This was my first trip to Mexico and we picked Cabo because freinds of mine enjoy the Riu Resorts in other countries. The resort was about 45 minutes from the airport and we used transportation set up by Cheap Carribean which always works well because you get there and it is all set up for you, Check In was so quick and easy and we were greeted with drinks and friendly staff at the resort right away. We got to the room which was a perfect size for us and everything was very clean. We hit the buffet lunch areas just in time for a afternoon snack at 4pm. We ate at the buffet for every meal as getting good times on reservations for the other places seemed to be hard unless you got to the reception area first thing in the morning. The buffet was really good though so we had no problem with this. They had all types of food and different food and desert stations to chose from so you never left the buffet hungry. The Sports Bar has snacks like hot dogs, hamburgers, ham & cheese sandwiches, fruit, nachos and a microwave to heat them all day long. The food selection here could be better for late night but some resorts offer nothing for 24 hours so it was good. The beach in front of the resort is not for swimming but you can sit in the sun on the beach or at the 3 pool areas by building 7 and watch the volleyball games, parasailers, jet skiers, cruise ships and boats all day. We stayed in building 5 which was centered in the middle of the resort so it worked better for walking between everything. The pool near the main lobby is huge and has its own swim up and regular bar but is quieter than the pools in the building 7 area as that seems to be party central. It was nice that you could choose your area's,party time or quiet relaxation and conversation. The only problem that I could say about this resort is that the walls in the rooms are very thin so it is noisy. You can here your neighbors all around you, anyone in the halls and outside. If you are staying were people are roudy at night sleep can be tough. This all being said I will be back here again soon!
We loved the Riu Santa Fe. The staff was fabulous, the rooms clean and the views were beautiful. The food was excellent. We expected food such as we have gotten before on cruises. We were very happily surprised by the quality and the quantity. Everyone kept warning me that there would be hidden charges but this was not the case. Everything was included, from bottled water to drinks in your room, room service etc. Our trip was all we hoped it could be and more.
On day 2 I looked at my boyfriend and said "I feel like we're at a totally different resort then the reviews I read- are they crazy!?!?!" Maybe because we went in May? I had a totally different experience. Background: 20 something couple looking for a fun, romantic weekend, filled with sun, booze and food. And that's exactly what we got! First of all, I maybe saw 5 children the entire time (children= under the age of 13). We were in building 7- which surrounds the "party pools", so maybe that's why? Pay for the room on the water!!! Our view didn't even do the pictures on the website justice- waking up to that every morning was worth every penny! Booze: There's a 4 bottle liquor dispenser IN YOUR ROOM. IE: they do not skimp and it's not watered down. It really is AYCD! The bars were never crowed, I never waited more than a minute to get a drink and I didn't tip once (I felt bad- but there really is no need!) The drinks were great, too strong, they'll ease up, not strong enough- they'll add more! Loved all the frozen options and as soon as it melts, no worries, just get another! They also let you buy/ bring your own bigger thermal cups to the bar if you want to lesson your trips up from your chair. PS- Normally I drink wine or champaign, so I wish they had that as an option, but this place is pretty much liquor and beer only (except at dinner). Food- what are these crazy people talking about "reservations"!?! Yes, it helps if you make reservations to get a set time, but we got there the first day, booked dinner that night, and continued doing it way every afternoon (sometimes not until 4 or 5) and all the times were available. Don't get me wrong- the food is not good. It's all inclusive food, but between the 5 courses they give you, you still leave full... if not, the HUGE all you can eat buffet (with no reservations) is open until midnight. PS- eat breakfast/ lunch- it's the best (take fruit and snacks to your room for later too!) Entertainment- Had so much fun at the pool! I thought it'd be annoying over excited MCings playing dumb games, but actually we had a blast every day playing water volleyball, water polo, beach volleyball, horseshoes, etc. We weren't even expecting to make this a sporty weekend but we had a blast! The night time entertainment bordered on cheesy/ cute/ cool. It was cheesy, but in a fun way and some how you still always left happy. They really put a lot of effort into their productions. Rooms- Great! Everyday I would come back to our room so impressed with the maid service. It looked brand new everyday! I wish their had been more pillows, and those we had weren't good, but I'm guessing we could have asked for more- we just never bothered. Only thing- there's no coffee machine in the room, so you have to go all the way downstairs to the all you can eat restaurant. We had a great time, especially for the price, and I would recommend this place to anybody looking for a FUN or romantic trip.
