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Hotel Riu Santa Fe
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Reviewed August 30, 2012

Check in was smooth. They had fruits on the lobby and we were welcomed with drinks. After checking in we went to the bar and met some people. We heard that the beach wasn’t swimmable and other guests didn’t recommend even going there, so we stayed at the bar all afternoon until dinner time. Dinner was good (at Baja) and the show was ok.

Advice: hang out at the bar were Luis is. He would make you all type of different drinks. Great guy and an awesome experience.

We spent most of our second day at Playa Grande, looking into some time share options. Later in the day we went on a Dinner cruise. I was not impressed with the food (was expecting something better) but it was a good party and a good experience.

On day 3 we finally decided to go to the beach for some water sports (up until now we had stayed away because of what we heard) , I was impressed. The beach right outside of the resort might not be swimmable, but the scene is beautiful and you could get to a better beach in 10 minutes (walking). We went parasailing and rode the wave runners. The parasailing was an awesome experience. The view from up there is amazing, mainly if they take you by the stone arc. At the end they took us really close to the rocks and the stone arc, and the view was great. We even saw some sea lions.

One thing that I didn't like was that there were a lot of flies. I heard that it rained the week prior like never before so I won't blame it on the hotel, but they gotta do something about all those flies. Another thing I didn't like was that when we checked in we tried to make dinner reservations for the specialty restaurant, but were told that everything was booked for the next 3 nights. We were there for only three nights so I wasn't too happy we the idea that I wasn't going to be able to do something special. I was also told that guests can only make one reservation per day. However, the night we wanted to eat at one of these restaurants they were able to accommodate us.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank wmarti31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

I can not tell you how many reviews I read on RIU Santa Fe before I finally booked our trip. Sure there were some people who were completely dissatisfied with the resort, but there were many positive reviews. I totally ignored the negative reviews because 1) the package is very inexpensive 2) there will always be a negative opinion of any resort. Warranted or not.

We arrived on August 14th, and the rain had just started. The resort is big, but not overwhelmingly big. For those that are worried that you have to walk far from your room to the restaurants...really, it was no big deal. We were in building 5 which was fine. The room was spacious, but the sheets alwasy felt wet (the A/C wasn't strong enough to overcome the humidity in the room). We were happy to be in building 5 since there was a strong odor coming from building 7.

Since we got to the resort around 2pm, we had no choice but to eat at the one restaurant open for food. The food wasn't horrible nor was it outstanding. I put it around the same lines as "Dennys." We did go to the steak restaurant one night, and although the steak was just fine, the sides and dessert were horrible.

Now, let's get to the negativity....By wednesday, there was a flood throughout the resort. I have pictures, but don't know how to post it on tripadvisor. The junior staff worked hard day and night to try to clear it out, but the resort has no drainage system to help elevate the flood. We still took the kids to the pool despite the rain. One drunk person threw up in the pool, and instead of evacuating the pool, the staff just took a bucket and scooped out the vomit. They never evacuated the pool to re-shock it. I should have known then that the resort had issues.

By thursday, the flood coud not be contained and all the guests were slugging through at least two feet of water to walk around the resort. By mid-afternoon we lost electricity and water. We took a walk over to their sister resort the RIU Palace and they also lost water. The electricity came back on by 9pm-ish that night, but the water was still not working.

After dinner, I noticed that the staff were washing dishes in a huge bucket, and that's when I got really concerned. I had two small children with me, and was really worried about the sanitary condition of the hotel. We went to the front desk where there was a small group of people gathering to talk to the manager. The manager was not prepared to talk to us and said that "all of Cabo has no water." We asked if she was aware of how the staff is washing the dishes. She said "no, I have not talked to anyone." I told her they were washing dishes in a huge bucket of water. You have to understand that this hotel is huge, and there is no way that is a sanitary way of cleaning the dishes. We asked if she should leave the hotel now, but she stated again that "no hotel in Cabo has water" and that it should be fixed by the morning.

