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“Wandering away from Privilege”
Review of Privilege Aluxes

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Privilege Aluxes
Ranked #5 of 37 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 12, 2010

We are sitting in our Grand Platinum Suite right now (Feb 12, 2010) and feel compelled to review our experience while still here. We fought through a massive blizzard to get here, so our hopes and expectations were very high. We are disappointed.

1. Room
-Our flight was delayed one day. The hotel insisted we pay for the missed night, as the hotel was fully booked. When we arrived at 2 PM the next day, we were told our room was not ready. How could the room not be ready if we were supposed to be sleeping in it the night before? They did allow us access to another room for a couple hours to shower and wait for our room. Good customer service on this point.
-Location: The room is 626, which we imagine is the best location for the GP suites. It is the closest suite to the beach. As such it is a little noisy with the grade school across one road from the hotel, and a turn-around for the main road directly in front of the room.
-Condition/decor: The room seems shabby and incomplete. There are markings on the walls and counters like more towel racks and fixtures are scheduled to be installed, but were not finished before letting patrons use the room. The living area with a couch and two ottomans has no lighting of any kind. It's a good room by day, but at night is completely useless. As others have noted, the room has a two burner cooktop but no pots, pans, dishes, utensils, etc. There is an ironing board but no iron, no alarm clock, four hangers in the armoire with two taken by hotel robes...again incomplete.
-Comfort: The bed is rock hard, also noted by other reviewers. The room has no additional pillows or blankets. The air conditioning has two speeds; meat locker and off. If you turn the air conditioning off, eventually the cold air is replaced by a faint sewage smell.
-Private terrace pool: The pool was nice though it had a lot of small floating debris in it and a beer cap on the floor. The condition of the pool did not change during our entire stay. The pool is accessed by climbing a staircase and exiting a glass door. The door does not lock, which is a little disconcerting. Not that we were expecting ninjas...

2. Hotel
-The condition of the hotel is fair. There are some areas showing signs of wear and neglect, such as the stairways and corridors leading to the rooms. There were food scraps in the hall outside our suite for five days. Today they were removed.
-Pools look nice. There are ample places to relax around the pool including chairs, beds and grassy areas.
-The hotel is fronted on one side by a cemetary overlooking a power substation. The temporary room they gave us overlooked this area.
-There is wifi in the lobby and every room and is helping write this review.
-The reception counter almost never had enough pesos to make change for $20 USD. This made tipping a little difficult.

3. Food
-The restaurant food is average to good, depending on where and when you get it. Cafe Del Mar was good for lunch. However one of us was ill after every breakfast we ate at Sabor, which is the breakfast buffet. We ate something different every day always with the same result. Other days we went outside the hotel for breakfast and had no problems.
-Room service food is terrible. Offerings are listed on two small pages and include no Mexican dishes.

4. Beach
-The sand is powdery but littered with drink straws and cigarette butts. The hotels to the north take better care of their sand.
-The beach is adjacent to a boating channel, so there were always loud motors and the occasional diesel aroma disturbing beachgoers.
-Unlike other reviewers, we had no trouble getting chairs under the palapas. Service here was slow but friendly.

If we came to this hotel again, we would take the room only option and get our meals elsewhere. We had great meals at Jax's Bar across the street and delivery pizza from Rolandi's. Unfortunately we feel that the quality of room and limited services do not justify the hefty price we paid for the "Privilege."

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Wandering_Whytes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 12, 2010

My husband and I stayed for 3 nights on feb 2nd -5th... Nice hotel we did the A I and i am glad.. the hotel is very nice the pools and beach breathtaking.. they had three restaurants one only open for dinner and have to make a reservation statay ... very good food and Asian inspired. ( the only thing with this place is they burned a strong incense in the restaurant which was over powering.... ) They had a buffet one in the hotel open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. and a beach one with killer food for lunch and snacks ad early dinner I think they closed at 6 pm. On the beach they would bring you drinks and food ( the wings are to die for ) good service on the beach. Had wings and drinks every night and watched the sun set ..The pool a little different they have a swim up bar but the bartender was not the friendliest guy ( david) and drinks not that great ( lime juice instead of real limes for Mojitao ? and the service at the pool was hit or miss. Pools where cold this time of year but where able to get in for awhile to cool off. The pools where nice and they had warm hot tubs ( we could not figure out how to turn them on but saw other people in them that had them working ..) Didn't use the spa so can't say anything there. The ai was the way to go imo.. it cost roughly less then 100$ a day for us both and we used it to have a killer breakfast and lunch and snacks and drinks, also roomservice everyday... dinner too.. ate out for dinner but just the other things added up to alot more money for sure.. and one day for lunch ( because they have all there prices listed and do give you a bill at the end of the meal ( you have to sign for everything ai or not..) our bill for lunch was 78$ and that was not including 4 or 5 drinks during the course of the day which are 7-8 $ a piece. Some friends that where not doing ai bought a cooler and liquor and mixers ect and had it at the pool with no trouble. but it was nice just getting whatever you want without thinking about the cost.. ( the wings at the beach restaurant where 7500 pesos ( 7$ ) that would add up with us alone lol ) We ate out and to be honest with all the reviews about isla I didn't think the ( dinner ) was that cheap. Just average for example we went to a restaurant in the "restaurant row" and paid 14 $ for white clam sauce and linguine ... Not bad but .. the isla is so small we went snorkeling and cruised back to the hotel had lunch and grabbed a couple bottles of water and off we went..

