• Teelesia Martin

Hotel Review: RIU Santa Fe

Located on the Southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, in Cabo San Lucas Mexico, the 24hr, All-Inclusive RIU Santa Fe offers numerous attractions and activities to make your stay memorable. This resort is a big (and I mean BIG) part of the RIU brand. The grounds are clean, staff is friendly and views are AMAZING!! You ever sat on the ledge of an infinity pool oceanfront at a budget? Yeah, I hadn’t before this experience. Who knew?

The Room:

This resort offers quite a few room styles and locations depending on number of occupants and view, aka, price! The better the view, the more you pay! Options range from standard double rooms overlooking the garden area to Jacuzzi suites with a sea view. The best option on budget is right in the middle, the superior room with a comfy bed, balcony and pool view. You get nicer, more modern furniture, pool views and a shower with a half glass door. If you’ve been trippin’ with me for a while, you know I hate those. They look nice but function like trash! UGH. These rooms are perfect for 2 people and possibly more if you choose the 2 double beds option.

Anyways, the main feature of the rooms at the RIU is the minibar and beverage dispenser. You literally have an alcohol dispenser and stocked fridge in your room, bartender included, YOURSELF. This may or may not be a good thing. Let’s just say the sight of this outstanding feature made me nauseous after day 3, so it was probably not a good thing for me. However, well worth it when you want a late night drink and the bars are closed.

The Amenities:

RIU Santa Fe is All-Inclusive so all amenities are included in your stay unless specified otherwise or seemingly extra fancy. For example, a Turkish bath at the Renova Spa, definitely not included. However, the 5 beautiful swimming pools, 4 swim-up bars, water park, disco lounge and free gym are all included in your stay. They also offer a shuttle to downtown for a small fee if you get more people (Make friends) This resort is only about 15mins to downtown. Great location!!

The landscaping of this resort is also beautiful. Everything was kept clean, maid service was happening all day, grounds were kept up and tables were always available. The resort as a whole looks like a Mexican city out of a storybook or movie. When you think of Santa Fe, New Mexico, this is what you picture. Sandstone buildings, desert looking grounds, palm trees and fancy bushes.

The only drawback is this resort is on El Medano Beach. The beach itself is beautiful and in great eye view of the Arch of Cabo San Lucas. However, you can’t really swim much due to the high waves. If you walk a few miles down, the beach becomes swimmable by Mango Deck Beach Club. Other than that, you’ll be in the pool.

The Entertainment:

Besides the daytime entertainment at the pools which was quite boring, RIU Santa Fe is known for the themed Pool Party in the pool party zone! This program hosts 4 different adults-only themed events in the pool party zone. Expect live music, live DJ’s, live dancers, lots of foam and champagne showers, forreal, real live champagne showers, like attach an oversized champagne bottle to a water gun and shoot champagne instead of water! Drunk vacationer you ask? Well… To each his/her own, yes I was drunk, so what! Moving on…. The vibe of the party is like you’re at home with your best friends. Everyone is talking, laughing, dancing, drinking, partying and having a great time! Each party represents a theme and plays a certain genre of music. I had the pleasure of attending all parties, some more than once. The White party takes you back to the ancient Greek era and plays hits from the 70’s and 80’s. The Jungle party creates a camoflauge vibe and plays the best Reggaeton and Latin mixes. The Neon party (where I got the LITTEST) puts on a show full of fluorescent glow-in-the-dark colors and plays Hip-Hop and House music. Last but not least, the Pink party. This one is for the pop stars jamming to current hits, House music and Hip-Hop. You are expected to wear the colors of the themed events, in any form, face/body paint included. Nevertheless, all the colors look the same after a few drinks. RIU Santa Fe also offers an onsite disco club, the Pacha. Be sure to tip the bartenders because they make some amazing drinks that only get better after a few dollars are thrown. They deserve it!

The Food:

RIU Santa Fe offers 7 restaurants, including Mexican, Asian, Italian, Steakhouse and 3 buffets! The food in the buffets are good at first but tend to get tiring after a few days. Nevertheless, the options are endless. The Asian restaurant (my favorite) has Sushi that is too die for. I really was shocked I found the best sushi I’d ever had in Mexico (side eye). Snacks are available 24hrs a day, either at the snack bar during the day or the sports bar at night. The poolside daytime snack bar has some grilled chicken that makes you want to slap yo mama (I do not support this message). The sports bar though, TRASH!!! Stay in your room or head downtown if you get hungry on the late night. The hot dogs never cook, the bread is made from concrete, the sandwiches are lightly thawed, the nacho cheese is watery yellowish liquid, and the fruit salads are, well, whatever you imagine them to be at this point. It wasn’t even good on a drunk stomach, that says a lot.

Formal dress code is required for dinner in the a-la-carte restaurants. The steakhouse is Outstanding! Huge cuts of steak, tender, juicy, well-seasoned, and paired with a wine of your choice or some other useless beverage item. The ambience is very date-nighty and the service is superb. Another place to save tips for! Overall, the food was good, more options then complaints.

The Overall Experience:

My overall experience at RIU Santa Fe was a good one! The beach was beautiful, the distance to downtown was great and easily accessible, the pool parties were lively and the food was better than decent. Check-in was slightly slow but they offer you a drink while you wait, that sped things up! I would recommend staying at this resort any time you want to visit Cabo San Lucas. I spent 9 days here, 2 people for $2K. If that ain’t champagne taste on a beer budget, I don’t know what is!

Did you know that Cabo and Los Cabos are not the same? They’re actually very far from each other depending on where you stay and what you want to see. Anything is doable with a car but not so much without it. Be sure to grab your handy travel map and research what activities, excursions and sights you want to see before booking. Viva La Mexico!!

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