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“Pelican Eyes - Playing waaay above its weight in San Juan del Sur” 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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Hotel amenities
Special Price
25% off room rate
Ranked #11 of 20 hotels in San Juan del Sur
Washington DC
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Pelican Eyes - Playing waaay above its weight in San Juan del Sur”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

I traveled to far away San Juan del Sur for a wedding with two friends. San Juan del Sur is a VERY small beach town filled with hostels and small, quite funky hotels along with a smattering of resort style condos (some occupied by the upscale and politically famous Chamorro family). Pelican Eyes provided a truly first class experience in this tiny surfer town. We shared a well-priced casita called Casa Sosiego (I think it means rela, ,and we did!) located between two lovely pools - one a large family pool and the other an infinity lap pool. We loved our casita (just accept you'll see small lizards and a few ants and exotic bugs - though there were few bugs after the first day - I suspect spraying) which had a large living area and kitchen. Two huge bedrooms, good beds and linens, nice bathrooms (fun shower), lots of shelf and closet space. Ceiling fans in every room moved the air when it got a touch warm during the afternoon. Air conditioning (that worked) was available if necessary. BEST FEATURE - terraces off each and every room with comfortable seating designed to follow the sun. Beautiful views. Good (not great) food - but clearly the best in town. Lovely people. Some communications difficulties but none with the great guys at the bar who delivered right to our room the night we watched the Academy Awards. Yes. TV, as well as Wi-Fi. Small quibbles with the day-trippers who thronged the pools on the weekends (I suspect the pools at Pelican Eyes are the best for miles around). And folks - this is NOT the US. It's the second poorest country in Central America. The services at Pelican Eye are very good considering what other tourists there are getting - and what the population lives with. And it's on a steep hill. With dirt roads all around. If you're patient and somewhat
nimble you can wait to be picked up for the trips up and down the steep hill or you can walk - as we did - down to breakfast - daily. I am 66 years old - with a bad knee - and I loved the exercise.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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444 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (94)
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English first
New York, New York, United States
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

The good:
1. Beautiful views
2. Nice pools
3. Fair priced food and drinks.
4. Close to the town of San Juan del Sur if that is a positive for you.
5. Villas are spacious.

The bad...and where to begin.
1. Hectic staff, where no one is in charge and need to be asked multiple times to do anything.
2. Bugs all over the rooms. Lots of them and a full variety.
3. Staff that panders for tips housekeeping left an envelope then they throw a 15% per day on your bill. WTF? Look its one way or another. I suspect someone in management (if they have such a thing because it often seems mismanaged)
4. Room was like a dungeon with almost no natural light.
5. Very limited food selection at the restaurants and then they were often out of 50% or more of the menu. AND the waiters never told you what they were out of, instead you had to order it and then they came back. Also room service is the same menu, but requires that you pay in cash, which honestly just seems bizarre.

Bottom line: New management needed. Don't go and certainly not at $200 a night, unless you are desperately looking to be within walking distance to San Juan del Sur in which case options are limited.

Room Tip: I would go for the "Studio" over a normal room as they are essentially the bigger half of...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Portland, Oregon
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

What a gorgeous hotel with stunning views toward the ocean. Our room was huge, with a balcony facing the west (wonderful for the sunsets) and a second patio a level lower. One level up from our cabina were two swimming pools and a full bar/restaurant with excellent food and drinks. Service was always friendly and helpful. Pelican Eyes is for the able-bodied: a long walk down to the village and back up, but it suited us fine to get some exercise because it was so easy to lounge at the pool with a pina colada, a good book, and just do nothing.

