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“Impressive place to stay - but know what you're in for”

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Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 27 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Washington State
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Impressive place to stay - but know what you're in for”
Reviewed June 8, 2008

San Juan del Sur is an incredible part of Nic and Pelican Eyes makes for a very nice resort complex. As other have noted, the food is very good, the pools are beautiful and our casa was new and spacious. The views from all around Pelican Eyes are stunning. I think people's expectations need to be clear, so will point out a few things I think one needs to clearly understand up front. I don't intend these as negatives, perhaps just more of a reality check - 1) The resort is about a 10-15 minute walk from the beach. We had no problem with getting up and down the hill, but could understand how some that are less mobile might. 2) Given the locale, some bugs will likely find their way into your accommodations. Not a big deal to us, but they were there. 3) Hot water comes and goes, as it does across Nic. 4) The last 10 miles or so of the road into town is quite bad. It is either very bumpy, under construction or not there at all (especially during heavy rain). I'm sure this will improve in time, but something to be aware of if, especially you are driving yourself. The only other issue is that some of the front desk staff seemed kind of indifferent and not real eager to help with arrangements. All of the other resort staff were terrific, so not sure what the issue was with the front desk. Overall, this was a generally favorable, four star Nicaragua experience, but important to have appropriate expectations.

Stayed May 2008
Helpful?
3 Thank wiger1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (163)
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English first
Maui, Hawaii, USA
Level 6 Contributor
191 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2008

Very beautiful place- AMAZING VIEWS
Food is good (unsurpassed by Nica standards)

The hotel does great vounteer work with local community and
even has a VET center/Zoo on site for misplaced Animals.
Hotel is defintely trying to make a difference in the San Juan
community and they are worth supporting for that reason alone.

The hotel it self is very beautiful and the upper pool area is stunning.

Very important: Make sure before booking that you will be staying in a room near the upper pool area. The hotel is built on a hillside and many rooms are located very far from parking lots, resturants and pools. Certain rooms require a hike to get to, not fun to do everytime you want to go anywhere or if you have luggage to carry.

A good idea when you get in your room is to make sure everyting is functional and acceptable before you settle in. We had several problems, the management (after several calls) did address but moving rooms is never enjoyable. Unfortunately it seems like more energy is being put into the expansion than on maintaining the current units. As of May 2008 the constuction began at 7 am and was constant throughout the day.

Be aware all food and beverage is subject to 15% NICA tax and the hotel also adds on an additional 10% Gratutiy regardless of the service you recieve.

A great place, Nicest place in town (if not the country), but the tourist thing is still new in Nica so expect a few bumps in the road if you choose to travel in Nicaragua.

  • Liked — Views from upper pool area
  • Disliked — Poor maintence of facilities, Construction noise
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank HawaiianStyle808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2008

Having recently returned from a week in Nicaragua including a stay at Pelican Eyes, I must echo what other reviewers have written. It is a beautiful property, service is top notch, the "zoo" of rescue animals is bittersweet, and I don't doubt it's the best resort in Nicaragua. Only critique I would add is that at times, I wasn't sure I was actually in another country. The "happy hour" felt like I was back in the U.S., and the menu choices at the restaurant didn't always strike me as typical Nicaraguan fare. I suppose it's nice to to have buffalo wings by the pool with a margarita, but then again, is that why I went all the way to Nicaragua?

All in all, the resort really does offer breathtaking views of the Pacific, all staff went above and beyond to make our stay more comfortable (I would have to write a full page on how wonderful two particular people were in helping us arrange a trip to Ometepe - a must do!!), and if you find yourself in this quiet surf town, you must make your way up the hill to Pelican Eyes.

  • Liked — views and service
  • Disliked — felt very american
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank jokoby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed May 17, 2008

Pelican Eyes is the nicest hotel in Nicaragua. In the small surfing/fishing/scuba diving town of San Juan Del Sur, it is located on the side of a hill with breathtaking views of the Pacific, the town and the sunset. The sunsets views over the infinity pools and from the room are absolutely spectacular. This hotel is relatively new (4 years old when we visited) and expanding rapidly.

