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“Great place to stay if you plan to explore northern Guatemala”

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Nitun Private Reserve
Ranked #3 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Flores
pittsburgh
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Great place to stay if you plan to explore northern Guatemala”
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We stayed here with our two teen kids over christmas holidays. It was easy to get to by air and an easy drive to Tikal and other Mayan sites.
Our daughter arrived with a cold and the staff kindly made special herbal teas and helped her to become comfortable. Lorena cooked fabulous meals with locally obtained ingredients. Bernie was a terrific guide and host. His knowledge of the history and culture is impressive and he taught us many things. We all felt comfortable with him.
The cabins are very comfortable and clean. We loved the lake and swam everyday. The place is really charming and we would definitely return again.

Room Tip: all are great! only 4 cabins
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank kpitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nitun, Owner at Nitun Private Reserve, responded to this review, March 15, 2014
Thank you very much for your wonderful review. I certainly found one of my passions in cooking and discovering new recipes with the local ingredients and fusion cuisine with our Guatemalan foods prove to be amazing. We are glad that you enjoyed the tours. Certainly hope that you will visit again. Saludos. Lorena
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79 reviews from our community

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English first
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2013

My fiance and I went here about 6 months ago and we had one of the best holiday's of my life. Bernie gave us a private 6 day tour of completely off the beaten path Mayan ruins that was customized to exactly what we were looking for and perfectly planned. The resort itself is incredibly charming, quiet and a perfect get-away.

The organization and friendliness of the staff is second to none and they were wonderful start to finish (including making a special trip back to the airport to pick up our lost bags!!)

Perfect holiday for anyone interested in something unique and memorable.

Room Tip: Get the Butterfly Suite it is fantastic.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lisa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nitun, Owner at Nitun Private Reserve, responded to this review, March 15, 2014
Thank you very much for your wonderful review. Aside of the kitchen and hosting, I am a very proud planner and I am happy that the logistics for your trip and tours were very well tailored. Bernie is a Mayanist and as such he is an excellent guide. We are passionate about our country and are very happy to share it with our guests. Muchos saludos. Lorena
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New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2013

It was a little over a year ago my boyfriend and I stayed here, and I am just getting around to writing this review. But that says something about the place--it was such an amazing place to stay and that memory has stuck with me, so even over a year later I find myself coming back to the memory again and again and thinking, hey, I need to finally write a review!

The place is private, quiet, relaxing, the staff is laid back and super helpful and Lorena was so lovely. The food is great and we really liked the lodging--very unique. The grounds are really beautiful, and then, of course, there's the lake...

If you're thinking about going to the area to visit Tikal (or the other Mayan ruins in the area), I would really recommend staying here. They helped arrange travel and guides for us and made everything easy and special. We stayed in a few different places in Belize/Guatemala on this trip, but this was easily our favorite.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Eileen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nitun, Owner at Nitun Private Reserve, responded to this review, March 15, 2014
Thank you very much for your wonderful review. I am very pleased that you keep Ni'tun as one of your fondest memories. Saludos, Lorena
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Portland, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2013

First the food: Lorena is a culinary genius. Dinner every night was unique, creative, and delicious. Lorena could open a restaurant in any American city and be hailed as a master chef.

We stayed for four nights in March, 2013. As other reviewers have noted, Nitun is like visiting family. There are only four casitas for guests so everyone gets completely personalized service. Lorena is warm and welcoming, giving you the feeling that you are visiting her home. Her "right hand man", Arturo could not have been more gracious, wise, funny, or accommodating. They both made our stay a total delight. We miss them.

The casitas are beautifully decorated with local crafts and very comfortable. We stayed in the Hummingbird with the king bed and it felt spacious yet cozy. There are steep steps from the casitas to the dining room which we didn't mind but might cause problems for people with mobility issues.

The only negative part of the experience is that we arrived in the middle of a heat wave. On our first day, Bernie took us on a tour to Ceibal, a largely unexcavated Mayan site. It was 1.5 hour drive each way in an non-air-conditioned vehicle then about a three mile hike through the jungle in 95 degree heat and 96% humidity. We had just arrived from a cool climate and had not had time to acclimate so this was more like torture than fun. I'm sure it would have been fun if it was 15 degrees cooler. The next day was just as hot and, after a pleasant morning wandering around Flores, we cancelled a trip to Yaxha in the afternoon because we couldn't bear repeating the experience of the previous day. Of course we ended up paying for the Yaxha trip because we had booked it in advance and cancelled at the last minute. Luckily, our third day there was much cooler and we had a great trip to Tikal. If I was doing it over again, I would wait to book the tours until after we arrived and could assess the weather conditions. Of course, none of this is Nitun's fault and they were very accommodating in cancelling the Yaxha trip.

If the great people, food, and accommodations isn't enough, the capper is that Nitun is incredibly reasonably priced. The cost for the casita and three meals a day was less than half of what we paid for a room, only, in Belize. When you look at what you get, it is a fantastic bargain.

