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“Okay, good value for your money.”
Review of Hotel Riu Santa Fe

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Hotel Riu Santa Fe
Ranked #41 of 70 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Reviewed 2 March 2012

This is not a four or five star resort. Why? The quality of the food and the lack of personal service.

There is no service by the pools or beach. If you want a drink or a snack, you have to go get it yourself. I knew this going in, so I wasnt surprised or disappointed. I must point out that the bartenders work their butts off.

The food was......okay to good. It certainly wasnt awful, but it wasn't great either. Lots of variety.......it was just lacking in quality.

As everyone else has stated, it is very clean and well kept. Its also a huge resort, but very well laid out so easy to find everything.

Yes, the hallways are very noisy and drunk people can be thoughtless. You will not have a quiet night here. Also the walls are very thin and we were entertained by our neighbors at night a few times.

My major complaint is that there are not enough lounge chairs. It was actually pretty ridiculous to have to set the alarm to get up and save a chair by the pool. I have never seen this at any other resort. They need more chairs!

Also, Cabo is too cold for me. The days were warm enough to lay by the pool in your bathing suit, but the pool was too cold for me and the nights were very chilly! I knew to bring a light jacket, but I wished I didn't bring my summer dresses and had brought a pair of jeans and a hoody instead.

Would I go back?...........no. I guess I have been spoiled by other resorts where the food and service have been amazing. And I'm not really complaining about the service at the Riu......the staff are great. But I would have liked staff taking drink and food orders by the pool. All in all, it was a good price so it is good value.

  • Stayed: February 2012
    • Value
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2  Thank bowva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 March 2012

We stayed at the Santa Fe on our vacation. Our age group is btwn 55&65. After reading some of the reviews, I find it difficult to believe they were staying at the same resort. Our Santa Fe experience was top-notch from check in to check out. Staff was extremely friendly and very accommodating. The whole resort is spotless and very tastefully decorated.
Management at the resort does not stand for any kind of problems, be it loud noise in the halls after a certain time, excessive consumption of alcohol to the point of being a nuisance to the other guests or destruction of the property. The only thing we had a problem with during our stay was the guests who would return to their rooms late at night and promptly announce their arrival by yelling in the halls and slamming doors. Definitely not the fault of the management.

We had requested a room on the ground floor as I suffer from mobility problems and we were given a room too far away for me to manage. A quick visit to the front desk and this was taken care of in a very kindly manner. We were moved to a room nearer to everything and it was much better for me.

The resort offers several types of restaurants, some buffet and some a la carte. It is not possible to "starve" here as there is something for everyone unless you are extremely fussy and eating buffet style where you have to choose your own food is beneath you. There was always more than enough to eat and our experiences at the a la carte restaurants were great also.

There is more alcohol available to guests than possible to consume. Granted it is not all high quality alcohol there is such a wide variety I am sure you would be able to find something that you liked. There were many fancy drinks as well as standard ones, beer and wine available and if you chose not to drink, the bar staff was very obliging as far as making a "virgin" cocktail for you. We noticed that many people seemed to make their vacation all about how much alcohol they could consume in one sitting and my only question would be why spend so much money when you could do the same thing at home. Only at home you would be paying for each drink you consumed.

The housekeeping in the hotel was excellent and never once did we want for extra towels, shampoo, conditioner or toilet tissue. Our room was always made up and when we left a small tip (couple pesos or treat) we received a treat from our housekeeper as well. They appreciate knowing that they are doing a great job.

Security on the resort is great. A registered guest created a huge disturbance in our building while we were there, and management and security was at our door immediately to make sure we were safe and okay. They also called the next day and apologized for the disturbance and again asked if we were okay. The guest had been removed and they were left to clean up the destruction. If you left the resort you had to show that you belonged when you returned thus ensuring the safety of the other guests.

We will definitely be returning to the Riu Santa Fe next year and look forward to broadening our off resort excursions a little further, but this is not really necessary as there is lots to keep you entertained while you are there. There are many many pools on the resort and activities if you choose to take part in them.

Our experience was great and will be recommending this resort to anyone who asks us.

Room Tip: If you have any mobility problems ask for a ground floor room. There are only elevators in Buildin...
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Betty E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

Four of us in the 26-34 age range stayed at the Riu Santa Fe from Feb. 19Th-26Th and while there were some things we liked about it, there were definitely some disappointment's as well. I spent lots of time on Tripadvisor trying to find a resort that seemed right for for us and finally went with the Riu Santa Fe based on the number of positive reviews. We were looking for a clean resort that had a fun party atmosphere and would be a good home base for us during the week meaning that we would mostly drink and eat at the resort but would also go into town a few times to try some of the restaurants and bars there.

THE PROS

1) Beautiful resort--The view from the infinity pools were amazing! Also, you are right in front of Lands End and Lovers Beach so I highly recommend taking a water taxi over there. We got ours through a vendor named Max on the beach in front of the hotel and payed $10 per person. It's a little crazy getting in and out of the boat but there is someone to help you. It was our favorite thing we did while in Cabo because it was so beautiful out there AND we even saw a whale while sitting on Lovers Beach! Just pack up a few beers from your room on ice and go! We enjoyed this better than the Cabo Escape Sunset Cruise that we payed $59 per person for!

