Alhambra has some quite nice game mechanics, it was observed that it's very much one of those games where the back-story is somewhat desperately fitted around the mechanics, with some parts which don't bear close examination at all. I didn't really formulate a clear strategy, and subsequently lost, some have since occurred to me for next time. It seems to be quite a gentle, non-confrontational game. Each player is trying to achieve their own goals, while this is sometimes it's in a race against another player, and sometimes another player's actions might frustrate yours, there's little direct conflict. It's also has fairly fast moving turns, which is often a good thing.
We didn't play Illuminati in the end.