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Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas
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Reviews (7,108)
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All reviewsjapanese restaurantspecialty restaurantsactivity poolquiet sideocean viewquiet poollunch buffetmake reservationswater taxiall inclusive resortlovers beachbeds pushed togetherlobby barall inclusivesstand in linesteak restaurantmain buffet
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4,700 - 4,705 of 7,108 reviews
Reviewed November 2, 2010

We stayed at the Riu Palace in Cabo from 10/24 -10/31 for our 5th
wedding anniversary. We used Hotel Beds as our transer from the
airport and all went smooth. It is about a 35 minute ride from SJD to
the rersort. Our overall stay was very positive. And I will say pros
outweigh the cons. Only a few minor complaints...

Pros:

Smooth check in (drinks provided)
Very friendly staff (they go above and beyone with or without tip)
Buffets are better than expected (not great - but you cannot go hungry
and you won't get bored unless you are very picky)
Sit down restaurants are decent(we ate at 3 of the 4 and we enjoyed
them all - nothing amazing but not bad - Japanese was my fave -
Krystal was my wife's)
Gorgeous grounds
Extremely clean
Spectacular view of lands end
Great views from Ocean Front rooms
Mini bar stocked daily
Rooms cleaned 2x a day
Entertainment staff is great (night shows are a little cheesey but fun)
Alcohol selection (not "top shelf", but not bad at all - you will
recognize what they carry and pour heavy I you wish)
Spa was great(expensive)

Cons:
DINNER RESERVATION SYSTEM STINKS (nuff' said)
Bit far from downtown ($12 cab ride - and walkable, but a really rough
35 minutes walk on an uneven beach)
Lots of steps (elevator is there)
Beach is rough and not easily swimmable (it depends on the day - some
days weren't as bad as others)
Moths (there were the largets moths I have ever seen on the grounds)
Pools are cold (probably the time of year - but the pools were all very chilly)
No "real concierge" (everything was outsourced to various companies -
we got lucky and had a great experience on the one excursion we booked
- but I'd prefer to speak to someone from the riu first)
Agressive vendors right off grounds on beach (they are nice - and I
rented a jet ski from them for $45 - but they can be annoying)


We aren't big on all-inclusives, but may return someday. For now, its
back to Aruba - our fave vacation destination.

PS - If you go offsite to eat, try El Farallon at Capella Padregal -
most unique and amazing seafood dining experience we had in many
years.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank NJEric908
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2010

My boyfriend and i stayed at the Riu palace for a week in late October, I cannot imagine what the people who wrote these reviews are talking about! We had the most amazing time! One reviewer said they could only get certain drinks in restaraunts, NO Vodka, my boyfriends drink of choice is Vodka on the Rocks-got it at every restaraunt we went to, and we went to everyone of them at Riu Palace. The reservation system was not a problem at all, although the hotel was not crowded at all this week, so that may have something to do with it. Food was delish, the Dinner Buffet was ehhhh, but all the other buffets were great. Try ALL the Restaraunts, they are all fantastic, repeat Krystal-its fantastic! The Staff is AMAZING, the most friendlist, hardworking people you would ever meet, all went above and beyond. Also we read alot of complaints about the venders on the beach? They say NOTHING, just there trying to make a peso, the hotel even has a rope that they cant pass so they dont bother anyone at the resort. We crossed the rope daily and were never bothered. Many reviewers complained about the entertainment????? ITS A HOTEL! They have A show EVERY night! its hilarious and fun, your in MEXICO! Robbie is the star of animation and is fantastic! Definetly go down town and visit cabo wabo, squid roe and the marina. Take one of the water taxis(jose and Maria 2 is the best) to Lovers Beach and check out the sea lions and take a swim. My boyfriend went scuba diving and swam with some sealions and also had 2 great dives. we had a junior ocean Front suite, pay for the upgrade-its worth it. Very clean and amazing view. My boyfriend came in and got sand all over the floor after his dive, the staff was up there within 5 minutes to sweep and clean. The complaint about the thin walls is true, but just have some cocktails and turn your A/C up and you wont hear a thing.
Pool was cold, ocean was swimmable and warm, but the weather was 95 degrees, so cool pool was great. Pools are clean and service at pools was decent. we avoided the bar pool, so cant comment on that one. all and all, this was our best trip yet and Cabo has become my fave spot...already talking about next years trip! adios!!! have a great time!!!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank sunlova4445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2010

Where do I start…. This place is fabulous! My husband and I came here in the first week of October 2010 to recover after a week in Las Vegas and this place is like heaven on earth! We would normally come back to New Zealand via Honolulu but decided to take a chance and go somewhere different and Cabo did not disappoint! Cabo and the Riu Palace are now officially our new favourite places in the world!

