Privilege Aluxes is an upscale, optional all-inclusive resort across the road from Playa Norte.The 124 rooms are contempora, featuring minibars, bathrobes, free small bottles of liquor, and big flat-screen TVs. Some rooms have balconies with whirlpools or private pools, kitchenettes, and/or ocean views. A flexible all-inclusive plan, four on-site restaurants -- including a reservation-required specialty spot -- a small but attractive pool with swim-up bar, and big beach club with free loungers are favorites with guests, however, the food receives mixed reviews and some rooms overlook a cemetery. Guests also have access to a spa with thermal circuit and small gym with several machines. This is an adult-oriented hotel, so families should consider the livelier, all-inclusive Mia Reef Isla Mujeres down the road.
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Oyster Hotel Review
Upscale and peaceful spot that's geared toward couples
From the get-go, Privilege Aluxes feels upscale and inviting. The lobby is decked out in polished marble, stylish midcentury modern furniture, and natural wood accents. Fake leopard-print palms and bright-red accent wall feel slightly out of place, but colorful, embroidered throw pillows and coral centerpieces fit the Mexican beach setting. Renovations in 2016 included relocating the reception, changing the furniture, and updating the color palettes, mattresses, and sheets in guest rooms. The hotel is built around a central courtyard, funneling most of its guests there to take advantage of the available features. Miraculously, it manages to avoid feeling cramped, likely because many guests spend their time at the beach club. The resort is adult-oriented and doesn't attracting many travelers with kids, instead seeing primarily American couples. In 2019, the hotel plans to become an adult-only property with a minimum age of 18.
On the northern tip of Isla Mujeres, across from Playa Norte
Privilege Aluxes is located on the northern tip of Isla Mujeres, about a five-minute walk to the edge of downtown and a 15-minute walk to the ferry port. The Turtle Farm and Icebar are about a 20-minute taxi ride south, while Punta Sur is a 25-minute drive. Playa Norte is located across the street, and the hotel has a private beach club.To reach Isla Mujeres from the Cancun International Airport, travelers must take a cab from the airport to the Ultramar Ferry (also known as Gran Puerto, Isla Ferry, or Puerto Jerez), where ferries depart to Isla Mujeres (a 20-minute journey) throughout the day.
Contemporary rooms with great marble bathrooms, but not all with balconies
Guest rooms are upscale and contemporary, outfitted with polished marble floors; a seafoam green and white color palette; and walnut wood-laminate furniture and walls. Also, on the downside, some rooms overlook a cemetery and many guests have complained of noise issues from an adjacent school and neighboring rooms.
All rooms except the Presidential Suite come with one king-sized bed, though the couch is comfortable enough for a child and can be set up as a bed on request. All rooms come with small safes, minibars, flat-screen TVs, and free bottled water that gets replaced daily. Comfort features include bathrobes, iPod dock clock radios (with inputs for older models), and bathroom treats like bath salts and dental, shaving, and vanity kits. A selection of mini welcome bottles of liquor is a standout extra. Rooms have AC, but no ceiling fans.
Standard Rooms are small and only some come with a balcony. Marble bathrooms, however, are excellent, with deep jetted tubs next to showers. Superior Rooms, meanwhile, provide more space and balconies with two-person whirlpools. Deluxe Suites have kitchenettes that add sinks and two-burner hobs, plus bars with seating. These rooms also have stylish living areas with colorful fabrics decorating the walls and furniture. Surprisingly, their large terraces don’t have whirlpools, just table and chair sets. Honeymoon Suites have double balconies that stretch from the living rooms to the bedrooms, face the pool, and are located on high floors for ocean views.
Top-floor Wow Rooms are stunning, with full ocean views and huge balconies with private pools and loungers, while the Platinum Suite is a dual-level guest room that combines the Wow and Deluxe Suite for the best of all rooms.
Private beach club on North Beach with restaurant, bar, and loungers
The hotel’s beach club is located on the soft sands of Playa Norte (North Beach) and is free for guests (no minimum spend). Guests can reach the beach by crossing the small road at the back of the hotel. There, guests will find a wide stretch of beach, upbeat remixes of popular music, public bathrooms, and an assortment of contemporary wicker couches, chairs, and numbered, padded plastic loungers underneath palapa umbrellas. There are also a few coveted cabana beds on a first-come, first-served basis. A large restaurant and bar serves up Mexican fare with shaded seating on a wooden deck. Unfortunately, some guests have complained of early risers reserving beds with towels and not using them for hours.
All-Inclusive / Food
Several food options, though they receive mixed reviews
Guests here have a choice of four restaurants, including one specialty a la carte that requires reservations, an international buffet, beach club restaurant, and small poolside snack bar. While the buffet meals are fairly average, the a la carte options at Satay, the Chinese-Japanese fusion restaurant, and the beach club have better quality options. Sabor, the hotel's main eatery, serves a free breakfast buffet, a la carte lunch, and themed dinner buffet each night. Mexican barbecue nights down by the beach are a favorite among guests.
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All-Inclusive / Food
Optional all-inclusive, plus free buffet breakfast for everyone
Privilege offers a unique approach to their all-inclusive plan: guests opting in to the all-inclusive package can choose to have it for as many days or as few days of their stay as they want. This gives an extra level of flexibility for guests who want to try the local cuisine in town. The all-inclusive packages includes meals at all four restaurants and all bars, though top-shelf booze, fine wines, and food upgrades, such as lobster, cost extra. Room service is also free. Folks not on the all-inclusive plan can still expect a free breakfast buffet and free minibars in their rooms.
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Upscale pool area, spa, and swim-up bar, plus a few freebies
The unique zigzag shape of the hotel’s main pool gives the pool area depth and allows guests to find several different spaces and nooks to lounge. It has a built-in swim-up bar, wooden bridges connecting the sections, a shallow area where folks can sit, and a collection of contemporary padded loungers lining the perimeter. While not officially a kids' pool, there’s a smaller, shallower rectangular pool off the main pool, and a few cabana beds with thatched roofs sit back in a grassy area off the side. The pool area also has a whirlpool and an outdoor snack bar serving simple bites such as quesadillas, fries, and made-to-order burgers.
The hotel’s spa, salon, and gym are hidden inside palapa-style buildings by the pool. An all-in-one and TechnoGym cardio machines, and free weights make up the small, L-shaped gym area, and its glass walls let in natural light. The room also has a TV, AC, water, and fresh fruit. Guests can exchange towel cards at the spa, pick a book to read from the lending library, and run the small thermal circuit (sauna, steam room, thermal shower), though the latter's only free with a treatment. There are three separate treatment rooms, all inside palapa-style buildings with a garden vibe, and a salon for nail treatments.
Freebies include access to sunbeds on the beach, guest computer and printing and front desk, and Wi-Fi, which is typically spotty all over the island. Other convenience features include a currency exchange and ATM in the lobby.