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“Not a Happy New Year”
Review of Hotel Riu Santa Fe

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Hotel Riu Santa Fe
Ranked #41 of 70 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Reviewed January 12, 2008

I went to the Riu property in Cabo to join a group of friends for NYE. My experience started off badly after having to wait 4 hours to check in. While I realize that the property is large and NYE is a busy time of year. this was unacceptable given that check out is at 12pm and check in is at 3pm.

I was amazed to read from other reviews that this is considered a 5 star resort. although the staff was friendly, they routinely made promises that they didn't keep, and I quickly learned not to ask for anything at night. For example, after I finally checked into my room, I was ready to take a relaxing bath, but the tub was not clean. I called three times for housekeeping, but after several promises, no one showed up. I finally got someone over the next day, who tried to argue with me that it was paint residue instead of human grime in the tub. I scraped some off with my fingernail to show her that she was wrong. After scrubbing the tub myself, I finally got her to get some bleach and after that everything was fine - until I found a gigantic tropical cockroach dying near my suitcase : (

I also found out from other friends who were staying there that I was supposed to have bottled water in my room. It took two days to get that, along with shampoo, and someone from the front desk finally delivered it themselves after I called 3 times for it.

I agree with some of the positive reviews - the propery is beautiful, the rooms are okay - best views are in the 7300 building overlooking the courtyard and pool as well as the ocean, but it's a hike to get back to the lobby and to most of the restaurants on property.

There are also lots of activies for families, and the alcohol flows regularly even in the rooms, but honestly, the food sucks. The faster you get off property into Cabo for a meal at Mi Casa or another fine restaurant the better. There are several tour companies with reps in the lobby to help you book tours and activities off property. If you take a day tour - opt for the 3 hour vs. the 6 hour option.

Riu Santa Fe has an okay gym and a nice but rather expensive independent spa on the property. There are also vendors selling wares on a regular basis, but they only take cash and there are NO ATMs on the property.

I think Cabo would be much better to visit during the spring or summer. It's a desert, so during the winter the nights are freezing cold - particularly b/w xmas and NYE, and there is NO HEAT in the rooms, so you will FREEZE no matter what!

I might give Cabo another chance, but I would definitely not stay at this property. I wish I had researched it first on trip advisor to temper my expectations. I understand that other hotels in the Riu chain offer better service, but I'm not sure that I would stay at one given my experience in Mexico.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with friends
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7  Thank Millebug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,888 - 6,894 of 7,943 reviews