My husband and another couple flew into Cabo on the 7th of July for our two year anniversary. We used a shuttle company to get us from the airport to the hotel. Our first impression was on security. The men at the front gate checked who was coming in and going out every time we went through the gate. This helped me feel that not just anyone could walk onto the property. Once we were greeted by a bell staff who took our bags and we went to check in. We anticipated waiting a while as most of the flights to Cabo seemed to arrive at the same time, but this was not the case at our hotel. We only waited about 5 minutes for the front desk to check in the guests in front of us. Once we reached the desk, we were given clear information about our room, dinner options and how to use the safe. Once we were done, the bell man was ready waiting for us to take our bags to our room. The walk from the front desk to OUR room was a bit far, but nothing we couldn't handle and well worth the walk, as our room had a garden/ocean view. The room was nice and comfortable and our bed had two adorable swans made out of towels on it for our anniversary! It was clean, had several mirrors, including a full length mirror, two chairs a bench, a safe and plenty of space for our luggage in the closet. We had a nice patio with a table and two chairs to sit outside and a place to hang our wet clothes/swimsuits. Also in our room, the fridge was fully stocked with water, soda and beer and four liquor bottles. That was replenished every day. The best thing about the room, is each night our housekeepers took notice of our habits, in a positive way. For example, the first night we were there it was a bit chilly in our room, so we pulled out the extra comforter they had in the closet to cover ourselves. The next day when we returned to our room, when they had made up the bed, they made it WITH the blanket tucked as well. In addition, our friends were smoking on their patio and the next day the housekeepers left a fresh pack of matches for them. The staff seemed very attentive which was appreciated. That was a first for us. We only ate at the main buffet and the Asian restaurant for dinner once each. The steak place was very hard to get a reservation to and we just never ate at the Italian or Mexican buffets to review about. The main buffet had plenty of different types of food to try and most of it was decent. There were a few disappointments in just some basic items like the pizza and the salad dressings not tasting right though. We were very unimpressed by only one person at the Asian restaurant that sat us. He just seemed to be in a very bad mood. But otherwise the staff were always friendly and attentive. We did eat breakfast twice once at the main buffet and once in the steak restaurant area. Breakfast was always good! The bar staff were by far the highlight of the hotel. Not only were they fast and friendly, they were creative. They made all kinds of fun shots and recommended cocktails if you weren't sure what you wanted. I was concerned that with it being all inclusive, they may take their sweet time pouring drinks or cleaning glasses. But they were non stop and they worked so hard. Although you are not required to tip them, we certainly did because they worked so very hard. The pools were nice as well, as there were plenty of different areas to sit and enjoy. The adults weren't subject to the parents with kids and the parents with kids weren't subject to the cursing, loudness, drinking and smoking of the adults. We especially enjoyed the infinity edge seating and the swim up bars. There was an area of the beach that you can walk down to from the pool area and lay out, however the waves that hit in front of the Riu are rough and there is a large wall that drops from the sun bathing area to the ocean access. There is no water access from the RIU. If you are ok with the pool and the views like we were, this will not be an issue. The water and currents from the Sea of Cortez, in my personal opinion, aren't safe to swim in anyway. Overall we were extremely happy with our stay here.We loved this hotel and the package we purchased from Cheap Caribbean. We got what we expected and more! Very Satisfied customers!