The hotel has some great amenities. It has three spectacular infinite pools over-looking the Pacific Ocean and of San Juan Del Sur. For dining, there are two restaurants - one at check in which is open late and one at the top of the hill that serves breakfast (which is free) and lunch. The food is decent – not great but good. It has a “zoo” with local animals that have been rescued from abusive people or situations (including monkeys). The owners of Pelican Eyes do an amazing job of supporting the community through education programs and providing jobs. The staff is very friendly and helpful. They speak minimum English (some speak really well – others not so much).

The rooms they offer are gorgeous villas with views of the Pacific. Each are isolated by tree cover and have large patios. The room was warmly decorated and has nice beds which are very comfortable. There is even a kitchenette with a fridge. The bathroom is nice as well where hot water is available (if you don’t have it at first, call the front desk and they will fix it).

Only bad thing I can say is that if you have trouble walking or are disabled it might be difficult navigating this hotel. There are lots of stairs to climb - though they do allow staff to drive you up to your room. Note that this is probably one of the most expensive hotels in Nicaragua. The accommodations would be double or more for the same rates in other areas. Also, the only activities we saw to do in San Juan Del Sur are surfing, fishing and beach time.

If you visit Nicaragua, Piedras Y Olas (Pelican Eyes) is a must visit! I would highly recommend it. Enjoy!

Here’s a link to their website www.piedrasyolas.com/home_eng.htm

  • Liked — Infinity pool, sunsets, staff
  • Disliked — few things to do in San Juan Del Sur - only surfing, fishing, boating, scuba & beach
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CharityIan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2008

We were on a property development tour called "Choose Nicaragua" by Coldwell Bankers... We were put up here by them and it was a pleasant and charming experience. The staff are very helpful and the waiters go above and beyond with there service!!!
Great food A++++ Restaurant.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Not a thing!
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank MTCca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auberry, California
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2008

This was our second visit here which we very rarely do and was afraid we might be alittle disappointed. That we were not. We stayed in Casa Soseigo again and it was just as nice the second time around. The new restaurant on top was great with very freindly service. The food was just as good as we had remembered the first time. All the staff here are so friendly and go out of their way to make sure you are happy. Our day out on the sail boat was great fun, but a little dissappointed we didn't get to actually sail. But still a very nice way to spend a day. Lobster and shrimp down in town on the beachfront with a beautiful sunset doesn't get any better. And may I add CHEAP!!!! We have looked at all the hotels around and you won't find a better place then here. San Jaun Del Sur and Peidras y Olas is a wonderful, fun, safe, friendly and inexpensive luxury vacation . Just go there and see for yourself. The only suggestion I have would be for a few more chaise lounge chairs.

  • Liked — Everything, they're gorgeous
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bertini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2008

The Pelican Eyes was truly an amazing experience. The resort is a sprawling and well maintained property, with friendly, helpful and considerate employees. The casa's are beautiful, and the restaurant is amazing - as good as I would find in a high end Vancouver Restaurant. Although the area is typical Nicaragua, that is exactly it, you are in Nicaragua. You can venture out to the small fishing village (San Juan Del Sur) and return home to your beautiful retreat, called the Pelican Eyes.

The resort is up on a big hill (or mountain), and there are many, many stairs to get up to your casa. If you think you are physically limited to these stairs, then request a casa near the bottom when you are booking.

They have high speed internet in the main restaurant and will even give you a laptop to use!

The pools are beautiful and very relaxing. They have an animal retreat and you can easily ask an employee to show you around.

Other noteable places to visit in Nicaragua, so please email for more information. I did cross the Costa Rica boarder and it took a 45 min cab ride to get to the resort.

This resort is a must stay!

  • Liked — Beautiful manicured property and gorgeous casa's!
  • Disliked — Nothing! It was amazing!
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank JanetinVancouver
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 & Spa

Property: Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa
Address: De la Parroquia 1 1/2 cuadras al este, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
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 Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#3 Green Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#6 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#6 Romantic Hotel in San Juan del Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 50
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 & Spa Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

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