Reviewed January 12, 2008

5 day stay Dec 21 - 25
The place is large and very nice. The landscaping is gorgeous. The pools are fantastic. The large one is on the cooool side. If you can brave it, it's great to swim in. I was returning from a rather long walk and was hot ~ I walked in with no problem making it look like the temp was bearable (haha) ~ swam across to the other side and walked back out. It was great. A gentleman was starting to walk in as I was getting out and said he may rethink getting in.
They were packed on Christmas eve and day. It's difficult to please everyone when a place is full and it's a major holiday. In the main buffet which was the only place for dinner on Xmas eve they were doing their best to keep up with the food demand. The cooks were cooking non-stop. The cold food tables were being replenished as soon as it was near the end. They were doing a great job for the amount of guests. If you wanted something in particular that wasnt' in the heating plate you would be best to wait there until it was done.
The place looked fantastic too on the eve. There were so very many various sculptures thru out the dining area. It was beautiful.
I had no problem finding something good to eat. One nite we ate at the Mexican restaurant. I wasn't thrilled, so we took a walk to the main buffet and they had EVERYthing there. So I found something more pleasing. (Didn't try any other ala cartes)..
Prompt room cleaning and a good job too. The AC didn't seem correct. It made the room rather muggy. So we just left the door open. It was most definately cool enough at nite to not use the AC, I kept the ceiling fan on and fell asleep to the sound of the surf.
The bed was a firm comfortable. Maybe because it is new?? I was surprised that I found it comfy. No synthetic feeling thru the linens either. Such a nice feeling. The pillows were also decent. You gotta be pleased with this. I was thrilled.
Didn't get to use the spa, yet heard it was nice.
We were in building 7, which is on the beach side. Which is also in front of the pool bar. In the morning they "were" putting coffee at the bar by 7 a.m., but on the 24th there was never any out. I didn't go out early on the 25th so I don't know if they put it out or not. If none was put out and you wanted coffe you have to walk up front to the main buffet.
The room which was next to ours was the corner suite unit. It had a small jetted tub on the upper level. It was rather small. I don't know what the cost for that room would be, but one thing is that you get a great view.
One day ~ one of us left the safe open. He went upstairs and hurrys down and informs me the the safe was open. He "asked" why I had put out the Do Not Disturb?? I was all confused. I told him how I had left an item in the safe and was it that way? I go upstairs and look in there --> Nothing was touched. Come to find out the cleaning guy opened the door and saw the safe open, put the sign on the door and left. How great is that?
I went on a whale watching boat. Booked thru Caboticket.com, it is $49pp thru them. (I walked down to the ME where their little office/hut is located to set up my dive ~ ~ which was fantastic!!). Take a look at his site. There's several adventures listed there and he replies promptly. I decided to do the whales once we were down there and Traun was great.
Scuba caribe is on the beach side of the Riu's. I've used them before in Cancun, but getting used to having smaller crowds of people on a boat for any activity, unless it's a party boat that looks safe to me.
The marina is in town. I thought it easier to take the water taxi during the day and we took a cab back at nite.
This was my first time spent in Cabo, and I had a great time. It's a dryer climate and cooool at nite.
One other important note for those of us with longer nails. The toilet flush is on the top of the tank lid. I ended up chipping both of my thumbnails. Of course on this short trip I didn't bring my nail polish.
Have a great time
I would return to the Santa Fe

  • Stayed: December 2007
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39  Thank Zeeka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2008

I stayed at the Riu Sante Fe from January 3rd-10th and I have nothing but great things to say about it.
This was my second time to Cabo San Lucas and previously I stayed at the RIU Palace (the Riu Santa Fe was under construction at that time). I had read reviews prior to going to the Sante Fe and I was a bit turned off until I got there.
Keep in mind, some people have nothing better to do than to complain about everything. The weather was incredible, very HOT and sunny everyday, food was amazing and a huge selection from the buffet and various restaurants and the staff was extremely friendly. The all inclusive drinking of alcoholic beverages was well worth it.

I was actually happy that we did not get an ocean-view room because the walk back and forth would have been a bit much, but great exercise for sure. Our room was very clean and room service came everyday. Be sure to take advantage of the safe in the room to keep money, passports...etc because there have been instances of a few items being stolen.

Other than that, this place is rated #1 along with the Riu Palace. I would definately go back without a doubt.
For anyone looking for a great vacation, beautiful resort, great food and staff, this is definately the place to be.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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38  Thank valleygirl001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2008

My fiance and I headed over to the Riu Santa Fe for a one week stay from Dec. 28 to Jan. 04.
We got a pretty good deal for a 5 star resort and with both of us reading reviews on travel advisor, we went to this hotel with a very open mind.

But, saying that to fear food is a whole other story. My fiance ate a hamburger New Years Eve and was throwing up within minutes. Violently. It was very frightening. I called down to the front desk to let them know what was going on and if they had any gravol? They said no they could not help. I filed a complaint about the incident the next day asking to speak to the manager. No luck. Someone did call 3 days later to ask if he was OK. A bit late.

The hotel itself was very nice, very clean and yes VERY LARGE!
We did check out the pool by the ocean front and yep it was cold. We didn't think this would be a problem but January is not that hot in Cabo so we found ourselves jumping out to lay in the sun to warm up.
Drinks were good; espresso martini tasty!

I have never experienced so MANY vendors trying to sell their stuff to us on the beach. They will come up and interrupt you, if you make eye contact with them they will all flock to you.
I have been to places in Mexico before, as well as Belize and Guatemala, but this was loco! We also had at least 10 vendors a day ask us if we want weed or cocaine. This was a bit disconcerting. I guess if you were looking for it you would have no problem at all finding it here.

