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“Pelican Eyes” 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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25% off room rate
Ranked #11 of 21 hotels in San Juan del Sur
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Pelican Eyes”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

Absolutely loved this hotel. The room was beautiful, French doors that opened up to a huge balcony with a view of the beach and the ocean. The room was spacious, the grounds are beautiful and the pools were lovely. My only reason for not giving 5 stars was that one night a wedding party was allowed to shoot fireworks right behind our room and the party booked one entire pool area for 2 days. The live music coupled with the fireworks and everyone was awake until 2 AM. I'm sure this was an exception, not the norm and I cannot say enough things about how lovely the rooms are in Pelican Eyes.

Room Tip: Book a room with a view, sitting on the balcony looking out at the water is amazing.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Dear,

First of all thank you for having taken the time to write this review. I am happy to hear that you had a pleasant stay at our resort and enjoyed our accommodations. I am sorry to hear that you had an inconvenient experience due to a wedding party. This is however, as you also mention an exception. We look forward being you of service again in the future (with a more tranquil atmosphere).

Best regards,

Gabriel Holt
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (95)
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English first
Atlanta
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

Apparently a visitor's opinion of Pelican Eyes is highly dependent on the particular unit you end up in and how much you pay for it. I had Cabina Jasmin, the frontmost bungalow on the property, so the least amount of steps. Just a few meters from the main pool and restaurant, yet completely private, with a huge private terrace and spectacular views. Add to that a fantastic bargain via Jetsetter, and it's hard to ask for much more. The only negative I could add would be the comically high prices in the restaurant - NYC prices in dirt cheap SJdS.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Dear,

Thank you for having taken the time to write this review. I am happy to hear that you had a pleasant stay at in accommodation Jasmin and at our resort. Thank you for your contribution. We look forward being you of service again in the future.

Best regards,

Gabriel Holt
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

Pelican Eyes is great. We loved our time there. We stayed 5 days and enjoyed every one. Downtown SJDS is a lot of fun too. Great Pizza, fun fishing, and the weather is outstanding. Enjoyed the wonderful spa during our stay, spent a little time in the canopy tour. Will definitely stay there again if in the area.

Room Tip: Bungalow on the top of the hill. Heres the "tip" being on top of the ridge, gets the eas...
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  • Stayed April 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Dear,

Firstly thank you for having taken the time to write this review. I am pleased hearing that you enjoyed the 5 days you stayed at our resort. We look forward being you of service again in the future.

Best regards,

Gabriel Holt
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parker, Colorado
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

After spending a week working at a medical mission outside Managua, my wife and I took our 5 month old daughter and headed South to do some sightseeing. Our mission guide had recommended Pelican Eyes in San Juan del Sur and said it was the nicest resort in the country. She helped me make reservations and I was surprised that the rooms there were $260 per night. We ewre going to stay several nights, but only booked one night to see if it was worth the cost. The resort is high on a hill overlooking the bay and there are some stunning views. There are two areas with infinity pools that are quite nice. We ate dinner at one restaurant and it was quite good and not too overpriced. We had breakfast (which was included) at the restaurant by the lobby. It was a small breakfast buffet and was good.

A big problem with this place for us was accessibility. It looks like a large condo complex set across the hilltop. You can't easily walk from place to place and it was impossible to get around with a stroller. You had to call for a car to pick you up to take you to the pool, the lobby, or the town. We didn't feel like we were staying in a resort because everything was difficult to get to. There are rooms by the pool areas and I think those would have been much better. The room was beautiful with large windows and great views. The bed was comfortable. We asked for a crib for my daughter and got a 20 year old pack and play that smelled so strongly of urine that we didn't use it. The bathroom was beautiful and there was a large closet area. It was nice to have a mini-fridge and even a microwave in the room.

Our building was flanked by two identical half-built buildings that look like they were aborted years ago. Most of the grounds look nice, but there are places where the walkway railings end and rebar is sticking out. We did see a crew painting the walls and most of the place was kept up well.

Don't get me wrong, this place is nice, and if you get a room where you can walk to the pool area, it might feel like a resort. But, for a country that has really nice accomodations for a third of the price, it is not worth it. We walked around San Juan del Sur and weren't impressed with the town. The beach was so dirty and trash-strewn that we would never consider going into the water. Unless you are a surfer or going on excursions, I didn't think the town had much to offer. We left after one night and headed to Ometepe (which I would highly recommend).

Room Tip: Choose a room by the large pool area
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Dear,

First of all thank you for having taken the time to write this detailed review. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the accommodations, and I can only say that how unfortunately it is that you did encounter inconveniences. The resort was built in such a way that it least altered the flora and the fauna. This gives us on one hand gorgeous views, but also comes along with the inconvenience of many stairs. I understand how this was an issue for you and your family. I would like to thank you again for your contribution, I appreciate your comments. We look forward being you of service again in the future.

