Historical Traveller Reviews of Jungle Lodge Hotel
The hotel is not the best and the food is not great and overpriced.
We arrived on the early morning flight so our rooms were not ready (we were expecting this so it was fine) and went straight out into the park - no complaints about that except that we were starving because we hadn't had any breakfast!
Our guide, Vinicio, was great and as well as bringing the Mayan civilisation to life gave us an excellent overview of Guatemalan politics and history.
Lunch after the tour is included and was ok but nothing special and dinner was awful. It took 30 minutes before anyone even came to take a drink order and an hour for the food to arrive. When I asked for bread to keep us going we were charged extra for it because it wasn't included in the meal we had ordered - but appeared to be included in everyone else’s!
We elected to do the sunrise tour the next morning and it was AMAZING. We left at 5am, walked briskly into the park in the dark, climbed Temple IV and then watched the sun rise over Tikal with the howler monkeys howling in the distance. A must do. Cost for us was US $10 per person but I noticed the next day they were charging $15.
Like most others on here if I go back I would stay at the Jaguar Inn. It's almost as close (only 2 minutes walk) and has a nice restaurant/bar with a pretty outdoor area. For food I also recommend the comedores (restaurant/cafes) opposite the visitor centre. We ate at comedores Tikal - yummy food, cheap beer and actually better than the Jungle Lodge or Jaguar Inn.
Overall it's just ok - a great location, rooms are fine, food pretty bad, staff below average.
Great location in the park
The jungle lodge bungalows are basic accomodations and our shower barely trickled out water but the location within Tikal makes up for all that. It was nice to be able to climb out of bed and in five minutes meet a guide for the sunrise tour of Tikal. The lunch at the Jungle lodge was wonderful, the dinner was just okay- we got to the restaurant late and some food in the buffet was already gone. We walked next door to the Jaguar Inn to use the internet.
No longer the obvious choice in Tikal
We've just returned from a trip to Guatemala and Belize, and we have to agree with those that were disappointed by the Jungle Lodge in Tikal. It may have the best rooms in the area, but all the hotels have similar limitations: electricity for only a few hours each day, limited hot water, etc. so "best" doesn't mean anything too special. What does differ among the hotels is the staff and the level of service, and the cost of extras. And in this case, the Jungle Lodge falls short of, for example, the Jaguar Lodge, just a 2 minute walk down the road. The staff at the Jaguar lodge were friendly and helpful -- and the place has kept up with the times, with internet access (when the power is on), and a satellite phone for rent. The staff at the Jungle Lodge was impolite, unprofessional, but worst of all, unhelpful. The people checking in ahead of us were given a single double bed room, for their reservation for three people -- and told there were no other rooms available. As others have noted, the restaurant is overpriced, even by Tikal standards -- and their ability to accomodate even simple requests is non-existent. We had a vegetarian in our party, and were told "sorry, only the buffet it available". So we spent $20 US per person, and our vegetarian got rice and bread for dinner. Down the road, at the Jaguar, the same $20 the next day bought a nice selection of plates to feed three people... and tasted great! And the problems at the Jungle Lodge didn't stop until we left: We had arranged a transfer on the day of our departure at 2pm to Flores, an hour away, which was our next destination. We checked out at 1pm, and sat in the lobby, waiting for the transfer to Flores at 2pm. At 2:30, we were getting nervous and approached the desk -- and we told that the transfer left 15 minutes ago! And then the clerk suggested, even though we had already paid for the transfer, that we walk down the road and hire a taxi to get to Flores. After some unpleasant back-and-forth, they found us space in one of their vehicles going to Flores a little later, so disaster was averted, but for being the "high end" destination at Tikal, this was a rather poor showing in terms of customer service -- worse that anywhere else in Guatemala or Belize.
Our room was large and clean enough, but basic and rather dingy, and the mosquito nets (vital in the jungle) had large holes in them. The food was also uninspiring - Jaguar Inn is definitely better quality and value.
The staff at Jungle Lodge itself were all pleasant and helpful, and tours were good and well-organised. However, we did find the tour company with whom we'd gone (Ecotourism and Adventure) somewhat rude and difficult when a problem arose, so I'd recommend using a different company for Tikal trips.
Go somewhere else
Food is terrible and the service worse. The place is fifty years old and showing it. Management seems to be absent. Tours are poorly organized and do not run on time. Constant blaring music from the pool area.
