My husband and I just returned from 3 nights at Privilege Aluxes for a quick end of summer getaway. I wanted to share our thoughts, as I read all the reviews prior to leaving, which was quite helpful.
The hotel is very clean and beautiful. They have done a lovely job with the decor and grounds of the hotel, and are maintaining it well. The pool area is lovely with pleny of loungers and umbrellas. It looks just like all the pictures. It definitely felt like a little oasis in the midst of a busy part of the island.
The beach is very nice with great chairs and palapas. The water is gorgeous and the sand soft and white. The swimming is easy, as there is a sandy bottom and only gentle waves. Cafe del Mar had great service, bringing us drinks to our loungers all day, as well as snacks or lunch. The spacing of the chairs was great, especially as compared with the beach club next door where everyone was packed together like sardines!
The room was very nice. We originally booked a "superior room" with expedia as part of a package. It was a smallish room, which did have a jacuzzi on the balcony. However, the balcony was tiny and overlooked the roof of a restaurant, which really made the use of the jacuzzi quite unappealing. We were offered an upgrade to a deluxe suite for $20 more per night, which we chose to do. This room was fabulous, with separate living room, nice bedroom, big balcony overlooking the pools and on to the beach. It was WELL worth the money to upgrade!!
The staff were all super nice and working very hard. It seems to be a fairly small staff, as you would see the same people all the time-that added to the friendly atmosphere.
The not so good:
We were unfortunately not very impressed with the food. Admittedly, we live in Charleston SC and are used to high quality restaurants. We only paid $100 more for the all inclusive option for the 3 days we were there, so we had already planned to eat elsewhere on the island. I feel that we got our money's worth just with drinks and snacks alone, but I would have been very unhappy if we paid a lot for all inclusive option and planned to really treat it as an "all inclusive" . Some of it was good-the club sandwich, guacamole, omelets at breakfast were all good. The rest of the buffet at breakfast seemed like it had been sitting there for hours (and we ate fairly early). Dinner at Satay was OK for one night (the snapper was good), but there was a very small menu and the sushi was fair. I heard another guest say it took her three hours to eat there, but the service for us was good both nights. There was a buffet at dinner at Sabor, but we did not try it as the breakfast buffet was not good.
I was also disappointed with the drinks. I read one review stating the drinks were made with fresh fruits, but that was definitely not the case for us. I sampled several tropical drinks as well as the margarita, which were all only fair. Why can I get a better margarita in SC than in Mexico? :)The best, in my opinion, was the mango daiquiri. The only beer is Corona on draft. The chardonnay was ok. In general, I felt the food and drinks were on par with a TGI Fridays, not an upscale resort. Again, we paid very little, so I can't complain too much.
As far as the rest of our trip, we enjoyed our time on the island. The people were all exceptionally friendly and we felt quite safe. We ate at several places recommended by Hollyeats.com.
My favorite was Cafe tic-n-ix , although I know I am not spelling that correctly, (formerly playa lancheros) on the south side of the island. The fish was amazing as was the guacamole. That part of the island was quieter, which I enjoyed-actually being able to hear the waves instead of music from all the beach bars on playa norte. :) We ate here on the day we went about the island on a golf cart-very fun way to see the rest of the island.
We had a fabulous cuban sandwich from Qubanos downtown, and a great dinner at Olivias. Olivias also had a delicious Mojito that was freshly made-yum! I would highly recommend all of these spots, and they were all very reasonable in price.
Overall, we had a good experience-but not great. Hopefully they will improve the level of food and drinks. This is our first time to Mexico, so it may be similar to other resorts there, but not as good as our resort food and drinks in Jamaica, Bermuda, or Hawaii. They should consult with the other restaurants on the island, because many of them are getting it right!
- 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