The grounds, pools, restaurants and beach of the Riu Santa Fe are beautiful. The resort is surprisingly large. The online birds eye picture of the resort (from the water) shows only one of the hotel buildings and a few of their pools. There are three other hotel buildings, and a plaza off the lobby that is surrounded by the theater, gift shops, the main buffet and several specialty restaurants. There is also a large pool, kiddie pool and another bar in the center of the resort next to the Mexican restaurant. Speaking of the specialty restaurants, this Riu's dinner reservation system is a bit odd. Guests are told they should make reservations before 8:00AM for that evening's dinner, but we found out that reservations could be made for the next day or a couple days in advance. Reservations are taken at the front desk and at each hotel building's concierge desk; making it difficult for larger parties to get into some of the restaurants. Guests should be aware that the seating times for the restaurants also differ - some begin at 6:00 some 6:30, etc. We found that the variety of the menu at the Baja California Restaurant (the main buffet) always offered one or two very good dishes, so if you don't get into the restaurants you can always get a sample from the nightly special menu at the main buffet. At breakfast, the main buffet has a fresh juice bar which enables mixing of fruit and vegetable juices. A very unique morning treat, a step beyond your everyday smoothie. We also found the hand packed ice creams and sorbets at the Baja California buffet were very tasty. The rooms were well appointed and a comfortable size. With the exception of late-night revelers' loud chatter and the click of high heel shoes, there was little sound bleed from the common hallways or nearby rooms. The in-room bar and refrigerator was stocked after we arrived and was re stocked once during our stay. Our beds were firmer than preferred, but supportive. One area of concern was the tub - it is narrower at the bottom - almost cone shaped and surprisingly slippery even when dry. We learned to use the hand holds installed around the tub. The Restora Spa is not affiliated with the Riu so patrons will need to take a credit card or cash for any massages or beauty treatments. The spa also houses the gym with a good selection of weight machines and other exercise equipment. The jacuzzis and sauna are also in the spa. The onsite scuba shop is Scuba Caribe. The guides are good, prices are reasonable, and there are a variety of dive choices around Los Arcos. The surf right in front of the resort is pretty rough even affecting how the scuba boats and water taxis go in and out of the shoreline. Staff recommend walking up the beach for about 20 minutes to a swimmable beach. One area where improvement is needed is in drink mixing. We found inconsistencies among the staff in drink recipes. Three tequila sunrises from three different bartenders not only varied in taste but in color, one didn't even have orange juice in it. We found the taste of mixed margaritas, pina coladas and Miami vice drinks to also be inconsistent. The onsite representative for cheapcaribbean.com for our trip was Olympus Tours, whose representatives were quite helpful. They even recommended places to eat in town off the beaten path of typical tourist spots.
This was my husband's and my first experience with the whole "all inclusive" resort thing and we highly enjoyed ourselves. He definitely made the most of the unlimited drinks and the buffet restaurant was fantastic. For someone with a relatively unknown food allergy (fructose malabsorption) I was able to find enough food at each meal, with enough variety, to keep me happy. Everyone else really enjoyed it as well. We also tried the steak house (1/5 stars) and the Italian restaurant - twice (5/5 stars) which had better steaks than the steak house - not sure how that happened. I won't rate the activities, as I'm not sure which belonged to the resort, other than to say the aqua aerobics instructor was hilarious and my girlfriend and I made sure we didn't miss it. Otherwise, the pools and beach were immaculate and had stunning views of the beach and sea. The rooms were very clean with well-stocked minibars - our only complaint was the beds were TOO big (super king size). First world problems, I know. All in all I would definitely recommend the Riu Santa Fe for a relaxing get-away in which you have everything taken care of for you.
This vacation was a great deal. We loved the pool and the drinks were phenomenal. We highly recommend bringing your own cup as they served drinks in very small glasses--this might seem stupid, but it was really worth not having to get out of the pool every 15 minutes because your drink was gone. The food was okay. We had a very hard time getting dinner reservations so ended up eating the buffet most nights. We are looking to go back to Cabo....we travel in October so we prefer the Pacific side of Mexico to avoid any issues with hurricanes. We were hoping to stay at another resort for a change of pace, but after reading many hotel reviews, we are considering the Riu Santa Fe again to avoid any major let downs. Also, upgrade to an ocean view room....you will be in a room closest to the main pool. The walk from the lobby is VERY long, but the rest of your trip will be much more convenient, and the view is amazing.
