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“Great all inclusive hotel”
Review of Hotel Riu Santa Fe

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Hotel Riu Santa Fe
Ranked #41 of 70 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Reviewed May 24, 2011

Went to Riu Santa Fe May 15 thru May 21 2011 with my wife. We had a wonderful time there. We booked thru applevacations.com which included round trip transfer to the hotel from the airport, about a 45 min trip. After we got thru customs you enter the first room with all the time share people, they will trick you, just keep walking to the outside. Once you leave the first room there is another with time share people, keep moving to the outside to find your group. Do not fall for the time share tricks, if you booked thru a group you will not find them until you reach the outside no matter what they say.

We booked a suite, 7121, it was at the very end of the hallway so it was very quite. The suite was very nice and was ready upon our check-in, which took about 3 minutes. As soon as we stepped out of the van someone came over and was offereing us a drink. We had to wait about an hour for our luggage to arrive though. The room was very spacious, the tv was very out of date. All but about 4 channels were in spanish, and all channels in english had spanish subtitles except one. The bed was very hard and the pillows sucked, and when the large waves started the windows in the room shook everytime the waves crashed. Housekeeping was great, and anytime we ran out of something in the minifridge a call to the front had it restocked within the hour. It didnt hurt to tip well whenever the mini fridge people came by. We even got extra beer for our fishing trip when we asked
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The food was pretty good, you have to remeber they are making food for hundreds of people at a time, so keep your expectations down at the buffet. We had breakfast every morning up by the lobby. Standard breakfast food, nothing special. We grew a little tired of the breakfast by the end of the trip. Lunch was the same way, we ate at couple different places, and they have snacks out by the beach until 5:30. We ate dinner at the buffet two times, there was a large variety. We did manage to eat at all lthe specialty restaurants, the asian was by far the best. Big selections and actually had tasty sushi. The mexcian place was second, followed by the steakhouse. The italian was ok, nothing special there either. At the sports bar they have a cooler with some sandwhiches packed if you are leaving the resort or late at night. The sports bar is open 24 hours. There is a convinance store on the property with sundries and snacks, though it is very high.

The bars at the pools are great, very easy to get drinks and what ever you want. There are some named brand liquors and Dos Eqquis on tap. They will make your drinks as strong as you want. The bars at night are the same way. We watched the Michael Jackson show on Sunday night, it was very entertaining. We didn't really watch any others, but the entertainment staff goes out of their way all day to keep everyone having fun. The pools were a little cold, but like everyone says, you can drink enough to make it feel good. And though people do put towels out to save spots, there was never a problem for us to find a spot, even if we didnt make it out until noon. The beach was nice, but on our 3rd night the huge waves came in and we could really see why there was no swimming. If you go a quarter mile down the beach you could get in the water there. One guy was trying to show off in the big waves and got crushed and seperated his shoulder, so stay out of the water in front of the hotel. There are people on the beach trying to sell stuff, but a no thanks will get them off your back.

We went snorkeling with the Esperanza group and had a great time. They took us over by lovers beach, and we had two snorkeling guides who went down and brought up starfish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins and a puffer fish for us to see. They were great, afterwards we had lunch on the beach, then were given a tour by boat out to the the arch and saw a sea lion colony. After that we were taken into downtown and given some time to shop and visit the bars. Our other excursion was deep sea fishing. We took a 28 foot boat out with BJC Sportfishing. The waves were rough, but we had a great time. We caught 3 big tuna, one huge mahi mahi, a smaller mahi mahi, and a big mako shark. We didn't take any of the fish, we left with the crew. They were very good and entertaining.

We had a very relaxing trip to Cabo, and the Santa Fe was a great hotel. The grounds were immcaculate, and every one there was really nice and went out of their way to help in anyway they could. The walk from the lobby to the beach, building 7, is about a ten minute walk but its not bad. Up by the lobby there is free wi-fi. There were several families with kids, the hotel has some programs for the kids that they seemed to be enjoying. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who is going to Cabo, but keep in mind there are some small things that are not perfect, but they are easy to look past. And remember that even though tipping is not necessary it still feels good to reward someone even if its just a dollar or two. The workers there do not make a lot of money and a dollar can go a long way helping out their family.

