The Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas is by far one of the top 5 hotels I have experienced thus far. Djibouti Palace Kempinski is another international hotel that caught me by surprise considering The Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, and a few others on my list.
RIU Palace Cabo is one of three properties along the coast of Cabo. Its sister properties Santa Fe and Riu California have no comparison to the size of RIU Palace Cabo which has 600 sleeping rooms.
Whenever I visit hotels the main thing I look for is comfort and the amount of complimentary amenities. When traveling you want to enjoy yourself, but you don’t want to go broke trying to vacation. Thankfully RIU Palace Cabo left no stone unturned with its list of amenities.
Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas
Note: This hotel review is not a paid review and everything stated is unfiltered and is solely based on my experience at the hotel.
Let me take you on a journey through how I spent an extended weekend at this beautiful spa resort.
RIU Palace Cabo Arrival
The hotel offers each room a complimentary round trip shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. Make note that this is one shuttle per room and not a shuttle for each person. If you are sharing a room and arrive at different times, the person arriving later will have to pay for a shuttle service. No worries because it’s only $19 round trip via Cabo Airport Shuttle.
Once I arrived it didn’t take long to get into my room. I will say that this hotel is massive so you have to be mindful that you will be walking. My room was on the opposite wing of my friends and I decided to change rooms because I did not want to spend so much time walking back and forth.
The room was fairly large and accommodated two people easily. A king bed, a small sofa, a large bathroom with double vanity and a balcony was more than enough. I arrived at night and was tired so the only thing on my mind was sleep.
Note: The rooms are fully equipped with their own complimentary bar. These are full bottles of rum, tequila, and vodka. The hotel lives up to their all inclusive status.
Another thing to mention is that you cannot book a room for one person when more than one person is staying there. This is an all inclusive resort. The only way to enjoy the amenities is with a wrist band that you get at check in. Don’t try to scam the hotel.
Image via hotel
RIU Palace Cabo Food
After having a good night’s sleep it was time for me to really start my adventure. First stop was breakfast. The hotel has 5 different restaurants for you to pick from. Breakfast is the only time everyone is locked into one or two places. The main restaurant overlooks the entire hotel and onto the beach. You have both inside and outside seating option.
This place will spoil you as it has a large buffet selection from fresh fruit to custom omelettes and anything you can desire. One thing that really impressed me was each of the servers were very nice and accommodating. With a place this big you might think the customer service might slip, but not here. You might also think the food would be somewhat bland to appease everyone’s taste buds. The first time I thought about this being an issue is right now as I type this review.
During the day, two additional restaurants open up to serve grilled items near the pool and a international variety on the first floor. The hotel does have a Indian and Japanese restaurants that are open only for dinner. These are a first come basis and was worth us getting there early so we could get a table. We tried the Japanese restaurant and were greeted with a glass of rosé. The four course dinner was amazing.
RIU Palace Cabo Activities
This hotel does not hold back when it comes to having enough square feet for pools. They have two large infinity pools with jacuzzis. The pools also feature reclining chairs in the pool for you to have the best of both worlds. Surrounding the pool are hundreds of chairs in the sun, under shaded cabanas, and on the beach.
Each of the bottom level sleeping rooms have a swim out. This allows you to walk from your room right into your private pool.
The hotel comes with a spa that allows you to have a variety of services. The spa is inside, but what I loved seeing the most was the ability to get a full body massage on the beach. The hotel has a private cabana that allows two people to get a massage. A few people surely took advantage of this.
Yes, you can easily find a massage option walking on the beach, but I was hesitant because sanitation concerned me and the price. For me, having a $20 massage for an hour didn’t seem like it would be a good massage.
If you didn’t want to be harassed by the solicitors on the beacg outside of the hotel, the hotel has it’s own list of activities to book. Scuba diving, boat tours, jet skiing, whale watching, and much more.
You are most certainly welcome to go to the beach and talk to the vendors there, but note, if anything where to happen, it would be hard to hold them accountable. We did book a boat tour from a solicitor and was perfectly fine.
The hotel staff is always looking to entertain guests. During the afternoon guests could learn how to dance, play their version of bingo, water polo and a few other partner assisted crowd games. I saw this engagement before when in The Dominican Republic so it was great to see it here.
Other hotel access
As mentioned earlier, the hotel has two sister hotels next to it. Guests of the RIU Palace Cabo have access to the Santa Fe. The Santa Fe has their own splash park for adults and for kids which was a great bonus when you wanted to venture out even more. Guests of Santa Fe weren’t allowed to come into RIU Palace Cabo and we weren’t allowed into the third property called California. I’m not sure why.
Another perk is that Sante Fe holds 4 events throughout the weekend that are adult only. The mix between day and night parties were absolutely amazing. This occurs every week.
What could have been better
I believe the biggest drawback for me were three things.
My first room was an ocean view room. However, the room was on the side of the hotel and the ocean was in the front. This only gave me a partial view of the ocean. Only the suites in the front truly had a full ocean view. But it didn’t matter for long since I moved rooms.
The second more glaring issue was how close Sante Fe was to our hotel. Great for walking distance, but horrible for noise. Any gust that had an exterior room next to Santa Fe would never be able to sleep in. Along the perimeter of RIU Palace Cabo is the main eating area and pool for Santa Fe.
Noise started promptly at 7:30am and ended around 9.
The hotel is operated 24/7. The one night I wanted to order room service the phone was either busy or simply rung. They did have a snack bar near the reception area, but I wasn’t open to making that journey LOL.
Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas was the perfect hotel for me. If I had to give it rating it would be an A-. The only time I spent money was when I ventured out to shop and to pay for the boat. The hotel really does give you an incredible amount of amenities and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to go to Mexico to get a blend of relaxation and fun.
Need more tips on destination travel and events? Contact me here.