ROOMS: We had an Ocean View room on the corner of the 4th floor (room 4041) on the quiet side of the resort so we had a sweeping view of the resort and the ocean. The rooms are well appointed with marble floors, air conditioning and a ceiling fan. The King size bed was firm but comfortable. The fridge is restocked daily with sodas and plenty of bottled water. The room service menu (all inclusive) is limited but good if you want to grab a snack without leaving your room. The wet bar (the best bit!) was restocked daily with Tequila, Vodka, Bacardi and Brandy so you could make drinks as you please in your room. The bathrooms are a decent size, with nice toiletries. The house keeping did an excellent job and on most days will leave you extra towels in the shapes of animals or dolls – very cute! Our balcony was on the corner of the building so we had extra sunlight and views and had two chairs/loungers, a table and a small air rack that you could discretely hang washing on.

RESTAURANTS: The food at the Riu Palace is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! Other reviewers who have complained about the food quality must be extremely fussy or have no taste buds!!! First of all the buffets – The breakfast and dinner buffets have an incredible range and all the food is very fresh. They have a themed buffet for dinner a couple of nights a week so try to eat the dinner buffet on these nights as you won’t be disappointed. If you are eating in the main dining hall, ask to be seated in Manuels area (just to the right as you walk in the door) – he is the BEST server and looked after my husband and I all week. He was so friendly and made sure our drinks were never empty. He even went out of his way on my birthday to organise a champagne breakfast, cake and flowers on the table at dinner.
The booking system with the other restaurants requires you to book with the reservation desk (next to reception) early in the morning (7am-9am). Most of the restaurants allow you to book 2 days in advance, but you can only book Krystal on the day. Don’t be frustrated by this, it’s part of the deal with an all-inclusive so that they don’t have “no shows” at dinner. We enjoyed all the restaurants, especially Krystal. For lunch, there will be two restaurant options, normally a buffet option and an Italian/pizza option. There will then be an afternoon buffet from about 4pm-6pm in the restaurant between the pools. Be sure to stop in here and grab yourself a soft serve ice cream to cool down 

BAR’s: Being an all-inclusive, we were worried the liquor might be on the cheaper side – we were wrong!! The Riu stock a large range of beer, wine and top shelf spirits. The cocktails are always strong and delicious! The bar staff are so friendly and fun and will make whatever you want. There are swim up bars, and waiters around the pool area that will come and serve you. I enjoyed working my way through the entire cocktail list the week we were there and I just couldn’t pick a favourite cocktail, they were all delectable!!

FACILITIES: The grounds and pool areas are kept in excellent condition, truly beautiful and a pleasure to wander around. There is a quiet side and an “activity side” of the resort swimming complex. There are always plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas on both sides, including sun loungers down on the beach and under palm trees. This way you can always find a quiet spot to relax and have a siesta! My favourite spot was on the underwater sun loungers in the pool overlooking the infinity edge of the pool out to the arch – the most amazing view!
The gym facilities are great, you sure don’t feel like you’re working out when your view is of the Sea of Cortez!
If you stay at the Riu Palace, you get to use the Facilities at the Riu Santa Fe also (but not the other way around) so you can always wander over to their pool, restaurants or bars.

STAFF: I can’t compliment the staff enough at this resort, they are the most gracious, beautiful, warm people I have ever had the pleasure of holidaying with. They work so hard to ensure your stay is comfortable and enjoyable and are always smiling. If you can, try to learn a couple of Spanish phrases to say Hi, Thanks and Goodbye as a lot of the housekeeping and maintenance staff do not speak English, but will always greet you in their native tongue. The entertainment staff are AWESOME and really put the icing on the cake. They work long hours and tremendously hard to ensure everyone is having fun – big shout out to Robbie and Melissa who were our favourites xoxoxo

Some helpful tips:
1. The water in Cabo is not drinkable, don’t even brush your teeth with it. There will be plenty of bottled water in your room so you should be fine. If you are still concerned, start taking some Probiotics about 3 days before you arrive in Mexico and take them daily during your visit. We did this and had no problems with upset bellys. I have read other review on here with people complaining about upset bellys and food poisoning – these people will have simply being uneducated travellers who didn’t do their research and probably drank from the tap!

