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Old 11-16-2012   #1 (permalink)
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Privilege Aluxes on Isla Mujeres - Rissask Report!

We stayed at the Privilege Aluxes for a week recently (November 4-11, 2012)- it is a lovely hotel!


Privilege Hotels | Isla Mujeres Hotel Mexico | Privilege Hotels

This will mostly be a review of the hotel and a few other pics of Isla.


We are building a house (at drywall stage right now- whoo hoo! ) and living with my husband's niece and her husband and their three year old twins in their basement. No small adjustment for two childfree set-in-our-ways people - so we needed a little getaway before our February vacation. I am sure they appreciated the break from us, too!

We traveled with our friends Jason and Cyndy, who came with us the first time we stayed on Isla. They had stayed at this hotel while we stayed at the Posada del Mar. The Posada is *okay*, this one is much nicer and better location on the beach, has a beach club, and MUCH better service. Some of the staff at the Posada were a bit sullen.

We booked on Expedia, as is our norm. Went swimmingly- as per usual. All Inclusive option was only another $20 per person daily, so we booked that. During high season that price goes a lot higher, so we got a great deal. We paid about $2400 total for the week for both of us, which is a very good price for an AI package to a nice hotel from where we live.

We lucked out with a direct non-stop flight from Saskatoon to Cancun on WestJet. Very nice bonus for a one-week vacation- we often have to connect at least one time, usually in Calgary, or overnight somewhere. We were wanting to go to Punta de Mita this month, but that fell through and we booked Isla again instead. We also talked about Turks and Caicos but the overnight in Toronto BOTH ways dissuaded us.

The flight was uneventful and on time. On arrival at Terminal 2 we were herded to the Immigration area with about 600,000 other folks where we waited...and waited...and waited. Almost two hours. Perhaps because it was Sunday about 11 AM.

After that wait, bag pick-up and Customs was very fast. The last trip we waited the longest at Customs. It's a crapshoot. Come onnnn, airport at Tulum!

(This is the reason people who brag about doing carry-on only through CUN make me laugh. I have never waited for my baggage, the lines are at Immigration- uh, you don't save any time!?!! )

We had just booked the standard rooms, but I e-mailed the concierge before arrival and asked for a quiet room not on the ground floor. On arrival we both got great rooms, and were upgraded to rooms with jacuzzi tubs on the balcony. I am sure low season had something to do with that, and our friends staying there once before.

Room pics...







pool....










more to come
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until a week on Isla Mujeres!

until 2 weeks in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido!
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Old 11-16-2012   #2 (permalink)
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Cool, a Rissask report. I like that the hotel has shady areas at the pool. Looking forward to seeing how the beach looks.
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Old 11-16-2012   #3 (permalink)
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This is such a nice hotel!

There is only 124 rooms, so it is not a huge sprawling resort. I think there are 4 five-level buildings. We had rooms 124 and 121 and there are elevators.

Our view was of the cemetery next door and so it was very quiet at night.



Breakfast buffet is at their main restaurant, Sabor, by the pools. Outdoor patio with pergola shade, and indoor A/C sections. Good selection, fruit, cereals, juices, pastries (chocolate croissant every morning with my mimosa and cappucino!), omelette stations and the usual hot items. Not a cut-up hot dog in sight.

You could have lunch there (in low season like when we were there, most days was a la carte for lunch there, which was great) or at the Cafe del Mar which was the restaurant on the beach-also a la carte. One of the nicer things about low season and smaller hotels, often a la carte as opposed to large buffets.


They had beach service which rocked- even the Barcelo Palace did not have beach service! They would bring us lunch right to our palapa.


shrimp tacos and guac




Jason and Cyndy at our usual daily position




and us



They had beach beds, no extra $$ required. They were usually empty. That is Don reading his Clive Cussler. ha.






The beach here is gorgeous, if a bit steep. You were over your head by 15 feet out from the surf line. And there is a bit of a current which is not great for laying on a mattress, sadly. No seaweed and no 'stench'.