2) The staff was great--From the reception desk to the maids and ESPECIALLY the entertainment staff...they all work SO hard. Our favorites were Edgar and Eduardo. It was actually both of their first days on our first day of vacation and the only way we knew this was because they told us. They seemed like they had been there for years! We also really liked Ivan that pushed the drink cart around the main pool area.

3) Very clean--The whole resort and our rooms were completely spotless. The bathrooms by the infinity pools never got disgusting and with all those people that is amazing to me! There was always someone there to mop and refill toilet paper.

4) Lots of activities--Always something going on if you like to participate and the gym was actually pretty nice. Also extremely clean!

THE CONS

1) Drinks--We were super disappointed in these because we were looking forward to enjoying some margaritas and pina coladas and we never were able to finish one due to the taste of all the mixes. The only way I can describe it is an "aspartame" super sweet taste. All of the standard fruit drinks and even the long island's had the same artificial sweetener taste. It was so weird! We spent the whole week drinking beer, raspberry vodka and soda water, and rum and cokes which we would typically drink at home. Fortunately, they had Absolute Raspberry and Bacardi (which is a positive). The one fruit drink I did like was the one in the pineapple made on the beach....very yummy! I have stayed at other AI's in Puerto Vallarta (not Riu's) and have loved the drinks. So just keep this in mind if you like a good margarita because you will definitely have to go into town to enjoy one. Our favorite place was Monkey Business. It's a super small outdoor bar that I only knew about because I use Tripadvisor. :-) They take so much pride in their drinks. It does take awhile for them to make a drink so don't go if you are pressed for time but believe me it is worth the wait!

2) Food--I will start out by saying that we love food but we are definitely not super picky and can usually find something to eat and be happy with on a buffet at an AI. This food was pretty bad. You aren't going to starve but believe me it gets old real quick because it is the same stuff everyday. I have always said that it is hard to mess up breakfast but after this trip I see it can be done! The omelette's are pre-made and sitting under a warming light so they are super rubbery and they will make an omelette for you fresh but honestly it didn't taste much better if you can believe it. I usually just ate boiled eggs, fruit, and toast. The orange juice was not orange juice. It tasted like Sunny D or Tang. I know it's been said over and over on here but everyone is right the coffee is AWFUL. Literally like water with coffee flavoring. The only decent coffee is in the Sports Bar. Lunch and dinner were no better than breakfast. The guacamole was good though. It was made fresh and went fast once it was put out! I also enjoyed the pork tacos with pineapple that were made one day at dinner time outside the main buffet. The burgers by the pool tasted like a breakfast sausage patty with a bun on it to me. I took one bite and threw it out. My boyfriend had one a few days earlier and said it was good and it tasted nothing like the one I had so maybe I just got a bad one. We ate enough to get by while we were there and went into town a lot to eat. This was a bummer because we had hoped to mostly eat and drink at the hotel and just go to town a few times to experience Cabo. We definitely spent WAY beyond what we payed for the AI. Especially since we took a taxi each way. I recommend a small little taco restaurant called Los Claros in Cabo if you like seafood tacos. It was another recommendation from Tripadvisor and was very inexpensive! I hate to keep comparing but the last AI I stayed at in Puerto Vallarta had great food. It was a smaller resort so I just think they were able to take more time with their food and drinks. Riu Santa Fe is so huge that I think they just do whatever they can to throw together enough food to feed the amount of people that are there. We did eat at the Italian and Asian al a carts and they weren't much better than the buffets......definitely not worth getting up @ 7am to reserve!

3) The "Riu Rot"--Now we are unsure of what actually caused this but all four of us in our group had MAJOR stomach problems while there. It was awful and really put a damper on our trip. We named it the "Riu Rot" and now think it could have been from brushing our teeth with the faucet water. I did some research when I got home and found some info on the Riu's faucet water being "non-potable". I have always brushed my teeth with the faucet water at the other resorts I have stayed at and never had a problem so I didn't even think about it. There was no sign in our bathroom stating that it was unsafe. Maybe they expect people to just know? Anyways, don't risk it and use bottled water!


We loved Cabo and would definitely return but not to the Riu Santa Fe. We would probably stay in a hotel right in town because there are so many amazing restaurants and bars. I'm not saying that this place is horrible and to not stay here but just wanted to share my opinion on it. I would recommend this resort mostly to a younger 18-24 spring break crowd. We love to party but are definitely past the "I don't care what it tastes like as long as it gets me drunk" phase. Believe me we were once there though! I guess I would also recommend this resort if you can get a great deal on it because it is clean and beautiful.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions!

