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Review of Privilege Aluxes

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Privilege Aluxes
Ranked #4 of 37 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
Amherst, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Location Location Location”
Reviewed January 19, 2010

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.
Special thanks
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.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank jmass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2010

We stayed at PA over the New Year Holiday. Like everyone else, I read all the reviews and found all the information extremely helpful, so thank you everyone! PA and Isla Mujeres has it's own character, which we really liked when compared to Cancun. Everyone was laid back and friendly, including the dogs! Running and shopping on the island you feel completely safe, no matter where you are or what time of day it is. We did the all-inclusive and were very pleased. We are very active and health conscience, so we were a little concerned about the selection of food we would be offered. We found the buffet at Satay perfect for our eating preferences. New Years Eve we ate at Sabor, where the food was also very good, but very high in fat and cholesterol, thus we only ate there that one night. I agree with previous reviews that the room decor is a bit to be desired. It definitely isn't a place where you want to hang for long. BUT, the rooms are very clean and heck, your on vacation so why be in your room for long anyway? The staff works very, very hard and again I agree with other posters that they are understaffed. Service can be a little slow, but relax..... you are on vacation. Tipping was never expected, ever! But please tip!!! You will notice the same people working around the clock, they certainly deserve and appreciate the small tips they get. Beach is awesome and the waiters bring you drinks and food... make sure you try the fish tacos at Cafe Del Mar, they are awesome! PA put on a New Years Eve Party that really made the night! If you want to rent mopeds or a golf cart, don't rent it from the hotel it's a little more expensive than if you walk a couple blocks and barter. We definitely will be returning to PA in the future! One dissapointment was in a sports bar that is right next door to PA called JAX. It is owned by an american that needs to learn customer service from the natives of Mexico. I had learned by the forum on Trip Advisor that JAX was the place to watch a game... So we headed over with excitement. All TV's, which are very small for a "sports bar" were on the same game. When we asked if they would put one of the TV's on a different sport, the owner looked down at our wrist bands (all inclusive) and told us she would think about it, after we sat down and bought some drinks! We decided to head back over to PA to the bar outside Satay and Valentino was more than happy to put the TV on our sport channel. Oh, one last bit of info. If you want a good, true mixed drink without the sugar of a mixer... look for Valentino! He makes the best drinks on the island!! Thanks Valentino and thanks to everyone at PA for working so hard to make our stay comfortable and unforgetable.

  • Stayed January 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Cooltrainer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, BC
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2010

My wife and I spent a week at P.A. from Dec. 26-Jan. 2, 2010. There was also 7 other people travelling in our group. This is the 9th all-inclusive we have visited (Cuba, Jamaica, Puerta Vallarta, Cabo etc.), but the first time to the Mayan Peninsula and Isla Mujeres. All in all, we have decided that this is our favourite so far. This hotel has certainly seemed to have got over its early opening growing pains from last spring that we read about in the reviews and become a very refined well-run show. We put in a request for an upgraded room for our anniversary and were granted an upgrade from the standard room to a room with a jacuzzi on the deck. I didn't think I would use the jacuzzi all the much, but we really enjoyed having a beer in it every night around sunset! The food is excellent at both the buffet (Sabor) and the even more so at the reservation al a carte (Satay). I didn't expect to get good sushi in Mexico, but Satay did a great job. Even the snacks (burgers, pizza, creviche, shrimp tacos etc) poolside and at the beach grill (Cafe Del Mar) were excellent. I highly recommend the all-inclusive package as our bill each day with drinks, food etc regularly exceeded 300 US. Having 24 hour room service and a fully stocked mini bar whenever we wanted was a real treat. The service was excellent despite the hotel being full and there was never any problem finding loungers on the beach or at the pool. We used the spa for a couples massage on the beach which was a pretty good deal with a 15 dollar off coupon per person handed out at check-in. I think the total for a hour couples massage ended up being about 75US each. It certainly was a treat to have poolside service for both drinks and food! I would recommend having a beer at the cafe at the mayan ruin past the garrafon national park at the south end of the island. We rented golf carts from the hotel to get to this spot which was fun. I would also recommend the snorkeling tour offered by the hotel which only cost 20 bucks a person for an hours tour. I look forward to going back if they don't raise their prices too much!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank andyfromcanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lausanne
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2010

If you are looking for a typical mexican or even Isla hotel, you are in the wrong place.
There is no need to go to Isla de Mujeres to get what you will find in Privilege Aluxes.
You get no Island feeling, it is not at all matching to the environment.
Although the rooms are huge, clean and well equiped. People on this island are very nice, so the service. Ask for a front, beach view, otherwise you can be unlucky and get the cemetery view. Be aware that you may hear school kids playing in the mornings.
The Cafe del Mar is not frequented at all. People may not know what it is, but you may have a good drink at a fabulous sunset.
It is not a beach hotel, be aware the restaurants have their own dress code.
If you want to book any activity at the hotel, take notice that they charge you at least 10% more. The staff and ourselves recommend the best fish on the island. Go with to "Velasques", just a 3 min. walk from the hotel and enjoy a very typical meal in a rustical "plasic-chair " atmosphere at the beach. Wonderful!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Luti2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edward111
1 review
Reviewed January 9, 2010

beautiful new contemporary hotel in secluded grounds with private beach and bar. very friendly staff, excellent food and within easy walking distance of unspoilt local centre and market. many places to visit if you decide to hire a golf buggy and explore. highly reccomended

