“Ecology and archaeology come together in this remote jungle lodge with its own Maya ruin on beautiful Lake Petexbatun”
Hidden apart from each other in the forest and reached by stone paths and wooden walkways, the 6 square bungalows are constructed of fallen hard timber. They're raised on stilts to limit wildlife intrusion, with traditional arched and palm-thatched roofs overhead. All have views of the lake, and glimpses of morning sunlight. There's a small deck with a mahogany table and chairs, and a delightful coatstand, all handcrafted from sustainable sources. The entire bungalow is shrouded in insect screens - the mesh forms the windows and an internal ceiling - which is very effective in preventing insects from invading your territory.
The beds (a kingsize double plus 2-3 singles, or a second double) are large and simply dressed with firm mattresses. Basic bedside tables have candles and oil lamps for when the generator is turned off. A ceiling fan keeps you cool and the mesh windows allow breezes to flow through. Cleverly designed wardrobes and shelves provide plentiful storage. The toilet and hot water shower are ensuite and accessed through saloon-style swing doors. White fluffy towels, flannels, water and basic toiletries are provided, and there's a dressing table and basin opposite the main bed.
Prices are full-board, but don't expect haute cuisine: all the provisions have to come in by boat, which probably accounts for the patchy nature of the food we experienced. But it's more than adequate, and greatly enhanced by the beautiful surroundings: hummingbirds dart overhead and cormorants fly past in regular formations. Portions were very generous, service was attentive and friendly - it's amazing how far gestures can get you! - and the table was beautifully presented with a different napkin arrangement for each meal.
Some dinner dishes were truly delicious, such as the signature cucumber gazpacho and the fresh fish cooked in white wine and herbs; others were more pedestrian (but healthy) home cooking, like stir-fried beef with rice, or chicken pasta with steamed vegetables. Puddings were small treats such as chocolate mousse or fruit salad.
Breakfasts include lovely pancakes with honey and fruit, plus homemade bread, Guatemalan coffee and fruit juice.
Lunchboxes can be easily made up for excursions, in lieu of lunch at the lodge.
The central lobby is open on all sides, with a dining area facing the lake, and a kitchen and bar at the back. It has an earthenware tiled floor, mahogany tables and alarmingly rickety wicker chairs.
The bar list was a little limited but we weren't here for gastronomic delights so didn't mind. Beside the bar are some communal hammocks, a sofa and a rocking chair - perfect for a post-prandial snooze overlooking the lake. Stools are made of tree trunks and even the waste paper bin is a hollowed out stump.
Children are welcome, although this isn't an ideal environment for toddlers and babies and there are no facilities or provisions made for them. If they're adventurous kids will love the dense jungle and its myriad noises. There's a family villa which can sleep up to 5 in comfort.
Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms