The Privilege Aluxes is an overall excellent value for what we paid and considering the location I would be hard pressed to stay elsewhere as long as the rates don’t escalate. Is this a true 5 star hotel? I would have to say that when compared to the Villa Rolandi, probably not. But with rates coming in at ½ to a 1/3 of Villa, I don’t see the difference being worth it. We booked this several months before our travel date and I did quite a bit of research in the meantime. I have to say my expectations were both met and exceeded in some respects.
First Impression- We were greeted with champagne at check in. The buildings and overall grounds themselves are kept immaculate. The layout of the pool area and landscaping are beautiful. While it does stand out (due to size) and doesn’t exactly fit the Isla “quaintness” vibe, it is a very nice nonetheless.
The Room- We opted to upgrade our room to a Premium Suite. We were in building one on the third floor and the view was amazing. The room itself is very spacious. While we hardly used the living area, having the large balcony was a great asset. We used the Jacuzzi several times seeing that the weather was not the greatest. Basking under the stars while staring out at the ocean was like much needed therapy. The mini bar is stocked with water, soda and basically 4 beers per day. Not exactly what I’d call a fully stocked bar but it was sufficient enough. The bed was definitely on the hard side so keep that in mind. I did not bother me as much as my wife but I do agree that it could be softer. The shower had plenty of pressure, room and hot water. The décor of the room itself is rather plain, but the plus side is that it’s not overly tacky either. It came with a 37” LCD TV for those who care to use it. It also has a DVD player if you want to bring a couple of movies for a rainy day. The kitchen area has a coffee maker with instant coffee. Run the water through to heat it. If you want regular coffee then I suggest you bring it yourself or at least bring the filters & buy some coffee there. It’s a 4 cup deal that uses the small filters. As for the kitchen, I believe they have future timeshare or condo rentals in mind. It has a couple of burners, plenty of cabinets but no utensils.
Restaurants-Satay, the first time we tried the Satay we were not all that impressed. We both ordered the sushi apps and tuna main course. The sushi was subpar at best and the fish was not fresh. That was disappointing. Being from New England, we’re used to only eating fresh seafood. We gave it another try on a different night and the food was much much better. Stick to the dishes that utilize local catches such as grouper and snapper. The ambiance and overall décor was something you’d expect from a mid to higher end restaurant. I thought it was put together quite well.
Sabor-The Sabor is buffet style and it does have a grill station for cooked to order as well. They mixed up the daily offerings with a decent variety, sometimes hitting the mark, sometimes missing it. The cooked to order grilled garlic shrimp were awesome. Offering items such as lamb chops is something that I don’t typically see at buffets, so that was a pleasant surprise. We’re not big buffet people. Once something sits on a hot plate for so long it just starts to lose its appeal. I will say though that I always managed to find something I liked. The breakfasts were really good, loved the Huevos Rancheros. It was kind of lacking as far as salads go though. I thought they could do better there. Michael who mans the grill most of the time is character. Very animated & funny, and it just made you want to order something from him just for the interaction.
Café Del Mar- By far our favorite of the three. The beach bar, walkways, palapas and overall layout are pretty sweet. Especially with all the palm trees intertwined. It just had that whole tropical beach vibe that I love. The food was good overall. Some dishes much better than others. The ceviche, fish tacos & grilled fish fillet were all excellent. The guac was pretty good too. I didn’t care for the wings too much. The beach bar itself was a blast. Jesus and Luis were great, both very personable and entertaining. They made anything you asked for and at any strength you asked for. Tipping goes a long way here, just like anywhere in Mexico. Keep that in mind. The frozen mango margaritas were delicious as were the banana coladas. I did not see anything being watered down and watch sealed bottles being opened. They will start by making drinks weak and I’m sure they’re directed to do so. This is where an occasional tip and simply asking goes a long way. After a couple days we didn’t even have to ask. They knew to kick them up a little and give us a rum floater on the top. Beer is Corona draft. It’s usually served in small glasses; just ask for a bigger glass. The AI does not include other bottled beers and a few select top shelf items like Di Sorrono amaretto and Don Julio tequila to name a couple. They will always tell you if it’s not included. I did not know this ahead of time and in my opinion it’s more like “select inclusive” than “ALL”. However there is still plenty to make do with and we had no problem having a good variety. For you tequila fans, they have an okay selection. There are several medium grades to choose from. I was having occasional shots with a beer and tried several. One night I asked for a glass to bring back to my room and they practically filled the thing. I have to point out that we asked about the Kahlua because we were surprised they didn’t have any. One bartender who commutes to Cancun actually brought a bottle back over and gave it to us! That gesture was extremely generous and it’s something that we’ll never forget. A special thanks to both Luis & Jesus for taking care of us all week!!!
