We arrived back from vacation just a few days ago. It was a first for us in two ways. Our first time in Los Cabos Mexico and our first time at a Riu resort. This is my Riu Santa Fe Vacation review.
Riu Santa Fe Vacation Review
The Riu Santa Fe is found directly on the beach between the two towns that make up the Los Cabos area. About an hour from the airport and directly next door to the sister property Riu Palace.
The Riu Santa Fe has a large building and infinity pool directly on the beach and then tucked in behind there is an additional pool and more buildings. Most of the restaurnts as well as the entertainment area are also in behind the beach buildings.
We spent most of our time at the interior pool. One of the complaints that so many other reviewers have made of the Riu Santa Fe is that it is loud and there are too many young spring breaker types. What we found personally is that the infinity pools by the beach, especially the small ones with the swim up bars were rowdy. This was the party area. The days we sat by the pool at the ocean we did so first thing in the morning before it got too busy. By 10 am we moved to the interior pool where it was quieter and more relaxing.
Personally I didn’t find this resort to be any more filled with partiers than others I have been to in the past. It did get busier on the weekend when there were short term vacationers but at the most we heard some doors closing in the middle of the night. These people were probably just as annoyed with us when we got up early for breakfast! There is always a quiet pool and a party pool and you just have to sit where it suits you best.
While the beach is gorgeous, the views are just wonderful, it is not swimable. Ok sure some people tried but the waves and the undertow are quite strong to make for safe swimming. If you are dead set on swimming in the ocean, you need to take a walk along the beach closer to the down town area which is sheltered and the undertow and rip tides are under control.
Los Cabos vs Mayan Rivera
One of the things I found myself doing the entire time we were on vacation was comparing Los Cabos to other Mexican vacations I have had, specifically another popular Mexican hotspot the Mayan Riviera.
The major difference between the two areas comes down to geography. Los Cabos may be on the ocean but it is also is in a desert and it is dry. You notice this first thing in the morning when it is cooler because there is no humidity hanging in the air, the same goes for in the evenings – I should have packed more little sweaters. One of the perks was that I didn’t have big crazy vacation hair! Dry air equals much more manageable hair on vacation.
The ocean was also different. Most of the places I have been while in the Mayan Rivera were swimable. Whether it was because of man made reasons or not it was manageable to get in the ocean. Los Cabos is pretty much a miss for ocean swimming.
I found that Los Cabos has a vibe that is much closer to Cancun or Peurta Plata in the Dominican Republic because of the younger partier vibe.
One of the things I really enjoyed about the Riu Santa Fe was eating at the open air restaurants. Both the restaurants at the interior pool (our go to lunch spot and the best grouper for dinner!) and the ocean side steak restaurant (which was just as good for breakfast with a view). These restaurants made the stay that much more magical.
We stayed in building 2 which was an interior building, which was a blessing in disguise. Building 7 is the one right at the ocean and if you require an elevator this is the only building that has one. The rest of the buildings are at most 4 floors and smaller. The nice thing about this resort is that it is relatively smaller than some of the sprawling all inclusive resorts I have been to in the past which literally have shuttles to get you from one end of the resort to the next. The Riu Santa Fe is very walkable even if you are going from one end of the resort (the beach) to the other end (the big buffet restaurant).
Just as you come out of the lobby you walk into a large quad that has some restaurants and the entertainment area. After dinner every night we would head there for some drinks and live music. This area is teaming with life in the evenings.
All in all our Riu Santa Fe vacation was great. I was able to relax and read and just completely decompress. The food was fairly typical of an all inclusive. Some really great options (the grouper at the Mexican restaurant deserves to be repeated) and some meh options. But I never went hungry and the taco bar nights were so good.
What do you think of the Riu Santa Fe Vacation review? Have you been? What did you think?