Room Tip: We stayed in building 7 and were very happy with the location because we spent most of our time at t...
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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7  Thank ehager79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

Spent 7 days in Feb at the hotel. The hotel was completely sold out so it was crowded pool chairs were a problem at times but if you looked around you could find one. The only suggestion I have is to pack your own conditioner and lotion. None are provided in the rooms. Also if like me you shower in the am and then again before dinner. Well they only leave 1 shampoo and 1 soap packets per day. Thankfully I brought my own. The staff was always friendly and spoke very good English. It was a treat to spend time there. The climate is a desert so don't expect to wear cute scrappy sundress's at night with out a heavy sweater it gets down to the 50's at night. Traveled with a group of 14 and we had a great time.

Room Tip: Grounds are expansive so if you don't care about the beach stay in build 6 or 7 they are very fa...
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Paula H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

I went to the Riu Santa Fe with a friend in July 2011. We are both in our mid-twenties. We have both been to several all-inclusive resorts in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, but this was our first time staying in Cabo. This resort was great, but definitely had its downsides. I would absolutely recommend it for younger groups/ couples and families with older kids.

THE GOOD:
** The activities were excellent. We stayed near the infinity pools and played the beach volleyball during the day. The sand was super hot on your feet, but they were pretty good at hosing the courts down.

** The food was really good. The buffet was never disappointing and always had a very nice range of food. The a la carte restaurants were all good, not great, except the asain one, which was pretty darn awesome!

** The staff was all very pleasant.

** The gym was very nice. We went every morning around 8am and there were always machines available. The temp was nice and cool and the place was always very clean. I especially liked how the elliptical machines faced a window at one of the pools so you still felt like you were in paradise.

** We got great wi-fi in the lobby, which was nice.

** Super close to El Arco. We rented a jet ski one day and was able to get fairly close to the Arc. What a fun day that was!!

** There are 5 pools (the 3 infinity pools, a pool near them but away from the beach, and the activity pool, closer to the lobby). I didn't feel like any were ever crowded. One of the infinity pools with a swim up bar seemed to be the party pool with a young crowd. The middle infinity pool seemed to be where most of the kids hung out and was a great place to watch the beach volleyball games.

** the nightly entertainment was...just OK. Nothing to write home about, but it was still worth going to. The best part about the shows was the bar next to them, where we would mingle and have yummy cosmos or fruity shots at.

THE BAD:
** It's kind of a long drive (about 45-60 min) from the airport. Longer if you take a bus/ shuttle that the taxi ride we took. We didn't think to book this beforehand, so the taxi ride was not cheap (about $40 each person).

** We had to get up early (7ish) to try to make reservations for dinner and we ALWAYS got an early one (like 5:30ish), so we were never very hungry at dinner time. Also, we had to go to the pool and reserve lounge chairs early before they were all taken. We have been to other resports where you reserve chairs and by the time you are done with breakfast, someone else has claimed your chairs, but this was never the case here.

** Pacha was kind of a joke. After the shows, Pacha was just an empty nightclub with crappy music.

All in all, we had a great trip and did not want to come home. Cabo might not be our top choice for another trip due to the bug bites we got, but if we go back, I think Riu Santa Fe is the place we will go!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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4  Thank C D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

This is a beautiful, fun resort which is incredibly clean and well-kept. We loved the decor of the resort, and the rooms were lovely. We enjoyed every staff member we encountered. Our young adult kids found lots to do with beach volleyball, pool volleyball and other sports-related activities. The entertainment staff do a great job! We also enjoyed Isvan at the beach bar. We stayed in Building 7 as we had paid for ocean view rooms. The view from the balcony was fantastic as we looked right out to the famous rock arches, and the balconies were large enough to sit out in to play cards. We liked that Building 7 was some distance away from the other buildings, and that it had its own private receptionist who could provide you with dinner reservations and water bottles, etc. It was rather noisy there with all the activity of the main pools, but our rooms were towards the back of the building overlooking a decorative pool, fortunately. We enjoyed the Tortuga snack bar above the main pools, and the infinity pools were beautiful. The other pool was certainly quieter, and also a nice place to spend part of the day, if you were lucky enough to find a chair there. Alberto at the pool bar was great. The whole lounge chair issue is very annoying, and more chairs could have been placed at both pools. We found the food overall to be good, but not great. The Mexican restaurant was very good. We would have liked to have had a quiet bar and meeting area in which to gather in the evening, but this was the one downfall of the resort, apart from the lounge chair issue. Older couples may enjoy the more palatial Riu Palace more, but our grown family vacation at the Santa Fe was just what we were looking for as an escape from the Alberta winter!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank PJRM_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

Stayed here January 27 for 1 week. Really like the lay out as with most Riu properties. The pools were clean and there are plenty. The pools with bars are heated while the rest can be cool with the cool nights in Jan. The food was good in the buffet and don't know about the ale-cart restaurants because we loved the buffet never went to them. They had theme nights there and it was always different. The infinity pool bars by the oceans were fun and have awesome views. The disco kinda sucks, same crappy music every night so no one really goes there. They need a real DJ!!!!!!! I enjoyed this trip very much with all the activity in and around the hotel. The water taxi to Lovers Beach/Le Arche is great.

Room Tip: Building 7 is close to the ocean and has a elevator. We liked Building 3, very central, easy to get...
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank ilust2travel
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:
Region: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > Los Cabos > Cabo San Lucas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: $232 - $494 (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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