2. Have one of the onsite Tour Booking Agents book your day trips and outings for you. They are very helpful and will often get you a discount on the advertised price of activities. They will do all the bargaining and negotiating for you, and you can often pay via the Tour Booking Agent so you are all prepaid for your activities!

3. Watch out for the timeshare sales men!!! Nasty creatures!!! The airport is the worst, its like running a gauntlet – but if you are well prepared and have organised transportation you just need to put you head down, keep walking and ignore them until you get outside the airport where your transportation will be. Around the town and marina (outside the Riu) they are often on the streets as well (we got approached in both Senor Frogs and the Cabo Wabo Cantina while drinking!) but just be firm and tell them you are not interested and then ignore them, don’t engage them in any further conversation.

4. And finally… Stop reading the reviews and just book already!! You wont be disappointed! My husband and I are already planning on going back in the next couple of years.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank thelawsons_nz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2010

My husband and I just returned from staying at this resort for our Honeymoon, and we are already talking about going back!! I honestly cannot believe some of the reviews recently posted I’ve just read about cockroaches, and poor service. First of all, this has to be the most immaculate place I’ve ever been. Every time you turn a corner they are mopping the floors, cleaning the walls, and glass. The floors and walls are all granite, and mostly dark granite it’s amazing how clean and shiny it always glows. Ok, so the tap water isn’t great, it’s MEXICO of course it’s not. That’s why they stock your minibar full of bottled water, which also includes bottles sodas, and Dos XX. Our mini bar was never even close to empty, and we used all the water every day! Our room was clean every afternoon when we would return to get ready at night, and the bed would be turned down with flowers and fruit to greet us! The breakfast buffet is amazing, all the juices are freshly squeezed at the buffets and all the bars (you can tell). The lunch and dinner buffets are OK, there is an Italian lunch buffet during the day which is awesome. We only made 1 reservation at the Japanese Steakhouse, and if you like Sushi and know good Sushi you will love it!! The alcoholic drinks are GREAT quality for an all inclusive. They have premium liquors like Bacardi, Don Julio and El Jimador, and they do not short you on the amount of alcohol in your drink like most all inclusive resorts. EVERYTHING about the resort was beautiful. We did a couples massage on the beach, and the massage and service was AWESOME. (The only thing I recommend is getting a massage in the Spa OR early in the morning if you are going to do it on the beach; because the pool has loud activities in the afternoon’s and it’s a little loud.) One of the best things about this resort was the Staff- the Staff is WONDERFUL, they are courteous, respectful, presentable, friendly and SO helpful. There is an entertainment staff all around the resort from 7am to greet you at breakfast, and they do a show at night and don’t leave until probably midnight and everyday they have a huge smile on their face telling you to enjoy your day and breakfast. The wait staff is incredible also, we didn’t tip big until the end of the stay but it didn’t matter they are just grateful to have the job that they do, and it shows. I don’t think I ever had an empty cup of coffee, empty mimosa, or empty drink in my hand without being asked if I would like another or some more. The nighttime shows are OK, there are a couple of hilarious nights, and a few corny nights, but they do a variety. I recommend Cabo Wabo (but it is expensive), Squid Roe, at night. Senor Frogs and Billygans during the day. I also recommend Baja Adventures for Snorkeling, Cabo Adventures for Dolphin Swims, and Amigos for ATV expeditions. We traveled through FunJet, and had an Epic rep. (Rosy), she was also amazing. Friendly, helpful, and available all the time! The only nominal dislikes were the halls can get somewhat nosey because the floors are made of granite and the nose travels, but it wasn’t too bad, I’m a light sleeper and slept just fine! Also, the dining reservation process should definitely be revisited by management, it could use flexibility. (We were told that in peak season the reservation is pretty much non-existent because they are staffed to serve everyone, and in the off season they only have so many servers available.) This is the perfect resort for an easy going, FUN couple who likes to meet new people and loves beautiful scenery. We are already planning a second trip!!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank MimosaPrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2010

We visited Riu Palace with 5 other couples. We were surprised at how easily we could all spend time together. Our group was able to make reservations together for dinner each night. We had no problems finding lounge chairs together by the pool each morning. Our service was great! We never had to wait for anything. For example, when we arrived, the refrigerator in our room wasn't cooling. I called for service and someone was at our door to make the repair within 5 minutes. The rooms were large and comfortable. We had a king suite with a step down sitting area with a TV and a balcony with ocean view. Our room was very clean. The entire place was beautiful. The views matched what we saw on the website.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank kvage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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