Don't expect your room to get cleaned everyday unless you put out the little tag saying "please clean my room". We figured that out day two.
Tip the ladies, they appreciate it and do do a good job.

Shower was nice and warm.
A couple channels on the TV that play english movies; came in handy when we were laid out sick.
I unfortuntaly contracted a very bad cold down there so spent a couple days taking it pretty easy watching movies.

It was extremely cold in our room the first couple nights. Turned out the air-conditioner was stuck on "ON". A maintenance man came and fixed it and we were alot more comfortable.

So, all and all we were pretty neutral.
We saw other places we would might have liked to stay a bit more.
The Riu Santa Fe would be good for families, as the children seemed to be well entertained and because of the large size of the resort there was always somewhere to explore.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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20  Thank BcWinterbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2008

Just returned from 1 week at Riu Sante Fe we enjoyed our stay at sante fe would recomend it to our friends, food was good with lots of selection our room was kept clean although you will need to get used to the musty smell, All in all this was a great stay in a beautiful area I appreciate the staffs hard work and willingness to make your stay enjoyable. Lots to do a this resort beautiful pools and location.
I need ed a room change and mgmt was quick to oblige. We did a lot of walking around this resort which sure helped burn calories I didn't mind the walks at all rather nejoyed them,

Stayed: January 2008
15  Thank trader777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2008

DATE -dec 20-27 2007
ROOM -We were in building #2 which is one of the farthest buildings from the beach still only a 3-5 minute walk.Our room was ready when we checked in ( 5 min. check-in time) our luggage was delivered in about 30 min,s. The room was cleaned every morning and the fridge top up every second day with 6 beers, pop and water. NO COMPLAINTS.
POOLS- The 2 swim up bars by the beech were cool but refreshing as it was between 25-30c (80- 90f) everyday.The bigger pool was just cold. The main pool and swim up bar in the middle of the resort were also cool but refreshing.
FOOD-Buffet was excellent with more then enough to choose from. Steak house was OK but remember your not getting good canadian beef. Itailian restaurant is still buffet but the food is good. Did not do the other a la carte as they had a big xmas dinner which was also excellent.
RESORT-New,clean,nice, big but the staff or still getting use to the large number of people all arriving at the buffet a once. Some bartenders are still learning how to make some drinks but be patient, they will work with you a have a good laugh.
BARS-7 bars no lack of getting a drink any time of the day. The sports bar was the only disappointment. The one night we went to the disco 3 people were there counting us.
OVERALL-This was a great resort and i would recommend this resort for the middle age people with older teenagers its not really set up for childen.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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22  Thank shelbyOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2008

We got to the resort at 3:30 and only one of the four rooms was ready. It took another two hours to get the other rooms ready. They did switch my grandpa's room to the first floor so he wouldn't have to walk up the stairs.
The food was not good. The wait staff would take your plate when you would finish, but it was hard to find a table that was cleared off to sit down when you got there. I have been to other all inclusives and they have specialty restaurants that you can sit down and be served dinner. All the restaurants were buffet except for the steak house. When we went there, we were waiting forever to get our meal and we noticed they shut down the grill. They completely forgot our order. When we finally got it at 10:30, it was cold, but they brought us two bottles so champagne.
One night the entertainment was men dressed up as women lip singing to songs. It looked like they made it up 10 minutes before. They accentuated the male and female regions and there were a lot of little children in the audience.
The last night we were there we turned our arm bands around (RIU Santa Fe is tan, but underneath was white and RIU Palace, which was next door, was white.) The food was much better, which made me think it wasn’t just because it was new. The hotel was really nice, but nothing special.
It ended by calling the front desk numerous times and not being able to get anyone to take our bags to the lobby. Finally one of the grounds keepers saw me carrying my bag up and put it in his cart. I would not go back to this hotel.

Stayed: December 2007
4  Thank kris1045
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
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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