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“Great Amenties, Need Work on Customer Service” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa

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Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 27 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
San Antonio
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Amenties, Need Work on Customer Service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2007

Made reservations at the hotel months in advance, when I arrived with my family our reservation could not be not be found. Took over 30 minutes to check in. Hotel/villas are beautiful and the food was excellent, but the service was very slow. Hotel did not mention that construction is currently being done on new villas, you needed a 4 wheel drive to get up the dirt road to many of the villas because the condition of the roads make it very difficult to reach many of the rooms. Understand that power outages are frequent in Nicaragua, but you'd expect that a hotel/resort that charges over $200+ a day would have generator power to all rooms/villa or at least would offer some sort of refund or comp a free meal. Overall, probably the nicest hotel in Nicaragua, but Pelican Eyes has to work on the small details to truly be considered a top notch hotel.

Stayed July 2007
Helpful?
Thank pearjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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709 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2007

Nicaragua has never been a place where I have expected much in terms of accomidations, but Piedras y Olas exceeded our expectations. It is a beautiful hotel set in the mountains overlooking the fishing villiage of San Juan del Sur. The hotel is new, very clean, and safe (they must have a dozen security guards on the grounds). Although it is not right on the beach, the walk to and from the water is not unbearable. The main gate of the hotel is about half a mile from the beach restaurants and bars. The walk up the mountain is a good work out. I counted 300 steps from the main gate to our room. We stayed in a 2 bed, 2 bath villa. They have two restaurants, two bars and two pool areas. The bars were great. The main bar had a happy hour twice a week and filled up with guests and locals. The restaurant was a little dissapointing for dinner. It is twice as expensive as the places in town, and has a rather dull selection (six or so items with very little seafood).

Go to El Timon for fresh fish. It is very good and it is cheap. Try Colibri for great medeteranian. The Paella was amazing. If you want local rum, get Flor de Cana (7 year). It is world class.

  • Stayed July 2007
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Jordan1201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Augusta, Georgia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2007

While I understand that there are hotel rooms at Pelican Eyes, the property appears to be primarily comprised of individual houses or casas set on a lushly landscaped hillside with access by winding brick pathways bordered by brick and whitewashed walls with gorgeous plantings on each side. There was quite a bit of construction activity in progress during our visit as they continue to build, but the hustle and noise was managed so as to not intrude on us in any way. Our party of three adults and three children comfortably enjoyed a two story, two bedroom, two bath residence with a fully equipped kitchen (although we didn’t cook), sitting, dining and patio areas. The property is not directly on the water, but it’s elevation afforded gorgeous views of the bay and harbor and adjacent valley from our casa. As well as from the main restaurant and a second restaurant higher on the hill. In fact there are lovely views from most everywhere. Including from the three large infinity pools. The beach in town and the numerous restaurants along the beach are but a short walk from the property entrance and we did this a number of times. However some may prefer to hire a car for the drive (over memorably rough roads) to one of the many lovely beaches north and south of the town which offer better surf. Almost all with development projects ongoing or planned. Final notes. The staff is very friendly and responsive and for our group a very special and unexpected appeal was that the resort supports an educational foundation for children of the local community and also a wildlife rehabilitation reserve for injured and orphaned creatures. Pricing? We thought it was quite reasonable considering the size and furnishings of the casa and the amenities. Probably cheaper places in the area but not with the total ambience of Pelican Eyes.

  • Liked — Views; furnishings; finishings; bathrooms; staff service
  • Disliked — Wireless internet while installed was not working in our casa; had to go to restaurants (which was okay except if it was raining)
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Traveler6208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napa, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2007

I went on a guys trip for fishing and stayed here. The rooms were very nice, though there was lots of construction going on. The hotel is also waaay above town, but still the nicest property there. You should definitely do the sailing tour, which runs south down the coast and stops at a desterted beach, where you can swim, snorkel, throw frisbee and explores the rocky points on the tip of the cove. Plus they fixed food and poured drinks down our throats non-stop. Great trip.

  • Liked — everything was new and upscale for central america
  • Disliked — distance to town.
  • Stayed May 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Engelsmung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
121 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2007

I think from now on, every place we stay we will compare to the Pelican Eyes property. Everything about it was perfect for our needs. The 4 of us opted for a villa for about $100/night (discounted from $125 due to the construction of additional villas nearby) called Casita Encatada. There are other less expensive options as well.

