Pelican Lodge was a brilliant and beautiful idea, but the day-to-day operation of the place could be improved.
We fell in love with the amazing view of Lake Elementaita, and the gorgeous decor of the lodge. Each cabin was beautifully appointed with lovely decor, modern fixtures and neat architectural details (such a hole in the wall that allows you to converse with others in the room while showering). I was happy to see mosquito nets and bottled water provided. I would have liked another pillow, as the ones provided were very flat and we only had two. Some of our group had extra pillows and extra blankets, while other rooms did not. Maybe they could scale back the pillows in the common room in exchange for extra pillows in the rooms ;) In the bathroom, the mirrors were placed very high. My husband, who is freakishly tall, was happy for once, while I had difficulty seeing myself in the mirror. Everything was shiny and new and clean.When my father asked if the resort was new, the manager told him "No.... we've been here for almost one year"!
My only concern with Pelican Lodge was that no one who worked there seemed to know what they were doing. The staff was absolutely friendly and eager to please, but they did not seem to have been trained for their roles. Check-in was a fiasco. It felt like a highschool event that was being organized by students. There is no front desk, so everything seemed to happen at a table in the common area. We were a group of eight and so were checking in to four rooms. There must have been six staff members standing there telling each other what to do but really not able to connect the correct guests to the correct luggage to the correct room. We were moved to three separate rooms in the first hour, and it was not our idea. I'm not sure why they wanted to move us to three different and yet identical rooms, but they did. It was an unfortunate beginning. They did, however, greet us with lovely mango punch which was a nice touch. I am allergic to mangos, and the server was quick to find an alternative juice for me, which I really appreciated. The bartender seemed unsure of what to do when handed money to pay for the drink orders later on. He had to go 'somewhere else' to get change. Maybe they just expect all drinks to be charged to the rooms, but as we had prepaid for our rooms as part of our safari package, we hadn't planned to pay for the rooms and the tab later. It took the bartender a half an hour to come back with change.
The food was quite good (beautiful presentation, satisfactory flavour), and the service was okay. I would expect better service for the style of accommodations, but I think they are still working out some bugs. I worked in hospitality services for years, so I always have a critical eye for details. Unfortunately, I don't think the management at Pelican Lodge has the same eye for details. The diningroom was lovely, but there was a mop left propped up in the corner, an iron and a pile of laundry on the sideboard and the cord from the coffee urn stretched across the guests' pathway to the breakfast buffet. Butter was rock hard and the toast cooked to 'rare' so there was some definite toast mutilation in the morning. However, the eggs were cooked perfectly and the chai masala was to die for.
We all appreciated the common room's fireplace in the evening, as it was quite chilly. However, we all thought it might be nice for them to have an outdoor firepit/bonfire for people to gather around. I think, however, that the mosquitos might make that impossible.
When I asked a group of staff members to take a picture of our group as we headed out in the morning (they were standing and watching us load the van), they all flatly refused and told me to ask our driver to take the picture instead. I'm not sure what that was about, as they were all eager to get into the next photo!
Overall, I would recommend Pelican Lodge. It's a wonderful space and we'll call it a work in progress. Be patient with the staff, as they are clearly still learning their jobs. Enjoy the lovely grounds and luxurious rooms. The staff will be kind and friendly and you will forgive them for their small mistakes.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.