Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas Hotel
in Cabo San Lucas
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Best value for a great time
I am not a fan of buffet's mostly because I don't like seeing food that has been stirred around or is looking dry because of a heat lamp. I'm happy to report that the RIU Palace buffet's had plenty to choose from, the food tasted great and I never went hungry or felt like I needed to go off property for a meal.
Airport:The Los Cabos airport (Airport code SJD) is 45 minutes away from property. Immediately upon exiting customs you have no choice but to walk through through a room filled with hungry salesmen just waiting to sell you a time share and to entice you to give up some of your vacation time they will dangle gifts in front of you like free hotel transfers, free breakfasts, free sunset cruises, free bottles of tequila etc. I didn't come to Los Cabos to sit in a 1.5 hour timeshare presentation so I said "Gracias" accepted their free city map and went through the door outside to meet my shuttle representative. You've been warned!
RIU has an outside vendor called "Hotel Beds" that provides transportation from SJD to their sister property Santa Fe and the Palace. The Santa Fe is directly behind the Palace. The cost is $15per person per direction so $30 round trip, does not include the driver's tip. There is a representative in a black shirt with pink letters that boldly say, "HotelBeds". Five of us boarded a van to the next terminal where we picked up another 5 and off we went to the RIU resort's I was afraid we would stop and go but our van was direct as well as the return to SJD. I had tried to hire a private car for two and was quoted $100 per direction. I do not know what a taxi would cost but make sure before you get in you negotiate the price, if the taxi is using a meter make sure the driver turns it on.
Check in is quite easy, we were given a key card for the front door and a pool towel card. There's nothing to buy on property since all meals and cocktails are included. The on property souvenir shops accept major credit card's and cash only and have things like sunscreen, Tylenol, t-shirts, sunglasses and some souvenir's. The Santa Fe property has more selection as far as souvenirs go. On our last night about a dozen vendors came to the Palace for a small "Mercado" offering souvenirs, hand made items etc, you can negotiate but don't expect prices to be the same as the Mercado's in town. I bought two men's belts for $30, they would have been more in the states and if I had gone in town the taxi rate would have been $10 each way.
Specialty restaurants: Mexican, Steak, Japanese. You can make reservations as early at 7am at the front desk, if the restaurants are full you can book for another day. The previous reviews made it sound like you had to be up at 7am for reservations same day only, this is not true. On a 7 day stay it is possible to dine at all specialty restaurants. The Mexican restaurant was particularly good, I had the grilled mahi mahi in a red sauce, it was delicious. The Japanese restaurant was my least favorite but let me start by saying the outdoor semi covered dining room was beautiful. The service was great however my companion Carla and I both felt that because we live in San Francisco and have access to authentic Japanese food our expectations were high and although our meals were good and certainly edible we felt it wasn't authentic enough for our taste. Other dining guests seemed to love it .
Breakfast. The buffet is an option but the waiters/waitress are there to refill coffee and drinks and take dirty plates away, staff was very attentive. Vegetable juice bar, omelet bar, salad bar. My favorite was the hand made salsa's that made my freshly made omelet taste even better.
Lunch is the same service as breakfast but later in the afternoon becomes strictly a covered outside dining venue. Plenty of options for vegetarians. The guacamole and salsa were especially good. Refried beans, salsa, and stir fried vegetables were my favorite. Beef, Chicken and fish were the staples along with Pizza and the largest Paella I have ever seen!
Dinner is the same type of service however you also have the specialty dining room options. Again, plenty of food options.
Beverages: RIU Palace is a Pepsi only property so if you like coke you'll need to buy it from a store. There's a Costco about .5miles away and OxxO is the area's 7/11. The in room fridge is stocked with soft drinks, Pepsi and their sister companies and dos xx's beer. Bottles ofTequila, Rum, Brandy, and vodka are also offered in room. When you run out just call for room service and they'll set you up again.
