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“The most fabulous place we have ever stayed at and the food was spectacular.”

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Nitun Private Reserve
Ranked #3 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Flores
Anaheim, CA
Level Contributor
126 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“The most fabulous place we have ever stayed at and the food was spectacular.”
Reviewed January 20, 2010

The Nitun Private Reserve is in the most beautiful setting. It feels like you are in a bird sanctuary. Bernie and Lore are wonderful hosts and are quite the gourmet cooks. Everything is freshly made......the bread is baked fresh for every meal and the wine is great as well. They catered to our every need and we did not want to leave. We did the Tikal tour and wanted to cut that short just to have more time at Nitun. I definitely recommend this place as a must if you are planning a trip to Guatemala. We want to go back.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank mrsbof3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2009

We did a lot of research before selecting Nitun, and chose to stay there in part because a) Bernie has the (deserved) reputation of being a first-rate guide; and b) Lorena was so-o-o-o helpful and flexible about setting up an itinerary that would work for us. We do not typically contract ahead for guide services, but wanted an expert who could show us around the Tikal area, and educate us.

We stayed three nights at Nitun and got all we could have wished for, and more. Lorena is a master of logistics - everything and everyone was ready and waiting at the right time. Our "expeditions" to different ruins in the area were tailored to our interests and activity level (and we saw that other guests with different interests and activity levels were equally well treated). Bernie did a fabulous and entertaining job of helping us to understand what we were seeing. The accommodations were beautiful, comfortable, and relaxing. And the food was truly excellent. Everyone involved in the operation was skilled, friendly, and happy. There were seven of us traveling together - two couples and our kids who were 25,20 and 15. We all loved everything about our stay. P.S. I tagged Nitun as having a pool. It doesn't, but it has a huge, beautiful, clean, and refreshing lake instead.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank cccWashington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FLL
Level Contributor
34 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2009

You take a boat to the property. It is a perfect get away for adults. Kids would be bored here. Lorena the owner cooks the meals in a huge open air kitchen, she can whip up a gourmet meal with ease. She is kind, helpful and runs a fabulous property. A great place to chill when you return from Tikal or other nearby ruins. The lake is private in front of this property and a great place to swim. The rooms are clean and decorated with style. I will return!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
136 reviews
131 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2009

Cabanas are on a steep slope overlooking Lake Peten-Itza which is, unfortunately, not visible form them because of the dense vegetation. The many stone steps would be a problem for anyone with mobility difficulties. Fresh home cooking, the style varied with who cooked it! We took two tours organised by Ni'Tun and like, it seems, most people we preferred the quiet Mayan site of Yaxha to Tikal.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PetroniusMinor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, CA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2009

Small, intimate, ecolodge located along shores of Lago Peten Itza across the water from Flores. Stayed with my two children (12 and 8) for two nights. Hosts were wonderful and the staff was outstanding. The casitas were immaculate with rich attention to detail using only local building materials and regional artisans. The lodge is located about an 1 - 1.5 hr from Tikal and Yaxha (driving). Easy boat ride across lake to the city of Flores. Great place to stay for those wanting a more private, understated experience and an outpost for day trips - yet come back to hot showers, a glass of wine, and a great dinner. First class experience.

  • Liked — Grounds and casitas were well-tended and architecturally unique
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank CTEJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2008

From the moment we arrived at Nitun we had an amazing adventure.

Travelling with my wife and three young boys aged 3, 7 and 10, I must admit I wondered if we were doing the right thing taking them into the jungle and planning to visit the Mayan ruins.

Nitun had everything (and I mean everything) organised. From the pick-up at the airport, transfers by boat, cold beer on arrival and the most fantastic food prepared in the amazing outdoor kitchen.

The best thing about the excursions they organised were the jealous looks on the other tourists faces when we were served cheese and wine at sundown on the top of one of the pyramids and same amazed looks the next days when the picnic table at another national park had a fully laid table with napkins and ice cold drinks, cutlery and an amzing meals prepared and waiting for us at lunch time.

