We stayed at the Riu Sante Fe the first week in April. I requested building 4 because I wanted to be more centrally located and wanted a more quiet building. Building 4 was perfect for both. We didn't hear the rowdy drunks at all hours of the night. Unfortunately we were there during the peak of spring breaks and the crowd was largely high school and college students. I was amazed at how irresponsible and inconsiderate some of these groups were. Breaking things, leaving their cigarette butts and empty glasses wherever they chose to drop them, surrounding us within inches on both the beach and the pool to the point where I had to move to a different spot and just the stupid behavior of seeing who could yell the loudest was getting very old by the end of 7 days. They obviously can't handle the alcohol that was available and felt they needed to drink until they puked, which they often did. We observed several people being carried back to their rooms and witnessed a young girl fall in the buffet at lunch followed by excessive vomiting - in the middle of where everyone was trying to eat. Two high school students were caught having sex in one of the pools. WTF?? It is for this reason that I will not return to the Sante Fe.
The hotel is beautiful and in a great location. Check in was a little slow but there were several groups that arrived at the same time as us so it took some time. The welcome drink was a great way to start our vacation! The grounds are immaculate, not a blade of grass out of place. The resort complex is very large but it isn't as bad as many reviewers said about how grueling the walk was to get from place to place. With the amount of food and high calorie drinks being consumed, I welcomed the walking and the stairs to our 3rd floor room. Maid service was excellent. My husband came into the room on the 2nd day and met our maid for the week and tipped her in advance. The room was always spotless with plenty of everything each day. As many others stated, the beds are ROCK HARD and the pillows are awful too. Thankfully we were extremely tired from a full day and were able to sleep without too much trouble. I thought the rooms were nice. High ceilings, crown molding, marble and tile in the bathroom. Large double closet with lots of hangers. Safe is small, don't think an ipad would fit. 8 drawers for storing clothing. No fan in the bathroom. Good water pressure, warm water. I think the King bed rooms are a little smaller than the two doubles but this is made up in the size of the balcony. Our balcony was really deep and I spent a lot of time out there. I especially loved the drying racks they have installed on each balcony. Used this every day. The pools are awesome and cold as reported by many others. There are two separate pools with swim up bars and an infinity pool overlooking the beach. The first one was shoulder to shoulder teens and 20 yo's and couldn't get near it if I wanted to. The furthest one was the activity pool with a lot of fun things to do throughout the day. This is where the 30 and 40 y.o. seemed to be. Another pool near buidling 4 was where the families tended to stay. I was up and out to go to the beach every morning by 8:30 and it seemed that all chairs by the pools had towels on them as reserved. By 8:30 there were none to be had anywhere. I heard people say they set their alarms for 5:30 to get up and save chairs. Apparently the hotel staff did remove several unattended towels on some of the days so beware of this if you're a chair-saver. Not sure if they ever got their towels back or if they had to pay the $10-12 replacement fee. I personally wanted to stay at a beach resort so I could enjoy the beach and always got first pick of chairs on the beach at 8:30am. If you want an umbrella, you should get down there by 10am. The view was amazing from the beach! The land's end formations and the surf were awesome to watch. Unfortunately the beach vendors literally block your view of the ocean as they line themselves up just outside of the roped off area. So I ended up taking my towel and sat just off of the water and watched and listened to the sound of the surf - awesome! Until the vendor is standing in front of me asking me for at least the 20th time that day if I want to buy a bracelet. I'm not exaggerating about this either....they hound you all day every day. If you step foot outside of the roped area they swarm on you. I must have said no gracios hundreds of times during the week. It was very entertaining watching people get in and out of the water taxi's. The taxi's leave right from the beach. You need to stand in the water near the boat and wait for the waves to recede and then hurl yourself over the side of the boat. I'm not exaggerating! I did it myself a couple of times and it was a fun experience. I don't know how older people could/would do it, it wasn't easy when the waves were strong! Took a water taxi to the marina once for $5 each, one way. Sounds like this was the best price. When we docked at the marina there were some Mexican kids waiting for us with buckets of water to wash the sand off of our feet. The marina was a fun place to visit. Lots of bars and restaurants all along the marina, very safe. There's a huge flea market at the end toward Land's End where they have everything and will negotiate prices. They close up by 5pm on non-cruise port days and 6:30pm on days when ships were in port. We ate at the Baja cantina, right on the boardwalk of the marina and had the best meal of our trip there. Outdoor seating and watched the yachts pull in. I highly recommend this place. We also walked to Cabo Wabo, owned by Sammy Hagar, which is a few blocks into town from the marina. This is also a must do. Not sure I'd want to be walking around there at night, but I'm a chicken. It reminded me of Old San Juan once you got a few blocks away from