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“RIU Santa Fe”
Review of Hotel Riu Santa Fe

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Hotel Riu Santa Fe
Ranked #41 of 70 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“RIU Santa Fe”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

RIU SANTA FE

Apr 6 – 13

I stayed at the RIU Santa Fe with my friend Tara (another travel agent) earlier in April. Here are my thoughts:



Hotel Facilities

I LOVED the RIU Santa Fe from the moment the sun rose the day after we arrived. It’s absolutely beautiful with a really “adobe” feel. The resort is massive though, so it’s not for people who have mobility issues. It seems that they have quite a few wheel chairs available, which were used quite often. There are four pools at building 7 which is the ocean front building as well as one sprawling pool near the other buildings. The pools are NOT HEATED. I’ve never really noticed that pools at other resorts were heated but in this case it was very noticeable that they were not. This was my #1 downfall of this hotel. I’m a pool person and felt like the pools were almost unusable. We were not the only guests that reacted this way. We saw lots of people stick a foot in and then decide it wasn’t worth it. Two of the ocean front infinity pools have swim up bars and there is also one in the large pool by the other buildings. There are lots of stools and table areas in the pools which would make these awesome party pools if you can get past the cold. There were still quite a few people in the pools enjoying this. There are Jacuzzis throughout the pools with the swim up bars but they are open into the pool. The jets are really strong. The main pool is where the activities team does all of their stuff so it can be quite noisy and hectic by there. I would recommend hanging out there at least once though; there were lots of really random things going on like pina coladas in pineapples or amazing ribs at this little stand by the pool. I had read reviews before I left about the lack of pool chairs. There were at least 500 chairs by the main pool and then probably more than that by the big pool in the middle of the resort. The resort operates with towel cards so it’s not really possible to reserve more than your one chair per person. It seemed to me that there were MORE than enough chairs; it just may be difficult to get a chair in the location you would like.

The hotel has a really great sized beach with lots of chairs available. There are a few umbrellas but not a lot and the sun is very hot. The water in front of the resort didn’t seem swimmable to me. Tara was walking alone the beach and was almost completely covered by a wave out of nowhere. If you walk down the beach to the right there are some areas that are a bit more manageable with swimming but it was still a bit too rough for me. The sand on the beach is course and soft so you sink quite deep with each step that you take. I didn’t find the vendors on the beach to be too aggressive at all.

ROOM

We were upgraded to an “ocean view” room in building 7. The room was on the side of the building so the view was pretty restricted but it was still nice to be in building 7 which is closest to the beach and main pools. The room was clean and large with two double beds pushed together to make a king. Building 7 is known as a “party building” and it certainly would have been good to have more soundproofing with the doors. We did see some wear in our room, in particular in the bathroom where some repairs had been done but we didn’t mind. The air conditioner worked great. The balcony was massive in typical RIU style.

Building 7 itself is a bit of a maze when you first arrive. Since we arrived so late (our flight was delayed) there wasn’t a bellman to take us to our room after we checked in. It took us over 45 minutes to just find the room which was unfortunate when we were tired and carrying all of our bags. We found that we were acting as tour guides for lots of other guests throughout the week, helping them find the lobby, buffet, nightly entertainment and various other things from building 7. We didn’t mind, it was a nice way to meet new people.



Restaurants

To be honest I was most impressed with the buffet food. I found it to be really delicious and there was always a lot to choose from. The main buffet is HUGE in order to accommodate for all of the guests so things were doubled up, especially during breakfast. We visited the Mexican, Steakhouse and Asian a la cartes. We had no problems booking them at any time but the hotel was not at capacity. The a la carte food was best at the Asian but the Mexican was also worth a try for sure. I was extremely under impressed with the steakhouse but that’s always hit or miss.





