We stayed at the Riu Santa Fe from July 10 - 14 2009. I have stayed at a Riu Palace (which is generally a more expensive resort by Riu) at another destination, and I am SO glad we DIDN'T spend the extra money to stay at the Palace this trip. The Riu Santa Fe was JUST as beautiful. The decor style was differant but still VERY nice at the Santa Fe. The photos just did not do it justice and we were very surprised when we arrived. The grounds are very well kept, every staff member that we crossed paths with greeted us and all the same amenities offered at the Palace were also available at the Santa Fe. Our visit was during off-season, so Cabo in general was not very crowded. The Santa Fe has 7 buildings. We followed the advice of previous reviewers and requested to stay in Building 7...it is the only Ocean Front building and only building with elevators. Additionally, Building 7 has the infinity pool as well as 2 swim up pool bars on either side. There is also a breakfast/lunch restaruant at building 7.
We did have a problem with our toilet early one morning, but we called the front desk and someone was there to check it out in less than 2 minutes.
At the advice of other reviews, we packed some insulated mugs in our luggage (Bubba Kegs) to use at the resort. The drinks they serve are very small and melt quickly. If you bring your own mug, they have no problem filling them up for you. Drinks were a little weak, but if you ask them to add more alcohol, they will pour until you tell them to stop! : ) Because it was slow and the resort was not full, they did not have every restaruant open each night. They only had 1 or 2 open each night. You do have to get up early to make your dinner reservations each day...that is my only complaint. If you are not at the reservation desk by 7am the morning of the dinner, then you probably will be eating at the buffet that night. The best specialty restaruant was by far the Mexican. Italian was just ok. The lunch buffet got old really quick, but the breakfast buffet was AMAZING!
It is a bit of a long walk from building 7 to the front desk or other parts of the resort, and it was really hot, but we enjoyed the excersize...and if we got hot, we just took a dip in the pool at one of the other buildings along with way...
In a nutshell, the trip was fabulous. I definately recommend the Riu Santa Fe to anyone. They have amenities for all types of people. Spa/Fitness Center, kids play gound and kids pools, pool bars, nice oversized guest rooms and even nicer suites. There are food options for everyone and you can find a frosty beverage on every corner!
Besides the hotel, here are some other tips for travelers...
If you travel to Cabo, utilize the taxi's for $10 if you go anywhere. Under NO circumstance would I recommend anyone renting a car there. The roads are NUTS and the drivers are even worse. A taxi to downtown/marina is $10, but make sure you confirm that price with the driver before you get into the van, because one guy tried to charge us $20, but we were able to get him down to $12.
During our stay in Cabo, we did a couple of dinners downtown. Cabo Wabo one night, and went to the Hooters at the Marina another night to watch the UFC. Cabo Wabo was good, we had the bone-in rib eye and the jumbo shrimp salad with avacado vinagarette...both were very tasty! Hooters was just like any Hooters in the US...
During our stay, we booked a snorkeling tour through one of the EPIC agents in the lobby. He recommended the Ocean Riders Beach Hopper Tour for $70 per person. It was MORE than worth every cent. So long as you don't have small children, I can't imagine a better excursion. This tour departed at 10am from the marina in 2 boats, very much like the rubber coast guard boats you see in the US. They boat holds several people in two rows, everyone straddles a padded seat from back to front, and the boat goes really fast. This tour visited Lovers/Divorce Beach, then we had multiple encounters in the ocean with sea lions, dolphins and jumping sting rays. Then the tour makes a couple of stops at two differant beachs/bays for snorkeling. The guides bring cat food to feed the fish to make sure the guests get to see plenty of fish in action!
The last stop is at a beach for lunch at a restaruant called Bay Sands (I think). Lunch is included in the tour cost, however the menu is limited. Before you exit the boat to have lunch, the guides will tell you that you have an option to bring your wallet for other food options. We chose the included option and had soft tacos, which were delicious, however we noticed what some of the other guests were purchasing and WISHED we had brough our wallets...the ceviche and calamari looked very good. But once you jump off the boat for the beach, the boat goes and anchors in deeper water and you aren't able to get back to the boat to get your wallet or anything else until the boat returns at the end of lunch. If you take this tour, remember to grab your wallet out of the dry storage before you get off the boat for lunch! Additionally there is a photographer with a waterproof camera who documents everything on the excurion both in and out of the water, still shots and video, and a disk is offered for purchase for $30 following the excusion.
Our favorite activity during our stay was parasailing. We did a tandem parasail on Corona sail for $70. The Corona water taxi picked us up off the beach in front of the hotel and took us to the parasailing boat. It was an amazing experience and the hands on shore and on both boats were very skilled and made sure everything went smoothly. (getting on/off the boat at the shore and from boat to boat can be VERY tricky with the rip tide but these guys had it down to an art with timing the waves. We saw some people on a other boats take some pretty bad spills trying to get on/off the water taxi. Also, the Corona parasail boat was much nicer than the other two out there on that day)
We also took a fishing charter one day. If you do this, don't book ahead of time (unless its busy season). If you just go to the marina the day before you want to fish, you can haggle with the guys who don't already have a reservation the next day. We booked with El Budster for $240 for 5 hours all inclusive with lunch/bait/licenses for 2 people. That was a steal!
- 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