The room ... was nice but small.. the balcony was nice we had a superior room with a jacuzzi on the balcony which was nice and used every night. bathrooms where nice and a nice size. We were in room 451 which is the building when you walk out of the lobby is on the left. It was pretty private as far as your balcony and jacuzzi which was nice. Most other balcony's where all clearly seen from every direction. We received a room on the first floor first and I asked to move because our view was a busy side street and a building under construction ( part of the school ) thank goodness we did.. They had no problem just went down and said it was not what I had in mind so they showed us this one and was ok.. Now the school, I have read in other reviews about how loud ect it can get well we are early to rise people thank goodness. but I thought it was more just alot of children laughing and getting ready for school ect.. Well the school is conducted mostly outside. and the worse is the commencements each morning through a loud speaker... and then the exercises that they did each morning. Here all the kids are lined up and over the loud speaker you hear one, two, one two, ect.. In Spanish of course.. but man.. every morning at 730 so be aware.. the other buildings only had prem. suits and above.. the standard and superior where in this building facing the school so try and get as high as you can..

The isla itself is wonderful do not get a golf cart from the hotel you will pay about 10 to 15$ easy more. It cost 42 for a cart to use till 5pm but we paid 52 and kept it till 9am the next morning which was great no racing back to turn it in and that night we cruised the town fun.. they have places to rent everywhere but this place was like 2 blocks away from the hotel. this way when we returned it we didn't have to walk a great deal at the end of the day to turn it in. plenty of spots to park overnight next to the hotel with no problems. we went to castilla ( sp ) park next to garrafin park. brought our own snorkel equp. but you can rent there. for 5 $ per person can't beat it. garrifin( sp ) is mucho money and right next door.. also we went to the turtle park that was way cool missed it last trip. it cost 3$ a person and the little gift shop had very inexpensive stuff and water. When you go to the tip of the island where the ruins are and light house. climb the light house you can get beautiful pictures also one thing I didn't do last time was pay the 3$ to go all the way down to the ruins I thought it was not worth it but man was I wrong.. At the end there is paths that take you down and around the whole place almost on top of the ocean It was beautiful and got a lot of neat pictures. Also after reading some other threads in our travels with the cart went to the soggy peso.. if you are just leaving the hotel and the ferry is on your right, just after you pass the navel base there on your right is this little place. they have places to park your cart on the side and you walk back and its this really cool bar, they call it little jimmy buffet ... ( look for my red Harley Davidson hat with sonny and J on it..lol we made a contribution..) They only have one menu item food wise per day and it is always good cooked on the grill right there... Wednesdays are wing days... beers are cold, colder or coldest.. your choice lol it was about 2$ for a beer nice pit stop.

I thought also it would be a real hassle to get over to the isla with our luggage ect. using the ferry but pleasantly surprised that is was so easy. As soon as you get to the ferry and get out of your van they have porters that take your luggage and for 2-3 $ will place it on the ferry and give you baggage claim slips and then when you get off for a couple more bucks they take it from the ferry and take you to a taxi... well worth it. and we did get a taxi for 3 $ ( magic word in isla I guess.. Lol ) take you to the hotel. We were staying in mexico for a total of 9 days so had some stuff..

Well I would definitly go here again, We travel on a budget so an A i for us is less stress. and I think this hotel and the palace are the only ones on the entire island. If you really don't like an A I I would go on luxury link and get a package to the other resort that looked beautiful for cheap, but I like A I... and for the money the P A can't be beat. the location is great to walk around down town, but shopping has never been my thing.

Any questions just ask and let me know if you see my hat at the soggy peso..lol

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank sonnyj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2010

My spouse and I spent 10 days here along with some friends. We travel frequently and this is not our first trip to Mexico.

The GOOD:
Location, fabulous. The beach is beautiful, soft white sand and lots of area to swim.