Rooms: Rooms are made up daily. The in room safe has a removable lock and key, you must keep the key with you. Bathrooms have double vanity's, tub/shower with soap and shampoo/conditioner and blow dryer.
Entertainment: Every night at 930p is a live show, no charge. Theme's were Las Vegas, Mexican traditional dance and Grease!
Wi Fi: 90 minutes free daily, hotspots are in the main lobby. Daily rate of $15 for unlimited use.
Tipping: Not Required however I found that tipping just a bit to the pool side bar server, waitress and room service and person who replenished the in room fridge brought me more prompt service and special requests were honored i.e. only wanted lite beer and Pepsi lite in the room or specialty coffee drinks were brought and ordered the way I like them by my waitress, my pool side waiter always made sure to check on me to see if I needed a drink even when he was busy. Will you receive bad service for not tipping? No, of course not but tipping will definitely get you remembered!
Two pools, one is where activities will take place during the day lead by an activities director, the second is a quiet pool also nicknamed the hangover pool.
Gym. There is one, it's small but offers all the basic equipment you will find at your local gym.
Deep Sea fishing and shore excursions? Yes, they can be handled on property, see the shore excursion desk.
Beach: Cabo has some beautiful beaches unfortunately the riptide can be rough so save your swimming for the pool and use the beach for long walks.
There are lounge chairs on the beach and there is a covered area on the beach. This area is roped off from the beach vendors so no worries about vendors trying to sell you any items.
Guests at the Palace property have access to the Santa Fe property and you can dine at their dining rooms but not their specialty restaurants. Guests at the Santa Fe cannot come to the Palace property. The difference between the two in my opinion is the Santa Fe seems to attract the 20 and early 30 crowd, the Palace's crowd seems to be just a bit older. I'd say the average age range at the Palace was late 30's but 40's and 50+ was well represented. The Santa Fe also charges less per day than the Palace.
Disco: Both properties have a disco called Pacha, on our first night the disco was dead and had a horrible smell inside like the floors were mopped with a dirty mop so we left. Second night the disco was open and had about a dozen people inside but no body was dancing until my friend Carla and I got up and started a line dance and then that started the dancing. The third night a large wedding party from Canada pretty much took over the disco, those Canucks sure did have some fun that night, but the next day, not so much!
Staff: From the check in staff to bar servers, food servers, drink servers, room service and entertainment staff all staff members were pleasant and went out of their way for us several times. I never felt like I was bothering them. If you know a few words of Spanish it will be in your benefit to use them. RIU had Spanish lessons at 10am every day. Most if not all of the staff spoke English to some degree.
In house photography: During the day around the activity pool there was an in-house photographer taking photos of guests that you could purchase later that evening at the "Hall of Fame" board.
Previous posts reported lots of in room thefts, I don't know about those but can tell you I never once felt like anyone at the RIU Palace property was trying to rob me, very easygoing property that is fun and affordable since no gratuities are necessary and alcohol is included. The in room safes are strong and durable but they will not fit a standard laptop so I had to leave mine in a dresser drawer and hope for the best. None of my personal items nor my companion's were bothered.
Would I come back? Absolutely, in fact, I can't wait to try other RIU properties and I would recommend them to my clients.
Thanks RIU Palace for a great vacation!
Ruined by staff
My husband and I went on vacation to Cabo, Mexico during April 14-21 of 2012. We stayed at the Riu Palace and this was our first time enjoying an all-inclusive vacation. The hotel was very beautiful and well kept. The staff was always prompt with their services. The room we stayed in was a garden view room with two beds pushed together to make a king size bed which we thought was strange. The room was muggy and at times smelled bad. It also came with a safe where we could keep our important documents and money. We had accidently brought $2,000 with us, not knowing that my husband and I each put $1,000 in my purse before leaving. Both $1,000 were held together by yellow $1,000 markers. However, the safe was not a digital safe where you can punch in a random numerical code; it had a physical key with a rope attached, meaning we had to take the key with us everywhere we went. This was an annoyance considering we did a lot of activities outside the hotel and could easily lose it, so we decided that we would hide the key in our room in a safe place. All was well until the last day of our stay at the Riu Palace.