Room Tip: Rooms with a balcony facing the Pacific have a stunning view all day, all evening til sunset.
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marblehead, Massachusetts
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Breathtaking beauitiful place, lovely room, best shower anywhere, But....we had a room at the top of the property. A nearly impossible walk up or down from lobby/restaurant area. Staff very accomodating with a car, but the ride was over impossibly rutted, irregular dirt road and took 5-7 minutes. Once called from room and took over 20 minutes to get down to restaurant. Lap pool was unavailable for laps, as over-run with young people drinking and hanging around and in the pool. Restaurant area was quite beautiful, food good, but not outstanding for the prices. Service impeccable. During our last night there a reading light fixture imbedded in the ceiling over our beds fell out of the ceiling, releasing a metal clamp which awakened me when it hit me on the cheek at 2 AM! The light fell out about 10 inches, tethered on its wire. Not at all a pleasant night. The front desk said they were "sorry" period. Also, if you're not a surfer SJdS has little to offer, except that it is a relatively short distance to some attractive viewing, hiking areas. The only thing that compels me to give two stars instead of one is that the room and its views were really quite spectacular (even the reading lights were a nice touch until they started falling out.)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PelicanEyes, Guest Relations Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
Dear Owen M.,
Thank you for your thoughtful review of Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa.

We are aware of the bumpy road connecting some of the units and we are working to improve this. We are glad that you were able to utilize the free shuttle service offered by the hotel in the meantime.

We do have a wonderful mix of guests both young and old. However, should you ever feel bothered by other guests, we do encourage you to speak to someone in management who would happily address the situation for you.

And we are sorry to hear that you weren't able to take advantage of the many wonderful activities in San Juan. The hotel offers assistance in planning sailing and fishing tours, horseback riding tours, rappelling, atv rentals, stand-up paddle board rentals, yoga classes, spa days, surf lessons, and more. We can also help to arrange for day trips to some of the surrounding areas offering both adventure and historical experiences.

Again, thank you for your helpful review of the resort. It is with this feedback that we can continue to improve upon our services.

All the best,
Pelican Eyes Management Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I stayed for 7 nights at the beginning of February 2013.

Reception arranged transfers for us from the airport in Managua, which worked brilliantly. We were delayed two hours and the drivers kindly waited for us.

Upon arrival we were upgraded from a 1 bedroom ocean view room to a casa in the upper stage 2 part of the development. Such a beautiful house! Two terraces (including one off the top floor bedroom) and a kitchen and lounge area.

The resort is very peaceful and beautifully landscaped with tiled stairways twisting through lush foliage up the (steep) hill side.

The hill setting is very beautiful and the views are breathtaking especially at sunset.

We opted to walk to and from our accommodation to the main restaurant/reception/San Juan but it's quite a hike - we enjoyed it but it wouldn't suit some. The hotel does offer a car service for a fee.

The staff are very friendly and helpful throughout the resort.

We did have a number of power cuts but were happy to open the doors/windows and let the fresh air blow through.

The restaurant food was a good mix of local inspired dishes and more Western food and of a high quality. We started each day sipping Nica coffee gazing out over the bay at La Cascada restaurant and typically ended the day in the same place!

The reception kindly arranged a tour through Edwin (awesome) at Macua Tours who took us to Granada and Masaya for the day.

We also liked San Juan very much. It's a sleepy little beach village. Just a touch rough around the edges but Gato Negro cafe is especially charming and El Timon does fantastic sea food. The locals are very friendly.

All together an unforgettable holiday.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

I would definitely stay there again. The accommodations are quite nice and roomy since they are homes. The views at the bar/pool and up at the infinity pool are absolutely breaktaking. The food , especially the salads were excellent. The restaurant staff worked quite diligently to make sure all the patrons were content. There is no question the front desk staff was well trained and believed in top customer service. The manager was also quite nice. The only consideration I thought would be helpful was to move the trash house from the bottom of the stairs where you walk up to your rooms. It was smelly and took away from the beauty of the property.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

My partner, sister and myself stayed for 12 days oct 12. The service was exceptional and I felt so pampered! Our casa was fantastic and very comfortable. I would definitely return and we have recommended to friends.

Room Tip: Casa no 4 has a clear view!!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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*
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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