Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hollandia Village Balchik
The hotel is clean, rooms and service are very good. View is unbelievable. Don't take the shuttle for $13 a person via the airport. Riu is farthest out on the Island and we spend over 2hours on the bus to get to the hotel because we were the last stop in route. If you take a cab for $55 it will be worth it. I'm 31 and traveled with a girlfriend to hang at the beach. Over 4 nights we would have been bored. We have fun in the downtown Cabo with is a short cab right away from Riu but other than that there isn't much going on. If we stayed at the Westin or Sheraton (although they looked beautiful) the cab rides to town would have been long and expensive. Beware of the bees around the pool and beach. Maybe it was bee season who knows but it can ruin the tanning experience. As far as food, I enjoy good quality food. Inclusive to me is now sinonoumous with large quanitites of mediocre. Reservations were hard to come by for dinner, which is frustrating. Food is enough to fill you up but you won't be missing it. Bartenders need to work on there mixed drinks.
6 days of heaven
I have read all the reviews , both before and after we stayed at the Riu, for a week. here is what we experienced:
1- There ARE shuttles, if you book thru Pleasant, Apple , Sun etc. We were at the hotel within one hour of landing at the airport. Private van. No one from timeshares bothered us, this same driver picked us up on our last day and gave us a private tour of San Jose on the way to the airport.
2. The hotel staff is there for one reason, to please you. By the 2nd night, they knew our drinks, how we took our coffee, our names, and were there at all meals with great service. Yes, we are good tippers...they are not well paid, and it does make a difference although its not expected.
If you don't want a maid knocking on your door, use the RED "DO NOT DISTURB" sign. We only had maid service when we called and asked for it. And yes, tip these girls. Reina was there for us any time we needed anything. The hotel desk called every evening around 6 to ask how things were. We are NOT travel agents, and they knew that.
Our bathroom was fine, no problems with the shower, one day the hot water was out for a few hours. No big deal.
3. We were in room 2153 and had a great view to the north and the Sea of Cortez. Our TV had many channels and 2 movie channels. Plus they brought us a clock radio with several channels. It was quiet there-the doors are wood and the halls are all tile so of course its going to be a little loud when people slam doors. This place is brand new, the towels are new, the beds are clean, the patio furniture is new, everything is very nice. We were booked at a much pricier hotel and were very pleased we had moved to Riu at the last minute.
4. The food is good, and if you don't see what you want, there are plenty of choices. We had no problems getting a dinner rez, except for the last night, when hordes of people had arrived.
5. This is the only bad thing we encountered . We were happy we had planned our trip that week, as the last day really brought a change in the environment. They went from about 20% capacity to 100%.
All the dinner house reservations were filled up by 9am. People became very pushy and there were long lines at the buffets with children everywhere putting their hands in the food and screaming in the restaurants. The pools were crowded with kids and the best place was by the swim up bar if you can find a spot. The shows were fun, good dancers, again, by Friday night there were small children in all the bars. The only place you can really escape that is the Disco Pacha after 11pm.
Of course this has nothing to do with the RIU staff or management. Try to go during their quiet time. You will benefit from the great staff and you will want to return soon, as we do.
Loved The Riu!!
I stayed at the Riu Palace Dec 9-14. I was blown away the minute I stepped out of the cab. The lobby is unbelievable. My room was on the right side which in my opinon was a bit more on the quiet side. The views were spectacular. It's situated right on the beach as pictured on the hotel website. People were swimming in the water although the current is strong. If you take a water taxi to the hotel use at you own risk! The view of los arcos was great except when the cruise ships block my view. The infinity pool is awsome and maintained daily.
The rooms are nice with beautiful tile floors. At night the floors got a little chilly for bare feet so be prepared. The bathrooms are spacious with double sinks and a great shower, but the bathroom doors have slots at the bottom and don't allow for total privacy as compared to the bathrooms in the public areas. The hot water went out for one day but that was the only major problem. Construction was still going on which I expected. There were other minor issues not worth writing about that occur with grand openings. Room service is available for breakfast and they delivered on schedule. As regards the food, some of it was great!! And some of it wasn't. I ate at the Mexican Restaurant and would not go back the next time. I heard the Pacha disco from my room location so I'm sure it was noisy to anyone who was in a room directly above.
