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“Comfortable stay with gorgeous views” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa

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Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   De la Parroquia 1 1/2 cuadras al este, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua   |  
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Ranked #10 of 21 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Hereford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Comfortable stay with gorgeous views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

San Juan del Sur is not lacking for lodging options but at the higher-end, the Pelican Eyes Resort is probably your best option - short of renting some of the private homes in the area. The living space is excellent and the service was solid.

We opted to stay in one of the homes. It was a wonderful place, complete with a kitchen with modern appliances. There were 2 1/2 baths and a sizable living room area. The home opened up to a wide veranda which overlooked the town, the bay and a gorgeous sunset in the evening. You will just want to sit and relax. The rooms were clean and comfortable. There were ants in the living room area but this is something that is present nearly everywhere in Nicaragua. When we called the front desk, the maintenance manager arrived promptly within a few minutes.

Please note that the homes are not really safe for kids for one main reason - the stairs going from the first floor to the second floor do not have appropriate guardrails and it is VERY easy for a child to fall down from the second floor to the first floor. I am not sure if all of the homes are like this, but ours was.

There are three pools - all of similar size. One pool, called “semi-Olympic” although not even close to being semi-Olympic in size, has the best sunset view is highly recommended. One goofy experience that we had was that we were told at check-in that two of the three swimming pools were closed during our stay. When we went to see the swimming pools anyway, we found them to be open, fully-functioning and without any problems. We asked to speak to management about their own team’s miscommunication but we never heard from any manager.

The resort has a couple restaurants but on the advice of people who have stayed here, we were discouraged from eating there. We ate in town every day as the restaurants are barely 5 minutes away by vehicle.

While we did experience some minor negatives for a resort of this caliber, overall this is a satisfactory place that will allow you to unwind in comfort while enjoying some beautiful sunsets.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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458 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mannheim, Germany
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

Sitting on rocking chairs in the spacious veranda of our cabina, drinking Nicaraguan coffee (coffee, cofee maker, and drinking water supplied in room), eating pineapple pastries purchased in town, admiring fantastic view of tropical flora, town, and ocean, listening to birdsong and the occasional distant mono congo (holler monkey) - what's not to like? This is an exceptional resort, especially in Nicaragua.

Service is first rate; the staff is friendly, attentive and efficient. When we arrived, for example, the air conditioning unit was noisy. 5 minutes after calling reception, the maintenace crew already finished a repair and the machine was humming normally.

We had a cabina (there are also casas for larger groups), a spacious, lovely, well appointed, air conditioned room, with exceptionally comfortable mattresses. Our cabina was located in the middle of this sprawling Pelican complex, close to two beautiful pools and a restaurant. September is off-season for San Juan, so we had the pools mostly for urselves; the upper restaurant was closed. There is a third (small) pool and another restaurant at the reception area.

Another advantage of this resort is its proximity to the town and its bay. Mornings you can walk to the Malecón (beachfront street) in 10-15 minutes. Sit down at one of the fine restaurants, leave your gear, and take a dip in the ocean. Return to restaurant for a lunch of local fish, and then go swimming again. We also had supper on the beach. Our favorite restaurants were El Timón and Vivian, and for a break from typical food, La Terraza serves good pizza and pasta. El Gato Negro, in town, is also worth a visit.

One thing not to be missed is a trip to Ometepe, a large island in Lake Nicaragua. You can arrange transportation and guide at some of the tourist agencies in town (the trip at the hotel is expensive).

There is one drawback to this excellent resort: stairs, stairs. If you are not reasonably fit or physically handicapped, climbing up and down the stairs may be a challenge. There is transportation by van, but who wants to get into a vehicle several times a day? Though we are in our 60's, we walked three times a day to the middle part of the resort. At night, after a few drinks or wine, we settled for a ride.

Room Tip: Middle section, near the upper pools.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon, United States
Top Contributor
192 reviews 192 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

Love this place. In fact, we really love Nicaragua. I have been there multiple times for work - but we decided to make a vacation of one trip and stay in San Juan del Sur - what a good idea that was.

Pelican Eyes is fantastic. The food, the service and the amazing views. A real gem of a vacation spot in one of Latin Americas most under-traveled countries. A must see place and a must visit country.

Room Tip: Stay further up the hill. Yes - it is a trek to get your bags to-and-from the registration area - bu...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

We went just the two of us and got the Casa Ruso (the biggest suite with a PRIVATE POOL!!!). It was absolutely PERFECT! Never seen such a huge room with two bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen, oh and THE VIEW, took my breath away! We spent the most incredible sunsets on our huge terrace. After 3 nights and 4 days we did not want to leave! This room also has an adjacent twin-bed-room you can choose if you want to come with your family and enjoy a private little house with your own pool.