First, the architecture is exquisite...no detail was spared. Gorgeous hand made tiles, gleaming white stucco, bubbling fountains, beams made of trees stripped of their bark, sanded smooth, and varnished. And the views! From the front we had sweeping views of the town's bay and the spectacular sunsets this area is known for. From the back we looked out over a lush green valley. We had a living room, dining room, full kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 3 baths, and a great porch on both sides. There is cool a/c and a TV in the living room and both bedrooms with many English language stations. Flowering plants abound all around the villas.

Second, the two pool areas are lovely...infinity pools, plenty of lounge chairs, WiFi, nearby bars, and of course those great views to the Pacific.

Third, the restaurant is fantastic. Most say it's the best food in town. Of course it costs a bit more than the places in town ($10 for an entree vs. half that in town) but everything we ordered was delicious--including the drinks. They have traditional Nicaraguan dishes as well as regular American fare as well. The mojitios and pina colada were awesome.

Fourth, the staff is gracious and professional and certainly friendly. Not all spoke English but there was always someone who did in case you don't speak Spanish.

Finally, the owner operates a foundation for Nicaraguan kids that helps them with school supplies, uniforms, job training, etc. We brought a bag of school supplies to donate to the foundation which they welcomed.He also operates a vet clinic to help local animals. Cats and dogs do wander around the reception area and into the dining area, so if that freaks you out, consider yourself warned. We LOVED it--the animals are beautiful and helped us get over our home sickness for our own pets at home. Plus, they are so healthy and happy compared to the other animals you see around Nicaragua (but who wouldn't be after eating handouts of filet mignon all day!). Because these endeavors are supported by the hotel's earnings, there are virtually no administrative costs and most of the monetary donations go right to who needs it--the kids and the animals.

As for any negatives, they were minimal. Nicaragua is experiencing periodic blackouts for 8 - 10 hours, something that should be solved by March 2008 according to today's Nico Times. But the hotel does have generators for most of the rooms and you would not notice a power outage at all. However, not everything is connected to the generator yet. That included our villa. Upon our arrival at 2:30, we had no power until 7:00 p.m., including running water. But the breezes were gorgeous and we hung out at the pool, drank yummy cocktails, and used their bathroom until the power came back on. And to top it all off--they gave us that first night FREE! The power was fine the rest of our stay.

Also, if you choose to stay in the villas like we did (discounted due to construction nearby), there is construction going on from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. 7 days a week. But the noise was never a bother. The road is rough to these areas though--really rough. But soon it will be paved and that won't be an issue.

Finally, there are lots of steps as these structures are artfully tucked into a hillside. I absolutely loved walking the stairs down to the reception/restaurant area. It was a little workout but such a relaxing experience--the stairs curve, there are resting areas with benches, there are flowers everywhere, and of course the occasional cat to pet. But if you can't take the walk, you can call the desk for a free ride--they will even take you into the tiny town. I walked to the town, which begins just outside of the Pelican Eyes entry area and is only a few square blocks.

So, if you want a memorable experience vs. just a place to rest your head, the Pelican Eyes is the place to be. Just remember to bring some school supplies and donate a few dollars to the vet clinic.

  • Liked — No detail overlooked
  • Disliked — Distance from villa to other facilties
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Peru77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa Conchal, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
72 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2007

Beautiful rooms and grounds, fantastic views, very attentive and friendly staff, and excellent food. The animal refuge, and also their charity work in the local community is very admirable. I also dived with Scuba Shack, who have an on-site scuba store, who I found to be very professional.
I had two problems with the hotel, neither of which would deter me from returning. The hotels location on the hillside, while providing fantastic views, also means that it is exposed to a lot of noise from the town itself, particularly the domestic animals (ie cockerals and dogs) in the morning. Also, if your room is located near the wildlife refuge you can also expect some noise. Of course, this is all part of the Central American experience, although if you are a light sleeper I would suggest some earplugs!
I also found it impossible to make a reservation with the hotel. I sent emails/faxes/and called many times with no success. Luckily there was a room available when we turned up. The (excellent) manager later explained that it is common to have such problems with communications throughout Nicaragua. So if you have problems, persevere, it is well worth it!

  • Liked — Very spacious rooms.
  • Disliked — Noise
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Simon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2007

We just got back from a week at Pelican Eyes, and we loved it. The staff was great, very helpful and accommodating, attentive and nice, most of the front desk staff and waiters spoke English which was good for us b/c we don't speak Spanish. The upper pool was fabulous (I too have a picture of this view) and we did the day sail too and the crew was great and it was a wonderful day and very affordable. The only downside was that this place is built on a hillside and there are a lot of stairs to get everywhere (it was 180 steep steps up to the upper pool from our house). Of course, once we got up there, we loved it! They can also arrange travel for you from/to the Managua airport which we did.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank edsgirl
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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