All of the staff was friendly and eager to please. The hotel owners appear to care about their guests or they would not send their staff with paper and pen in tow taking suggestions and opinions from guest that can be brutally honest. I hope the hotel adds a shuttle in order to avoid those pushy timeshare vultures at the airport. Overall, I'm definitely looking forward to returning but will miss the 99.00 per night grand opening special which was a great bargain. I'm sold!!
Nice to see better reviews of the Rui Palace
I am so happy that there are some new post up on the Riu Palace. Seems as if the new posts were there the same time as I was so you can see that from opening to the 10th of Dec. a lot had changed so hopefully things just keep getting better and better. Please post if the drinks get better I would love to know like I said in my other post they were working on it. That is what I like about the palace if they know something needs fixing they will try and do it.
One thing I had forgotten to tell everyone in the lunch Italian place by the water they have the greatest waiters and this great older guy that is so much fun. At night when it turns into a Mexican restaurant , he makes this great coffee pours it back and forth in this medal container on fire adds the coffee to it and then 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream yum!!!!!!! The mexican food in the place wasn't anything wonderful but the coffee show was wonderful he comes around to each table. Be sure and eat the gnocchi in the Italian Lunch same location.. I had them add shrimp and it was to die for. I had it in Italy and I swear this was right up there with the real deal.
Also one other thing the TV, There are two movie channels that just show good movies one after another all in english. Then about 10 other english channels with other stuff. Sorry guys no sports. My husband on Sunday went into town to a sports bar. while I must say I had a great massage.
Also bring tons of singles for tips.. They work so hard that you just want to see a smile on their face. I brought about 20 which I thought was enough but I kept buying pesos at the front desk. You also need them for water taxis and bring 10's for the land taxi.
Okay , you will not hear from me for awhile I am off to Hawaii Monday for Christmas... Maybe I will post Christmas at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Hawaii page...
Oh, If you want the greatest Lobster in the world go to Hacienda del Cuervo on Marina Plaza in Cabo ask for Mauricio and tell him you heard about it from Donna he will take care of you. I am still dreaming about those 3 huge tails...
Merry Christmas and enjoy the Rui Palace
Superb Resort/Great Location
Visited the resort Dec. 10 - 15 and had a great time. The staff was phenomenal & it was so much more than I expected. As pointed out by a few others a short walk down the beach and you're in downtown, but it's far away enough so that it's still quiet & relaxing. The food at the steakhse was great & the buffet had quite a bit of variety. Swim-up bar was a lot of fun. Overall, the sheer beauty of the resort is extremely impressive and I would recommend it to anyone.
The only place to stay in Cabo!!!
My wife and I just returned from the Riu Las Cabos and all I can say is WOW! I have stayed at many 5 star resorts in my life, but nothing like this place. It was amazing. The Food was incredible, I recommend that steakhouse and the Japanese restaurant.
The service was nothing short of Phenomenal, Jose and Consuela at the main lobby bar were awesome. The staff is extremely friendly, the grounds are amazing and the pools are endless. I just cant say enough good things about this resort. I will be back soon.
Afraid to shower
My husband and I arrived Dec 8-12 for a 4 night stay.
At first I was immediatly impressed. The lobby and staff were very gracious, the view alone from the upstairs bar are so beautiful. Everything changed after that. I stayed in room 3098, close to elevator and the lobby. The water would occasionally not be available, the electricity went out at least 3 times while I was in my room. The TV had no reception, the channels were very limited. The worst was while I was in the shower, I heard gurgling coming from the sink and the comode. All of a sudden while I am in the shower.. feces came up through the drain!!!! It was so disgusting. I was standing in poop!
I called the front desk and they sent maintanence. He said it was fixed, however I demanded to be moved. They have maid service 3 times a day, once knocking at 11:30pm?? Seems a little late to me.
Overall I think that they need some improvements, especially in the plumbing department.
Will I return, maybe, however it will be hard to forget my expierence in the shower.
Ps: Walls are thin, I could hear my neighbors.
A new All-Inclusive in Cabo
I arrived the afternoon of their opening day, so I was expecting a few surprises. The Hotel is nice the best part is the views from the bar across from the lobby. The staff is friendly and very egar to help, yet not fully trained.
