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“Highly NOT Recommended”

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Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 27 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed April 4, 2014

I booked a stay at Pelican Eyes at the recommendation of my friends, since they were having a wedding in SJDS and the reception at Pelican Eyes. I admit, it was laziness on my part in not researching other options hotel. I looked at some pictures, and the review seemed good, and plus my friends had been there and recommended it, so I booked it. I am positive that my first experience of Nicaragua would have been much better had I not stayed at Pelican Eyes.
I should have known what to expect when I was trying to book, and it took 25+ emails to finally get my reservation straight. Those responding to emails would leave out important details, not answer my follow up questions, and mixed up the room I was trying to book multiple times. It was frustrating in the least.
Arriving at Pelican Eyes, the resort was nice enough. However, the property is too big, and you need a shuttle to go anywhere. Transport via the hotel shuttle is unfortunately the only option for getting to and from the reception and the room. The roads throughout the resort are not paved, so it's not very easy to walk, and it's a bumpy ride in the shuttle. Each time we needed a ride to leave our casa, we would have to call the reception. The amount of time it took for the transport to arrive would vary anywhere from 5 minutes to 45+ minutes. I felt like much of my time in Nicaragua was waiting for transport and getting transported through the resort and to town or reception.
The first night in the resort, a glass cover on the stove exploded when I tried to boil some water. Luckily my boyfriend and I were both not in the kitchen when this happened. If we were, I can only imagine how we would have been hurt because there were shards of broken glass everywhere in the kitchen and surrounding area. This seemed like a freak accident, but we heard from one of the other weddings guests that it happened to them too!
There were also bugs in the casa we stayed in. In the bathroom one night there was the biggest spider I have ever seen by the door. And on another day I was stung by a bee in the bathroom. The kitchen had a lot of little bugs crawling around the counters as well.
The service at the resort was extremely poor, and there was a definite lack of communication between the staff regarding everything about the stay. It was extremely stressful and frustrating to be stuck in a resort that is not only poorly designed, but also where the service was horrible.
I really wish I had researched myself and stayed at a hotel in town. There was a little boutique hotel right on the street by the beach, and it was a lot cheaper than Pelican Eyes.
Pelican Eyes reaffirmed why I prefer boutique hotels as opposed to big resorts, and this was by far the worst experience at a resort thus far.

Room Tip: Not recommended under any circumstances. Better off to stay at a small hotel in town.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Sandy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2014

Dear Sandy.

We are very eager to learn from our missteps and we would like to thank you for providing us with this straightforward feedback. I would like to personally apologize for the inconveniences you went through. Indeed the resort is located on a hill top and the accommodations are built throughout, providing our guests with wonderful views but also dependence on transport if located far away from the reception. I am sorry to hear that you encountered that as troublesome. Furthermore due to the fact that we are located in a tropical region it is almost inevitable to keep out all types of insects of the accommodations. Nevertheless taken from your commentary it seemed that you encountered numerous and that is unacceptable. I would like to inform you that we do keep a tight fumigation schedule to prevent this from happening unfortunately at times it is not enough. There will be looked into how we can improve. We strive to provide all guests with the top-notch service they deserve, I am sorry to hear that with you regrettably this was not achieved. It is unfortunate due to this experience you did not have a worthy first impression of Nicaragua. We take your feedback seriously and cannot thank you enough for having provided us with these honest comments. I hope in the future you will visit our beautiful country again and our resort in order for us to provide you with the service you deserve.

Best regards,
Gabriel Holt
General Manager

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270 - 276 of 755 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2014 via mobile

We stayed in one of the casa villas and the villa itself was very pretty although thenfountain in the corner didnt work.. The pools were clean and had a great view and the breakfast the first day was excellent! Best breakfast i have had in a while but the second day the poached eggs were hard boiled and it took and hour and half! As well as they didnt tell us there were going to be two people using the room of our villa who arriced at 9 at night so we though people were braking in.. Poor managment its not worth it!

  • Stayed: January 2014
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1  Thank Lucindaemmaord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2014

Dear Lucinda, thank you for having taken your time to provide us with this review. I am pleased reading that you enjoyed the accommodations and were able to enjoy breakfast while overlooking the magnificent San Juan del Sur bay. I am sorry to hear that not everything did go as expected, we are aware of the fact that there is still room for improvement in some of our services offered. We will do our utmost best to make the necessary changes. We hope to be welcoming you back in the future to provide you with the service you deserve.

Best regards,
Gabriel Holt

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2014

Unfortunately, my girlfriend and I were only able to stay here for 2 nights. We would've loved to stay here longer. We stayed in one of the "casa's", which took our breath away. The room is like a little Spanish villa and is very charming. Our room was near the lap pool and the views from the pool overlooked the town and ocean - just INCREDIBLE. The views makes you appreciate the beauty of this country.

The service and wait staff was A+++. They were always helpful and ready to assist in any way possible. The food at the resort restaurant was simple delicious. The meals were all fabulous - try the linguine al mare!

