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“Sunny, friendly and peaceful”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Privilege Aluxes

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Privilege Aluxes
Ranked #4 of 38 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
grand rapids, MI
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Sunny, friendly and peaceful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2011

Our first impressions of the island were not good. We arrived late Friday, in the rain and very tired after a 12 hour trip. We walked to the hotel from the Ferry dock, in the rain. Half of the main street was torn up under construction and the area looked run down. However, the following is true: The street will likely be very nice when they finish the construction (I would guess in a few weeks), most Mexican towns look run down by American standards, and, it's no fault of the hotel that it was raining !

Unfortunately, the next day (Saturday) was also a total rainout. We were beginning to think about going back home! However, that concludes the bad part of this review. On Sunday morning, the sun came up, and we had an absolutely gorgeous week. On to the review of the hotel and island.

We got a great deal on the hotel, including an all-inclusive package. In the all-inclusive debate, I fall securely on the "do it" side considering the price. I would rate the food as good to very good - similar in quality to the cruse we took last year. One MAJOR difference from cruises is that all alcohol and drinks are included. We don't drink much but it was still a major plus, knowing we could order anything at any time. There are three basic options - Cafe Del Mar (on the beach), Satay (Thai/oriental in a formal setting) and Sabor (mainly buffet for breakfast and dinner, order off the menu for lunch). All three have their high points. The beach Cafe was, of course, in a beautiful setting, Satay was elegant and serene, and Sabor was casual with lots of windows to see out. Contrary to some opinions, we had a great dinner at Satay (I had the tuna). The buffets are generally good (especially if you arrive early, as with any buffet), and the beach Cafe was pretty good. One slight downer on the drinks, we did not find the mixed drinks at the beach Cafe to be very good (or potent), but it's easy to ask for something different (it's free after all). Keep trying until you find one you like. The wine is "house wine" and the beer is Corona only (although you might try Corona dark for a change).

As mentioned by others, the restaurants in town are excellent, but I didn't think they were super cheap (although very reasonable). We spent about $35 at El Patio, and $60 at Olivia's (both great places).

The Island itself is great - the people are Very friendly, and we felt safe at all times, even walking down a dark alley at night. Definitely rent a golf cart and explore ($50/day). We found a great beach on the south end of the island. $5 to get in but it was well worth it because you could rent snorkeling gear and experience some great fish right off shore. Since we didn't feel like devoting a lot of time and money to a snorkeling trip, this little beach was the perfect answer for us. It was between the Turtle Farm and Punta Sur. The marking for it was hard to see but the there is a small sign by the road.

As far as the hotel, considering the price (Expedia) we paid, it was a great value. Our first room was huge, but the view wasn't great (1st floor, view of a Palapa). We asked for an upgrade and boy were we upgraded. We shot up to the top (6th) floor with a gigantic rooftop patio and our own spashpool. Views of the ocean all around and spectacular sunsets (and sunrises). Other than a few nits, the only issue we had with the rooms was an intermittent odor that we're not sure exactly where it came from. Opening the doors for ventilation helped (no bugs !) and incense were provided in the room. This sounds bad, but it really wasn't that much of an issue. Overall, the rooms are stark, in keeping with the modern look. The beds were on the firm side, but we tend to like them that way, so no problem for us.

Overall, the hotel staff was genuinely friendly and accommodating. For me, that goes a long way to balance any issues that we encountered. Since issues happen on most vacations, the key to me is what they do about them, and this hotel gets a "A" on that in my book. Toward the end of our stay, they gave us a survey to fill out and actually called our room to discuss it further.

Although there is live music on the beach at this hotel, the Island doesn't have a whole lot of "events" or entertainment, so you need to be in the mood for a laid back vacation - which is what we were looking for. Having said that, on the main street (Hidalgo), there are usually 2 or 3 small bands or guitarists playing at restaurants and it was common to see Mayan dancers in the street (with or without fire batons) doing wild dances to a drum beat (fun to watch).

