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“Great place to go in Cabo”
Review of Hotel Riu Santa Fe

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Hotel Riu Santa Fe
Ranked #41 of 70 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great place to go in Cabo”
Reviewed 10 April 2012

This hotel sits right next to another Riu property that costs more money. I noticed a lot of armbands from the more expensive hotel at our place. I talked to the people from next door and they said that our place was just more fun. The pools are great and the beach was awesome. there are vendors on the beach but they tend to leave you alone unless you go up to them. There are water taxis right outside the hotel and regular taxis that can take you to town.
The food is about the same as you will find at any all inclusive hotel. It's not the best in the world, but is that really why you are traveling?

Room Tip: Try to pick a room in the center of the complex, that way you are close to the pools, ocean, and the...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank cbuysitall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 April 2012

i have stayed at this resort with my family in 2008 and returned this year with my friends. great food, great people and great service.

Room Tip: We stayed in building 7 both times. I enjoyed this b/c it was the closest to the pools, bar, beach a...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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1 Thank mandeep b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary Alberta
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

My husband and I had an amazing time at the Riu Santa Fe. Unfortunately on our 5th day, I developed a bumpy rash on the backs of my legs. I have a nasty case of bed bugs bites. We would have loved to return next year but will not because sleeping in an infested bed is not my idea of a vacation.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank Stephanie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Issaquah, Washington, United States
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 April 2012

Our experience at this hotel was poor. We travelled to have a family vacation with our parents and 2 daughters:
- Delayed bags and baby bed - We checked-in and instructed reception to bring us our bags and a baby bed for our 1 year old daughter; we requested the baby bed in advance several times and were assured it would be ready upon arrival. When we got to our room (on the fourth floor of a building with no elevator) we found that there was no baby bed and no bags to be found. They took an additional 1 hour for the baby bed and bags to arrive.
- Non-existent Room Service - Ice is only available on the first floor. We requested our drinks to be refilled and they took 3 days to come by and service our request. Our room was barely cleaned the first 2 days, lots of sand and dust was on the floor and furniture, towels were not changed and toilet paper was not replaced; the last 3 days of our stay was much better with good clean rooms.
- Pool Recliners lacking - You can't reserve recliners but apparently everyone leaves their towels to reserve these. Hotel staff randomly enforce this rule resulting in lost towels and not nearly enough recliners; your only option was to leave your stuff on the floor and hope your towel didn't mysteriously disappear.
- Long Check-in - The check-in line was short but still took about 45 minutes for us to be serviced.
- Food was great; we enjoyed the buffet and thought it had good variety. The buffet is the same throughout the week with the exception of a small food station that changes their food selection daily. We stayed for 8 days and had 2 rooms but were only able to secure 3 dinner reservations for the Steak House (Torote), Mexican (La mision) and Asian. The steak house was the best by far. The reservation system was shady with the person in charge unsure of how many spaces were left for each day and refusing to have a waiting list.
- Los Cabos activities - We opted to walk on the beach and the marina to find good deals of activities. On the beach turn left and you will see a blue tent in the distance. There are horse rides and 4-wheel motorcycles available that provide a great experience. In the Marina we recommend whale watching with "Cabo Escape", we had a chance to see 3 whales during the trip, 2 of them up close. Tip: speak in spanish and negotiate price in pesos to get a better deal.

Room Tip: There are no elevators on any of the garden view buildings (not sure if other buildings have elevato...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank dcazaresr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Appleton, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2012

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!

