Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

With Canadian winters getting colder and snowfall warnings in effect, there’s no better way to revitalize than to escape to Cabo San Lucas with Sunwing Vacations. That’s exactly what I did as temperatures dipped down and I was feeling sun-starved.

With a last minute booking, I threw together a bag and hopped onto my Sunwing Elite seat, flying direct from Vancouver, BC to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Lucky for me, I was headed to the brand new Riu Palace Baja California, exclusive to Sunwing. Can we say VIP?

After a short flight, I stepped off the plane in beautiful Cabo wearing my parka. I think everyone could tell that I needed some warmth and relaxation! Sunwing reps met me and took great care of me as they shuttled me to the hotel. It was really helpful that the Sunwing staff gave a variety of tips from health safety (don’t drink the water) and where you can find legitimate silver shopping to excursion options, where to surf and favourite restaurant spots. Once at the hotel, I was greeted with a welcome drink. Welcome to paradise Zahra…

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

The brand new all-inclusive Riu Palace Baja California is for guests aged 19 and over. There is 24-hour room service, an in-room liquor dispenser, six restaurants, a daily breakfast buffet, a cocktail lounge, a coffee bar, spa and gym amenities plus more. Rooms have amazing views and the service is great. There are four pools, 2 of which are infinity pools melting into the ocean vista. This property is next to its sister hotel the Riu Santa Fe, which is for all ages. When staying at the Riu Palace, you have access to the Santa Fe, including its nightclub, waterpark and pool parties!

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}


When you book Sunwing Vacations, you have the option of booking a variety of excursions. I tried a few for my very first visit to Cabo San Lucas.

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Todos Santos

Take a guided tour to Todos Santos, one of Mexico’s Magical Villages. As it is a far distance away from the resort, I highly recommend taking the tour rather than renting a car. The town is full of art galleries, a museum, a beautiful church, amazing street tacos and quaint shops. Todos Santos is also where the infamous Hotel California is and where the Tropic of Cancer runs through.

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Outback and Camel Safari

In the countryside, there is a Camel Sanctuary where you learn about the camels and even go on a short ride along the seashore.  After the ride, you head over to a Mexican desert house for an authentic meal, a presentation on making handmade tortillas and an authentic tequila tasting. Spoiler alert… most of us North Americans have been shooting our tequila wrong!

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Land and Water Excursions

There are a variety of options to choose from. Our group went on a whale watching tour. We were lucky enough to see dolphins playing alongside also. We started our tour in the calm waters of the Pacific Ocean and travelled to where the ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. You’ll get a close look at the famous Lovers Beach, Divorce Beach and sunbathing seals. Back on land finish off your tour with a bit of shopping in town. 


Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

The resort is home to 5 fine dining specialty restaurants. I didn’t have the chance to try them all, but they looked amazing. This foodie is sad to have missed trying the Italian and Steakhouse Restaurants. There just wasn’t enough time or room in my belly! I did some research and found the menu to look amazing and other guests were highly pleased with both.

Of my favourites, Krystal and the Japanese restaurant really stood out. The quality of food prep, use of fresh produce, flavour and creativity showed through. Riu Hotels have really stepped up the food game to offer decadent high-end dining.


The staff were all helpful and super friendly. An added bonus for travellers is that a majority of the staff you deal with also speak English. From the guests to the staff, the mood was upbeat and happy; making the experience that much better.

In addition to the four pools, the Riu Palace has a beach area set up for guests with lounge chairs. Usually, I am someone who loves to be in the ocean, but for the first time, you could not get me out of the pool! The pool area was a lot of fun. There are two swim-up bars and a Grill station for snacks. For me, the infinity pools and the view won my heart. Plus, it didn’t hurt that bar service came straight to me.

For an affordable all-inclusive getaway, I highly recommend checking out the exclusive travel packages from Sunwing at the Riu Baja California.

When there, I suggest that you wake up at least once if not more to catch the Cabo sunrise. Truthfully, I’m considering going back to the warmth and relaxation pretty soon.

Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}

Disclosure: This is a partnered post with Sunwing. I received complimentary flights and accommodations. However, all opinions and views on this post are 100% my own.

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Whether it be in her home, on a trip or on your television screen, Zahra Alani is the ideal host. Best known for her extensive work as a Broadcast Meteorologist on CTV and CBC, her career also expands into other areas. Passionate about the environment, with an aptitude for story telling, her interests and work also delve into Lifestyle Reporting, Food and Wine reviews, Hosting, Emceeing and Interviewing. Her love and passion for culture, food and languages makes her the perfect host for your Travel and Food reviews. For weekly food reviews subscribe to her podcast through CKNW called 'Food Glorious Food'.
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30 responses to “Riu Palace Baja California, Cabo San Lucas {Review}”

  1. Melissa Wong — February 12, 2019 @ 9:58 pm (#)

    So lucky! Tired of this snow. The rooms look amazing!

  2. Shirley S. — February 12, 2019 @ 10:03 pm (#)

    Is this an adult’s only place? The husband and I are looking for an adult’s only resort in Mexico for our next vacay. We are hoping to get away in the next month or so, while the winter is still kicking our behinds.