Go to the Tikal Inn or the Jaguar Lodge instead.
Unprofessional Staff and Service
Stayed at the Hotel Jungle Lodge 2 nights, August 5 and 6th. Upon entrance to hotel, obviously undergoing major construction. Entire dining and main area being torn down in front of us. There was no mention of this when we made reservations, nor any apologies by the staff. We had flown in from Guatemala City on a 6:30 flight that AM with several other people(not traveling with us) Though we were not together, had all arranged with Jungle Lodge for tour. Upon arrival, found we had no choice and that tour MUST be the first day, versus the second. This is a daily/usual event for Jungle Lodge. After being up since 4AM (as are most people who visit Tikal after flying in from Guatemala City), the scenario is to be hurried by Jungle Lodge staff to check in, leave suitcases at desk and immediately go to restroom outdoors to change into our touring clothes, apply mosquito repellant and sunscreen. 9AM and 20 minutes later "hurry! time for your tour now!" Tired, very hungry, no coffee, we had all anticipated time to get some coffee, breakfast, etc... Our entire group felt extremely rushed, tired and hungry. Jungle Lodge has it strategically planned so that after the 4 hour tour, you come back, eat lunch and THEN get into your hotel room. Several other people trying to check in at 3pm not able...rooms still not clean. Many very angry people observed...no clean rooms, reservation difficulties and people upset with inflexible and inconsiderate staff. Several went to stay at Hotel Tikal Inn. Other couple with kids and prepaid reservation showed up at 7pm that night; Jungle Lodge didn't even have them down with a room, much less paid. They were upset and took it as an opportunity to stay elsewhere. Differences in what travel agent voucher coupon stated, versus what Jungle Lodge rendered. Supposed to get bfast and lunch included both days, Jungle Lodge refused voucher. Jungle Lodge staff would not even make the call to the local travel agent to clear up questions, only refused without any apology. Food and drink extremely expensive; only place in Guatemala where I felt very "taken advantage of" as an American. Food off of menu at Jungle Lodge was fine but very pricey for Guatemala, buffet, food, not good. Jungle Lodge has an attractive pool, with a "bar". Numerous times of day, no one ever actually tending bar at the pool, Actually had to search out a "make-shift" cardboard table/"bar" in the "make-shift" dining area, since other bar torn down. Then, had to search out a "bartender" who ended up stating that a typical mixed drink was going to cost us $18 American dollars. Crazy! Actual bungalow room was very nice, attractive and clean. We had a back one with a deck/chairs that was pleasant. We ended up enjoying our room for what it was and intentionally avoided all other areas of Jungle Lodge and hotel staff by "hanging out" at Hotel Tikal Inn, where the staff made us feel welcome.
A real jungle experience not to be missd
We were pleasantly surprised by the charm of this property. The bungalows are all newly renovated with beautiful and spacious interiors. There are two double beds in each one. The only down side is that the hotel runs on generator power at intervals. There is no air conditioning and the ceiling fan does not run when the generator is off, 11PM-6AM and in the afternoon. The staff deliver kerosene lanterns in the late evening. The jungle soundtrack at dusk and sunrise is amazing. There are insects, birds and Howler Monkeys serenading. The monkeys sounded like gorillas actually. One is advised not to venture out after 11PM when there is no light because of the snakes. Bring a flashlight! Dining was basic and uncomfortable with the heat and mosquitoes. Don't trust the ice! We had members of our party with stomach issues the next day. The pool is lovely but don't be lured. The filter does not run 24/7 and there is debris in the water of questionable origin falling from the trees above. It is a health risk. All in all, it is definitely worthwhile for one night. It is tiring touring the adjacent Mayan ruins all day so taking a rest on site is ideal. The lodge is in the national park itself.
Ok, but it could be better
The property is nice. But I agree with the comment that they have to fix the pool. The hotel might have remodeled it last summer but it isn't clean, with insects and leaves floating around. After a hot day in the ruins you are really looking forward for a swim.
The rooms are ok and clean 2 double beds and a small bathroom. Please be advised that there are some rooms that share bathroom, in case you wanted to know.
I would also suggest to the hotel that instead of shutting down the electricity at around 11 pm and turning it back on at around 5 am. That they should shut down electricity during the day, because during the night I had trouble sleeping without the ceiling fan due to hot weather and humidity.
