What an incredibly cool place to go for dinner when in Playa del Carmen! Simply tell the taxi driver to take you to the "cave restaurant" if you can't remember how to say Alux (Ah-LOOSH) and you'll be whisked to the oddest location, leaving you wondering how there is going to be a cave?
After descending a staircase, you will find yourself in the beginning of a very interestingly decorated cave, complete with stalagtites and stalagmites. And fortunately, no bats.
My husband, two daughters (20 and 18) were there for dinner in Jan. 2009. We were escorted to a table in the dining area of the cave (there are separate areas for different activities - a lounge, a bar, a dining area, etc). Our waiter was wonderful, putting up with my incredibly bad Spanish. We ordered a drink and the seafood appetizer that was the rather typical heavily breaded calamari, shrimp and fish -- not bad at all. We decided to stay for dinner and my younger daughter and I had the duck confit in a raspberry sauce with garlic mashed potatoes. Hubby had a large steak (I can't recall which one he settled on) and my daughter had the arracheta steak. While everything was fairly good, it definitely was over-salted (to which someone piped up that Tom Colicchio would have sent the chef home for not tasting before he served). Still, compared to the food at the all-inclusive resort we were staying at -- this was wonderful.
A nice enough wine list was also available as well as an extensive bar and cocktail menu. We had a nice Malbec with dinner... I believe it was from somewhere in South America (had I known I'd be writing a review, I'd have made notes!)
Prices were on the expensive side. We paid about 2200 pesos for the dinner for the four of us, one round of drinks, and a bottle of wine. Not really that different than we'd pay at home, but some other reviews mentioned that it was one of the pricier places in Playa del Carmen. Regardless of the price... I still think it is one of the more interesting places in PDC to go!
Oh... I forgot to mention that the evening's entertainment, a guitarist, was excellent! He sang a combination of American and Mexican music and was very, very talented.
I'm really disappointed with Alux Restaurant Bar Lounge, last night I went with my mom and my boyfriend and had a very bad time. We had a reservation for 21:15 and arrived on time, but nobody seemed to care as we were invited to pass into an empty room (the bar?) and we were left waiting there for more than 20 minutes. After a reasonable time I approached the cashier to ask if we would be accommodated at some point. Only then the guy that handled the bookings started to prepare the table, so the time we waited before was in vain. We sat at a table that left much to be desired (next to some speakers, my boyfriend was looking at the wall and there was a tray in my chair). They brought the menu and we began to choose what to eat. How long can it take to choose what you will eat? More than 25 minutes passed and nobody came to take the order! A shame really. After 45 minutes of been completely ignored by the staff we decided to get up and leave Alux since it was 22:00 and we had not eaten.
When we were leaving, the guy in charge of reservations asked us if there was a problem, we said yes, it's been 45 minutes since we reached Alux Restaurant and we got no service. He poorly tried to apologize but it really didn't seem to matter since he did nothing to keep us in there and keep us as customers. Alux was full yesterday because it is high season now, but they shouldn't forget that it doesn't last all year. This is the second time I go to Alux since I live in Playa del Carmen and, while my mom is visiting, I wanted to show her the place. Last time, in mid-September, the service was not the best, at least not the one that corresponds to a fine restaurant, but it was not as disappointing as the poor treatment received yesterday. It is a pity they don't care for their local customers, finally, we are the ones that can go again and again and recommend or not the place.
After I made a claim to the restaurant after this incident and they promise me a courtesy dinner I re-booked for next Sunday and they confirmed. The same day they sent me and email saying that that Sunday the restaurant would be close for maintenance and that I should change my reservation.
Don't go to Alux Restaurant unless you want to be really mistreated!
Sincerely, Lucía Rivero