“A private nature reserve hidden on the wooded shores of Lake Peten Itza, providing fine cuisine, tranquility and unrivalled local knowledge”
The 4 casitas are dotted around the hillside below the central house, and are reached by stone paths and stairways. Peace and privacy are assured. In common with the other buildings on site and in keeping with the ecological brief, they were constructed in Colojché fashion, with sticks and small rocks plastered together by a sand and water mix. Some walls have been left unplastered to display the technique. Ceilings feature beams and a high roof thatched with palm leaves, perfect for keeping cool in the heat. The floors are hand-crafted in local hardwood, cut across the logs - an idea of Lore's, to utilise local offcuts.
Each casita is tastefully furnished with local crafts - indigenous bedspreads on the large and comfortable beds, hand-woven carpets, original paintings, carved lamps, spacious mahogany armoires and wicker furniture. Fans and flyscreens keep you cool and free from bites. Ensuite bathrooms enjoy spacious hot and cold water showers; the Hummingbird Suite also boasts a bathtub finished in stone. Thoughtful little details - a basket of fruit, a small selection of books, candles and plants - contrive to make you feel instantly at home.
All rooms look out through the forest to the lake below, and each casita has its own small private terrace with chairs and a table. Hours can be spent gazing at the jewelled hummingbirds hovering to and from the sugarwater feeder in front of the window - yes, they really do fly backwards!
The heart of Ni'tun is an open 2-storey building of wood and stone, with a high thatched roof and hardwood floors. On the lower level, supervised by a pair of parrots, are the restaurant and open-plan kitchen. You soon realise why they're built next to each other - Bernie and Lore love to entertain as they cook, treating you like guests in their own home. Most recipes are their own invention, often inspired by the jungle around them, and ingredients are bought daily from Flores and the local markets.
Just let them know if you want lunch or dinner, and you'll get a simple but amazing 3-course meal. We marvelled over white fish in a delicate mango and ginger sauce, chicken in lemon and pepper, and seafood paella. Accompaniments included beautifully prepared salads with delicious dressings, fresh vegetables and home-made bread. Desserts were equally tasty; the sautéed bananas dusted with cinnamon still linger in our memory.
To sit and gaze into the dark forest after such a string of excellently cooked and delightfully presented dishes was utterly charming - probably the highlight of our culinary experiences in Guatemala. And all created while Bernie and Lore were chatting away nineteen to the dozen with us.
Drinks range from Bernie's favourite wines (again, the best we tasted in Guatemala) to beers and cocktails.
Breakfasts include fresh seasonal fruits, a variety of pancakes, homemade bread, and eggs and beans any style. Guatemalan coffee and Peten all-spice teas are also on offer to start your day. Packed lunches can be provided if you're out on an excursion.
On the level above the restaurant, you'll find the small bar and living room, with its red mural painted in homage to ancient Mayan artwork. Chose your music, curl up in a hammock, watch the hummingbirds and chill out.
Children over 10 are very welcome, and those with an interest in nature will love it here. Monkey Eco-Tours can tailor tours to meet children's requirements. Two of the casitas - Boa and Macaw - have 4 single beds and are ideal for families.
Teens (over 12)
Extra Beds Available