We enjoyed walking up and down the stairs to check out the many infinity pools the property has and the views. It has a lot of stairs which is great to get your little workout while you vacation. There is a lap pool in the property, so you can also get your workout with the most amazing view of San Juan del Sur in this infinity pool. (Do bring your swim gear because the town doesn't sell this kind of stuff. I tried to buy goggles because I had forgotten them and couldn't find anything even similar around the whole town. It is very small and only sells the basics).

Back at the hotel the staff was very helpful. We asked for the same waiter , "Minor" who was excellent. The sailing trip was very relaxing and we got to meet people from other countries. Nicaragua is a must right now. We felt everything was cheap compared to other resorts around the world. A private villa would cost you 5 times more than what you pay here. We had our dinners by our pool in a cute round table outside watching the sunset, relaxed and enjoyed. It was simply perfect.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

Pelican Eyes Resort is amazing. It's far and away the nicest place I've ever stayed in Nicaragua. The staff was incredibly helpful and professional. The food and drinks were excellent -- their seafood and wine are not to be missed. The accommodations were grandiose. My private villa had towering ceilings, a full kitchen, a dining room with a large, tasteful painting by a local artist, air conditioning, large comfy beds, three bathrooms, a private driveway, and an expansive veranda with rocking chairs and epic views of the Pacific. Beautiful tropical flowers were everywhere; they obviously pay close attention to gardening and landscaping the grounds. The three different infinity pools are spacious and have amazing views of the town of San Juan and the bay, which is a short five-minute walk down the hill. The highlight of my stay was sailing on their private yacht to a secluded beach. Snorkeling, sailing, free drinks, ceviche, and tajadas... and then the captain dropped us off at a beach break for a surf on the way home and someone from the resort came and picked us up after sunset. I didn't make it to the spa but they have a spa in the resort that I heard was amazing and inexpensive. My friend went and got a treatment from their acupuncturist and chiropractor. My stay at Pelican Eyes was especially relaxing and comfortable. This type of resort is extremely hard to find in Nicaragua. The people in charge are doing a great job. I would definitely go back.

Room Tip: Each villa has different characteristics, i.e. some have more rooms, private driveways, ocean views...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

Our recent family trip to Nicaragua was planned to be an exploration of all that the country had to offer and to provide a much needed rest from the hustle and bustle of our day to day lives in the U.S. Once we arrived at the Pelican Eyes resort we were greeted warmly by staff who made us feel welcome and seemed to share our excitement at being in such a beautiful resort. When we got to our room I was taken back by the awesom views of the ocean and surrounding area of San Juan del Sur. The pools were cool, clean, and relaxing and also provided incredible views of the area. Staff was helpful in obtaining information concerning local beaches, horseback riding, and sailing tours, as well as top rated local restauraunts.
At pelican Eyes we got the vacation that we were wishing for and hope that others can take advantage of such a beautiful resort!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

This was probably my favorite hotel I have ever stayed at. The casas were gigantic and clean. Most importantly the service was unreal. I have never experienced the service that we had at Pelican Eyes. I remember Rigorberto doing a great job at both of our dinners. He made us feel really special on our honeymoon and he was very professional. He always seemed to be around at the perfect time and never was intrusive. The breakfasts were amazing as well.

Overall, I highly recommend to anybody looking to relax and enjoy a great hotel.

Room Tip: Casa El Faro was off to the side and seemed really private.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa

Address: De la Parroquia 1 1/2 cuadras al este, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Phone Number:
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#6 Romantic Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#8 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan del Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa offers a stunning hillside location and panoramic views of San Juan del Sur and the ocean beyond. Our infinity pools, spacious accommodations, romantically lush gardens, wonderful restaurants, open air bars, and one-of-a-kind San Juan Del Sur coastline sailing adventure are a unique experience.A visit to our Tranquila Day Spa is an experience of sheer indulgence. We offer a menu of massage and body treatments to ensure that you truly relax on your romantic Nicaraguan getaway. Experience more of Nicaragua with day trips to Granada or the artisan markets in Masaya. Here at the resort, open air yoga classes, water aerobics, and active local excursions (arranged by our concierge) help keep you fit while visiting paradise. Even our brick stairs—winding up the hillside — contribute to the cause!Our San Juan del Sur hotel’s mission is to provide a unique and memorable Nicaragua vacation experience in every aspect of your stay. Our friendly staff endeavors to fulfill every possible need or special request (and to predict those wishes perhaps not yet even realized!)No request is too big or too small. Let us know what we can do to enhance your stay in paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pelican Eyes Hotel San Juan Del Sur
Hotel Pelican Eyes
Resort Pelican Eyes
Pelican Eyes Resort And Spa Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

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