Our room was lovely. We paid extra to upgrade, which i would say is a necessity. The cheaper rooms overlook a grave yard, or a elementry school, and may not have a balcony. The first room our friends got was smaller than a cruise ship room and had no balcony.
We had a lovely room with a huge terrace overlooking the ocean. The bathroom is large and TONS of hot water and a great shower and jetted tub.

The maid service was great, the room was spotless and we had fun towel animals everyday. The rooms were clean and the AC worked perfectly.


The not so good:.....
If you pay to upgrade to a room with a jacuzzi on the terrace, know that the terrace lights are all controlled on timers, and you cannot turn them on an off. They go on at 6 pm and off around 1130. The lights are bright and basically provide you no privacy if you want to use your jacuzzi.

Beach bathroom.....is locked. The key is kept at the bar (to keep the public from using it). So, everytime you need it, you have to walk past the people eating and go thru the bar staff and retrieve the key.

The pool is really cold, colder than the ocean. And the jacuzzi's (all 3 of them) are warm, but not hot. And because the pool is cold, its not too fun to sit at the swim up bar (which is often in the shade).

Change. No one will change large bills ( even 200 or 100 pesos) for anything smaller. WE took cash, but not enough, and everyone in town and at the hotel wants cash, but small bills or coins. The front desk will not change bills for you either. So, be prepared.

The UGLY
Service. Or should I say lack of. I have never been to a hotel where it is so hard to get a drink, whether at the pool or the beach. There were pleanty of servers, they just don't seem to care if they work or not. We would order a drink, then not get one. Sometimes we would get the first one, give a good tip, then later order another one and not get that. And often, the beach servers would just walk past you and never ask if you wanted anything. You would flag them down, order, and once again never get a drink.

On the 3rd day of this, I spoke with the restaurant manager. He apologized and said he tells them all the time what the problem is. The next day we had great service. But that was the only day it was good.

Its the same at the pool and swim up bar. There are 3 sections of pool. Usually one section gets service while the other two have to manually go get drinks. And twice we got in the freezing pool, went to the swim up bar, ordered and never had the drinks made. Seriously!! The relaxed atmosphere of mexico is very apparent here. While I am all about being laid back, I don't want to wait 30 min for a drink while the staff stand around a chat.

And service was the same at breakfast. Sometimes we had great service, with frequent coffee refills. And other mornings, it was slow and we had to constantly ask for coffee. And on once occasion, a couple asked to sit outside and the waiter told them no, its closed, and we were all already sitting out there. ??

And last but not least....coffee...... The island seems to have a coffee issue. You cannot find it to buy. Our room came with a coffee maker, no filters and instant coffee. So, Bring YOUR OWN ground coffee and filters. We found some coffee ground eventually, but never did find filters. The hotel coffee is weak. And decaf is instant. They have an espresso bar at breakfast, but it was inconsistent and not offered freely.

And last....room service. Twice our friends ordered coffee and ice. And neither was delivered to them.

I think the overall impression was a nice hotel with a great location. But, I don't think I would stay here again. They have a few issues to work out for it to be a great hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank horsewoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2010

my boyfriend and i returned here for the second time because the management comped us a full week a.i. since the hotel was not complete in february '09. while impressed with their generosity and concern about our happiness....we would surely have considered returning anyway. the location is easily accessible. the rooms are immaculate and modern. ok...sometimes there can be a certain smell coming out of the drains in bathroom but....come on...this is an island..this stuff happens...get over it....it's not 24 hours a day...maybe 1 to 2 days this happened. the staff tries so hard to make you happy. alex the bellhop is amazing. wilbert, gabriella and unfortunately...can't remember his name... but.he used to live in canada, were a joy at breakfast time. also the happy "omelette" man. it's so nice to have friendly service in the a.m....capito?
the island is small and easy to get around. highly recommend renting a golf cart for your stay. the restaurants in the center of town are excellent and highly suggest the villa rolandi for a splurge dinner or lunch on the west side.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank kim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2010

This is not a five star, but is a lovely 4 star hotel that we would return to.

We have just returned from 7 nights and were very happy at this relatively new modern hotel.

Without requesting we were given an upgrade to a suite which was very spacious and overlooked the pool. All the staff are very friendly and helpful. On arrival we were greeted with a glass of bubbly and a bottle was waiting for us in our room which was a nice touch. The lobby is a bit dissapointing but is not reflective of the rest of the hotel.
The pool area is lovely with good sunloungers and attentive bar staff.
There is free wi fi around the hotel which is a bit hit and miss as to whether it works but there is also computer access in the lobby.

We were not all inclusive but had breakfast included. There is a large selection for breakfast and again all the staff were very helpful.

