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“Riu Santa Fe Cabo - very happy guest”
Review of Hotel Riu Santa Fe

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Hotel Riu Santa Fe
Ranked #41 of 71 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
League City, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Riu Santa Fe Cabo - very happy guest”
Reviewed July 16, 2009

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!
Happy Travels!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank tdfontenot48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Houston Texas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2009

First time in Cabo and to stay at a Riu resort, and hands down this had to be the best trip me and the group I travel with have ever been on!! Other all inclusive resorts we've stayed at in past (Cancun, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta) don't hold a candle to the Riu!! It was always spotless, staff was upbeat, helpful and went out of their way to get whatever you needed or answer any questions you had. The buffets were excellent. We had a group of 10 with us and not once did anyone leave there hungry because they didn't find anything to their liking to eat. We never ate anywhere other than the hotel or even bothered to make reservations to try any of the hotels restaurants. There was no need.
The pools were awesome as well as the views! The drinks were good also. We took the advice of other reviewers and brought our own insulated mugs and that helped tremendously. Drinks were not watered down and "cheap" liquors weren't used. I had my personal share of Smirnoff Vodka and Bacardi Rum. Our room fridge stayed stocked and we stayed in building 3. That was not the main one that overlooks the infinity pool like Building 7 does but we had a humongous pool that lots of the daily activities were at with a more laid back crowd. Hard core party drinkers stayed in the swim up bar at the Infinity pool outside building 7. We alternated between the 2. Yes you do walk a bit to get to these things, (your room, the buffets, pools) but the scenery is great and I would rather have things spaced out than have everyone all crammed together but that's just me. I absolutely recommend this hotel to everyone and cannot wait to go back!!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank CaboChristy21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampton, Virginia
Level Contributor
238 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2009

Let me start off by saying that prior to my stay at the Riu, I stayed at another resort (Sol Mar) and that stay was phenomenal. Now, if you're at Cabo and need a cheap stay and are unwilling to venture out into the city and completely unadventuresome then this is the place for you.
The food was terrible, cold, bland, and cooked without any effort or recognition of fine cuisine. We had dinner one night and there were 3 worms in our salad! They do not serve any authentic Mexican food or any seafood for that matter. The drinks are horrific!!! The use house liquor so don't think you are going to be served Grey Goose or Absolut not even Smirnoff.
Trying to get any service above and beyond was like trying to find ice cubes in the sahara. No one was friendly or courteous.
There was nothing pleasing about this experience. I was happy to end my stay there and never return. If you want to know more feel free to contact me because I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL!!!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MasCabron23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2009

Not much nightlife at the resort itself - not sure if that was b/c of swine flu or b/c of the time of year or ??
In any case, the rooms were very comfortable and higher-end. We were down by the beach - would recommend being down there otherwise your room could be quite the hike from the ocean.
Food was OK. Sucked that you had to make "reservations" days in advance at the resort hotels - we only had 1 dinner onsite - the rest of our dinner meals were at their buffet or offsite.
Drinks were plentiful and the infinity pools were amazing.
Had an amazing time with friends - would stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank FishOnOutfitting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JBD8876
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2009

We just got back from Cabo, first time I have been there, It was amazing, I can not say anything bad about this hotel. the food was great, the staff, everything. I would go back anytime, this is the hotel I would stay at. The room was clean, the bed was good, stocked frig and liquor. Pools are great. Staff every nice and took very good care of us. We did not eat in the reservation restaurants because the buffett was great , breakfest, lunch and dinner.
We went to Cabo Waba and had a great time, we went 2 times. I did not get to go to the spa but I will next time, It was the most relaxing vacation I have ever take. You got to go. We did take ones to tio and we did the maids bartends and other staff,
The view from the hotel is fabalous...

Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank JBD8876
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed July 13, 2009

My husband and I went there from July 1-5 for my birthday. The hotel itself was unbeliveable. We constantly saw people cleaning/painting/updating the hotel. It was very nice to see that even the hotel was not full, they were still wanting everything to look nice. We had an oceanview room, room 7273, and it was great. It was very close to the water, so it had a great view. I cannot say enough for how great the pool area was. Absolutely beautiful. It is a large hotel, so we spend all of our time at the infinity pools by the water, not in the other section. Between these two areas, they are big enough to be 2 seperate hotels.
The worst part of the hotel was the food. Because it was not very full, there was only 1 specialty restaurant open every evening plus the buffet. The buffet for breakfast was very good, but lunch was always disappointing. It was pretty much the same items everyday. We had dinner at the steakhouse which was horrible and the mexican restaurant which was not bad. We got such a great deal on the hotel, we went out to dinner 2 nights at the Office. Amazing! Food, service and atmosphere. We loved that restaurant.
We booked using Mitch at tripguy.com. He was great! Answered all of our emails the same day and gave us a great deal. We were there celebrating my birthday and he had a little bottle of tequila and a Los Cabos book sent over to us. I would definately recommend him to others.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nessy481
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, OR
Level Contributor
61 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2009

We stayed here for 6 nights in June, 2009 with two other couples. In short: a well-maintained property with five pools to choose from including two swim-up pool bars, fun and helpful staff, good and plentiful food, cocktails galore, and daily activities and entertainment.

We enjoyed the food: the buffets had an amazing variety of choices and the specialty restaurants were average to above average. The carnivores and vegetarians in our group all found plenty to eat. The reservation system for their 'specialty' restaurants was limited and antiquated: in-person reservations only at the customer service desk, booked two days in advance, and not many spaces available. We enjoyed the Italian and Mexican restaurants, but no one in our group was impressed with the 'steakhouse.'

Cocktails were available at several bars all day, including the two swim-up pool bars. Beer and cocktails were served in small (6-8 oz. ?) glasses, but we brought our own large insulated mugs and they were filled readily. On weekdays, a server actually wheeled a keg of Dos Equis around the pool area to top off your beer at your pool chair!

Daily afternoon activities in the pool (Spanish lessons, water polo games, paper airplane contests, arm wrestling contests, volleyball, etc.) were fun and the staff running the activities were energetic and a ton of fun.

Our room was immaculate and spacious, and included a fridge stocked with bottled water, pop, and beer. On the wall above the fridge were bottles of tequila, rum, vodka, and gin ... all included.

The resort also has an in-house photographer available for sunset photo shoots. We were pleased with the photos, and the rate was reasonable: $130 for the session, 3 8x10s, and a CD of about 30-40 high resolution images.

Other than that, we didn't open our wallets all week except to occasionally tip the great servers and strolling musicians (the musicians were the only staff to utter the word "tip" all week long).

We highly recommend the Riu Santa Fe!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AWeekOrAWeekend
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 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#31 Family 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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