The food is quite good and considering the hotels and restaurants around I think it is one of the best. But if would ever return to Tikal I might stay at the Camino Real, I would imagine the rooms to be bigger with a much needed A/C even though the ruins are 30 min away by car.
The greatest asset that the Jungle Lodge has is the proximity to the ruins.
Definitely Stay at the Jungle Lodge!
My husband and I have just returned from a trip to Tikal and a three night stay at the Jungle Lodge. The experience was excellent in every way. When reading these reviews, it's always hard to assess the comments without information about the guests, so here goes -- we are 51 and 52, college faculty, pretty adventurous, but completely uncomfortable in dirty or shabby lodging. The Jungle Lodge is not only clean -- it gleams. The bathroom is immaculate, as are the rooms. The beds are firm and the sheets are crisp. The mosquito netting was a wee bit worn, but I saw worse linens in a cruise ship spa. I found that I didn't like using the netting (made me a bit claustrophobic), and I had no bites if I applied some repellent before bed. We saw only one bug in our room the entire time -- a fly that we probably let in ourselves. The small porch and adirondack chairs were delightful after a day in the ruins. One afternoon we sat on our porch and watched a family of coatimundi scrabbling around for food just a few feet away. There was plenty of excellent ice cold beer -- Gallo is a light, but delicious Guatemalan brew, as well as ice cold soda. Bottled water was provided in the room and refreshed each morning, and was also available in the dining room or at the bar -- ice cold or un-iced. There was no buffet during our visit, but the breakfasts were good and the dinners were excellent. Again, I never had a meal as tasty on a recent (and MUCH more expensive) cruise. The chef seems to use local and seasonal ingredients. Imagine -- chicken and tomatoes with flavor -- you don't get that at the local super-mega-grocery store. Our primary servers were Joel and Nely -- both attentive, professional, and friendly. We loved slaughtering Spanish with them and learned several useful phrases. Complaining about a Q90 dinner seems odd to us -- that's only $12.00. By the way, the pool is still clean and beautiful. Curious due to the tripadvisor reviews we wandered over to the Jaguar one day. They had at least 15 tents pitched on the lawn and several hammocks being strung up in a pergola-type structure. Everyone we saw at the Jaguar was twenty-something, camping, and using the communal shower. That's not criticism, but it may clarify why some people like the Jaguar better -- we found guests at the Jungle Lodge ranging from the 60's to the 20's, but maybe the scene at the Jaguar appeals more to the bohemian side. We say to to the Jungle Lodge -- it is great. P.S. -- What's the big deal about the generators? You don't need to blow dry your hair at noon in the jungle. Good grief!!
please remember, you are in the jungle, not at the ritz
from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at this hotel and loved it. It is in the jungle, and has many comforts of home, but obviously not all. The bungalows are well appointed and modern, but they practice energy conservation, so bring a flashlight for night. The management was great, we had no reservation problems as has been mentioned in previous reviews. Accomodatins were lovely, and the wildlife is beautiful.
The buffet was ok, we ate the breakfast which was included, but if you walk down the street there is a farmhouse/patio where the family that lives there will serve you the best meal you've ever had for next to no money. The proprietor's name is Margarita, and her and her family are friendly and knowledgeable.
The tour of the Tikal ruins is not to be missed, the guides are locals and know all about the history of the area, ask and they are more than happy to tell much more than the tour usually provides.
We enjoyed our stay, bring bug spray, lots of bottled water and your sense of adventure and you will have the experience of a lifetime!
Top Local Tips for Tikal National Park
If you're bilingual, buy a la carte and save
If you speak the language, do not go with a travel agency. You will have far more freedom, flexibility, and more one on one service if you buy a la carte. Book your airfare, and when you get to the airport, interview the tour guides and hotel representatives. Haggle with them, there are dozens of them there competing for your business. You will be expected to haggle. Make a deal. Have a piece of paper handy to make a list of the prices and services they are quoting you. Ask for clarification on what's included, ie. meals, transportation, tour etc. Be clear as far as your plans and itinerary. Specify what time of day you need transportation to the airport because rates vary. Transportation is more expensive at or before 6 a.m. also, if you are paying with a credit card. Refuse to go on a tour if it turns our there is a transportation charge they "neglected" to inform you of at the time the deal was made. When a service is offered, stop and ask about the cost.
Buy a la carte and save. Avoide surprise charges.
When you are offered something, stop and ask about the cost.
Avoide surprise charges
Buy a la carte and save