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“nice hotel-food needs some work.”
Review of Privilege Aluxes

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Privilege Aluxes
Ranked #4 of 37 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 August 2009

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 good:

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!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank rhodes91l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 August 2009

My husband and I just got back from a 5 night stay at Privileges. We did the all inclusive and were very disappointed with the package as were a few other couples. The all inclusive package was supposed to include meals and drinks at the three restaurants, plus drinks at the pool and beach bars, plus room service. The first night we were there we arrived late and could not make reservations which were required to eat at Satay. The beach restaurant was no longer serving food and the other restaurant was closed for a wedding, leaving Satay as our only option. Even though there were only three tables being served, they haggled with us and said they could not serve us because they were so busy. They finally gave in and seated us, but the service was poor as was our food. Other couples were turned away and had to fend for themselves for dinner that night even though they had paid for all inclusive. The next morning I tried to order room service for breakfast, but was informed I must make the call the day before to get it. Who knows they need room service the day before?! and better yet what time you will wake up for breakfast.! Another couple was 10 minutes late for their reservation and they would not let them have dinner. We did the buffet breakfast one morning, but the food was awful and even the cereal was stale. We decided after the first day to do our own meals on the island as their are great places to eat all over. I definitely recommend Mogagou and Casa Rollandi. The lack of service did not ruin our trip; we were just disappointed that we paid for all inclusive.

The beach is wonderful. Their are plenty of palapas for all of the guests and service is pretty good especially when you tip each time you get a drink. Pool bar was great too. Every night we would take a couple of drinks and sit in the water to watch the sunset. Also recommend renting a golf cart to drive around the island as there are many things to see. One night we actually got to see a sea turtle come up to lay her eggs on a beach at the other end of the island.

The rooms were very clean. The beds were comfortable. No complaints about the rooms. They also keep the mini bar stocked, but it does not get very cold.

We have stayed at both Ixchel and Privileges Aluxes. I would recommend going over to Ixchel. They don't have all inclusive packages, but their beach is more private and the allinclusive at Privileges is worthless anyway. Take the money you save from not purchasing the all inclusive package and enjoy the many wonderful restaurants around the island. Definitely go to Magagua, one block away from the middle street with all of the restaurants and shops. Their penne with bolognese sauce is excellent!

We will be back to Isla Mujeres but not back to Privileges.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank ez2pleasebeachlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2009

My husband & I visited Privilege Aluxes from July 11 - 16, 2009 & were very pleased with the hotel & the staff. As others have already stated, the hotel is clean, comfortable, and intimate with personalized service for each guest. This was our first trip to Isla Mujeres and PA and we were a bit nervous about our choice in hotels due to the mixed reviews on TA, however, it was completely unfounded!

What we loved:
The CLEAN rooms & hotel, the beautiful sea, the friendliness of the staff, the way the hotel General Manager made it a point to check in with every guest o ensure that every person was enjoying their stay, the fresh & delicious food, quality alcohol selections, and general "vibe" of the hotel. We also really appreciated that the hotel was small and easy to navigate as we have had our fill of "mega resorts", they are just too big for our tastes.

What we hope they improve:
The selection of food. Because of low occupancy there were limited choices served at the beach restaurant for lunch & dinner. After 5 days we were ready for some variety! However, all of the food they did serve was fresh & very good! We would also hope for better service. All of the servers were kind and really tried to please the guests, they were just not as quick, efficient, and reliable as others we've encountered. I'm sure this will improve as the hotel becomes more established. Also, we noticed that we were often overlooked or bypassed for service when Mexican guests were on the beach or at the bar, despite tipping at least one US dollar per round of drinks and more if we ordered food. Maybe the language barrier is a factor...we do not speak Spanish very well, but we do try!

All in all, it was a wonderful start to our vacation & we are planning to return with friends & family. The small things we hope will improve over time would in no way keep us from returning to this little gem!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cinloves2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2009