Best regards,

Gabriel Holt
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

Had a very good stay at Pelican Eyes. Probably one of the better hotels in the town and sits up on a hill protected from sleepy/yet chaotic downtown. I suspect the town is typically more sleepy but we stayed during Easter week and things were a bit crazy. The hotel has plenty of security, but once again I'm not sure if that was due to the influx of people in for the holiday. Tons of hostiles and surfers which was a fun vibe.

We stayed in a beautiful room with a breathtaking view, although from speaking to other hotel guests, all of the views are excellent with a spacious bathroom and living area. The bathroom had two shower heads which was fun and unique :) Make sure you bring your own shampoo, ect if you are picky about hotel toiletries. It can get rather windy that high up on the mountain and the windows/doors kind of jiggle around at night, but a very tropical feel to it.

What everyone says about the stairs are absolutely true, however, we actually enjoyed climbing them after all of the eating and drinking we had done all day.

They do let people in from outside of hotel to use the pool which isn't ideal, but didn't ruin our day. They also need more pool chairs, seems to be a shortage, however when we asked reception for more, they brought two right over.

The food at the hotel was delicious, everything we ate was prepared well and tasted fantastic. We ate breakfast in town a few days which was half the price and provided some local feel, but the reality is the hotel had a much better breakfast which always included a plate of fresh fruit and bread.

Nothing in the town is too expensive but our favorite meal was at El Colibri. Seriously an amazing meal-go there!

Beaches are great but a bit tricky to get to bc the beach downtown is not relaxing and you need to head out of town. You can take the taxi through hotel or town but a bit pricey, we took the surfer shuttle with Casa Oro which is safe and more fun which was 5-10 dollars, round trip. Take a surf lesson! No beach chairs or umbrellas to rent at any beach, consider buying some in town or be comfortable with only towels.

This seems like a country/town on the verge of something big and I would recommend getting there before the masses. My one thought maybe do SJDL for 4-5 days, we were there for a week and it was plenty.

Last and most important tip, go on the Pelican Eyes sailboat!!!! Best part and you get to see beautiful beaches and step outside of the bustling country with a reliable and experienced boat Captain.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Dear,

Thank you for having taken the time to write this review. I appreciate your comments and I am happy to hear that you had such a pleasant stay at our resort. And also I am pleased hearing you had such a great experience at our sail boat, it is an activity we are proud to offer. We look forward being you of service again in the future.

Best regards,

Gabriel Holt
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

I stayed at this resort 3/25-3/31/13. The resort itself is beautiful.I stayed with my husband and 10yr old twins. We stayed in a two bedroom Casita.When I first arrived I was not far from the reception,However,the pool close to entrance is small and you must go through the restaurant.I asked to be moved to a Casita close to lap pool/ family pool( yes alot of steps) but you can always get a ride up and down by staff. After being moved I received a t/c from front desk informing me thatbon Fri/Sat,there would be a party from 5p.m-4am and the noise might be to much.I had already unpacked and just figured it would be ok.Come Thur they started to set up for this party that "Malboro" was sponsoring.They closed off the family pool which only left the lap pool open. The issue became there where not enough chairs.This went on until Sat.Honestly if they are going to have a party for two days they should inform guest when they book.The hotel did give me 4 arm bands for my family.I did tell them two of them were10yrs old but was told this would not be a problem.We went out to eat and decided to go for 30 min. When we went to go to party we were told " No kids" I explained that they had arm bands and we are paying guest at hotel but was told "sorry"you and your husband are welcomed but "No kids" We politely left ( who did she think was going to watch kids.???) anyhow it was run over with teenagers so it was better off.On a different note the town of San Juan is a funky town with great little restaurants.We ate 2x at Maurico's pizza/pasta.I am from New York and this pizza is as good as any pizza in NYC.We had burgers at Nacho Libre- owner from Calfornia, again burgers were outstanding.The most expensive( by Nicaragua standing was EL Cobria)Picture of Sanagria,3 sodas,2beers,2apps plus main course 80.00 US.
To sum up this is a great little town and Pelican Eyes is the top hotel in area,if you stay here go to town to eat,you will have a great time and people are very friendly.I would return despite the whole 2 days of party( which was ridiculously loud) but I was warned.

Room Tip: Try getting a room by the lap pool-views are amazing and bar tenders at this bar are wonderful.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Dear,

Thank you for having taken the time to write this review. I am sorry to hear that you encountered inconveniences of the Malboro party. I can only add that this is an exception, such events do not tend to happen often. Nevertheless I can deduct from the review that you did have a pleasant stay at our resort and I am glad to know that. We look forward being you and your family of service again in the future.

Best regards,

Gabriel Holt
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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