We did a Luxury Sailing tour with Cabo Adventures. It is a half day sailing adventure which is really nice because it starts later in the morning and you get back to your hotel in time for supper. It included an excellent lunch with sushi, chicken Caesar salad, macaroni salad, chips and guacamole, and a few other things. It is an all you can drink cruise with some snorkeling, stand up paddle surfing or just enjoying the view. When it’s the right season there is potential to see whales, dolphins and other sea life. We saw a sea lion which was great. This is a REAL sail boat so it does tilt from side to side depending on the wind so people need to keep that in mind. We had an absolute blast.



We took the bus into town for some shopping and just to wander around. The bus picks up just outside the gate and takes you right into the down town area. It costs $11 pesos (just over a dollar). Downtown there are LOTS of night clubs and lots of little shops to shop at outside of the marina area. In the marina there is even more shopping and restaurants and things to see. Everything is very directed towards tourists. I found the pricing at the markets to be in line with pricing in Puerto Vallarta which was nice.



We booked a pub crawl for one evening because it seemed like the easiest way to “work” and see a few of the clubs in one night instead of going clubbing each night. There is a really great night club scene in Cabo! We had a blast at Pink Kitty and Mandala. Unfortunately I had a stomach flu and couldn’t make it through to Cabo Wabo which was our last stop. We ended up taking a taxi back to the hotel (cost around $120 pesos). The pub crawl was $40 which included your transportation, cover charge and a shot at each bar. There is beer and tequila on the bus as well. It’s an OK deal because it gives you cover into 4 bars as well as some drinks but all of the bars they took us to are within a block of each other so it’s not like you’re getting to take advantage of the drinks on the bus. They advertised themselves as the “safe” way to party which is a really great marketing tool but there was never a moment on the public bus, in taxis, at night in bars or during the day wandering around town that we felt unsafe at all. I honestly didn’t even have a moment where I considered that something would be unsafe except the one afternoon that we were downtown and wandered through the wrong exit from the marina onto a street with quite a few abandoned buildings. Even then, it was just sort of a feeling of “where are we exactly” more than a feeling of danger.

- It was REALLY cold at night. Always bring a sweater / jacket / pants. I really regretted not having more layers with me

- It is REALLY hot during the day. I think because it is so dry it feels even hotter. With the dryness and the wind off of the ocean you will burn more than you will in other hot destinations (or at least we did) so sunscreen is a MUST

- If it doesn’t say “RIU” on the bus don’t believe anyone about where the bus is taking you. We believed a nice man who spoke perfect English and the bus driver and ended up in San Jose Del Cabo (fairly far out of the way). We had to take another bus back to Cabo San Lucas then another one back to the RIU. The bus system is very easy though, just make sure it says your destination on the front.

- The RIU offers free wifi in the lobby for 90 minutes per person per day. The signal strength varies depending on the time of day. Android phones seemed to have trouble picking up their wifi but apple products worked just fine

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank heapet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

Great place and very clean! Friendly staff! Only issue was can not get in the ocean because its too rough but it was an amazing view and The staff made you feel like you were actually wanted there...I can not wait to go back!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank melbby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Addison, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

I had read all of the reviews and was expecting the worst but I have to say....the Riu Santa Fe was truly wonderful. There were plenty of plugs in the rooms, the beds were hard but not uncomfortable, the food was delicious and varied and the service and grounds/pools were incredible. I am in the travel industry so I can be very picky, but I have to say that I was very impressed with the resort and the staff. I wasn't that impressed with the behavior of some of the guests. One guy was guzzleing tequila and then spit-up in the party-pool.
All in all, I would recommend the Riu Santa Fe and I would return again!

