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Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas Review!!!

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#1 Lagen

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    Posted 24 July 2008 - 06:55 PM

    Ok here it is girls......I didn't proofread it so I apologize for all the errors you may find! After reading it you'll have a hard time believing I'm a doctor I'm sure!!! OK it's long and there are no pictures at this time. As you can see by my profile I'm a "noob" so I don't do much on here and haven't figured out how to post pictures. But my tech dork husband will surely do it for me one of these nights so stay posted for pictures.

    Please write with any questions!!!!!

    Riu Palace: A+++++++++
    This resort is fabulous. I had read reviews that made me nervous before going. I have to say that I have been to several AI resorts and this is the best one I’ve stayed at. It was impressive. The food was outstanding. The buffets are larger than any I’ve seen. And, the restaurants that you have to get reservations for are well worth the 30 minute wait we put in each morning. The Japanese restaurant and fine dining were our favorites. Todd thought he food at the Fine Dining (Sir Lawrence) was better than a $200 meal we had in San Jose del Cabo!! I could not have picked a better place to be married. The only negative is that this resort is large, so sometimes it was difficult to find people. However, we were given a “block” of rooms. They also upgraded everyone in the wedding party from “garden view” rooms to “ocean view”. On the night of the wedding ever single person came back to a room covered in chocolates, rose petals, etc. It was nicely done! People enjoyed the hotel so much that 2 couples have already begun planning a trip back this winter.

    Riu Santa Fe: For those of you wondering about this place, we went over here a few times to visit some of our guests that were staying there and also to eat. This place is really nice. It was much more than I expected it to be. The food was wonderful. Our guests that stayed here really enjoyed it. They were able to come over w/o the day pass fee for one day and we paid $70 for each person on the day of the wedding.

    Presidente Intercontinental in San Jose del Cabo
    We stayed here for 6 nights just to try something different while were in the area. I have to admit that as soon as we got here we were dying to go back to the Riu. It’s no half the resort that the Riu is!!!!! However, if I had never been to an AI resort before I probably would have found this one very nice. I’ve just been very spoiled, especially at the Riu! For instance, all the good meat (steak, shrimp, lobster, etc) cost extra money. While, at the Riu all of these (except lobster) were seen regularly at meals. We even had filet mignon at dinner one night at the Riu at Sir Lawrence. Like I said though, we had been spoiled at the Riu – which tainted our perception of this hotel. However we did eat in San Jose del Cabo at La Panga Antigua and Tropicana which were both expensive, but wonderful!!

    WC - Daniella: A++++++++
    This woman is very busy, which is why it takes a while to get responses from her. But, trust me, she has it together. She pulled everything off fantastically. A lot of the planning details don’t get formalized until you’re there (which made me really anxious), but this was not an issue. She was always available and was present at the wedding and reception. She was very fair and negotiated things for us with vendors. We only had one misunderstanding – which was likely a language barrier (this was about food). She is a perfectionist which is great to work with, soothed my anxiety! For instance, The flowers arrived and they did not meet her expectations so she sent off from flowers from another company that same day. (I’m not sure how to explain how good she was but am willing to answer any questions you may have to assure you of her abilities. Please note she does 3 weddings per day with only one day off per week – she knows what she is doing!!).

    Welcome Dinner:
    Mexican Terrace.
    This was good. The Mexican Restaurant serves good food and it was intimate. I wish I had chosen something more private, but this was sufficient. We stayed much later than we were supposed to and no one cared!

    OOT Bags:
    These were a hit. I didn’t take any pictures of them unfortunately. We handed out sling packs to each single male, and palm leaf purses to each couple or single woman. Instead were a custom koozie, large stadium cup for alcohol drinks at the resort, tissue, lotion, several medications, personalized chapstick, playing cards, gum, gummy bears, personalized M&M’s, maracas, tri-fold brochure we made with wedding info, Spanish phrase booklet, bookmarks, and who knows what else. They were fully stuffed. People loved them. They all used the bags throughout the weekend. The biggest hit was the stadium cups. People got drinks that were easily 5 times the size of a normal resort drink when using them. Also, strangers at the resort were jealous of them and even tried to steal some of them. So, these are a definite “must do” at any all inclusive resort. We gave each person 2 so they could toss a dirty one and not worry about cleaning it. We did ask the resort ahead of time if we could use them – so they were “approved” but they said this wasn’t necessary.

    Beach Wedding: A++++++++
    This was great! We considered changing the location to the gazebo at the last minute but I’m SO glad we didn’t. (Had watched a wedding there 2 days before and enjoyed that location too) I was worried the cruise boat would get in the pictures, and it didn’t. I was also worried that the sand would be too hot, that on-lookers would yell inappropriate things out, etc. Instead we got a crowd for 50+ people form the pool clapping, no cruise boats, cool sand, and fabulous pictures from this spot. The arch was decorated our colors and looked really nice in pictures. We had a trio play which every one really enjoyed – I don’t recall what they looked or sounded like of course! The ceremony was done by a woman in Spanish and translated by my high school friend into English. My friend changed words around so that it sounded better, read a poem Todd wrote for me, and even did some other special readings and things of her own. There is a TON of flexibility here. It was a legal ceremony. After the wedding we became celebrities around the resort. Everyone was incredibly supportive. Couples told us how they loved the poem while quoting it, servers brought champagne to us at all meals, etc. It was great!!