Thanks Lorena, Arturo, and Bernie.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank birchdreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nitun, Owner at Nitun Private Reserve, responded to this review, March 15, 2014
Thank you very much for your review. Very happy to have hosted you almost a year ago! We certainly hope that you will visit again. Saludos. Lorena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

The Nitun is a small property (only 4 guest cabins) set in a beautiful and peaceful plot of rainforest about a 15 minute boat ride from Flores. The rooms aren't traditionally luxurious, but they're very charming in a "jungle lodge" sort of style. The common area where you eat your meals is likewise very charming and the grounds are beautiful. However, what really sets the Nitun apart and earns its consistent 5 star rating is its exceptionally personalized service. The owners, Lorena & Bernie, are wonderful people, and are almost always on the premises to attend to guests' needs and provide excellent suggestions. They cook all the meals in an open kitchen right next to the dining area, and overall, the food is very good. Because of this, and the lodge's small size, which generally means that guests dine together, every meal is a very laid back and intimate experience in the best way possible. Lorena & Bernie are always nearby during dinner and often join conversations, and even sit down over drinks. In addition, we did a tour of Yaxha (a relatively recently discovered Mayan ruin -- much less touristy and crowded than Tikal) with Bernie, and he was an extraordinary guide, one of the best we have ever had in our travels to over 50 countries. He's an expert in Mayan civilization, and regularly travels to annual Mayan academic conferences all over the world to learn about and contribute to new discoveries related to excavations. Beyond that, he is a very sharp and interesting guy, and we greatly enjoyed discussing all sorts of topics with him about Guatemala past and present, as well as his impressions from his extensive global travel and visits to 42 of the US states.

Also, I want to call out that there was a mix-up with our room due to some changes with the dates of our stay. I call this out not to complain, but to let everyone know how gracious Lorena was about the whole thing. After a similar problem with another hotel in Guatemala, it illuminated that you can judge a hotel's service by how the problems are handled, and Lorena was the gold standard.

Caveat: We highly recommend Nitun, but do want to call out that due to its location in the middle of a rainforest, there are (obviously) bugs and spiders and creepy crawly things, and sometimes they make their way into the guest cabins. If this type of thing bothers you, Nitun is not for you. If, however, you're fully comfortable with nature, definitely stay here!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ThirtyByThirty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 15, 2012

This place is absolutely amazing. There are too many good things to say about this place. The owners, Lorena y Bernie, are the best. They treat you family and they will take care of you from start to finish. We visited Aguateca, Yaxha and Tikal. If you can, go to all three of them. All offer an extremely unique experience (one takes a small boat up the river, another a hike through a chasm). I really miss Lorena and Bernie's cooking - fresh baked bread, fresh fruits and top-notch dinners. The reserve sits right on Lake Peten Itza. The water is warm and clear. There is nothing quite like taking a kayak out on the lake around midnight to watch the moon or for an early morning sunset. I really hope to return again in the near future.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Giovanni F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2012

Nitun was one of the hotels we splurged on during our trip to Guatemala and in the end, it was definitely worth it! From the beginning stages of planning our two nights and two days of sight-seeing Lorena was incredible with the logistics and with answering my myriad of questions. This was our first stop in the country and her attention to detail gave me confidence and security ahead of our trip. The entire time it felt like we were being taken care of like family. My boyfriend and I are a couple from San Francisco who loves good vegetarian food and we were delighted to find that Lorena, Bernie and her staff appreciated this too. Our meals were incredible, the scenery splendid, the tours they set up for us were with great guides. We ended up going with Bernie to Yaxha on our first day - a trip that offered more wildlife than Tikal. The next day they set us up with a Mayan guide to show us Tikal. They were able to accommodate our early flight the next morning. I would go back and I would bring friends because their grounds would make a great place to have an unforgettable party. Oh and the humming birds were all over the property. A wonderful, magical place.

Room Tip: The Hummingbird Suite!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Sareye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nitun Private Reserve

Property: Nitun Private Reserve
Address: Km 22. 5 San Andres | San Andrés, Flores, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Peten Department > Flores
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Flores
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ni'tun is a small Guatemalan boutique lodge located within our own private reserve on the shores of beautiful Lake Peten Itza. We offer personal service, friendly staff, knowledgeable guides, drivers and tour operators. Kayaking is a must. We pride ourselves as being passionate about our cuisine. Local ingredients are used in our fusion meals. All itineraries are tailored and many destinations in the area can be visited. It is a peaceful spot to relax and be immersed in nature. Favorite amongst guests is chatting over dinner with other travelers and us, the owners. We are far away and near enough Flores island and we operate our tours and expeditions privately to the main sites, both for one-day tours as for longer camping expeditions throughout Peten, Belize, Honduras and Mexico. Collective tours to Tikal also available. Our main aim is to share our culture with travelers and to support sustainable activities that involve local communites as well as protected areas. Through low impact eco tourism, we are able to support our conservation projects. ... more   less 
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