The room was ok, but the beds are so new they are stiff as boards. They had hot water issues in which I had hot water only at the vanity, yet the shower seemed fine.
The food is fair for an all-inclusive nothing special, if you are planing to eat at one of the special restaurants i.e. Sir Lawerance, Misaki reserve early at breakfast. They only seat like fifty people per seating at each place for a hotel that can have 1200 people?
The hotel has alot of stairs, but does have elevators. Speaking of working out the facilities are small and have limited equipment.
It is about 2.5 miles to walk to town by way of the beach, the sand is soft so it will feel like 4? Take a rest stop at The Office for a Margi. taxi back for $10.
The pools are large and the staff has daily activities around them to join such as Bingo, ping-pong, and football on the beach.
The evening entertainment is fun and each night it changes. The Disco is a place to go and dance away the evening. WARNING!! If you have a room above are near the Disco ask to be moved, I was in a room near it and it shakes the walls.
Well, it wasn't for me, but for someone looking for an all-inclusive it's fine. It is modest hotel and for now it is nice and clean, but the craftmanship is simple and may look run down in a few years.
Riu needs more time
This was my third time back to Cabo and I have stayed at the Melia which is Dreams all 3 times. I left Dreams to try 2 days at the Riu. I knew it would be crazy because it was opening day, but I thought the services would be worth it and from the website the property looked awesome.
First of all there are really NO swimable beaches in Cabo due to the undertoe. You can swim but at your own risk.
The hotel lobby is beautiful. The front desk staff is very friendly! I found out the the staff had been brought in by other Riu properties. The staff is the ONLY thing this hotel has to offer at the moment.
The property has 2 large pools with jacuzzis and swim up bars and the beach is directly in front of you. There is no direct way to get to the pool and the sidewalks are like a maze and there are ALOT of steps to climb to get to the lobby from the pool. You are only 1 mile walking distance from the Office and Mango Deck and a great view of the Arch. There are alot of chairs and and the pool wait staff replaces your drinks as soon as you sit it down and if you are a smoker leave your lighter at home because they appear out of no where to lite your cigarette. I thought the mixed drinks were awesome and mixed Very strong. Maybe it just depends on who mixed them.
The room was smaller than the picture from the website. The bed is very hard, the doors are very loud when they close, the deck has plastic chairs, you can hear your neighbors and everything in the hallwys, the shower is not roomy and no water pressure. The water has no filtration system so don't brush your teeth with it or drink it. There is a mini bar in the room and a bar that contains tequilla, rum, vodka and brandy with glasses. The safe was a pain as the lock was very difficult to operate. The TV only worked one day but there are not very many channels and no movie channels. The patio must be closed for the AC to work.
The disco was playing 70's music and was not busy at all! Good option if you don't want to go into Cabo but there is too much to do there for nightlife.
The food was just HORRIBLE!!! If you like heat lamp warmed up food, this is the place for you. the deserts looked good but they were covered with bees buzzing around them. The buffet was the only restaurant available the first day and after lunch and dinner we decided to just go into town and get food that was good. We tried breakfast the last day and AGAIN, HORRIBLE! No bacon, no sausage no syrup for pancakes and no bagels. I would say that maybe the restaurants that open will be an option but they appeared rather small so I forsee difficulty getting in and you must have a reservation which who wants to be on a time schedule when you are on vacation?
The show was OK, nothing spectacular but ok for mindless entertainment value.
The gym was nice but not finished. View of the Sea of Cortez, top of the line equipment but no free weights.
The spa not ready at all but I decided to get a massage. This was the WORST massage I have ever had. The boy trembled applied NO pressure and dripped his sweat on me. There was no music yet and I listened to a hammer pounding something and a mosquito buzzing around that kept biting me. Also you cannot charge items to your room so any incidentals you must carry cash or your credit card with you.
There was suppose to be 24 hour food available but the only thing we could find was a few pieces of fruit at one of the bars and it was not even fresh.
There is NO room service!
The Dreams is only rated a 3/12 which when it was the Melia it was a 5. The Riu is rated a 4 and 5 depending on the website and I don't see it. Dreams needs help with service it is no Melia anymore and equipment in gym needs updated but you get rafts from the pool there and the property is not hard to get around. The rooms are much nicer and bigger! The buffet there was not so great at night but the restaurants had a filet and Sea Bass that were spectacular!