  3. Zahra Alani — February 12, 2019 @ 10:05 pm (#)

    Hi Shirley! The Baja Palace is adults only, for guests 19 years of age and older. Yet you still have access to the next door resort which is all ages, however they have some really fun adult only pool parties. Definitely check out the Riu Palace Baja for a relaxing time. Sun please!!!

    • Kerry — March 21, 2019 @ 10:45 pm (#)

      Is it good for a solo traveller age 52?

  4. Elaine Cook — February 12, 2019 @ 10:06 pm (#)

    That camel kiss is the best. We have stayed at the Riu Santa Fe before and it was beautiful. Mexico is such a beautiful place.

  5. Zahra Alani — February 12, 2019 @ 10:06 pm (#)

    All of this snow and more to come… it’s the perfect time to escape to Cabo. The rooms were truly stunning. I highly recommend an ocean view.

  6. Erin M — February 12, 2019 @ 10:42 pm (#)

    Looks like an impressive property. Did they just open?

  7. Katherine — February 13, 2019 @ 1:03 pm (#)

    This looks amazing, perfect right about now!

  8. Elizabeth Matthiesen — February 14, 2019 @ 8:08 am (#)

    Considering the freezing weather we’re experiencing right now a trip to the sun would be marvellous, palm trees, beaches, sunshine and warmth I couldn’t ask for more.

  9. Zahra Alani — February 14, 2019 @ 10:26 am (#)

    Hi Elizabeth, where are you located? Vancouver is about to get hit again. We’re all in need of some sun and warm temperatures.

    • Elizabeth Matthiesen — February 22, 2019 @ 8:59 am (#)

      I’m in Alberta, haven’t seen green grass in an awful long time and it’s been so very cold here, unseasonal for February.

  10. Zahra Alani — February 14, 2019 @ 10:27 am (#)

    Seriously! Just call Sunwing and take off. Miss the next storm.

  11. Zahra Alani — February 14, 2019 @ 10:28 am (#)

    Yes! End of 2018. Still very new. Beautiful grounds and great staff. I loved waking up and watching the sunset from my cozy room… or poolside. haha Either choice worked well.

  12. Zahra Alani — February 14, 2019 @ 10:29 am (#)


  13. Tamara — February 14, 2019 @ 7:16 pm (#)

    Now that sounds like a dream getaway to me.

  14. Shirley OFlynn — February 15, 2019 @ 1:46 pm (#)

    It looks like a wonderful vacation destination. Camel rides look like so much fun, the rooms are beautiful, and Land and Water Excursions would make for quite the adventure.

  15. Tammi L. — February 16, 2019 @ 3:06 am (#)

    It looks amazing… all of it. But I’d go for the Camels alone!!! We were recently hoping to go to Morocco but had to cancel and one of the things we were looking forward to the most was the camel trek. Thanks for a great article.

  16. Lynda Cook — February 17, 2019 @ 11:09 am (#)

    Oh wow those rooms look awesome, that is a place I would enjoy to stay at!

  17. Florence Cochrane — February 21, 2019 @ 11:52 am (#)

    Love the photos. This place looks so amazing. The food looks so delicious too. This place has everything I would want when going somewhere warm.

  18. Stephanie LaPlante — February 22, 2019 @ 2:51 pm (#)

    This looks like a gorgeous place to vacation. My winter brain is gushing over these pictures!

  19. Lynda Cook — February 25, 2019 @ 8:29 am (#)

    Love those camels, that would be fun to do!

  20. Lynda Cook — February 26, 2019 @ 11:18 am (#)

    Would be nice sitting on that beach right now, I guess there is another snow storm coming!

  21. Emily — March 5, 2019 @ 4:57 pm (#)

    OHH how lovely! I absolutely love it here.

  22. Micheline — March 24, 2019 @ 7:54 am (#)

    Looks really inviting this time of year, wish I could go.

  23. Deb Dorrington — April 22, 2019 @ 5:55 pm (#)

    What a beautiful resort, I am so glad I came across your article because this is going on my bucket list for next winter. I’ve been to several warm spot during the winter months but never Mexico. Your photos are stunning also.

  24. Bruce L. — May 1, 2019 @ 10:00 am (#)

    We stopped in Cabo during a cruise and I thought then that it would be nice to visit there. You have made that a definite now. Looks like a great resort, thank you.

  25. Clifford Perkins — May 19, 2019 @ 5:04 pm (#)

    Looks like a beautiful place to take my wife next winter. The resort you stayed at looks awesome and the food, yes!!!

  26. Darren Scrubb — July 23, 2019 @ 9:39 am (#)

    I could see myself enjoying the beach and great weather there this Summer.

  27. mrdisco — August 12, 2019 @ 8:39 am (#)

    that looks really luxurious

  28. Elizabeth Matthiesen — September 26, 2019 @ 10:54 am (#)

    I’ve only been to California once and it was pretty cold – well by their standards anyway. My kids were in bathing suits and everyone else was in neoprene wetsuits!

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