Room Tip: Go with a suite, its worth it.
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jcb8044
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 23, 2011

We visited the Riu Santa Fe for a friend's bachelor party. The hotel was very clean and we were greeted by very friendly staff upon our arrival. We asked for a specific building and they happily placed us there. The rooms were clean and plenty big. The resort is in very good shape and appears to be fairly new. The biggest surprise for me was the food....since the main dining areas are buffet style, we had very low expectations. The variety and quality of the food was very good. We ate at the Italian and Steakhouse restaurants and were satisfied with both. The bar staff were very friendly and we had no trouble getting served anytime of day. I would definitely book another trip at the Riu Santa Fe.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank dgreen1069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2011

We stayed at the RIU Sante Fe for 7 nights in Mid May. Weather was fantastic - sunny 90 degrees in the day and around 65 at night. The resort was exceptionally clean - I mean the staff was cleaning all day. There were a couple of weddings going on while we were there, but the front desk said they were only at 50% capacity. So it really wasn't too busy at all. Mostly couples and a few groups of single friends is what I noticed, though we went in May after spring break is over.

Pools were nice, a bit cool when you first get in but not bad. The bartenders were great and would make any drink you requested. I always tip, though most people prob don't. The beach was ok, the sand is kinda rough at first when walking to the marina - it's about 30 min to walk. Downtown Cabo is great, but doesn't really pick up until late (after midnight). Some fun bars are Squid Roe, Happy Ending and Cabo Wabo was ok.

I will admit the food was not great and I'm not that picky. I did enjoy the mexican and asian restaurants though you need to make reservations the morning of or for two days later. For some reason you cannot make reservations for the next day. The restaurant down by building 7 was marginal for breakfast / lunch. I caught 2 shows at night and they were pretty entertaining.

The rooms were avg at best. The beds were not very easy to sleep on, but the bathroom was not bad.

The location of the resort is great - just close enough to the marina to walk but not in the middle of all the vendors - they are pushy to get you to buy a boat tour, etc. This is defn a fun resort.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank bross90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2011

This was my first stay at the Hotel Riu Santa Fe and I must say this result exceeded our expectations. We previously have stayed at the following all-inclusive resorts: Occidental Grand Aruba, Riu Palace Aruba, Dreams Puerto Vallarta.

I was hesitant booking at the Santa Fe based on our previously experience at the Riu Palace Aruba which was absolutely terrible, but the price was to good not to give it a shot. We booked directly through Riu for 6 nights (May 15 – May 21) and reserved a Suite to ensure we had a sea/ocean view.

Arrival: Flight was smooth and immigration & customs was extremely efficient. Our transportation (Cielito Lindo – I highly recommend) was waiting for us and provided great service. Note: You will walk through TWO rooms of timeshare vultures and transportation is OUTSIDE. One rep in the 2nd room appeared just as the CL rep, but I quickly realized it a vulture. We checked in just prior to check-in time and it was a bit slow – approximately from arrival until we went on our way. It took the Riu porter another 45 minutes to deliver our luggage. TIP: Save some time and hull your luggage with you especially if you are building 7 which has several elevators.

Room: We were assigned room/suite 7221 – locate on the far west side of the property on the 3rd floor. The room and view was absolutely incredible. Since we were on the end of the property, we had no noise at all at night since no one was walking over there. The only noise was the waves clashing along the beach. The bed was comfy, maid service was terrific and the mini bar was always stocked despite being told it would only be stocked every other day. The only issue was a running toilet upon arrival. I contacted service and they responded promptly and fixed the solution. Note the switch to turn on the ceiling fan is next to the bed and there is a master power switch at the room entrance. TIPS: Splurge if you can for a suite; it’s well worth it. If not, book the next highest category you can afford. Keep the drapes close during the day to keep the sun out of the room and keep the room cool. The A/C worked; but I prefer to have my room really cool after a long day in the sun.