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank edward111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MEXICO
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2010

Ok, so everything started when we looked at some pictures from the resort via online, it seemed to be just great, we still had our doubts about it because of some other reviews but the truth is once i called Reservations department i just couldnt say no, this guy Jorge took my phone call, he was 100% helpful advising on how to save money even for airport transportation, of course we took the one the hotel provides, and believe i have nothing to say about it, nice vehicule, nice driver and the best just came when we catched the Ferry, the view is just insane!, once we arrive we took a taxi to the hotel and Edgar which is the frontdesk manager took care of us, everyone was so nice, first thing we did was going to the beach club, Cafe del Mar, where Guerrero was all the time double checking how we were and if everything was ok, the truth is it was just great again!

Speaking of the room we booked a Suite Deluxe, located on the 4th floor the view was wonderful, with a hughe living room and the bathroom with a nice tub jacuzzi, we didn't have one on the terrace, but we definitely went the one by the pool where where our new friend Valentino served us a couple of "Michaladas" with cold beer and hot sauce, careful with those! :)
The first night we went to Sabor, our waiter was a little bit slow but always trying to make everything as smooth as posible for us, besides my stake took more that 30 min, i have nothing to say, even the Chef came out for checking on us and try to speak a few words while we waited for the drinks,
I have to thank specificly Edgar,Guerrero,Hugo,Valentino,Juanita and Jorge, without them this trip wouldnt be the same and of course we are planning coming back to PA! for more michaladas and painful sunburn.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JorgeFloresAcevedo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
55 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2010

Our family of four recently stayed at PA for a few nights over Christmas. We enjoyed our stay on Isla and were pretty pleased with PA (if I could rate it 3.5 stars I would).
We took two rooms, one standard and one suite. Both were pretty good value given the time period with nice bedrooms and bathrooms. We found the living room area in the suite however to be a bit stark. It did not really feel like an area we wanted to hang out in. The suite also had a small kitchen with a small stove top device and a fridge as wall as some bar stools but there were no utensis at all (no forks, plates, glasses, pans - nothing). This was not really a problem for us as we were only there a short time and ate our meals out but I thought this should be pointed out to those who may plan to use the kitchen to actually cook or even have a drink or two.
The pool area is pleasing to the eye but we found it lacked atmosphere. It just seemed kind of sterile in a way. We had a tough time with the music that they play from the pool side bar - we heard Air Supply followed by Barry Manilow which just did not seem to fit the vibe or look they are trying to project. The pool, like most in the area, is not heated and was very chilly (around 72 degrees). We rarely saw anyone in the actual pool and even our kids found it too cold. They have two or three jacuzzis which were certainly warmer and more comfortable than the pool but I am not sure they are actually heated (but may warm up as little water in them). They certainly were not hot.
The beach area is across a tiny and narrow street and pretty much feels like it is part of the complex. They had nice loungers and palapas for shade which are always nice to have. Unfotunatley we again had an issue with the music being played. This time it was quite loud with Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis. I personally prefer just the quiet sound of the ocean when I am on a beach. I asked if they could change it which they did but again what they put on we found just too loud volume-wise (and did not seem to "fit" but that's our opinion). Keep in mind as well that as previous posters have mentioned that we saw that the loungers and palapas are used by guests that are not staying at the hotel (but they seem to be required to order food and drink). When we arrived at the beach one afternoon we took our own palapa and grabbed four loungers for each of us. One of the waiters immediatly came over and told us we could only take two loungers as he had other customers that were waiting for them. I showed him that we were staying at the hotel (they give you these wrist bands to wear) and we wanted four chairs and I pointed out to him that there seemed to be many people using lounge chairs that were not staying at the hotel and he quickly apologized and told us it was no problem which was nice to see. Keep in mind that we were there during a very busy travel time with tourists and locals alike so this may not necessarily be a problem but did want to point out.
Another thing we experienced were very strong winds on our first day that actually made staying on this beach very unpleasant. Fortunatley the hotel is located at a tip of the island and just by walking a few hundred yards we came across the point and found the beach area was much less windy. There were a number of places that rented out loungers or let you use them for free if you ate and drank so this is what we did that day. The next day the winds came from a different direction and the area in front of PA was fine (and the area around the point was very windy).
The food we had at the hotel was good. We all really liked the breakfast buffet.
I checked out the gym which is very basic with three machines and a rack of weights.
The staff were all friendly.
One other thing I noticed was that for a hotel that is brand new it already was showing some slight signs of wear and tear which surprised me.
All in all a nice stay although I do not think we would head back there to stay. They seem to have some good rates which help make this place good value for the money on Isla but this is definitley not a five or even four star hotel in our opinion. One's overall experience of a hotel is often based upon one's "expectation" so I hope this helps.

Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Treepalm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Privilege Aluxes

Property: Privilege Aluxes
Address: Ave Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Isla Mujeres
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Isla Mujeres
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Mujeres
#3 Luxury Hotel in Isla Mujeres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Privilege Aluxes 4*
Number of rooms: 124
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Privilege Aluxes: Truly a privileged experience ... more   less 
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Privilege Aluxes Hotel Isla Mujeres

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