Views of Villa Maya.
My favorite hotel in the Peten, and especially the best hotel near Tikal, is the Villa Maya, of the Sagastume family. During the several decades that I have done archaeological research in the Peten, and the many years that I led tour groups and Maya study groups to this area, I have stayed in almost all the hotels of Santa Elena, Flores, San Benito, and Tikal. For those tourists who do not stay actually inside the Tikal National Park, the best hotel outside the park is generally considered the Villa Maya.
Take with a grain of salt notices that any particular hotel is "minutes from Tikal." All hotels outside the park are within 60 minutes of the park. The Villa Maya is another 5 minutes closer because it is 5 minutes away from the airport (in the direction of the national park).
What is so nice about the Villa Maya is you do not have to suffer traffic, noise, loud music, or any of the ills of modern industrial civilization. There are no ugly concrete buildings, indeed the Villa Maya is the nicest designed hotel in the Peten (my degree was in architecture and virtually everyone in the Hellmuth family is an architect for generations). Whoever the architect was of the hotel, he or she did a great job.
I took about 20 photographs of the hotel facilities during a recent two day inspection and will gradually publish them. We generally begin with a one-page introduction, and then add on views of the grounds, gardens, restaurants, inside the rooms, etc, as time permits. The FLAAR network of web sites includes eight different URLs and over 500 pages so it takes a while to expand any given section. This month we have added about eight new hotels already.
The Villa Maya is part of a group of hotels throughout Guatemala also owned by Rafael Sagastume and managed by his sons. STP is the substantial travel agency run by the same family and managed by his daughter. FLAAR reviews the Hotel Villa Colonial in Antigua, the Hotel Maya International in Santa Elena (Flores area, Peten), and the Villa Grande in Chichicastenango, mostly on the web site www.maya-art-books.org. We have not yet had time to visit their hotel on Lake Atitlan, the Villa Santa Catarina.
- Reservations are via the main office (Villas de Guatemala) in Guatemala City:
- PBX (502) 2334-1818
- Fax: (502) 2334-8134
- For brochures from the USA try (305) 854-1544.