On the last day of our vacation, at around 230pm, my husband and I decided to take a walk on the beach, get a henna tattoo retouched and lay out for a bit. Before we left, we counted our money to see how much we had left (we had $1,400 US dollars) and put it back in the safe and hid the key in a pocket of a dress in the closet. We tucked the key in nicely so it was out of view. We had promised our henna tattoo guy that we would get him a bottle of water because it was a really hot day. We came back to the room around 320pm, laid around for about 20 minutes before we left again to give him a bottled water. We came back to the room at about 5pm, got ready and went out to dinner at 6pm. We had some spare time after dinner before the nightly entertainment started and decided to check out the Riu Santa Fe next door to the Riu Palace. We went back to our room at about 8pm to grab some money just in case and that’s when we realized our money was gone!! ALL OF IT! The yellow $1,000 markers however, were left behind. We called hotel security and they came to our room with a machine that checks our door slot as to who came into our room while we were away. They keep a log as to who enters each room at what time. They found that at 351pm, a hotel employee, named Roberto Ramirez, came into our room to restock the bar/refrigerator. Other than that, nobody else besides ourselves entered our room between 2pm and 8pm. This guy went through our personal belongings, found the key and stole all of our money.
We went down to the Director of the hotel’s office named Yvonne Bauer, and told her our situation. She could care less! She did absolutely NOTHING to help us in any way. She said that it was our fault that we should have taken the key with us everywhere we went. She said that the hotel policy does not cover stolen property unless there was damage at entry. She also said that there was no proof that Roberto stole the money and that she doesn’t think that he would steal because all employees know that there is a log kept as to what rooms they enter by the key they use. She basically was telling us that we were lying! She told us that the only way to do anything about this was to make a statement to the police. We asked if she could call the police to come to the hotel and were told that unless there is violence, they will not bother to come. So the assistant director of the hotel, Jose Pascual Fernandez, and another employee drove us to the police station through back roads with no lighting at 9pm at night. When we got to the police station, Jose wrote our statement for us in Spanish because nobody at the police station spoke English. While we were there, another cop came walking in with an AK-47 machine gun! We thought we were going to die. Luckily, we made it out alive and came back to the hotel where a cop followed us and then told us that we needed to go back to the station to make it an investigation. There was no point in doing that because we had to leave in 12 hours to go to the airport and we knew that the hotel and the police were not going to take this matter seriously and pursue it. Plus it was really scary and dangerous. We had no choice but to leave without anything being done about it or ever getting our money back.
Because the hotel is not taking any action about this matter, it basically encourages their employees to steal from paying and trusting guests at their hotel. They said that there was no proof, then why did security tell us the exact employee down to his name, that came in our room at 351pm? The money did not grow legs open the safe and walk away. There IS proof of exactly who took the money!
If the hotel had handled the situation better, maybe it wouldn’t have been that bad, but they are a billion dollar chain and they handled this matter like shady business people. I will never recommend this hotel or any other Riu hotel to anybody. My husband and I went there based on other peoples’ experiences there that we knew and decided to stay there as well. I am also writing their corporate headquarters a letter about our experience and the lack of compassion, professionalism and ethics that the Riu employees stand by. It makes me sick that they could get away with something like this. Roberto Ramirez got away with burglary and will still keep his job because the hotel director will not take any action against him. If this happened anywhere else in the world, I believe that this situation would have been handled a lot differently.
Warning: Theft at Riu Palace
We chose Riu Palace for our twentieth wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, our event was spoiled by the theft of cellphones and 600 pesos from the room – with no signs of forced entry. The hotel staff filed a report, but our further efforts to seek compensation for this horrid event were completely fruitless, despite sending registered letter to the owners, Mr. & Ms. Riu in Mallorca, Spain.
