Bolontiku is a hidden gem on the Lake Peten Itzá.
My husband and I travelled here during the "shoulder season" on September 30, 2019 - October 6th, 2019, for our honeymoon. Neither of us have ever been to Guatemala, and don't have any family there, but we wanted to use our vacation to see the ruins at Tikal, and go somewhere remote, but not necessarily a beach to sunbathe for a week; we wanted to see something! I was a little bit nervous about the timeframe of the booking, given that all blog posts (on this site and others) gave warnings about the rain and storms that could potentially ruin our trip. On the flip side of that, reviews from the locals said it was a good time to go, but you'd be at the mercy of the weather.
I'm glad we took the risk, and booked at the time that we booked. There was hardly any rain at all during the days and on the two nights there was rain, it was the most beautiful soundtrack to listen to from our room. Being from Los Angeles for the majority of my life, we had never heard or seen rain in that way. There is nothing quite like experiencing the sound of booming thunderclaps and rain showering the trees around your room and looking out the window to see the lake and the leaves percolating from the storm! It was absolutely stunning! Another day, we decided to go to the town for dinner, and there was a little rain that prevented us from boating back to the hotel due to choppy water. This wasn't a problem; we waited out the "storm" for 30 minutes while talking and joking and getting to know the locals under. It was a simple, yet unforgettable moment!
Our stay at the Bolontiku was absolutely perfect. From the moment you land at the Flores Airport, there is a Bolontiku bus waiting for you at the airport to bring you to the dock (thank you for your attention, Sr. Jacobo!), at the dock, the pontoon boat will bring you on a short (20 minute) trip to the most magnificent waterfront hotel you've ever seen. Ousman, the captain of the boat, and jack of all trades, is wonderful!!! He talked to us about Peten Itza lake's history, the quant surrounding town, the fish, the birds, everything on that short boatride to the hotel while always smiling. When you arrive to Bolontiku, you are greeted by the best hotel manager Mr. Salvador, and the wonderful Ms. Barbara, with all smiles, a refreshing beverage for you to enjoy, and even some bread to feed the fish at the dock! The next stop is the concierge desk, situated in the breathtaking main restaurant and bar area, which welcomes you while you look out to the most serene, clear blue lake, Lago Peten Itza. Ana Lucia helped us get situated to our rooms, and from that moment, made sure we were comfortable every single moment that we stayed at the Bolontiku. She, and the rest of the staff, are amazing!
Our first night, we were impressed by the candlelit dinner they set up for us to enjoy! One of the unforeseen benefits of booking at this time (besides the obvious cost effective rate for the shoulder season)- we had this enormous, serene, tranquil resort nearly to ourselves. This would be true for the week that we stayed there! Being part of the few number patrons who were at the resort at the time did not mean we were overlooked in terms of attention and service. In fact, we were constantly greeted with smiles, waiting hands, and excellent service for the six days we were there! It only took the staff one day to realize our routine, and by the time we woke up, we didn't even have to request breakfast; in fact "our" table was already set for us the next day's breakfast and dinner, and Barbara was already placing the usual order for our breakfast of choice! Dinners were the same story! They'd ask us if we would be dining in room, or on the terrace, and we would have our usual Zubanik or Pepian with extra fresh tortillas. The food was excellent! As a Peruvian, I was pleasantly surprised to see Ceviche Maya Peruano on the menu. It was a go-to meal for us throughout the trip- so flavorful and fresh. We did not get bored of the food, and that was after a week of staying there! That's how good it was!
They also have a fantastic selection of wine (I recommend the dessert wine) and alcoholic beverages. I also highly recommend having their Margarita. It is so fresh, especially in evenings. I called it Happiness Lemonade! Barbara makes the best margaritas and whiskey-cokes, be careful though, you will get buzzed!
We booked excursions through the hotel, including the unforgettable helicopter ride to El Mirador (you will love it), the trip to Parque Nacional de Tikal (you will also love it), which was a stress free process. They even pack your breakfast for these trips. Definitely book through the hotel- it is stress free and cost friendly! But even if you dont book excursions, there is plenty to do at the hotel for free, including sunbathing on the private dock, swimming in the hotel pool or even better, in the lake itself, or kayaking, or listening to the howler monkeys howl like jaguars by the private spa!!!!
The important par of this review is the staff. While we were at the Bolontiku, we received the most excellent attention, which made for the most unforgettable honeymoon. The staff, including Ana Lucia, Ousman, Barbara, Robert, Maricela, Manuel, Salvador, and everyone else, treated us like family. We were so well received by them, that we were sad to leave the hotel! We became so used to the familiar faces, the wonderful conversations and interactions, and the kindness of the staff, that we even think of them a year later, and will certainly keep them in our cherished memories for years to come. We truly hope that everyone is doing well, especially amid this current COVID crisis that nobody could have predicted. We hope to return to the beautiful shores of Lago Peten Itzá to stay at the paradise Bolontiku soon, and to catch up with everyone.
Thank you all for the memories!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.