Room Tip: Building 7 has elevators and is a nice walk from the main plaza. This building has the party-pool a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank WTS1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lac La Biche, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

The Riu Santa Fe is a wonderful resort: excellent location, beautiful scenery, great staff, the pools are awesome, food was great-lots of choices to please everyone, rooms are very clean and comfortable. Our family has been to this resort twice now. The staff are all very nice and very happy to help. The only thing the kids didn't care for was that they could not swim in the ocean at this location due to the rough waves and very strong undertow, but the pools were awesome so they didn't fuss too much. We did take a boat over to the "lovers beach" at the famous arc and they were able to swim in the ocean there. Cabo is a great vacation spot and I'd love to go back a third time, sometime In the next few years. Riu resorts are awesome no matter what destination you choose!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jodee M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petaluma
Level Contributor
140 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

What's not to like.. stayed at the Santa Fe twice. Both times were really great! Went in April and not crowded at all, and had nice weather! Beautiful pool area. on the beach. Grounds well kept, food good and would definitely go back again. Close to downtown too.

Room Tip: ask for a room on the top floor..not as noisy from the tile floors.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Missewe13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
61 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

Not very clean..average service..noisy.Some staff friendly but overall poor quality for a 4 star hotel. If you have difficulty walking or have small children it is spread out and some buildings are far away from food and the beach

Room Tip: dont choose a top or bottom floor..if it rains you could be very wet..the buildings leak in heavy ra...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank 483vacationer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

OK...
So I wrote a review about the Riu Santa Fe in January. Since then I have kept my eye on other reviews.
The Hotel was extremely clean with cleaning staff walking around 24/7 not once did I see "puke in the pools or in gardens". This just did not happen..

I WILL BE OPEN AND HONEST ABOUT THIS RESORT....

We stayed in room in building 2 non ocean view however our view of the grounds were amazing . The tv was old and out dated but are you really there to watch tv? The pools down by the beach and building 7 are the "party" pools. But we had a blast spending most days in the central pool. we threw the foot ball played games an volley ball while sipping dr funks.

We were amazed with the staff they joined us for ping pong and volley ball and had a good laugh with us. The relaxation factor was second to none we were able to just kick back and relax when ever we wanted there was no noise issues as the resort was of a great size and never seemed crowded.

FOOD: As far as the food goes buffets were just as you could imagine good food for what ever your tastes are. Out side the main dinner buffet they have a specialty cart set up there with different food every night from tacos to falafel to pitas and pasta . We ate there quite a bit it was delicious.

The beaches were not swimmable but for 7 dollars you can take a glass bottom boat ride to lovers beach it is well worth it. The two main bars in the main foyer were an amazing way to start off the night after dinner. The flare from those bartenders were so fun and they are friendly and efficient (ask for a 15 rainbow shot) Its awesome to see them work.

Following a mini show at those bars you were right there for the nightly entertainment. The sows were quality great dancing very interactive. We met some great new friends at the resort . We booked 3 well priced excursions from the resort including deep sea fishing .( just want to throw in I caught a 7.5 ft 200 lb marlin) . The disco was fun but the sports bar over night staff was the real show they will talk with you and answer questions as well as make you any drink you can think of .

If you are looking for a place to pick apart and ridicule then spend th extra 3000 and go somewhere else if you are looking to have the best time of your life for a vey very reasonable and underpriced vacation please please check out this resort.

I couldn't be happier with the experience we had there and plan on returning this year with the group we met there last year. We met couples there that have been going for 6 - 7 years in a row. What does that tell you ?

The room was always stocked with plenty to drink you can take food from where ever you want back to your room. I would say it is slightly more on the party side and not so much for the 4 - 12 year olds but there was plenty of them there and i saw activities for them.

The only negative experience I had there was my own fault I may have had a few and decided to climb the fountain in the middle of the resort but even after falling out of it directly to my side instead of being in trouble the staff was more concerned about my well being when the realised i was ok instead of being angry they laughed with me and asked if there was anything they could get me before bed.

WE HAD GREAT TIME WITH GREAT STAFF IN A GREAT PLACE WITH GEAT PEOPLE AND GREAT FOOD ..............

CAN'T WAIT O GET BACK THERE.

Room Tip: OK if you are there to party building 7 is for you. all rooms are nice garden view is just as goo...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mike P
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

Property: 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 Family Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#31 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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