There are plenty of beach chairs & palapas to go around. The beach is beautiful. The chair-side service is spotty at best. It just takes a long time. I would use it occasionally but found it to be easier to just get it myself. Not to mention I was assured to get my drinks the way that I wanted them. The bar is so close anyway.
The Gym-It’s very small; a treadmill, recumbent bike, side stepper machine and rack of dumbbells. It’s in the pool area and enclosed in glass under a thatched roof. It has great views while working out. I will say the equipment is new and in good shape. We didn’t have much competition for using it but I would suggest getting there early if you don’t want to be waiting.
Pool & hot Tub Scene- The pools are beautiful, in fact the whole area has a great layout that’s beautifully landscaped. The pool was cold but at the same time so was the weather for our first few days. Later in the week when it started to get very warm, the pool was refreshing. It’s just not something that you’d enjoy on a cool cloudy day but on a sunny hot one, it’s just right. The hot tubs are anything but hot. That was disappointing. They were barely warm. There are three of them total. Two are secluded while the third is at the corner of the pool. They might be okay to enjoy in the sun but you could not enjoy them at night or on a cooler day. That needs to change. The swim-up pool bar was something that I didn’t use much until the last couple of days. Daniel was a good bartender and very friendly. Again tipping helps make things happen here.
Location- location, location, location! The best on Isla IMHO. Great beach and the downtown area at your back door. Hidalgo is around the corner and everything on the north end of island is within walking distance. The prime location is what put’s this hotel a notch above for me.
Conclusion- I have no problem recommending this hotel to anyone considering staying on this end of Isla. I would go back in a heartbeat for the price. It does have a few shortcomings but it’s an overall very well maintained new property with one of the best spots on the beach. It’s not a Cancun mega resort, so if that’s what you’re looking for then I’d suggest staying in Cancun. As for getting the AI or not, I paid very little for the upgrade and it was worth it just for Café Del Mar alone. I probably wouldn’t pay more like $50/day per couple though. There are just so many great places to dine within walking distance that are reasonably priced, plenty of bars that are reasonable as well. Even if you opt for AI make it a point to grab a meal or two a day off grounds. You won’t be disappointed. Finally the staff is wonderful. Everyone was very friendly and a select few really put in the extra effort to make your stay enjoyable. The people make this place as much as the location.
Manolo- for reserving us one of the best rooms just as he promised he would. I didn’t see much of him but I did meet him and he was a very kind man.
Guerrero- My wife had a spell where she fainted from the sun and he really did everything he could to make sure she was okay and taken care of. It was a scary moment for me and I’m very grateful for his help.
Luis- Just a great guy altogether and our favorite bartender. His generosity was genuine and his sense of humor was great! We will not forget him.
Jesus- Another great bartender with a wonderful sense of humor! Jesus rocked.
Diego- I had a lot of fun trading football jabs with him all week. He had a great sense of humor too.
Michael- Grill cook comedy central
We really want to come back during whale shark season and when we do PA will get our first considerations.
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- Privilege Aluxes: Truly a privileged experience ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Privilege Aluxes Isla Mujeres
- Privilege Aluxes Hotel Isla Mujeres