One final thing - there is a small school on the island called the "Little Yellow Schoolhouse" which is a non-profit that supports children with special needs. We discovered it on the Isla Mujeres website and were determined to visit it and bring some supplies. It seemed nobody knew about it until we found three local police who, after some explanation in Spanish (thanks to my wife), one of them thought she knew. So she jumped on the back of our golf cart and directed us through several twists and turns through the neighborhoods and we finally found it. She was very kind to spend so much time with us and was fun to have along as a rider!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank jhagerup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2011

Upon arriving, the front desk staff was very polite and called for champagne to be brought for us. We were given a complimentary upgrade without asking (from standard to jacuzzi rm) and the bellhop gave us a tour en route to our room. 5th floor does not have a patio cover, so when it rained, we couldn't use our balcony, but it was private. Our bulb on the patio was burnt out, so no issues with the lighting ;) We faced the graveyard (fine - nice and quiet) and had partial ocean views. The rooms are simple in design - we appreciated the blankets between sheets approach vs. skanky motel comforters. Even though the standard rooms are small, they are efficient w/good storage. Only gripe on the room was that the sheets were NOT luxurious - the napkins in the dining room were far softer. Bathroom was elegant with tons of travertine. Shower head faces the door so we constantly battled with water - poor design. Spa-quality soaps, etc and we had incense (1st 2 days, anyways) and bath salts (day 1 only). Hot water was always available except for Sunday night - warm, not hot. Minibar was stocked daily, although our 2nd-to-last-day they slacked and the last day, they didn't show at all.

The pools were kept pristine and there were plenty of chairs and beds. Water was too cold for all but the Canadians and a few kids.

On the topic of kids, "Adults Only Oriented" means, "Don't bring your &#$* kids - there is nothing for them to do here!". There were a handful when we visited; can't understand why parents would drag small children there.... Most the guests were older (45+) couples and a number of gay couples - great co-resorters - no mayhem or obnoxious college kids.

The beach was clean for the amount of traffic; some days we had to wait for beach chairs at the palapas, some days, we didn't. If you want a beach bed, you need to be there around 5AM. A dad was out there that early all week to claim one for his family. The water is more shallow and enjoyable just around the corner at Playa Norte; we'd leave our gear on our chairs and walk around to Norte with a few cervesas for the road...

We went all-inclusive for $45/n - WELL worth it! Champagne, pina coladas, Negro Modelo (draft)....one day we had 30 drinks on our beach tab - they never slowed us down or gave us any hassle. Room service once a day was AWESOME, too, for when you didn't feel like leaving your room. Sabor for breakfast buffet was fine; we had lunch every day at Cafe del Mar (shrimp ceviche, YES!) and dinners at del Mar and Satay. Satay was not impressive and del Mar's dinners, they try too hard on some dishes. We did Sabor for the Mexican Buffet and they tried too hard here, too - chile rellanos, they added tuna, etc. - don't mess with the classics! So overall, the AI was a bargin for us, and the food is good - great at del Mar for lunch! We walked to a restaurant for dinner one night, L'Argentine or similar - husband had lobster & shrimp dish, I had shrimp dish, and 2 32oz STRONG drinks for $60US and the food was AWESOME!

Every staff member we encountered was friendly; if you are ready to leave the restaurant, just ask for the bill, no big deal.....we tipped $1/round and never had any problems with service.

We walked (there - took a cab back!) to the turtle sanctuary - it's a quick tour but they are beautiful! Worth seeing if you love animals.

Unless you have a ton of luggage (and you shouldn't - you are on a beach vacation!) walk to and from the ferry - it's only about 1 city block.

They have a computer/internet for guests to use in the lobby; we had no luck with the wifi in our room but it worked in and near the lobby

We met a couple from ND that had a time share at Avalon; they said it's horrible/falling apart now - so while it's a killer location, it's not worth staying at an inferior property.