We feel obligated to warn fellow travelers about this hotel, and please do not have a false sense of security, just because it is listed as five star. The day we reported the theft to our travel representative, we found out that we were not the only one robbed; looks like there is an organized gang at this hotel. Just imagine, what could have happened if I accidently entered the room, and faced the robbers! Or we could have been robbed in our sleep….
Also, just to let you know that the ocean is absolutely unsuitable for swimming (actually it is forbidden), because of a huge undertow, and the beach is unsuitable for walking due to a very loose sand, so nobody is using the beach, but the vendors….
Nice hotel, bad service at the front desk.
Their website advertises their 4 restaurants; however you will never be able to get a reservation for dinner. They won’t let you make a dinner reservation prior to checking in. When you check in and try to book reservations for dinner they tell you that they are booked up for every night of your stay, so your only option is the bad food at their buffet. The buffet food is terrible. Fast food restaurants have better food than their buffet, which is sad. When you walk by their 4 restaurants at dinner time they’re practically empty, about 70% of the tables are vacant. I’m guessing they don’t want people eating the good food at their restaurants because it costs them more money, so you’re stuck with the nasty buffet. The 24 hour room service is a joke. They have a very small number of items to choose from on their menu. If you call room service after the buffet is closed the line rings busy and it takes about 30 minutes to get thru. Once you are finally able to get thru it takes another 45 minutes to get your food only to find that it’s cold and soggy. I paid for an all inclusive hotel and ended up spending money to eat outside of the hotel the majority of the time since the buffet food was so awful. You get all the booze that you want, but they only have 2 beers to choose from, Dos Equis or Tecate Light. Good luck trying to get a Corona or any good beer. Same goes for their wine and other liquor, only a couple of cheap brands to chose from. I don’t expect expensive alcohol, but a couple of other items would be nice, especially better beer or wine since that’s not too expensive. The air-conditioning system is not like one I’ve ever seen. Your balcony door has to be pin locked shut in order for the air to turn on (not just closed the normal way). When I called the front desk to tell them that my AC wasn’t working, they told me they would send someone right up rather than just telling me what the problem was (other people staying at the hotel had the same problem). Almost an hour later when nobody came to my room I went to the front desk to ask them about it. I asked them if I could switch rooms if they weren’t able to fix it and they told me “no, you have to keep the same room” (keep in mind it was in the 90’s and very hot). When I checked in I was told that they were under 80% occupied so I know they had plenty of vacant rooms. The maintenance guy finally came to show me what the problem was. I told the front desk they should tell people that when they call rather than making them wait for maintenance. Their response was “you should know that”. How am I supposed to know the AC wont work without pin locking the door? All that I have mentioned so far was my experience just from my first night at this hotel. The front desk staff has terrible customer service and is flat out rude. If you are disappointed about something they never once will say “I’m sorry” or offer you any type of apology. I was even told to “shush” and to go away. I had a late flight on my last day and asked for an extra hour in the room. They offered to give me an extra hour in my room for $50.00, even after I told them that I knew they were less than 80% occupied and didn’t need my room that night. They didn’t want to hear me begging for a late check out anymore so they had one of the rental car people from a booth in the lobby tell me to go away. I never asked for a refund of any kind. I only asked for a dinner reservation at one of the restaurants and an extra hour in the room and got nothing out of them except attitude. The pool is nice, the hotel is pretty, and that’s about it. I have stayed in other hotels in Mexico and they were always very accommodating with excellent customer service and good food. I highly recommend that you stay somewhere else. If you run into a problem during your stay, they won’t care. Not worth your hard earned money. No sense in taking time off of work to go on vacation to be treated that way. I work in the hospitality industry and if I treated my clients the same way their front desk staff treated me, I would be fired.
Unique Quality: Beautiful hotel with a great pool. Too bad the front desk staff had to ruin the experience.