We were lucky enough to meet the resort GM. A wonderful guy and ready to help in any way possible. What a great resort!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank David N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2014

Dear David, thank you for having taken your time to provide us with this lovely commentary. I am pleased reading that you enjoyed it so much you would have wished to prolong your stay! Thank you for the complimentary review, I am happy knowing you had such a rewarding stay. I can only add that we look forward being you of service again in the future!

Best regards,
Gabriel Holt

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Reviewed March 14, 2014

Spent 2 nights in a lovely studio with the most outstanding views . We were very well looked after by Sergio and Norman . Nothing was too much trouble in seeing to all our needs . They were a huge credit to a hotel which suffered from generally disappointing service. Reception on arrival by the young lady set the scene - so very uninspiring indeed . Surely you could get a better welcome than that !! I read a review that you'd be better off eating elsewhere - that was true. There was little left on the dinner menu and the waiter seemed utterly clueless - must have been on training . The food however was ok though not cheap. Couldn't believe that there were only two other diners in the restaurant - but that might have told a tale. Fabulous view from the restaurant and could have been marvellous if it was run properly .
The other problem is the immense hike to reach the apartments. Wow - what a challenge !!! This could be a big problem - and transport offered finished at 10.pm - without notice.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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1  Thank Thomas F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2014

Dear Thomas, thank you for having taken your time to provide us with this commentary. I am glad to hear that you had a pleasant stay at the resort and were well attended by Sergio and Norman. I am always happy hearing when the employees deliver outstanding service. We are aware of the fact that there is still room for improvement in some of our services provided. That is also why we are grateful for your constructive criticism. We will do our utmost best to make the necessary changes to provide you with an more rewarding stay. We look forward being you of service again in the future.

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.
Reviewed February 27, 2014

The hotel is located on top of a hill overlooking the horseshoe beach of San Juan del Sur. the view from the rooms is amazing, especially the sunset. All the rooms are in stand alone cabins, with kitchen and a porch. The rooms are clean and beds are comfortable. Good wifi. There are two enterinity pools, the upper pool has even better view.
Few drawbacks: spa services have short operating hours; resort has multiple stairs, which might be challenging for some (hotel offers a shuttle service to the upper pool); there are tons of ants and other bugs in the room (expected being so close to nature), we also saw few small geckos.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
1  Thank TravelNat8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2014

Dear,

Thank you for having taken your time to provide us with this commentary. I am pleased hearing that you had a rewarding stay at our resort. Indeed, we are located on a beautiful hilltop midst a tropical area, granting the resort with gorgeous views, however also with an abundance of stairs and insects in the room. Nevertheless it seems that you did not experience too much inconveniences of that. Thank you again for having provided us with this feedback. We look forward being you of service again in the future.

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.
Reviewed February 24, 2014 via mobile

I stayed at the pelican for 2 nights with my friend. I was hesitant to book as the price was excessive compared to other properties but she convinced me. Upon arrival we received a welcome drink and wet refreshing towels. Our room wasn't ready so we sat at one of the three moldy pools. The filters did not seem to be properly working either. There was a noisy wedding staying at the property which provided entertainment. The views are def spectacular and the room when we checked in was very nice but had numerous ants stink bugs and geckos roaming around. The food was mediocre and overpriced def walk to town where the waiters speak better English. The most annoying thing was the checkout process bc they have to send housekeeping to check the minibar bc they don't trust you, so leave a 1/2 hr for checkout. Honestly save your $, San Juan is beautiful no matter where you stay.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
1  Thank gijadenyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2014

Dear,

First of all I would like to thank you for having taken your time to provide us with these commentaries. I am sorry to hear that we were not able to provide you with the service you deserve during the 2 nights you spent at Pelican Eyes. We are located on a beautiful hilltop midst tropical vegetation and its fauna. We do our utmost best to prevent for insects to enter the accommodations; we keep a tight fumigation schedule, however while being located in a tropical area at times this not inevitable. I have taken note of your remarks; we are very eager to learn from our missteps and cannot thank you enough for providing us with this feedback. I hope to be able to welcome you again in the future to deliver you the service you deserve.

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.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

This was our 3rd time staying at Pelican Eyes, which is always a treat. The staff are so warm and friendly, always welcoming you with a smile. Each time we have stayed in a different casa, which we have enjoyed seeing the different lay outs. This time we stayed in phase one, which is closer to the front/entrance, which was nice in regards to being a shorter walk to restaurant/pool and going to town. However staying in phase 2, offers panoramic views of both the bay/ocean in front and beautiful valley behind, but is more of a "hike" in regards to stairs. Regardless of which casa or phase you stayed in, all are wonderful and Pelican eyes is the best place to stay in SJDS and our favorite place in all if Nicaragua.
We have also done the pelican eyes sailboat ride each time we have stayed(half day sunset cruise) which is always one of our favorite activities.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank northshoregirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Eyes R, General Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2014

Dear,

Thank you for having taken the time to provide us with this review. First of all I would like to say that I am very pleased hearing your Pelican Eyes experience was so rewarding and that you enjoyed all the three times you stayed here. We are flattered to be your favorite place in all of Nicaragua. Thank you for the complimentary comments. We look forward being you of service again!

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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Additional Information about 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: $235 - $364 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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