Stayed at Privilege Aluxes for an anniversary get-a-way and had a wonderful time! I had been in tough with the resort via email before our trip to give them a "heads up" that it was our anniversary and asked for suggestions to make it memorable! The Gen Mgr replied and also had Edgar (Reservations) reply as well.... they suggested a romantic dinner on the beach and also offered a room upgrade! Wow-I was already happy and wasnt even there yet! We had emailed back and forth a few times, so by the time we arrived and walked into the lobby, they said "Welcome Deborah, we've been expecting you!" before i could say a thing... They were very personable and knew us by name from then on. After a brief overvew of the hotel and facilities, we were taken to our room... The room they upgraded us to was amazing (upgraded us to a Prem Suite) ..... exceeded our expectations. The view was incredible but i couldnt wait to get to the beach, put my toes in the sand, have a drink and gaze at the 1st of many memorable sunsets (we got to the island at 5:00pm, sunset is at approx 7:30). We were in heaven. The General Manager, Manolo, came to find us on the beach to introduce himself and welcome us personally - i thought that was a really nice touch! He also had a bottle of wine and a cheese/fruit platter delivered to our room to congratulate us on our anniversary. We stayed on the beach until the sun was down and then headed in to shower and dress for dinner at Satay. I think earlier in the evening the restaurant is not as busy.... i think most tended to be on the same "sunset" schedule we were on because we got to dinner around 9:00pm each night and it was busy - some off the street, some hotel guests.... The food and service were awesome! They have 2 menus.... 1 sushi menu and 1 reg (Thai) menu.... we tended to order sushi as an appetizer, and then our entrees off the main menu. Everything we had was amazing and while the restaurant is "white tablecloth" it is not stuffy - i wore sundresses and my hubby wore nice shorts and tommy bahama type shirts. The pool area is nice.....very tranquil and we never had a problem getting a pool "bed" - plenty of lounge chairs around pool area and swim up bar is nice! We spent most of our time on the beach but when we were ready for a siesta, we headed to the pool area! The beach area is nice..... plenty of places to find shade - plenty of loungers. Gerardo was our waiter on the beach and he was great - kept the drinks coming and was always making some great suggestions!!! (thanks gerardo!!!) The beach "menu" was really good too..... couldnt get enough of the fish tacos and the shrimp ceviche - AND the Guac and chips!!! Also had a club sandwich one afternoon and it was Delicious! Gerardo even delivered ice cream to us to water's edge! One thing people should know when coming to Mexico..... Mexico beaches are public.....all of them....so, on the weekends the beach area can get loud with music - locals bring their boom boxes... by Sun evening all was quiet again. Breakfast was just what the Dr. ordered for me: something quick but good so i could head out to the pool, beach, or in town or on a tour. It was a buffet that had plenty to choose from and also had a made to order omlet station - the Omlets are awesome! They also offer mimosas for those that wish to start their day with one! :-) I usually started with coffee, fresh sqeezed OJ, an omlet and sliced fresh fruit - and then we were out the door, ready to start the day! Our maid service was great too....and we also had turn down service with chocolate (i cant believe i didnt gain any weight on this trip - i think only because we did so much walking all over town!) One day we booked a whale shark tour and THAT was amazing.....if you happen to be on the island during whale shark "season" (June, July, Aug) this is a "must do". This year the season is particularly good and we had approx 50 whale sharks around our boat - other than that, we pretty much did the relaxing beach/pool scene and our usual "sunset" beach stroll..... we had dinner at Satay 4 times and each night was consistently delicious! My husband stuck with the fish dishes and i loved the beef (beef tepan-yakki, beef teriyaki) - all sushi was great and we had some really good wine as well.... dessert was good too although we were so stuffed by then that we shared a different one each night. On the day we were to return home check out was smooth.... all we had to do was just turn in the room keys and towel passes and we were off....... feeling relaxed with a smile on our faces - and a friendly good-bye from the staff! We are planning to return next summer with a group - cant wait!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank BlondieSki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2009

After visiting this island for over thirty years I'd like to voice my opinion on this place. I witnessed the growth of this monstrosity across from Jax Bar with amazement over the years. The architecture is just overwhelming for this small island. I was inside the rooms and can say they were nice but in the context of Isla they were just not Mexico. The prices listed say $180.00+ but as a walkin I was quoted $99.00 with tax and breakfast included. Another step to oversize and overwhelm an island which is far past it's heyday. Goodbye Isla........................

Stayed: July 2009, travelled solo
5  Thank Whitecat11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2009

We spent 6 days with friends at this wonderful hotel!
When you arrive at this beautiful hotel you are greated with champagne and a very warm/helpful staff. The rooms are extremely clean and housekeeping does a fantastic job. The pool and pool bar are very nice and alot of fun in the evening, that seems to be where everyone congregates before dinner and after a fun filled day on the beach. You have three choices for dinning, they are all very good (best food we have ever had at an all-inclusive)however we seemed to have spent most of our time eating at the beach. Have the club sandwich and shrimp tacos! The service can be slow, just remember you are on vacation, so slow down and enjoy. Although the beach is beautiful, it is a public beach. On Sat and Sun you will have to share it with people that come over from Cancun for the day. The issue with this is that they take over the hotel beach chairs, showers and restrooms.
Majority of the staff is very good, if you have any problems advise the manager and they will take care of it right away. Greatest staff: Yvette-Frontdesk, Antonio-Food/Service Manager, Manalo-Hotel Manager and Jesus -Waiter . Be sure you look up Jesus, he is awesome!!
Great Tip-Ask the hotel to help you rent a golf cart. If you rent for multi days you can keep it right at the hotel. This is a great way to see the Island and is well worth spending a couple of hours in the morning and/or evening exploring.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank Tata05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2009

I chose a four star hotel because I wanted to be sure to have the little extras that make a trip memorable. I couldn't have chosen better. The staff went out of their way to help us find the right room; direct us to restaurants, shops, the bank. Whatever we needed. Everyone warned me about the water in Mexico but I had no problem at all. The hotel and all the restaurants we ate at used purified water. The breakfast at the hotel was large and varied. The restaurants in town were easy to find and had good food at reasonable prices. The pool at the hotel and the beaches across the street were beautiful. It was a restful and relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank ustraveler180
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
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Isla Mujeres
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £124 - £336 (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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