By this time, no bathrooms were flushing. I saw tons of guests carrying to the pool to scoop up pool water to flush their toilets. By the next morning, the staff started lining up buckets filled with water in the hallways so we can help ourselves. Guests started stock-piling water bottles, because water became such a commodity.

Friday morning, I tried to turn on the water and it still didn't work. I had my family only drink milk from plastic cups, and only eat fried foods and no fruit. We ended up talking to another family who had a member standing in line to get a transfer to another hotel. I overheard a maintenance man tell someone that it would be monday before the water would return (that would have been a total of 5 days of no water). I told my husband that we needed to get out of this hotel.

We stood in line for five hours! Yes, I timed it. We were in line by 11:48am and didn't get to talk to a manager until 4:58pm. The couple in front of us spoke Spanish and told us that in the Mexican newspaper, the only hotel that lost water was the RIU Santa Fe and RIU Palace. What? We were told all the hotels had no water. I stood in a separate line to use the only phone that the hotel woud offer to make free phone calls. It took me four hours before I could use the phone. I called Expedia and asked them to help me transfer to a different hotel. Expedia said that they talked to the management, and that they said that water was going to turn back onby 7pm that night. I told them that the maintenance man said it would be monday before the water was going to return. They ultimately moved us to another hotel.

My husband still stood in line because you can either get a refund or a voucher to another RIU resort that you have to use within a year. The reason why it took so long to see a manager? They only had two managers helping out the guests!!!! One poor guest was stuck in the office waiting for his voucher, because one of the managers went to "take a break." Even the vouchers were inconsistent. We originally booked 9 days at the RIU and they only gave us a 5 day voucher. The couple in front of us only had boked a 7 day trip, and got a 7 day voucher.

By the time that we were done and packed, it was 7:30pm....and guess what? No water. We stood in line to check out, and met a couple that was transferring to the same hotel we were. They were waiting in line to get a receipt. When we asked for a receipt, the same guy, MARIO, who gave the couple in front of us in line a receipt, said that we can't get one since we booked through Expedia. Hmmm...the couple who got a receipt also booked through Expedia. So stop your lying! Someone also asked if they could just get a piece of paper stating that the hotel lost water, and the front desk said that you need to stand in that line to get that (the 5 hour line).

Why didn't management stick a note under our doors stating that water will not return for a few days and started transferring people to other hotels? I had to find out about the hotel transfer from another guest. They should have been giving out vouchers like candy. All of us had room keys, and know the name of all of the guests. We all had to give testimonies before getting the vouchers.

The hotel was still checking people in, and we were all screaming "turn around, there's no water." There was one woman with a medical ID card who was clearly not feeling well, and the front desk did nothing to accomodate her.

We got to our transferred hotel, the Marina Fiesta, and they said that they never lost power or water. Our driver told us that the only hotel that had a problem was the RIU properties.

I feel lied to, I could have left the hotel the night before instead of standing in a 5 hour line. The Crisis Management was horrible. I can only blame the senior management. It was like evacuating a third world country. Another couple believed what the management said (that all of Cabo lost water) that they bought plane tickets to go back to Vancouver. The management clearly is the weak link in this hotel. They should terminate the whole lot. Never again will I stay at this hotel.

Room Tip: Don't go!
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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9  Thank CheetosHu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

Went there for a girls week bachelorette party! (Feb 3-10). Great weather all week except for one day of rain.

I recommend setting up a private airport transfer even though the hotel provides a free shuttle. First of all, the shuttle takes awhile and you have to deal with waiting for the shuttle, line ups just to get on the bus, check-in to the hotel and getting your luggage. After a long flight, that's the last thing I wanted to deal with. I didn't have a private taxi set up (probably would have been cheaper) and decided to hire one on the spot and it cost me about 70$ (split with another random couple who made the same decision as me), got there in about half an hour, had a nice chat with the new couple and driver, and got there waaaaay before the shuttle arrived.