Beach/Pools: The beach is non-swimmable. We went on it twice to watch the waves, which were massive – like 15 to 20 feet tall the last three days we were there. We spent most of our time between the main infinity pool and the small infinity pool on the west side of the property and the view is incredible from both. None of the pools were heated but after a few drinks you can’t really notice. The pools by the lobby were very peaceful if you did not want to be near the action. We had no problems finding lounge chairs in great spots at 9 AM. It was helpful bringing our own towels just to have.

Restaurants/Bars: We ate all our meals in the buffets with the exception of one dinner. The food was decent and there was a huge variety. Don’t go in with high expectations and you will be fine. And do not eat the burgers or other American food… this is Mexico. The Mexican food exceeded American food. We did not make any reservations, but met another couple that gave us their reservation to the steak house. It was decent and the steak was better than the buffet. But my wife and I ordered two different steaks and our steaks looked identical. Bars: You could always find a bar open and the bartenders will make your drink at requested – just ASK. But don’t expect top shelf liquor… they don’t have it. TIPS: Alternate Breakfast and Lunch between the different restaurants. They do serve different items and if anything it is a change of scenery so you do not get tired. Bring a cup / mug for drinks at the bars (especially at the pool). The glass size they use is 6 oz. We picked up 24oz plastic cups with a lid from W*lm*rt prior to leaving for five dollars a cup (located near they the glassware). A must have!

Entertainment: We did not see any of the Broadway shows, but watched: Cats vs Dogs (adult game), Comedy Show and Karaoke. All but Karaoke were fun and pleasing. There were always daytime entertainment going on and the staff did an exceptional job considering they are on the property from 8 AM to 10 PM for five/six days a week. The staff was not pushy, as I have seen at other all-inclusive resorts.

Departure: Was simple and Cielito Lindo arrived 20 minutes early to usher us back to the resort.

Final Observations: Overall we were very pleased with the resort and will return for sure. The facility is in excellent condition and most staff members were exceptional. I would book this over a palace and use the savings to maximize my room time. The only difference between this the Riu Palace Aruba was: palace has room service, a dress code for specialty restaurants, and waiter/waitress service at the bars. Cabo was a great location just to relax at the pool but I prefer Aruba over anywhere Mexico as you do not have to deal with the vultures trying to sell you stuff (Cabo is by far the worst) and the beach/ocean in Aruba completely beats out all of Mexico (Cabo, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun). Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions.

Room Tip: Check Hotel wbsite - pymt not required til checkin
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank mdgil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2011

Fabulous resort. Great food. Lots of activity. With the resort set up you can be right in the midst of all the crazy pool action or pull away to the quiet pool area for a peaceful day. We did both. The town is safe. Took a trip on the public bus/ taxi too. Ate at a down town restaurant. Tropicat Jazz and Wine Sunset Tour a must With any luck you will see some whales too. We did.. Outback &Camel Safari a must too. Weather fabulous. No rain, no humidity. Sun everyday . Meet lots of friendly guests. Only thing be prepared gets cool quickly when the sun goes down. Bring long pants, shirt, and or sweater. Other thing ocean is cool. You can't swim right in front of the resort (strong under tow. Have to walk down the beach to swim in ocean). Nice pools though Staff constantly cleaning pools and other areas. Other thing did not like the demand for a tip from the tour bus operators (airport to resort and back to airport). I'm a believer in tipping, but sorry when its demanded its your loss. that's when my wallet snaps shut. All in all had a fantastic trip. Would definitely return. age group 42 to 54

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank fooner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2011

This hotel was so nice and so much fun! My husband and I came here for 4 days for our 2 year wedding anniversary and had a blast! Anyone who complained about this hotel is seriously high maintenance...

