ORDER THE ROOM SERVICE. Just not worth it and pretty yucky overall.
POOLS - GREAT! CLEAN!!! FUN!!!! Although we did opt for the quieter one closer to Lands End. The bartenders were so nice and so much fun!!
WEIGHT ROOM - How would I know? Didn't work out once, vacation and all, unless you consider margarita drinking a veritable exercise!!
ENTERTAINMENT - In a word, terrific. We've been to loads of resorts where the entertainment is cheesy at best (eg. the flamenco dancer by night was the lawn waterer by day), the RIU palace had top notch performances - a real professional troupe. One night there was Greece, another Mama Mia. And the place was packed every night. We never made it to the night club, but overheard that it was pretty fun.

What the Riu Palace lacked in the best food in town, it made up for it in everything else. It was a great hotel and we had a blast.

MISCELLANEOUS - Do get out to Lovers Beach. The glass bottom boats with the high waves are sometimes scary, but you've got to go. It's too beautiful to pass up and you can spend as long or as short a time as you want.
Go swimming with the dolphins!!! We have always wanted to, but never had before. Made up our minds in advance that we were doing it this time and worth every penny. (It did cost $165/pp, but it last almost an hour and was so amazingly cool.
Recommend the sunset cruise, but unless you're into that kind of thing, don't get sucked into the sunset cruise with show. We opted for the quiet sailboat cruise (still with open bar) and it was so much more pleasant. There were about 20 on the cruise, but no one was cramped and it was just so peaceful and beautiful. We've done it all three times and always save it for the last night, as a perfect ending to our vacation.
Finally - TIPPING - Although the Riu Palace is all inclusive, we have learned a long time ago that it pays to tip a little bit along the way. Go with lots of $1s and drop them occasionally. We also left the housekeeping staff $5 on the first day, and let me say again, our mini bar and fridge was never empty! We left the swim up bar guys $10 on the last day. To us, it just seemed a small way to say "gracias" for all the kindness showed us.

Overall - a fabulous trip at a fabulous hotel!!

Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
6  Thank cabinfever4ever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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