Room Tip: Building 4 is centrally located to everything and much quieter than buidling 7.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank christiedreier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2012

We were not aware that the first week of April would still be spring break. The resort was at least half full of teens. Some were nice and respectful but they were not the majority! We saw many vomitting, passed out numerous times. Helped rescue a boy who passed out in the pool and was abandoned by his friends, a young girl unconcious and being carried to her room by young boys! Every night you would be awoken by yelling and howling and slamming doors. We had a really special one right below us yelling, throwing furniture, his girlfriend made him sleep on the balcony one night. We asked for top floor to avoid noise. We are a 50 year old couple, we spoke to many couples and families and they all had the same concerns. Many of us spoke to the concierge, and management at the front as well as our rep. from Sungwing. We were told security would take care of it but that did not happen. Security is nearly non existent which probably explains how the lady at the RIU Mazatlan got attacked by an non-guest there a couple of months back. They have your money so they don't care! We recommended in the future at in March and April to put all the young people in buildings, and the adults and families different buildings but they said that could not be done. The food was average, just try and get an ala carte reservation - better be at the front desk at 6:30 am! There is not enough pool loungers and they did not bring more out. Many people took chairs from the pool area or sat on the ground. Everyone is at the pool because the ocean is dangerous there. Maybe a nice looking resort, but not in March or April.We go at least yearly on this type of trip but usually the week after Easter. We have never experienced this before and out of our last 10 trips I would rate this one second the worst! We are a 50 year old couple and we like resorts with a lively atmosphere, we like to party a bit and have fun meeting people at the swim up bar etc. but we also like to sleep at night and not be run over by drunken teens!

Room Tip: Dont go in March or April, top floor, building 7 , east side of building has views of the ocean and...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2012

As a young female traveller, my first time to Cabo and Mexico itself, this large resort is amazing and just stunning. Very luxurious.

It is an all inclusive Resort and I have never seen so much alcohol in a room before, very well stocked with shot taps attached the wall!!!.The restaurants/bars and cocktails bars on the beach are wonderful and definitely make you relax and enjoy your time at the Resort. The overall customer Service is excellent, prompt however not overly friendly especially a few of the bar staff. They speak English however not too well especially at Reception.

Buffet food is yummy and aplently never understocked and all types of food if your not too keen on Mexican food. Good for the kiddies.
Get to the buffet restuarant early to ensure a good table, inside the room can fill up very quickly.

I was upgraded to the Penthouse Suite and it blew my mind, rooftop spa with deck chairs and amazing views. Fantastic private area for a sunset cocktail or two.
The room was HUGE and more than enough for a comfortable and luxurious stay. I could live in that room.

I arrived in May 2011 just after Spring Break, it was quiet during the day however amped up at night. We took a cab into the city in the evenings however it is close enough to walk. I wouldn't recommend it though as even Cabo at night is sketchy and you do get guys following you asking you to buy drugs.

I have read a few reviews about travellers having things stolen from my room. I NEVER had that happen and I even left my suitcase wide open and everything everywhere, However I wasn't silly enough to leave my passport/Credit Cards or anything of value in the room, I carried it all with me everywhere I went. Maybe people should do this more often.?!

However, I am concerned about the Security at the Resort. Two things; A smashed up door in the bar from drunken louts and I also had a very loud and aggreesive European guy try to break into my room at 1am one night while I was alseep. After 3 calls to Reception throughout the night nothing was done, and I could hear him wandering the corridors and banging on peoples doors. This was very scary for myself travelling alone and nothing was done to capture the man.
Please understand this Resort is HUGE and Reception is not located in a walking distance if you are in a hurry. Try ten minutes or so away. It is very disconnected from various parts of the resort which makes Security an issue if something was to happen. You can imagine my terror.

Outside of the Resort, Travel and Explore the CBD during the day and at night, it really is a fantastic and authentic holiday destination and I had so much fun clubbing and experiencing the food from the streets stalls ( and it is hygenic and safe ). I met a great bunch of people on the airport shuttle and we partied the week away. Definitely, an eye opener and makes you get out of your comfort zone.

I would stay at the Resort again but not by myself next time. Cabo is as safe as you want to make it, but remember it is Mexico so don't be too fooled by the tropical paradise. Great for couples, groups however I am not too keen on recommeding families.

Positives; FREE Wi Fi, Location, Amazing Views, Overall Cost of the Accommodation and the bustling and exciting CBD, water sports and tours.

Negatives, Security and sometimes Unfriendly Staff.

Room Tip: Ask for a Penthouse upgrade.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Danii82
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:
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 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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