The room: Was very nice. Bed was comfy. Room was quiet at night. Our fridge was fully stocked everyday. Some people complained that the maid service was slow but we'd leave for a couple of hours in the morning and the room would be cleaned and done up by the time we came back. We were in building 4 on the 2nd floor and no there aren't any elevators but really? must you be so lazy?? haha c'mon...

The food: Some of it was good...Most of it wasn't great but it wasn't horrible either. The fruits and veggies were delish. Baja California buffet had ALOT of food to choose from so that was nice. We didn't get a chance to try any A La Carte Restaurants :(

The drinks: Were fabulous! Especially at the swim up bars. We mostly stayed at the pool with the swim up bar by the place were you get your towels. They made amazing tequila sunrise's... yum! It's true that they aren't very strong but you can ask for doubles and they make them stronger for you if you'd like. The bartenders are so nice and fun but they treat you even better you tip so I would definitely recommend it.

The pools: Are beautiful and they weren't that packed the weekend we went (May 2nd-May5th). The water was cool but not freezing. As long as you weren't in the shade and in the sun It was nice! They have games during the day and the people there are so much fun so there was never a dull moment!

The beach: It was beautiful but we didn't spend much time on it cause the pool was so much fun! It does have a lot of vendors hollerin' to sell you stuff which was kind of annoying but not that huge of a deal...if you don't like it you can just choose to stay by the pools. You can catch a water taxi to lovers beach from right in front of the hotel which was awesome. Cabo is like a desert so there aren't any palm trees on the beach and there aren't any umbrellas on the beach for shade either which i found a little disappointing but again not that big of a deal.

The resort is big but not so huge that it takes forever to walk from one end to the other (like some people complained about...not to be rude but i think these people were old or over weight haha... We're in our mid 20's so it wasn't a long walk for us at all) There's always something fun to do :)

As a side note: One piece of advice I have for anyone going to Cabo for the 1st time is watch out for the time share people at the airport!! I read this in reviews before we left but what these reviews forgot to mention is the fact that these timeshare people don't tell you that they're from the timeshare company! They pretend to be your shuttle driver and pretend they're selling activities for cheap as a promotion from a "new hotel" and when you go to the new hotel to "schedule" your activities is when you realize that you've been scammed into doing a timeshare sales presentation / tour!! as soon as you hear the words "tour of our hotel" say NO!! Other than the 3 hours we wasted on a stupid sales tour to get our $50 sunset cruise tickets the trip was AMAZING and we loved RIU Santa Fe!

We would definitely recommend this hotel to our friends and we'd love to go back :)

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kbabyxox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2011

We just returned from our first trip to Los Cabos, our first vacation at an all-inclusive hotel. We were throughly pleased with the hotel layout, rooms,pools, amenities, and entertainment. The entire staff was super friendly, helpful and most people spoke English. I barely used any Spanish the entire week we were there. There are two huge pools to choose from one is more centrally located in the hotel and is quieter, the second is near the ocean with an infinity edge and is much more of a party scene. All throughout the day the staff offer activities such as poolside yoga, tequila volleyball, bingo, salsa lessons and limbo contest. Having read many reviews of this hotel before booking we thought the food was going to be so-so. Our experience was that the variety and quality of food was superb. Obviously being all-inclusive the majority of food was served buffet style, however a few days during our stay there were special outside cooking stations with paella and fresh fish and much more. We enjoyed the beach front access, The nightly shows were hilarious and entertaining. Our only complaint was the mosquitoes, the lack of beer selection and the stiff beds, Still we managed to soak up the sun, enjoy many drinks and great food. I would recommend this place to families, newlyweds, older couples and wedding parties, We will return someday and we won't forget the bug spray.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Spottedgurl
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
Phone Number:
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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#27 Spa Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#31 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#31 Family Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
Price Range: $188 - $400 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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