Our visit to the Hotel Riu Santa Fe may have only been one week, but the time we spent there will remain in our memories forever. We traveled with Sunwing Airlines from Vancouver, BC to Los Cabos, Mexico and we were lucky to have a stress-free travel experience on their champagne flight service. As we were making our way from the airport to the hotel, we were a bit worried about the torrential rainfall that we encountered and the Sunwing team mentioned they had had the most rain in the past two weeks since seven years ago. Luckily, the storm eventually broke and our time in Los Cabos was fantastically sunny and mucho calor. (translation: extremely hot)
When we arrived at the Hotel Riu Santa Fe we were kindly greeted by hotel staff and we moved through check-in quite quickly as we were eager to get to our room and settle in. Our suite was based in building number seven which offers fabulous ocean views and picturesque sunsets. (I would recommend booking a room in building number seven as it is close to everything you need and has an elevator for those of you who find stairs difficult) (Here is the view from our room in this picture below)
After unpacking and watching a glorious Los Cabos sunset, we got ready for our dinner at Carusso, the specialty Italian restaurant that was kindly reserved beforehand for us by Laura Robles (Press Manager of RIU Americas/Communication) and Brenda Santos at the front desk. (Tip: If you want to reserve a spot for dinner at any of the specialty restaurants make sure you book early in the morning or a day in advance. Also note that there is limited seating and limited visits may apply. Tank tops are not accepted and there is a dress code in effect for most restaurants.)
We enjoyed our days being active, swimming in all of the many pools, taking in breathtaking 'Cabo' sunsets and dining at every restaurant, including the other three specialty restaurants Zashila (Asian), La Mision (Mexican) and Torote (Steakhouse). Our favorite restaurant of all four specialty restaurants would have to be the steakhouse, Torote, with La Mision and its Mexican night following closely behind. Zashila and Carusso offer a buffet style concept before you choose your main dish from the menu, while La Mision and Torote were complete set menus. We enjoyed the full sit down dinner as we had enough of the buffet-style-back-and-forth dining at breakfast and lunch.
We were happy and satisfied with the majority of cuisine we sampled while staying at the hotel and we also adored the fact that there were so many options in the buffet restaurants. (Our plates were overflowing!) We spent one evening at the neighboring property Riu Palace in the Japanese restaurant, Misaki. The ambiance was beautifully set in a traditional Japanese manner and the menu had a variety of sushi, tempura and dishes featuring all types of Japanese delicacies.
If you want to drink premium liquors when staying at the Hotel Riu Santa Fe you might want to consider bringing your own duty free in or go downtown via local bus or taxi to find what you are looking for. While the hotel provides liquor dispensers in the rooms, it just might not taste like the vodka or rum you have in your home country. In the restaurants they have kegs of beer and wine dispensing machines, but again, they may taste a bit strange to you or watered down. This is solely a heads up so you know what to expect. I found that by reading all about people's experiences at the Hotel Riu Santa Fe before I went helped me because I could see what people were excited about and what they complained about, then arrive at my own conclusion.
As for exploring, we were also able to experience two tours outside of the resort while we were there. Signature Vacations, part of the Sunwing Travel Group organized two excursions for us that we thoroughly enjoyed. We experienced the snorkeling tour to Lover's Beach where we swam with loads of colourful fish and ocean critters. Our tour guide Daniel was extremely helpful and guided us around rock formations and cove-like areas as he took underwater photos or marine life and us. We were able to enjoy a quick baguette lunch (provided by Esperanza Tours/Sunwing) on Lover's Beach and relax and unwind, as well as some more time for snorkeling.
Horseback riding along the Pacific Coastline and through the desert was another tour we were able to experience and while we weren't galloping across the beach like what you see in the movies, we enjoyed our tour immensely. We had some laughs with our tour guide who was a bit off-the-wall, but hilarious and went on our merry way back to the beautiful Hotel Riu Santa Fe.
While we already knew before we arrived that we weren't going to be able to swim in the ocean at the hotel because of the dangerous rip tides and currents, my guy would stare down the ocean waves as if it was necessary that he take on the challenge. Luckily, he did not and I have him still with me today. Seriously folks, if you want to try to challenge the waves and run out into the deep blue near the hotel, be warned that some of the strongest swimmers have run into trouble. If the red flag is waving, steer clear and take a short taxi ride to Chileno Bay, Medano Beach or Lover's Beach where you can swim, snorkel, scuba, kayak and enjoy the Pacific blue without worry.
We didn't watch many of the nightly live shows, but from what I saw they are thrilling, uplifting and kept the guests busy after a scrumptious dinner. There is also a nightclub on the property called 'Pacha' for those of you who want to dance to the Latin beat and top hits until the wee hours of the morning.
In conclusion, without a doubt the service and friendliness of the staff was phenomenal. If you requested something specific or your mini-bar to be replenished, it was done. We tipped the housekeeper we had, the tour guides and the mini-bar staff and the tip was taken with immense gratitude. The food in the hotel was pleasant and was suitable for every type of craving one may have when traveling abroad and the bartending staff were quick on their feet with drink requests. (I guess they have to be with a crowd of 20 to 30 hanging around them like thirsty hyenas all day!)
There were activities for small children at RIULand and activities throughout the day for adults and teenagers to get involved with. There was always something to do, somewhere to explore and a new dining venue to experience. The cleanliness of the hotel was of superb quality including all public bathrooms and pool areas and the entertainment staff was always on the go. I have been to a large amount of all inclusive hotels and resorts and I have never been asked about my feedback during the trip by the staff. At the Hotel Riu Santa Fe I was asked three times what my thoughts were about the resort as a whole and found that extremely impressive and refreshing. If you have something positive to say about the hotel, let the staff know and if you have a complaint, speak your mind as constructive feedback is welcome at all times.
I will most certainly recommend the Hotel Riu Santa Fe to friends, family and anyone who asks me about the Riu experience. Our experience was a smooth, stress-free, exciting one that we will never forget and we look forward to staying with Riu hotels and resorts in the near future.
*A special thank you to Laura Robles, Press Manager of the RIU Americas, Stuart Thompson at Signature Vacations, Brenda Santos, Front Desk Director at Hotel Riu Santa Fe, as well as Gorge Romero, Cesar and Sarah at the Sunwing Representative Desk.
Author: Natasha Jervis, Travel Copywriter, BC Association of Travel Writers
The Hotel RIU Santa Fe is the perfect choice when seeking a much needed escape to the sunny beaches and coast of world-famous Los Cabos, Mexico. Ready to create memories of a lifetime in Los Cabos? Book your Mexican escape by speaking to a member of our travel dream team and call us at 1-888-685-6888 or book online at www.Escapes.ca.