on July 7, 2010
I stayed at the Privilege Alluxes Isla Mujeres after reading mixed reviews for the sole purpose of having a quiet weekend away from the hustle of Cancun and the uber-resort feel of Riviera Maya. And while some of those negative reviews were relevant, I had an enjoyable time at the hotel nonetheless.The hotel is situated on Playa Norte - a beautiful white sand beach with a tiny swimming area in front of it. Swimming is not as possible elsewhere on the island due to rocks, seaweed and/or strong currents. The hotel has the amenities of a resort: 3 restaurants - Sabor (buffet), Satay and Cafe del Mar; a small exercise room, a spa, internet access / wifi in rooms although the signal is spotty, concierge desk, water activity desk, pool bar, taxis onsite, plus one can rent golf carts on-site or just walk into town to explore the little shops and local restaurants, vendors peddling their wares on the beach, beachfront massages ($30USD for 1 hour).Pros/Cons:The All-Inclusive plan is great if you plan to drink and spend lots of time at the pool and the beach. (Beer is limited to Corona with the all-inclusive plan. The food is fair, but this was not a foodie tour...if that is what you are looking for the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman has Eric Ripert restaurants and five-star food.) Others on the trip recommended to just get all-inclusive breakfast and eat in town where beers are only $1 anyway! But I wanted beach time, drink service and the ability to drink the water/beer/etc in my room without hassle.The rooms unless you've booked the Super-Saver are giant and modern...I had the Ocean View suite with sliding glass doors to the balcony. The living room was so spacious I could have had a cocktail party in there and added a dining room. There is a little kitchen with cooktop that looks like it has never been used. The bedroom was also a nice size. Flat screen televisions in both. The AC was great, but when the room was not in use the AC was off and I noticed mold on the ceiling which was cleaned up days later. I don't have allergies so this wasn't an issue, but it was a bit awful to look at.The staff is kind and works really hard to provide the best services ever...they are seriously understaffed and I feel for them. It takes a while to get to the hotel...land in Cancun, taxi to port, ferry to Isla, taxi or walk to hotel from ferry terminal....I thought that booking transport through the hotel would expedite things, didn't. It would have been cheaper and exactly the same if we hailed a cab and took the public ferry ourselves...but I am not complaining. It would have been better if the hotel provided their own private boat.There is a cemetery next to the hotel, but you won't notice unless you have a bedroom facing it.If you are looking for an affordable spot that is off the beaten path and great for diving and snorkeling with whale sharks...this is a fine option.
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