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“Excellent Lodging, Food, and Trips”

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Nitun Private Reserve
Ranked #3 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Flores
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent Lodging, Food, and Trips”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

My partner and I stayed here during Jan 2014, it was simply perfect.

The Hummingbird casita is very spacious for a couple, decorated in a simple but elegant way, the bathroom is also large and well appointed. It is of course very clean. Upstairs the eating area makes for a great shared experience with the wonderfull staff working in the open kitchen. There are many cool areas to hang out, read, and maybe knock back a couple of cold ones.

The food was a real highlight with Arturo, Lorena, and Bernie all gifted cooks. It is always a real pleasure to not eat off a menu and let the cook and the ingredients decide what is for dinner!

A special mention must be made on the quality of the private tours that Bernie leads to Tikal, Yaxha and so on, they reall are somthing special. Yaxha was a real highlight of our stay and having such god background information adds a lot to the day out, as does the tricky 4WD drive there.

If you are looking at the upper end of hotels in the Guat, Nitun really can't be beaten for rustic charm and personality.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Joseph S
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 for your great review. I am very happy that your stay was such a pleasant one. We are very happy to share our country with adventurous travellers thirsty for culture and who love nature. It was my pleasure to have hosted you and certainly hope that you visit sometime in the future. Saludos. Lorena
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78 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
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English first
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

We have just returned from the Peten where Lorena arranged a 3 day trip for our family and a friend which included three Mayan sites with Bernie and a stay at the beautiful Nitun Private Reserve. Our days were filled with rugged travel to reach the exciting destinations, but we always had gourmet meals, a hot shower, and a comfortable bed. We were treated like visiting friends and loved every minute.

Room Tip: There are only 4 rooms. We had them all and everyone was happy.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Denise G
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 happy that your tailored itinerary worked out perfect. We at Ni'tun love to host and guests usually leave as friends. So proud to share my country with adventurous travellers. Saludos. Lorena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pittsburgh
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
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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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level 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 Contributor
138 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 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.
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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 23 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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