The only negative experience we had was a lunch at their restaurant at the beach. The service was very slow and the food was stone cold. If you want a nice lunch places then head to Manana in town...a large selection including middle eastern.

We went to a few other hotels on the island that we would have stayed at if this hotel had not been recommended and we were very pleased with the choice that we had made.

If you want to unwind at a nice hotel in the sun then I would recommend this.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank sheldon128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2010

This new hotel is located on the north side of the island right across from the beach, close to restaurants and shopping. The property is very modern reminiscent of South beach in architecture. The rooms are ultra stark and minimal, there’s definitely no Mexican decor to be found.
A few gripes are the musty smell through out the room, I think it's due to filtration problems with the A/C. We did not lke the ultra firm matress, which wasn't inviting. The bathroom was large and comfortable, but the shower only had a half glass door so water from the shower always got on to the floor. Maid services is a bit sketchy, some days they were better than other. Most of the time they forgot to put water bottles in the room and vacuum the floors. Also I did notice that there were some obvious washable stains on the white walls that could have been easily cleaned but overlooked. The grounds and pool are immaculate and well tended to.
We did go to the beach a couple of times but we couldn’t relax with someone trying to sell us something every five minutes, they even bothered us while we were eating at the hotel’s beach café.
The hotel has a small spa, which offers massages and manicures only, which I didn't take advantage of since the prices were very high, more expensive than what I would find home in my city.
We opted out on the AI package since there are too many good restaurants near by (with the exception of Jax bar, which I also reviewed), but the hotel’s breakfast buffet was included in our package which proved to be pretty good and ample apart that we wished they just provided plain scrambled eggs and not the soupy egg mess in sauce that was served each morning, and we did hear other guest complaining about that as well. Also the coffee needed major improvement, it wasn’t good and very weak.
With all this said we have to commend the service from the front desk, bell boys, bar tenders and waiters are excellent and very attentive, friendly and do a great job
All in all I would stay here again due to its great location and the top notch service. I do definitely recommend the hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank seta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2010

Four of us spent nine days there and did the all inclusive option. for the most part the food was really very good. The dinner buffet started repeating after about 5 days. After seeing the rooms with the crappies view that were suppose to be ours, We upgraded to a presidential suite (marketing 101) it was nice but sterile, hardly any decorations. Like others said, the beds were hard, Service at Sabor the buffet restaurant was impeccable. Everybody was very attentive. Same with the service at Satay the food was also great. Though the food at café Delmar was really good The service at times left a lot to be desired.(see below)

Privalge Aluxes has a few kinks but is a diamond in the rough. it has so much potential but I think the resort has an identity crises, it does not know what it wants, for instance if you go all inclusive you are not allowed to have any top shelf liquor in your drinks, my thought the whole time was why not? If your that concerned about it raise, the price of your all inclusive and make it a truly all inclusive resort. My second concern is that they would sell the beach chairs to anybody who wanted to sit at the resort, No problem I would do it to. They were issued a green band and they were on the pay as you go basis. Still no problem with that. Where I did find a problem is they received preferential treatment over the all inclusive clients who wore blue bands. They were served first at the bar, they would be waited on first for food and drinks. We found it also to be true with the folks who didn’t go all inclusive, who wore the white bands, being they were paying for there food and drinks they also were served before the blue bands. It was so blatant at one point after being ignored for 45 min, that we actually called the consigner to come out and witness it. I think she was appalled, and spoke to the wait staff. And what’s with the signing of the tickets after everything you eat or drink? If you forgot they would actually run you down to sign them. One other thing I found kind of funny was I seen the bar tender from the pool bar fill an empty Jack Daniels bottle with a Mexican version of whisky. He tried to hide it but didn’t do it very well. So maybe the top shelf stuff isn’t really top shelf after all

We found the beaches beautiful! With plenty of seating and palapas to go around. The Pools were cool, the whirlpools were slightly warmer than air temp and after about 15 minutes you had to get out because they felt cold.

The island itself is a gem! we ate out a few times and found the food really good. We went for walks every morning and felt safe, we also walked down Hidalgo street at night, what a great experience that was. We did the golf cart tour one day and snorkeled at Castilla Griffan, I Highly recommend that. Stop at the grocery store and by a small pouch of cat food to feed the fish. I was literally surrounded by hundreds of fish of all different, colors, shapes and sizes. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

Would I go back? To the island yes without a doubt! To the resort ? Maybe as I think the good out weighed the bad

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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6  Thank JeffandLoriP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Mujeres
#2 Spa Hotel in Isla Mujeres
#3 Luxury Hotel in Isla Mujeres
Price Range: $202 - $563 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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Also Known As:
Privilege Aluxes Isla Mujeres
Privilege Aluxes Hotel Isla Mujeres

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