the pier - dark alleys, narrow side walks and not very well lighted. When at the marina you will be bombarded by vendors trying to sell you excursions. They did have the best prices there and you can negotiate price on excursions. We booked a tandem parasail trip for $35 each. He said it was $35 for 8 minutes and $40 for 12 minutes....no one asked "how many minutes did you pay for", so go with the $35. We were all in the air the same amount of time. This was $10 less pp than what the hotel offered. They also had deep sea fishing excursions and taxi's to the rock formations/lover's beach also. I love to snorkle and decided against it when I heard several people say the water was FREEZING and they could barely see their hands in front of them when they were in the water. I also heard divers say the visibility was not good. Save your money on these excursions and do them in Cozumel or Belize! I also highly recommend going over to Lover's beach. You can do this via water taxi only, either from the marina or the hotel beach. We went from the hotel and paid $10/pp. El capitan took us to the end of the rocks first so we could see the arc. He even took several pictures of my husband and I with the arc in the background. Then he took us to the beach and had arranged for him to pick us up in 2 hours, which he did. There were several sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks. The sand there is so soft and smooth. The detail of the rock formations is amazing up close. You then walk between two huge mountains over to the Pacific ocean side and can watch the beautiful surf. Signs are posted not to swim on that side. Bring your towels, sunscreen and water and spend time there. It was a highlight for me. The parasailing was fun. Odd that you needed to go in a water taxi and get shuttled out and then transfer into the parasail boat but it was a lot of fun. The crew took fantastic pictures of us as we were taking off and up in the air. We walked to the marina via the beach once also. It took a good 40 minutes but was fun to see the other hotels and activities going on along the way. Once you get to the end of the beach, just keep walking straight ahead until you eventually get on the marina boardwalk.
I took a walk along the beach opposite the marina one morning until I couldn't walk anymore. There are huge rocks there, big surf, really quiet (hardly no one around) and I turned around and could see el arco. You can't see this from the hotel or marina but could from this end of the beach. It was beautiful.
Cruise ships are in port Tuesday through Friday. And unfortunately, they anchor right in front of land's end and block the view. I thought the marina would be unbearable with two ships in port but it really wasn't that bad.
I know there have been a lot of conflicting reviews about the food and I will give my experience. YUCK!! We ate at the buffet the first night and it was awful in my opinion. It was a glorified cafeteria. Nothing was very seasoned or tasty. Bland, sitting in grease, not warm, didn't even know what type of fish was served but they also had it every day for lunch. They do have a nice fruit bar with every kind of fresh fruit you can think of. I ate this and cesear salad. I did not take a chance on the buffet again since I read it was about the same every night. So we did the a la carte restaurants the other nights and ate at the marina one night. My opinion is the steakhouse was the best. Is it the best rib eye I've ever had? No, but it was edible and it wasn't a buffet. You were given a cesear salad course, followed by deep fried mushroom, onion rings, etc, followed by potato and tomato soup. You only order your main course and have a choice of a rib eye, sirloin steak, ribs or chicken. They do tableside preparation of baked alaska which was delicious! We ate there twice. My husband was at the lobby between 7-7:30 each morning to get coffee and make reservations. Most days we got what we wanted. One day we were put on a waiting list for the steakhouse. They would notify you by 6pm if there were cancellations or you could just show up and see if they would take you. If you have any trouble getting a reservation and have a smaller party, we found they will serve you without a reservation if you just show up. We saw several people doing this. The Asian restaurant was ok. Lots of sushi but the meal was not that great. Even my husband didn't like it and he likes everything. The Italian restaurant was very good. I had the salmon and my husband had the seafood risotto and both were really good.
I agree with other reviewers that the juice drinks had an after taste that was strange. The mojitos were awesome. Other suggestions are a miami vice, blue ocean, electric lemonade, I also thought the pina coladas tasted good. I tried the tipping thing at the bars....didn't work. I think if you park at the bar all day and tip they will keep your drinks filled and I think if you're 20 and drunk and falling out of your swimming suit you will get served quicker. I stopped tipping after 3 days of being what seemed like the last one at the bar to get waited on.
I recommend the nightly shows at the central square. We saw 3: The Michael Jackson show was awesome, Grease was ok, the couples show was hysterical. It was fun to have a drink and be entertained.
In summary, the location is excellent and I think the hotel is a good value. I would rather pay for a good meal than eat cafeteria food because it was cheap/included. The reckless and inconsiderate behavior of the tweens was pathetic and the single reason I will gladly pay more to stay elsewhere because I know they won't. The grounds are beautiful, rooms are nice, beach is gorgeous, there are things to do at night either at the resort or the marina. It was an enjoyable vacation!
- 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