Don't stay if your with your female loved ones
I was married there in the beginning of December 2010, we traveled with about 60 of our friends and family. Our trip was good until the morning after our wedding. A person my sister and the hotel identified as an employee attempted to rape my sister. Luckily she awoke and the assailant left.
Once bringing this to the hotel's attention we were laughed at by front desk staff and told our group was crazy and that my sister drank too much. The hotel staff was everything but helpful, we were made to feel very unsafe after the fact. Looks by the hotel staff and comments from the front desk manager were the most unsettling thing. They were extremely unprofessional and unsympathetic to our experience. The biggest insult is that this man is still an employee at the RIU Palace Cabo San Lucas.
Beautiful landscaping, adult pool separate from family pool, great drinks, rooms are great, LIQUOR DISPENSER!
Great place for teens, 30 somethings, and people who like to sit by the pool and drink...all day. Slap on a wristband, and party your a*s off spring break style. Facilities are great - view is incredible - staff is friendly (even though they lost my reservation).
The all-inclusive feature is REALLY nice if you're with a big group of friends and like to drink a fair amount of booze while on vacation. The hotel bar is open all night and they have munchies late in the evening/early in the morning when you return home from your night on the town. There is also a cheesy club on the compound where you can catch a somewhat interesting crowd. Don't ask me what that means, because I don't really know. Just check it out if you get a chance. Riu has a "steak house" on site that you'll have to make reservations at if you have a large group.
You can access all the activities you want from the hotel lobby: You can go ATVing, though after seeing several of my friends upon their return, I don't really advise this activity. Parasailing is always an option, and I think you can rent wave runners right out in front of the hotel on the beach. Also, beware (or not) that the beach venders selling those silver trinkets and wood dolphin carvings, are also selling other "stuff." This place is a lot like Vegas in that you can pretty much find anything you want...or don't want, for that matter.
It's very easy to get cabs/vans into the city which is about 10 minutes away
Unique Quality: All-inclusive. Lodging, food, and drink. Huge pools, poolside bar, volleyball, a lot of beach activities. Great view of the Cabo arch.
Directions: 10 minute cab ride to downtown Cabo. 40 minute cab from airport
Riu Palace in Cabo San Lucas
All inclusive Resort
Review is a Work in progress, will make it better later..
You walk in the hotel, they give you wristbands, a quick intro on making dinner reservations, then you go drink!!!! No cash needed anywhere unless you go to the little pool shops.
Dont lose your towel card!!
2 swim up bars no explanation necessary
Stay out of the ocean, seriously. The undertow will get you
There is a fridge full of beer and soda that they refill every two days. You saw the picture of the hard stuff Im sure you can request refills more often but there is plenty of drinks all over the Riu compound . The cups are small so double up boys!
Money exchange- Dont bother
Tipping at hotel - our paperwork said our package deal included gratuity so we didnt tip. I dont recall seeing other people tip either
Room perks - gotta love the towel animals
Meals - There is always some sort of food available. Getting dinner reservations at the restaurants within the hotel is kind of a pain and not worth it if youre going for a short time. Give it a try or stick with the buffet.
It you want a non-buffet food, off the compound, authentic Mexi meal, go to Mi Casa in town. The concierge at Riu can make reservations for you. Take a cab, its not easy to find. The prices are close to US. About $30+ a head with Monster Margaritas
Mosquitoes - they will sneak in your room so keep the doors shut!!
Daytime¡ - tag your spots with your towels and bake all day. It gets quiet around 3pm (thats when we napped), Wed hit dinner around 7pm, then split to town
Dont let all the weddings scare you. Those people are there to party too (I know first hand :)
Unique Quality: Nightlife- have dinner at the Riu, drink up at the lounge (its free so use it!!!) , then go out around 10pm.
Sometime around 1am they serve midnight munchies at the Riu, but we typically didnt get back until 2am, sometimes later.
The club at the Riu was stupid so dont bother.
