The Hotel Maya International was the first new hotel in the area in the 1970's. The hotel restaurant became the favored place to eat. Even when additional hotels were built elsewhere (such as the Tzunhuyu, now renamed and minus its former glory), the Hotel Maya International maintained its place as number one in the Flores-Santa Elena area.
Then the international airport was finished, the highway to Tikal was paved, and the hotel owner himself built a newer and fancier hotel several miles towards Tikal (the Villa Maya, about five miles from the airport).
By the 1980's the water level of the Lake Peten Itza rose further than anyone predicted and flooded out several hotels on the west side of the island of Flores as well as a new hotel just inititiating construction in Santa Elena. Fortunately the Hotel Maya International was able to fill in the flooded area and rebuild, so this venerable hotel is still fully in operation.
Andrea and I spent the Millennium in the Hotel Maya International so can provide an update. Andrea felt the Hotel Maya International was more pleasant than any of the concrete hotels crowded in the congested city elsewhere in the Peten. Indeed the Hotel Maya International is one of the few hotels where you can park your car anywhere near your room (most of the hotels on the island of Flores have no inside parking whatsoever).
Due to changes in the water level of the lake the white water lilies have been replaced by other plants.
Local phone in Santa Elena is (502) 7926-1276. Reservations are via the main office (Villas de Guatemala) in Guatemala City, tel (502) 2334-8136 through 9; fax 2334-8134, email email@example.com