We spent the good part of four of the days at the beach. One day we walked up to Playa Norte which is typically a nicer beach, but there was seaweed there and sandbags....I remember it being nicer the last trip...that was in August and beaches change, of course.


We walked to the Avalon which is the hotel on the north-eastern point. We heard the snorkeling was good here but it was only so-so- possibly we didn't know the best place to go.


walk from PA to Avalon through the northern part of town...











Last edited by Rissask; 11-16-2012 at 12:08 PM..
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Old 11-16-2012   #4 (permalink)
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Cool, a Rissask report. I like that the hotel has shady areas at the pool. Looking forward to seeing how the beach looks.

Lots of shade both at the pool and beach.
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Old 11-16-2012   #5 (permalink)
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Great start, Maggie!
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Old 11-16-2012   #6 (permalink)
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Great start, Maggie!
start? I am almost done. My first Isla report was much more interesting since everything was 'new', I guess.


We did the golf cart tour of the island, with Mapchick's map as a guide, the first trip there (August 2011) and this trip we basically repeated that day since it was so much fun.

We added a stop at the turtle farm, though. Dirt cheap to get in, about 30 pesos.

cute widdle baby turtle!




they have pens and tanks of different species at differing ages












hi!



and nests in a fenced in area




They have scheduled releases but none the week we were there. Don has done this twice and we got to do it at an AI near Manzanillo once, so we were not that disappointed- it is VERY cool, though.

There is a large building with more aquariums with other creatures and a TON of babies! SO cute.




seahorses



spiny/Caribbean lobster




cat shark




We went out to the penned in area where the larger sea turtles are....suddenly spotted this shadow..




There is a nurse shark in there! We knew there was one you could get your photo taken with just down the coast at Playa Lancheros, but didn't know there was one in here.

I like this pic.








and a trilobite! (no not really...a horseshoe crab.)

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Old 11-16-2012   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the pics. Ahh the memories of Privilege Aluxes.
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Old 11-16-2012   #8 (permalink)
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I am loving this report!

I must say that I'm intrigued about trying out Isla Mujeres instead of Playa for a change. Would you say that the all-inclusive option is worth it at the hotel or is there a ton of restaurants that would be a shame to miss on the island? (I'm frighteningly ignorant about Isla Mujeres.)
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Old 11-16-2012   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the pics. Ahh the memories of Privilege Aluxes.
We would totally stay there again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dasha View Post
I am loving this report!

I must say that I'm intrigued about trying out Isla Mujeres instead of Playa for a change. Would you say that the all-inclusive option is worth it at the hotel or is there a ton of restaurants that would be a shame to miss on the island? (I'm frighteningly ignorant about Isla Mujeres.)
Isla is small but there are LOADS of great restaurants. Stay tuned because I have more on that topic.

We usually don't do AI, we only did the AI option because we could easily eat and drink for the $20 a day each and still go out to dinner most nights. Which is what we did. Our first trip we were non AI and that was great too.

If you are interested, the Trip Advisor forum has lots of tips and info, also Mapchick's Isla map is a must, and this site:

Isla Mujeres Net Home


It is very easy and convenient to get to, too. Just book a transfer from the CUN airport to the ferry pier, return. We booked with Best Day.

BestDay.com - Hotels, Flights, Car Rental & Packages for your trip!

It is only $34 per couple return for a shared transfer van. And our friends and we were the only people both legs, which is typical. You go straight to the ferry even if shared.

Then you take the ferry from Puerto Juarez, the Ultramar, to the island. Takes about 20 minutes, I think it is $140 pesos return per person.
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Old 11-16-2012   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dasha View Post
I am loving this report!

