We stayed at the Privilege Aluxes, which gets great reviews on many sites. It is on the western part of Playa Norte with minimalistic and modern décor.
The reception was not unfriendly, but not as warm and welcoming as other hotels we’ve been to. There was only one staff member at reception who was helping another person check-in. When we arrived, no one acknowledged us or told us that he or she will be with us shortly. Also, perhaps it was because our check-in was in the evening, but we noticed the next day that others were given cold drinks and bottles of water upon check-in, while we were only given water bottles. Since we chose not to do an all-inclusive with so many great restaurant choices on the island, we were given white bracelets to wear. After getting our passports checked and logistics sorted out, we were escorted to our room by hotel staff who spoke very rapidly and gave a very brief introduction to the resort.
We had booked a deluxe suite with a pool view and were given a room on the second floor (which is really the third floor, since they count the first floor as ground floor) in building three. The view, which is only visible from the living room or the balcony, was not much to write home about. Also, I did not appreciate that the bedroom windows were facing a busy street with a school across the hotel. The soundproofing in the bedroom was adequate enough that we were able to fall asleep without a lot of problems, however, the bathroom had no soundproofing at all, and we could hear everything from outside. It was not a deal breaker though, and we were too tired after a very long day of traveling to complain and ask for another room. In the middle of our trip, a couple checked into the room right next to ours, and their bathroom must have been sharing the wall of our foyer and kitchenette, because we heard EVERYTHING whenever they were in the restroom, from the showers, blow dryer, conversations, etc. Also, the day before check-out, we came back to our room from dinner to find a HUGE puddle of water in the bedroom by the windows. The rain had somehow leaked into the room, which has never happened to me before, let alone a 4-5 star resort. Someone eventually came to clean up the water, but there wasn’t much of an apology or any compensation for the inconvenience, even during check-out.
The deluxe suite consisted of a spacious living room with a TV; a kitchenette with a small sink, mini fridge, and what appeared to be hot plates; a bedroom with a desk and chair, closet, and black-out curtains; and a large bathroom with a toilet, a separate shower, and a bathtub. There were complimentary water bottles that were restocked daily and miniature bottles of tequila, vodka, and whiskey that were also complimentary. The water bottle in the restroom to use for brushing teeth was also restocked daily. The suite was very spacious and generally clean.
There were two unheated swimming pools and three Jacuzzis, which were also unheated. Since it was not considered a very busy season, there were plenty of pool chaises and cabanas for use. There was a swim up bar in the pool, a gym with glass walls, a spa that I did not have a chance to use, restrooms, outdoor showers to rinse oneself before jumping in the pool, and towel kiosk, where you can exchange your old towel for a clean one (only open from 8 AM to 6 PM).
The beach club was also nice with plenty of chaises on the beach, although I noticed that the ones with the best views and the cabanas were usually taken early in the morning. There were hammocks, sectionals with tables, regular tables and chairs for dining, a full bar, and drink/food service on the beach. We ordered two bottles of Sol one time and they cost 90 pesos, which included a 16% service charge (just for reference, the going rate for a bottle of beer at most restaurants on the island averaged about 30 pesos).
Some online reviews stated that the beach in front of our hotel was the best one, however, although very beautiful, we found other parts of Playa Norte to be just as beautiful, if not better. The ocean boasted of various shades of green and blue, and the abandoned boardwalks added to the charm of turquoise waters. The waters were relatively calm and perfect for swimming and wading in. We noticed that the waves seemed rougher on other parts of Playa Norte.
Our booking included the breakfast buffet, which my husband only ate once and I did so twice. Restaurant was clean and there were many options, however, the food looked better than it tasted. Their coffee was lukewarm and awful. Service was good.