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“Not worth the cost” 3 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 #11 of 21 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Texas
1 review
“Not worth the cost”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2009

We were a bit disappointed with our stay at Pelican Eyes. We searched online for a place to stay and made our reservations by phone. Our rate was higher than what the Internet had stated, the WiFI was only available in the restaurants, the A/C did not work in one bedroom, the Cable stopped woking after day 1, and the hot water was luke warm at best. The receptionist apologized for the "misunderstanding" regarding WiFi, saying it was not for the rooms , but there was a router in our room. Said the cable was out due to a storm, although it worked in the restaurants, and our A/C was never fixed. The couch was the worst I have ever sat in.
I would say that the staff was extremely pleasant, views and pools were great , and security was top-notch. We chose this hotel for the security.
The food prcies were high, dinner for 2 adults and 3 children ran us $140. I would suggest ordering pizza or eating out in town. The shuttle service was very prompt. We had no need for a car.
One of the things that our children loved but that my husband and myself did not, was the monkey rehab center. The hotel had 6-8 monkeys on chains on the premises. One right outside our room. There were also over 50 cats, some dogs, roosters, pelicans, turtles, pizotes, and a javelina. All of these were said to have been rescued. One cat got in our room and wen we tried to get it out, it hissed and scratched at us. Most were very friendly though and my daughter had names for everyone.
I probably will not stay at this hotel again, mainly because of the price of the rooms, well over $200 nightly, and the animals.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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474 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (106)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Medford, MA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2009

We just returned from our second visit to Nicaragua and our second visit to Hotel Pelican Eyes. This is simply an amazing hotel. The views from the casas and pools are gorgeous; the staff could not be more friendly and helpful; the rooms and casas themselves are elegant and roomy (many with beautiful views); breakfasts are fabulous; and prices are reasonable when you consider all the amenities and views you are getting. The hotel is within walking distance of the town so you can interact with local people. Most importantly, you can feel good about the money you are spending because the hotel generates money for a foundation that supports all sorts of worthy local projects, many of them educational. One project involves providing veternarian care for injured, abandoned or orphaned animals, including caring for some wild animals who cannot be returned to their natural habitats. Many of these animals live around the grounds, so animal lovers in particular will enjoy this place.

We are not resort-oriented people, but we will keep coming back to Pelican Eyes. I think it would be a particularly great place to come with extended family, as it would appeal to all sorts of people. Adventurous family members could go off to explore remote beaches; hike in rainforests; try a zip line; and practice their Spanish in the local shops. More sedentary family members could relax by the three fabulous pools. If anyone in the family has a problem with stairs (there are lots of them), choose a casa that is accessible by car, and the hotel staff will shuttle them back and forth. In our experience, this is one of the few hotels in Nicaragua where you can get by with very little Spanish, so that's another consideration if you're traveling with some non-Spanish speakers.

Don't miss the sailing trip, which offers cocktails and the chance to swim at a remote beach (we heard howler monkeys while swimming). Also, if you are traveling during July or August, don't miss the opportunity to see endanged sea turtles lay their eggs. It was the most moving experiences of my life.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2009

We spent 3 nights at this hotel in a casa (a combination of a one bedroom with kitchen and living room, plus a studio). My understanding is that this is, in essence, a condo-hotel, where the units are privately owned, and rented out to guests when the owners are not present.

We really never got an overall feel of the hotel, as operations and the layout of the hotel felt disjointed. We really disliked the never-ending steps that one had to endure when moving around the property (130 steps to the reception area from our casa, for example). The food and food selection was not good at this hotel, and the prices are outrageous ($42.00usd for a steak - this is Nicaragua right??) Of the 3 breakfasts, orange juice was not available twice. We had a fair amount of bugs inside the casa every day, more than what we encountered at other lodges during our Costa Rica and Nicaragua trip. It did bother us too much, but it might bother others. The staff is very friendly, but don't expect the extra step of a 5-star resort here.

On the positive side, the view from our balcony was outstanding. The casa was huge and very comfortable. During our visit, the resort offered a 50% discount which meant a great value to us (otherwise, I would have considered this place a little pricey).

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Vancouver
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2009

found the hotel on <a href="http://www.sanjuansurf.com">San Juan Del Sur Hotel</a>
great people, great place! beautiful

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Seattle
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2009

My husband and I stayed at Hotel Pelican Eyes for our honeymoon in February. We had been on a difficult flight and the weather was so bad in Managua that we couldn't fly to Big Corn Island, so we flipped our trip around and went to the west side first. After a miserable 24 hours of traveling, arriving at the gorgeous cliff side hotel could not have felt more like paradise. The views of the water and cliffs are stunning. We had huge windows from our villa that looked out at the ocean, but were completely private to people walking by. Basically they are views from all over the hotel - from the infinity pool, from the family pool, from the lower level restaurant where we ate breakfast every morning, and from the pool cafe.

While we walked into in the town of San Juan del Sur for a few meals , I highly recommend eating at the hotel as often as possible. The food was amazing - American and Nicaraguan style breakfasts, lobster BLTs for lunch, incredible chicken fajitas for dinner - it was often hard to decide which incredible meal to eat for each meal.

If it is possible to do the honeymoon package that we had, I highly recommend it. We received massages at the on site spa, dinner on our private patio, breakfast each day, and an excursion (we chose the canopy tour, which was great fun). I can't say enough good things about Pelican Eyes and the people who work there. If you are traveling to Nicaragua, definitely stay here for at least a few nights. It is so worth it!!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
london
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2009

the reviews of this place were great but it was not really for us. It is very impersonal and suited to large groups of people coming to party. very large hotel and if you are at top of the hotel warning as there are hundreds of stairs!! Food is average and to get a very small pool towel you have to carry around a plastic card, it is all very untrusting!! Two amazing resturants in the actual town El dozo and bamboo really fantastic food.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Winona, MN
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2009

My stay was so uttely relaxing and entrancing. To wake to beautiful views in Case Dulce Vida sipping coffee on the veranda to the poolside bistro with impeccable service made me feel like a Queen. The staff were so courteous and friendly meeting our every need. Besides relaxing and poolside dining the opportunities are limitless for adventure to explore the rustic little town, or take trips to the island, sailing, or other planned excursions and then coming back to this devine retreat made our vacation really special. I especially enjoyed the sailing trip. There were five of us and seven staff members to serve us drinks, prepare a shore lunch on a faraway beach made from fresh catch was a wonderful experience. I will also remember all the friends I made there, people returning or operating the place that made you feel like family.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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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
#9 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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