I must say that I'm intrigued about trying out Isla Mujeres instead of Playa for a change. Would you say that the all-inclusive option is worth it at the hotel or is there a ton of restaurants that would be a shame to miss on the island? (I'm frighteningly ignorant about Isla Mujeres.)
My wife and I were there about 11 years ago, just for the day. Last May we stayed at Privilege Aluxes for 4 nights. We also did the all inclusive. It was well worth it. We ate out a few times, rented a golf cart and ate at some of the famous/recomended places a little out of town. As we were walking around, and reading some of the actual Isla Mujeres forum, saw some of the restuarants that looked to be fun to try. If we go back, I am sure we would stay there again, and do the AI, but still eat out. It was so nice sitting on the beach, order food and drinks and not worrying about it. And, the pool swim up bar was a blast!
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Old 11-16-2012   #11 (permalink)
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My wife and I were there about 11 years ago, just for the day. Last May we stayed at Privilege Aluxes for 4 nights. We also did the all inclusive. It was well worth it. We ate out a few times, rented a golf cart and ate at some of the famous/recomended places a little out of town. As we were walking around, and reading some of the actual Isla Mujeres forum, saw some of the restuarants that looked to be fun to try. If we go back, I am sure we would stay there again, and do the AI, but still eat out. It was so nice sitting on the beach, order food and drinks and not worrying about it. And, the pool swim up bar was a blast!
Totally agree, it was nice to be able to choose to eat at the hotel or if you felt like it, go out for dinner or lunch. With that price anyway, it was well worth it. If the AI was an extra $60 a day I am not sure we would do it, it would depend on the price we were paying for the whole package.


The swim up bar was dead quiet while we were there....low season! There was one day when a few people were whooping it up, that was all.

There was also three weddings there during our stay. One was a couple of women from Toronto and about 40 of their friends and family- those people were a blast. They look like they do a great job at beach weddings!
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Old 11-16-2012   #12 (permalink)
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Wait, hold up. Your room overlooked a cemetery? I just noticed that in your report.
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Old 11-16-2012   #13 (permalink)
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Wait, hold up. Your room overlooked a cemetery? I just noticed that in your report.
yes. Is that bad?

It's actually one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. We toured it our first trip there. I have pics in my other report. Really interesting, colourful crypts.

And like I said, QUIET! Which is a must for me at night....very light sleeper. Last time I stayed in Playa it was WAY too noisy.

There was also a partial ocean view from our balcony looking the other way.

(I have a pic of Don in the jacuzzi nakie cupping himself. he made me swear not to post it anywhere. I was going to make it my Facebook profile photo but thought better of it. )



Ten years ago, we met a couple from Edmonton on a trip to Manzanillo and have stayed in touch with them over the years. They are living in Playacar this winter for a few months, so when she saw on Facebook we were heading to Isla she wrote me and we arranged to meet one day....it turned out to be the Monday, our first full day there.

They came to the hotel and had lunch with us (Cafe del Mar is also a public restaurant). They had brought a friend of theirs from Playa with them, a Cuban girl who lives there now. They all went and did the golf cart thing to see the island that afternoon as it was their first trip to Isla. That night, we met them at the Posada del Mar at Romi's bar for cocktails...group pic:

*pic not available, stupid Photobucket is down!*



and then we all went to dinner at El Patio/CoMoNo on Hidalgo (Hidalgo is like a smaller version of Fifth Avenue.) GREAT food! I had the chicken fajitas and Don had some sort of chicken pita sandwich which he raved about. (El Patio and CoMoNo I believe are now owned by the same owner and they in the same space; they are building a rooftop deck that will be for CoMoNo.)

Later we headed to Fayne's which is a bar that usually has live music.
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Old 11-16-2012   #14 (permalink)
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Now I miss Isla even more! Thanks for the picks. It sure has changed. We did stay at the Avalon(AI) the 1st time we went to Isla, which is where I ended up working for about 5 months. But I think Isla is really about the food and people!
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Old 11-16-2012   #15 (permalink)
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My husband and I were there three years ago, maybe four. Stayed in a really local place about mid-island, about three blocks from the Mango Cafe. I love Isla, would really love to go back! Thanks for the report.
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