Overall, we were very pleased with our experience at PA, and are planning to return with family and friends this summer!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SKinAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petersburg, Illinois
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2011

My fiance and 6 friends stayed here for five nights with an all inclusive package. The stay was to say the least totally wonderful. The waiting staff werealways on their toes and extremely friendly. Oscar, Clemente, and Cicileo at the Sabor are great as was the concierge. The rooms were directly off lifestyles of the rich and famous we felt totally pampered. The views were awesome from the top floor, this place is beautiful.
OK that being said for those who must nit pick, there is a school across the way and in the mornings you can here the kids playing and well just being kids. The elevator in the third building was down for a day and my friends room had no power for the first hour or so after check in. On the east side of the building there is a small cemetery that some might consider an eyesore but my group found this site interesting. Minor inconveniences at worst. My fiance and our six friends had the time of our lives together, I got married on the island (thanks Sabina our wedding planner, and Pam our photographer) This is our second year here, we got home 36 hours ago ( the return was completely against our will, we desperately wanted to stay) and we are planning our next trip back.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank normanst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrenton, VA
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2011

PA exceeded our expectations. We got the beachfront oceanview small suite which I highly recommend. The room was very spacious and our only complaint was lack of closet and storage for clothes. Other than that the service was very good and the staff was friendly and helpful. Keep in mind though meals and things like the check take a little longer than the states.

The rooms that face the school and main road are noisy. There are other rooms that overlook the cemetary. Take your pick- i'm sure the cemetary view is quiet but depressing. Do yourself a favor and spring for the oceanview upgrade. You won't be sorry.

As for food, we only got the breakfast plan as we like to experience local restaurants. The breakfast buffet at PA was very good. They mixed it up and had a great variety. The beachfront restaurant and bar are not good however. the service is slow and the menu and food are lacking. The good part is there are numerous talapas and restaurants just minutes in every direction that have great food and drinks. Among them are Suset Grill, JAX Sports Bar, velasquez, Ballyhoo, Cubano, and manny many more intown.

My advice- don't do the all inclusive. Get the breakfast plan and walk around for your meals. It is very safe and you won't be disappointed.

The beach and pool had plenty of nice chairs but as usual all the jerks that save chairs and then don't show up until afternoon make it tough at times to find a chair. i will never understand why people do this and why beach hotels simply don't clean up the saved chairs. It is so RUDE and inconsiderate.

All in all I highly recommend the PA and will be going back.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank easternmb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2011

We have been at privileges aluxes for 3 weeks and we had a great service. we were 22 persons and at no time we have to complain about the service. all the staff is helpfull and happy to work there. The first night we came there we were 22 persons from the same family eating in the same time in the restaurant Sabor and our waiter was so great. Thanks you very much Oscar for all you did for us. My mother and law was allergic to peanuts and he wrote it in the ordinator to be sure nothing bad happened to her. The capitan of the restaurant is also a kindly person. We really appreciate you Rodolfo. Enrique on the playa is also a great devoted waiter. Cecilio also help us so much and he tryed so much to speak french to be helpfull the much he can. Thanks everyone you made our vacation really a great time.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank beaulieu132
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Burlington, Vermont
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2011

The service we experienced is above and beyond anything that we have experienced before. We loved the room, it was very clean, comfortable and roomy. The location was spectacular and the amenities were perfect with everything we needed right there by our room. The best thing was the hospitality we received, it's incredible the service that was delivered with a smile, we got to know the staff as if they were family and that is how we were treated as if we were there family, words cannot describe the treatment we received.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bonniehayes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NW Indiana
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2011

We are not hard to please by any means but this hotel has a lot of work to do. The grounds are beautiful. That's about it. The pool....too cold to swim in. The food...it was ok at best. Nothing special. The buffett was just about the same everyday...including breakfast and dinner. Lunch was the best in my opinon. The drinks....good grief they were horrible. There is no way the vodka is/was smirnoff (we had to pay more for absolute) ....the vodka was just horrific. The service was ridiculously slow in getting a drink. We tipped at all times. We tried different ways to tip but it didn't matter if we tipped heavy or just average. No better service either way. The hotel lobby could use another computer to check emails as there was always someone on it when we were there. Not really one outstanding thing I can mention.....

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank rms102
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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Also Known As:
Privilege Aluxes Isla Mujeres
Privilege Aluxes Hotel Isla Mujeres

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