We stayed at the Privilege Aluxes from Nov 5th - Nov 12th. Upon arrival, we learned that the ferry off of the island (back to Cancun) does not run between 12:00am - 5:30am. We had a 7:00am return flight to catch back to the U.S. and there wouldn't be enough time to make it by leaving on the first ferry out (5:30am). So we had to leave a night early and book a cheap hotel in Cancun near the airport. The hotel would not refund us for that lost last night. Jesus at the front desk helped us (at least tried to) book that hotel room (Comfort Inn) in Cancun, but unfortunately we found out when we got there it was for 2 weeks later, and not that night. Luckily they had an empty room for us anyway.
I must say, that the hotel and the property it is located on is among one of the cleanest on the island. We did a lot of exploring on our trip, and a good 80% of the island just seems to be in ruins. We stayed in building 2 on the 3rd floor (really the 4th) in a deluxe ocean view suite. It had beautiful views looking over the pool/ocean. It was very spacious, with a seperate living room and kitchen.
Here is a basic list of pros and cons:
1. Staff is friendly & helpful. A big shout out goes to Rosa who was our maid. She cleaned our room daily like a pro and attended to all of our needs.
2. Peacful. The hotel is quiet for the most part. I never heard my neighbors talking or watching tv. Only on one night did I hear some banging around above me.
3. Hotel grounds & atmosphere is superb. The staff is constantly cleaning, trimming the greens, painting, sweeping, etc. The beach is gorgeous!
4. Safe - The hotel is constantly patrolled by hotel security. We came back to the room one night, and the door did not shut behind us. About 5 minutes later we kept hearing a security guard outside speaking in spanish on his walkie-talkie. I got up and noticed my front door was open and closed it. Five minutes after that the front desk was calling me to tell me that my front door was open. Very nice.
5. Hidden Jacuzzi's - there are 2 behind the pool area, near the spa and the gym. We went in these almost every day. They were almost always empty... I heard one guy walk by and say "I've stayed here 6 different times and never knew these were here." Great place to get away from everyone and relax.
1. Hot water is spotty. I took a few ice cold showers, and on more than one occassion when we went to use the outdoor jacuzzi, the water was luke warm at best.
2. Smelly rooms. I'm not sure exactly what we were smelling in our room. At times it smelled like raw sewage. Other times it had a very musky, damp smell. The hotel is obvioulsy aware of this since your room will come equipped with incense to burn. Could it have something to do with the graveyard next door? (We did take a tour of the graveyard by the way, where all of the bodies are buried above ground, and my wife and I both smelled a strong sense of rotting corpses).
3. Wifi isn't the greatest. I've read worse reviews on trip advisor about not having wifi at all. Our room was pretty good... but the connection did slow to a crawl at times.
4. Bed is hard as a rock. The pillows are even worse, and the sheets are like wrapping yourself in cardboard.
5. Alcoholic drinks at the hotel bar(s) are watered down and have no flare. There is a great little bar on the beach, right next door on the other side of the rope which divides the property. The drinks are cheap and they put big pieces of fruit with umbrellas, etc... on the glasses which just makes you feel tropical. They have these little swings you can sit on at the bar. The only issue is that they close at 5pm... and be careful bringing the drinks back to your side of the beach... the hotel has signs hanging up that says they frown upon you bringing in outside food/drinks (but what are they really gonna do???)
1. Avoid booking day trips through the hotel. Guillermo is the only person in charge of this and he messed up pretty bad with the one day trip we booked. We wanted to go to Isla Contoy which is a nature preserve about 45 min away by boat. We left a deposit with him the day before and were told to be at the front desk by 8:00am. He said he comes in at 7:00am and he would 100% be there. We arrive at the front desk around 7:50am the next morning... No Guillermo. We wait 40 minutes and this guy still doesn't show up. We also never received a reciept to even prove we had left a deposit the day before. It's our last full day on the island, and the boats going there are very limited, leaving only early in the morning. Guillermo had promissed us he could get us on a larger boat that went directly to the island (We wanted the larger boat because my wife gets very sea sick). So after waiting around forever, we decided to run down by the ferry where we were just able to jump on a small boat heading out to the island for $30 cheaper then what the hotel was going to charge us. Unfortunately, this boat rocked around so much that my wife got really sea sick. They also stopped in the middle of the ocean to go snorkeling which my wife and I didn't want. We both got really sick at that point. After the trip, and back to the hotel we confronted Guillermo. He said he had been running all over the island trying to find a boat for us that morning. Yeah... ok. We got our deposit back, and Guillermo promised us champagne and fruit with chocolate to be delivered to our room for our troubles. We waited for it but it never showed up. After asking for it a 2nd time, he came through and I must say, it was thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you for that Guillermo!
2. Don't go all-inclusive. We had just the breakfast option which was more then enough. We filled up each morning enough to skip lunch... and then would go pig out at the local restaurants for dinner. The local food on the island is increddible. We didn't have a bad meal the entire time. Hidalgo street is 1 block away and you will find some incredible dishes there. Try Faynes, Ronaldis, Lola Valentina, Oliva and for a quick bite - Don Cheppo's. All-inclusive option in my mind is just not worth it. If you really want to do the all-inclusive, or at least try it when you get there, you have that option. They told us it would be $80 a day for our room, and if we wanted to upgrade we could at anytime, but it would have to be for the remainder of our trip... like the last 2 days, or last 3 days, etc...
3. The island is completley safe. I was a little paranoid going to Mexico due to all the stuff you hear on the news. Not once did I ever feel unsafe on this island. Rent a moped for 2 and go explore! It's almost half the price of a golf cart. Get it for 24 hours. Most places want $400 pesos, you can talk them down to $350 pesos easily. They hold your drivers liscense until you bring it back. Don't worry about it... it's safe. We rented from 2 different places without any issues. Drive it over to the southern end of the island and check out Punta Sur. Some of the greatest views you will ever witness.
4. If you're seeking a massage, there are people on the beach that will do a great job for 1/3 the price that people at the hotel will do it for.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Privilege Aluxes: Truly a privileged experience ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Privilege Aluxes Isla Mujeres
- Privilege Aluxes Hotel Isla Mujeres