    Reception in the English Garden: A+++++++
    This was a great spot for the reception. It’s very private. The only problem here is that there is no breeze so we were all sweaty and hot. But, after several “Sex with Carlitos” shots no one really cared (Carlitos was our bartender for the night). The food was AMAZING. I’m not kidding here. We had the best meal anyone had ever had at a wedding. People talked about this for days. Ok, so here’s how the language problem unfolded. For those of you who have seen the list of meal options (3 columns) this will be helpful. We thought you pick one column and then people will be given a menu and pick what the want (the beef, chicken, or veg). This is NOT the case. You are supposed to know what each person wants 1 day before the wedding. So, we had the choice of deciding form them or calling everyone to ask. Instead we opted for the buffet (which I was initially against). But we got the “hog buffet” or so we called it. It had an enormous amount of food. But the hit was gigantic lobsters. They were the largest ones I have ever eaten. They were amazing! There was also steak, crab, shrimp, chicken, you name it…..at $55 per person. It was totally worth it. We had 36 people and you’re supposed to get the buffet if you have 50 people and they wanted us to buy it for all 50 at first. After discussion they let us buy the buffet for 36 and did it. This was the best “mistake gone right” ever! This error turned o8ut to be one of the best parts of the whole wedding!!!

    DJ: B-----
    OK, our DJ sucked. There’s no way around this one. We had all of out songs on an ipod, and printed on a list for him. All he had to do was play it and he didn’t. He played some of ours, and some of his. The sound was bad, screeching noises in the middle of the first dance and all. He was 2 hours late due to showing up inappropriately dressed per the resort dress code so my US wedding planner did all the announcing and music in the first section.. But, by the end of the night he did well and made it up to us. In the end, no one really noticed and everyone had a blast. Also, Daniella refunded us the DJ $$ because he was late and was horrible!

    Photos: A++++++++++
    Mango Productions
    I have to start by saying that I was not excited to use these people. I wanted some of the fabulous photographers that I’ve seen on here (like Juan Carlos, etc). However, my US wedding planner and parents thought this company did a good job. This company works for the Riu and there are a few different French photographers that work together. And now, my parents can say “I told you so”. The photographs are fabulous. We were given a copy of each photo, and several CDs, which each have all 710 photos. The pictures are outstanding and much better than I thought they would be. And the very best part about it was that we had the pictures in our hands less than 24 hours after the wedding!!! Many brides have to wait months, which I was not willing to do. We were able to get all of our friends and family around a laptop the next afternoon to view the pictures with us. This was really neat! Nothing better than instant gratification!

    I know people were worried about safety after the Riu Santa Fe incident. I felt very safe while I was there. The property is gates and all employees are searched upon shift change. It’s so tight that when we came back in the taxi we would each have to show the wristband before entering. Sometimes they didn’t allow certain shuttles in due to high security. There were police and staff security at the gate throughout the day. I had no concerns with safety. The room was also safe. No one in our party had anything stolen. We used the save at all times for anything of value. In addition we brought locks for a suitcase for large items that could not fit in the safe. I never felt that our items had been touched or moved and our maid was very friendly.

    1. Glass bottom boat to lover’s beach: water was too rough on some day to go to it. The water on the little glass bottom boats is very, very choppy! Several guests felt sick - FYI
    2. snorkeling – Spent $50 each to go on the boat and no one on the boat say a single fish. There were 9 boats in the bay that we pulled up in. I’m not sure if this is normal, but I would warn you to have low expectations.
    3. wave runners – 7 guys rented these on our wedding day while the girls got their hair done. They LOVED it. We reserved them the day before and they brought as many as we needed. They were located right in front of the hotel. Price was $45 for 60 minutes. They took them all the way out to the arch.

    All in all, the trip was fabulous. I would definitely recommend the Riu for a wedding without any hesitation!!!! So, for all you girls that are worried about this resort, I hope I can reassure you! And, just to put it in reference…..I come from a family that travels the world and has seen numbers of resorts. Our expectations tend to be high. Even my mother, who is impossible to impress, loved the place! Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions. I think that’s the best way for me to address anyone’s questions or concerns!

    #2 dinogomez.com

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      Posted 24 July 2008 - 07:00 PM

      Wow! All sounds great! Congratulations!!

      #3 Soon To Be Mrs. Gomez

      Soon To Be Mrs. Gomez
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        Posted 24 July 2008 - 07:22 PM

        Thank you for the review! I know many brides were nervous about the RiU

        #4 Ana


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        • Wedding Date:April 1, 2009
        • Wedding Location:Dreams Cabo
        • LocationToronto

        Posted 24 July 2008 - 07:41 PM

        that sounds super fun!!!

        #5 *Heather*


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          Posted 24 July 2008 - 08:19 PM

          Great review! I can't wait to see pics :)

          #6 Kelly C

          Kelly C
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            Posted 25 July 2008 - 12:19 AM

            Great review! Sound like everything was wonderful. Congrats!!
            Kerrington Danielle was born 6/23/09 12:31 pm 7lbs 14oz.


            #7 Cabobride09

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            • 85 posts

              Posted 25 July 2008 - 01:52 AM

              Thank-You so much for the review! Now I'm really excited about my wedding at the Riu. I'm excited to see your pictures.
              Casa Dorada, Cabo San Lucas

              #8 Sandra E.

              Sandra E.
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                Posted 25 July 2008 - 09:31 AM

                Great review! Can't wait to see your pictures!

                #9 michelle08

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                  Posted 25 July 2008 - 10:33 AM

                  Great review!! I think it will help the gals who are in doubt! It's always good to hear the good experiences to get reassurance.

                  Now tell your hubby to post some Pics! :)

                  #10 Deighton

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                  • 87 posts

                    Posted 25 July 2008 - 09:22 PM

                    Thanks so much! You just calmed my nerves some! I'm getting married there in 2 weeks.
                    How many guests did you have?

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