Taxi to town
Cabs charge per head. We had 6 girls so about $15 to get to town, $12 to get back
5-10 minute ride
Hotel Melia - Passions is the club - swanky, no t-shirts I highly recommend/ Its hidden away so take a cab. Its like Cabo's version of the Sky Bar in Los Angeles. Seriously, don't miss it. Beautiful local men and women, loungy, gogo dancers, good stuff. If you go and don't like it, its still close enough to walk back into town. Its just easier to find it if a cab takes you there.
These are all close so check them all out¡:
Club Nowhere - like Hermosa Beach's Blue 32, we loved it.
El Squid Roe - think TJ in the 90s, 21 yearolds
Zoo - think 909, hip hop
Cabo Wabo - pretty good mix of people and music
The Office - we didn¡t go, but I have been there before during the day. Its a fun spot in the afternoon but you cant beat all the free stuff at the Rui so may not be worth going to. No idea how it is at night but I've heard good things???
It Was Okay.
An all-inclusive resort. People were friendly and the hotel was clean. The beds were very hard, and the food was mediocre. Mixed drinks were weak, and on occassion I doubted there was more than a trace of liquor. Plenty to eat though. It was hot, hot, hot - over 100 every day. If you like hot, this is the place (meaning Cabo itself). If not, this is not the place. All inclusive - averaged $180.00 per day / per person for two rooms, food, drinks (2 people in one room, two in the other). If this sounds like a deal to you, take it. I did not think it was a deal, considering the rooms were average and beds very hard. It may be more of a deal for two people than for five. With three in one room, I was paying $540.00 a day. Even if the room averaged $250.00 a day (which would be on the high side for the quality / amenities in my opinion), that still left $100.00 a day per person for food / drinks. That's too much for an all inclusive in Mexico in my opinion, but then again, I'm no expert on all inclusives or Mexico. I personally would not recommend this hotel.
Unique Quality: The two pool areas were nice - one quiet and one an activity pool where there was music, games, etc. Generally the grounds were clean.
The Riu is a beautiful all inclusive hotel. There are two (2) large pools, one of which where we first arrived was heated and I have to tell you, February in Cabo is a little cool. There also are two small pools with swim up bars and two kiddy pools.
The hotel sits rignt on the beach to give a spectacular view of Lands End. Each room consists of a terrace, a small sitting area/living room, sleeping area and a very nice double sink bathroom. The only thing that was not comfortable about the room is the BED!!!! Make sure you ask for a pillow top, otherwise don't count on sleeping very well. Your room is also stocked with premium alcholos, water and beer. Coronita is there beer of choice which is not a bad thing.
The food is pretty good. We have stayed at quite a few all inclusives and the Riu's do a good job. We basically ate breakfast and lunch at the hotel. Some of the people in our party did have dinner on site and commented that it was "Not Bad". Honestly, there are so many good restaruants in town that make a much better choice for dinner.
Our main complaints? Because the hotel is wide open in the halls, it is a littly noisey. Also, don't leave your terrace door open at night. The smell is NASTY!!!!!
Unique Quality: We stayed at the Riu during Valentine's Day week and they had at least 5 weddings durning our stay. Therefore, if you are planning on a wedding soon, it looks like they do a very nice job.
Best Resort to Stay at in Cabo
They up graded our room to a Jr. suite with no extra cost it was wonderful we also had an ocean view. The resort just opened and wasn't to busy so that is probably why they did that for us.
Directions: Cabo san lucas
Nearby Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas Hotel
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Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas Hotel
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Riu Palace Los Cabos
- Riu Cabo San Lucas
- Riu Los Cabos
- Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas Hotel Cabo San Lucas
Address: Camino Viejo a San Jose, Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, 23410, Mexico
22 Photos of Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas HotelView Professional Photos
Amenities at Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas Hotel
- Swimming Pool
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Room Service
- Fitness Center
- Free Parking
- Business Services
- Kids Activities
- Continental Breakfast
- Free High Speed Internet
- Bar / Lounge
Cabo San Lucas Travel Forum
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