Lake Petén Itzá is a large and beautiful lake in northern Petén. There are Mayan sites and small villages scattered around the lake, many of which can be visited. The most popular destination is the small island town of Flores, which is just outside Santa Elena. The town is charming and attractive and a good place to stroll. Not far from here is the town of El Remate, which is close to good swimming, birding, and hiking spots. Travelers in this area can enjoy some lovely and secluded jungle settings.
Hotel Villa Maya is located 15 minutes east of Santa Elena and the Mundo Maya International Airport; it takes about an hour and a half to get to Tikal from here. The hotel is set on a large piece of property in between the lakes of Petenchel and Monifata. The jungle setting is absolutely gorgeous.
The rooms at Hotel Villa Maya are set in 10 bungalows, each of which has 2 or 3 levels and 2 rooms per level. There are also 10 individual cottages available. Paths connect the bungalows and cottages to one another and to other parts of the hotel.
The rooms are spacious and well furnished. All have a private bathroom with a hot water shower and good water pressure. Air conditioning and a ceiling fan keeps the rooms cool, and there is a telephone should you need to make calls. All rooms also have a balcony and many face the lake—the balconies are a great place to read or simply sit and take in views of the jungle. Some rooms also have a mini-fridge stocked with water, soda and beer.
Guests of this hotel can enjoy international food and local specialties at the restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food here is tasty and the options are varied; there are often buffets served for breakfast or dinner. Beer, wine, and cocktails can be purchased from the bar.
There is a beautiful outdoor pool surrounded by a sundeck and chairs. The pool is clean and refreshing and is a great place to hang out in the afternoon. A separate shallow pool offers up a place for children to swim. There are ample places to sunbathe or relax in garden furniture. There is also a Jacuzzi, which is a perfect place to unwind after a day spent exploring the surrounding area.
Guests can explore the hotel’s jungle trails on foot or by bike. Hotel Villa Maya is involved in the conservation and breeding of white-tailed deer, agouti, peccary, and macaws. A resident crocodile also lives in an area near the restaurant.
There is free wireless Internet offered in the lobby and restaurant area. Other hotel services include ample parking, laundry service, currency exchange, safety deposit box (at reception), and a small gift shop. The hotel staff is friendly and bilingual.