Great value for a 5star property.
Building 7 is definitely where the party is at, if that is what you are looking for. It's conveniently located by the livelier pools and has a buffet restaurant on the main level with a nice view of the famous Cabo coastline (having a dining option right in your building is a huge bonus as the riu resort is quite large and spread out)

I found the Riu to be a beautifully manicured resort with excellent service. All staff went above and beyond for anything I needed. Food in general was pretty good. Book early for dining in specialty restaurants. Hit the spa a couple times and it was well worth it!

There was a bit more of a family feel, but don't let that deter you if you're looking to party. People who want to party tend to attract one another. We thoroughly enjoyed what Downtown Cabo nightlife had to offer (which is about a 10mins cab ride away)

Enjoy your trip!!

Room Tip: Building 7 - PRO: for anyone who wants to party, livlier pools are right there, so is the ocean shoreline, and a buffet restaurant on the main floor. CON: long walk back from entrance after partying in stilettos all night. Haha, had many barefoot walks back to room at 6am! Building 4 & 5: right by spa and gym
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Chanel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2012

My wife and I took a trip to Cabo, Mexico and stayed at the Riu 8/22 - 8/25. The entire hotel was open (outside design) and it was 100+ degrees outside. Very unbearable in the heat. The reservation system for dinner is terrible and completely useless (You have to arrive at the reservation desk, everyday at 7am to book for that night). We spoke to the manager at the Riu and he said there was nothing he could do. The one night we did eat at the Asian place, it was terrible. 1 star / 5 stars. The steak house was closed on Fridays, what a joke.

On the positive, the pool as awesome and the service from the bartenders is top notch. The spa was very nice, but the Jacuzzi was broken. A long walk in the outside heat to get to the room (not fun). The room was nice and clean and they presented with towel animals daily. Ice machine was broken; however, room service filled out ice bucket for us. Nice save. The food for breakfast is good (8 of 10), but the lunch and dinner buffet is bland. (5 of 10). Overall, you do get alot of bang for your buck, but definately NOT up to par (Compared with Riu Cancun and Riu Bahamas).

We walked to the Riu Palace in Cabo and it is no better. Little bit nicer decor, but still outside design so you burn up in the heat.

There are nicer places in Cabo.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank ChristianJ80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

If your happy with below average you'll be happy here.
Check in- speedy, no drinks offered but friendly service
Room-bad smell, some broken tiles, broken air conditioning- room changed no problem quite a walk to front desk
Pool- various pools, swim up bar and infinity pool rocked
Beach- unswimable but short bus or taxi ride takes u into town with bestswimable braces. Also short boat ride to livers beach. Best to stay right at swum able beach. Also the second u step foot on beach u will be harassed by people selling on the beach.
Food- terrible had food poisioning during my stay had only eaten at resort. Called front desk/ food service manager to alert them and heard back three days later when I was finally starting to feel better. Also front desk was unhelpful when we were trying to get some ginger ale. None on premises asked if they could get a cab driver to get from nearby Walmart but refused totally unsympathetic and unhelpful. We were more then willing to cover the charge. My friends who we were traveling with got me some the next day.
Also in the days prior to my food poisioning the restaurants were a hassle to book. Had to go to the front desk in the morning and could only book for that day. Often they said the spots were full even though the resort was below capacity. The servers we friendly.
The days after we went into town for a lor of our meals as speaking to other guests most had heard or knew someone who got sick there. The meals in town were delisious.
Bar- poorest wine ever. Undrinkable and i will drink almost any wine. No idea what this refridgerated red drink actually was and the white was no better. Had to buy our own wine in town. No premium liqueur but mixed drinks were good. Ask for extra booze and they will oblige.
Entertainment- nightly shows were ok. The nightclub was lame.
Customer service- worst so far on our travels.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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2  Thank Mtravelbugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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