If you could take the Service from the Riu and the property at Dreams you would possible have a 5 star hotel.
Overall, I think Riu has a long way to go.
RIU a lot of potential
First of all let me start with a summary and then I'll move on to my experience:
Two married couples ages 25-35, speak Spanish, had been to Cabo during a cruise stop, we were not looking for a wild nightlife just a relaxing vacation. 1st time staying in an all inclusive hotel, we have been to most major vacation spots in Mexico. We booked our vacation thru Suntrips which has its own charter service to Cabo. When I first booked the trip, I didn't realize I had booked it for the RIU opening day, when I realized that was the case I prepared myself for the worse case scenario. I'll leave the nuisance of being the first guests out my summary but will include it in my story and will base my summary on a fully operating hotel.
-Very friendly staff
-Conveniently located only 15-30 minute walk on the beach from downtown Cabo
-Located far enough from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Medano beach, but close enough to walk if that is your type of thing.
-Good nightly entertainment
-Not a swimming beach, you need to walk about 10-15 minutes
-Dinner reservation needs to be made every morning between 7-10 AM
-Exit or road to the hotel is not clearly marked, which can lead to a 1-2 mile longer drive and making a U turn if you're coming from the airport
-Specialty and mix drinks left a lot to be desired, but might get better over time, or you can stick to beer and straight drinks.
I would highly recommend this hotel to family and friends. The hotel is beautiful, very friendly staff, great food an overall great place to get away and relax for a reasonable price.
We arrived at the RIU before noon on December 3rd (Opening Day); since we arrived early we were literally the first guest to arrive at the hotel. You can tell all the employees and management were very nervous. Upon arrival we were greeted and ushered into the bar area which has some beautiful views and were provided with drinks. I think this is the when they are suppose to provide a summary of the hotel, how dinner works and what the hotel has to offer, but after about 10 minutes we were asked to fill our registration cards and were provided with Keys, towel cards and a safe deposit locks. At that point most people starting to get up and leave to their rooms and the host didn't know what to do so he just stood there. We walked over to our bags and were greeted by Bell Boy, who after reviewing a map several times escorted us to our rooms, again this could have been a nuisance but he was very nice and was trying to do his best. The room was beautiful, great views and everything in the room was functional. After the initial WOW we started noticing a lot of construction workers and some construction dust around the hotel, again a small nuisance, but better than I had expected. We had a good lunch at the buffet and walked the beach to downtown Cabo. We came back later that evening ($10 cab ride) and sat by the pool for some drinks. The pools had water but didn't look very clean, it looked like they were still trying to get the pumps to work and electricians were all over the place string wire to all the light fixtures, surprisingly enough all the lights come on at dusk. Hot water and cable went out for a couple hours, and the staff said it was opening day problems. We had great dinner at the buffet that night (the only restaurant operational on opening night) and walked over to the nightly entrainment. The show was good but not great, we spent most of night laughing at all the mistakes. We had discovered earlier in that day that specialty and mix drinks left a lot be desired, so we decided on Tequila (Don Julio and Jimador) shots and beer for the rest of the vacation. I know that tips are included, but we like to tip for good service which lead to non stop shots of tequila and beer all night, the minute we took the shot the waiter walked up and asked if ready for the next one. By the end of vacation I think we drank more tequila than we paid for our Hotel, but that is another story. The second day we spend most of the day on a day trip around the peninsula and made it back on time for dinner. The Steak House opened the second day and we had a great dinner. The waiters had opening day jitters, but tried very hard to please. Entertainment was very good the second night. We spent most of third day at the hotel, by this point most of the construction was not visible, the pools look cleaned and were ready to go. All the construction dust we noticed the first day was gone and everything was nice and shiny. We had a great Swiss massage under the moonlight with the ocean as the backdrop at the Spa. On the third night the St Lawrence restaurant opened, where we had the worst service and meal during our stay. We had to wait over an hour for our food and it was not very good, steakhouse was 100 times better. The night club on site was opened, which is small but again it's not a party type of hotel. Checkout was pretty uneventful. Overall, we would love to back in a few months when an all the restaurants are opened and all water features which looked spectacular are operational.
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