Our trip to the Riu Santa Fe was the perfect get-away for my husband and me. We also added-on the airport ground transport. Make sure to keep going as directed on your CheapCarribean voucher...until you get out of the airport where you are greeted by an Olympus Tours rep with the logo on his/her shirt. All others claiming to be your taxi are actually salespeople who will try to take you to their timeshare facilities. The airport exchange rate was only $9 US dollars per1 peso when we went compared to the hotel's $11/1 rate. Most places in Cabo accepted credit cards where you could get the full $12/1 rate, but nice that the Santa Fe has this available. Santa Fe rooms 1000-6000 are closer to the lobby, the tennis courts, the shops, the nightly entertainment venue, the 2 outside bars, the Sports bar, the Disco, the quieter pools, the spa, the buffet, and the Mexican, Asian and Italian restaurants. The 7000 range rooms surround the main pools (infinity pool & 2 smaller pools on each side that each contain a swim-up bar) and some rooms have an oceanview. Bldg 7 also houses the late breakfast/ lunch buffets which becomes the Steakhouse restaurant at night. It has it's own reception desk as well making it convenient to book reservations for the a la carte restaurants (which basically must be made 1-2 days in advance). Our room was on an upper floor in Bldg 7 and we would highly recommend requesting this location. Only a few complaints: we did have a tiny bit of mold on our toilet lid which wasn't cleaned the entire week and also had a visit from one cockroach after leaving the balcony door open (as there was no bathroom fan) plus the elevator reportedly fell from 3rd floor to 1st and was not operational for a short while one day. The Baja Calfornia buffet & Tortote buffet were wonderful, and we recommend sticking to them! The a la carte restaurants allow you a choice of entree, but the rest of the meal is chosen for you. You can read their menus to see if you like the meal before you make a reservation. My husband and I did not care for the Steakhouse (food was cold, tempura-battered, etc.), but we found the Mexican one pretty good (try the tulip tequila/lime dessert). A reservation error was made by the staff, so we never got to try the Italian, and we heard the Asian was terrible so intentionally did not try it. They will sometimes have an outside stand to grab lunch by the pools and everyone said the burritos were out of this world. The 24 hr Sports Bar had a fridge with sandwiches, burgers/hot dogs to heat up in a microwave, and nachos. The drinks are great (except the wine). Be sure to try the Blue Ocean, Bahama Mama(or Miami Vice), and Dirty Monkey. The cups are about 6 oz, so bring a larger insulated one if you'd like. They have nightly shows--we watched Grease (it wasn't bad) while sipping our Spanish coffee which they make at a stand outside the main buffet some nights. They also have live music at 10 pm by the outside bars and a disco that opens at 11pm. They do the shots that you light on fire and drink with a straw for a little extra entertainment. The gym, hot jacuzzi, and saunas at the Spa are included if you make an appointment (or stop by and they'll let you in if no one else is using them). The people we met who got massages (paid services) said they were pretty good. The infinity pools are lined with flowering bushes visited often by hummingbirds. The beach is beautiful! The sand is coarse and the ocean pretty rough, but you can take a taxi or water taxi to many swimmable beaches nearby (Lover's beach/Divorce beach, Santa Monica Bay, Cheleno Bay). You can rent snorkeling equipment too. Downtown Cabo San Lucas is about a 45 minute walk down the beach from the Riu. There are many beach vendors, but they leave you alone if you let them know you are not interested. The Riu has the part of their beach with chairs and sand volleyball roped off from vendors. You can hail a water taxi right from the Riu beach to take you over to the adjecent arch where there are pelicans and sea lions. There are also whales around from about 10am-1pm. We could even watch whales on occasion from the pool/swim up bar! Yet, Walmart is across the street if you forgot something. Everyone we met, of all ages, seemed to be enjoying themselves---couples, families, groups, and wedding parties. Thanks, CheapCarribean!!
Over all we enjoyed our stay, however if you do not like to eat at buffetts then this is not your resort. The resorts 4 specitialty resturants require a reservation, a system that needs much improvement. We were not able to get a reservation till our 4th night. and then they were still buffetts with only 4 items made to order. Of the 7 buildings only one has an elevator, we were on the 4th floor and had to carry our luggage to our room. Also while all the food at the buffetts was very good, during lunch if you dont arrive at noon then you are going to have a hard time getting the food you like as they are out of the popular things often.
We were totally impressed with the Sante Fe Riu! Extremely clean, food was above average for an all inclusive! Rooms were nice! Very fun environment for all ages. Only downfall were that the pools were so cold! Can't wait to go back!