In the evenings our boys just loved swimming in the lake and jumping off the jetty.

This is a small and intimate hotel that is well run and provides excellent value for money given the care and personal attention that you receive.

  • Liked — Very private hidden away in the reserve
  • Disliked — Its pretty rustic but very comfortable
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Albany, Ohio
Level Contributor
186 reviews
130 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 436 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2008

My wife, 10 year son and I had a terrific visit to Nitun in early January, 2008. With some caveats, I would strongly recommend it to others.

The lodge is located on a steep hillside right on the shore of Lake Peten Itza. The restaurant and common area are at the top of the hill. The 4 guest cabanas are located far enough apart that the residents of each have a good deal of privacy. Our cabana – the farthest down the hill from the restaurant – had three single beds and a hammock in the large main room and a nicely sized bathroom. There were windows on one entire wall (screened, with glass sashes which fold out of the way). We had a ceiling fan that gave a nice breeze when needed. The bathroom had a sink, toilet and shower. I found the beds comfortable. The lighting in the cabana was more than adequate for me to read in bed – and I’m picky.

The restaurant and common area is entirely open – no walls on two sides. Dining is downstairs, and a lounge is upstairs. The upstairs lighting left a little to be desired (i.e., it was hard to read in the evening).

All of the paths are very well lit – so walking to and from the restaurant at night was never a problem.

The staff keep the grounds and the facilities very clean. The stone paths are swept daily, and our cabana was spotless.

The food was excellent, and plentiful.

What sets Nitun apart is the hospitality offered by its owners, Lore Castillo and Bernie Mittelstaedt. All three of us felt welcomed and perfectly at home within minutes of our arrival at Nitun. I had several great conversations with Lore. My wife commented that Bernie has that rare ability to make each guest feel like he has their entire attention (even down to racing our son down one of the paths during our tour of the Mayan site, Yaxha). Bernie is also an excellent guide – I would strongly recommend taking one of the tours offered by the lodge.

I don’t like hot weather, and hate mosquitoes, so I traveled to the Peten with some trepidation. As it turned out, our visit corresponded with a cold snap, and so the highs each day never exceeded 73 degrees. I only saw three mosquitoes the entire visit. One impact of the cold (the lows hit the low 60’s), was that our cabana was quite cool (there is no heat). Whatever the outside temperature is, the cabana will be that temperature.

My wife and son went out onto the lake one day in the lodge’s kayak. The lake itself is crystal clear – you can see to the bottom (not something I expected in a tropical lake).

My caveats would be these:

1) There is a certain level of adventure getting to Nitun. We arrived, after sunset, and were greeted by a driver (no English) at the Flores airport. You could see the flash of lightning around the northern horizon. We were driven to Flores, were the driver stopped on the shoreline and began to unload our bags. There, drawn up on the shore, was a small boat (with no lights), with a canopy and pilot (friendly, but again no English). We, and our bags, were loaded onto the boat. We then motored at full throttle across the pitch dark lake in our unlit boat, while lightning continued to flash in the northern sky. I felt a little bit like I was in a James Bond movie. It was a wonderful adventure – but there are many travelers who might find the experience a bit too adventurous. Arrival via the road involves a steep, 4WD-only, trip down the lodge’s entrance road.

2) Other than Bernie and Lore, none of the staff speak English. While they are extremely helpful and friendly, if you don’t know Spanish or aren’t willing to attempt non-verbal communication, you might find it difficult. I speak enough Spanish that communication was never an issue.

3) The cabanas are comfortable, but not luxurious. If you are searching for luxury, Nitun is not for you.

Nitun offers a very unique way to see the Peten. The small size means that you have personal attention, and the location gives a great sense of “place”. For travelers who can tolerate a bit of adventure, and can give up some measure of luxury, I would highly recommend Nitun.

  • Liked — The special sense of place and the hospitality offered by the owners
  • Disliked — Dim lighting in the common area upstairs from the restaurant
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OrrvilleRedRider
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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