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“Creative and rustico!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa

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Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 24 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Creative and rustico!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2012

I would evaluate this hotel as not a super deluxe resort, BUT it does have a lot going for it.
The rooms are very creatively put together with high bamboo ceilings and kind of an undulating bumpy but smooth painted cement wall surface. Seating emerges from the undulating walls. The beds are built with this same construction so you are sleeping upon a cement platform with a very comfortable queen size bed mattress. There were 2 queen size beds in our room. The rooms are air conditioned and all seem to have beautiful views of San Juan Del Sur harbor. The hotel is built on a hillside so yes there are lots of steps. There were some small ants cruising around the floor in our room but after all you are in the tropics. I have seen the same thing in Miami so not a big deal. If I had it to do over again I would book the "Jasmine" room. Closest to the pool, restaurant and fewest stairs. Their infinity pool overlooking the harbor is beautiful and well tended to. The staff at the hotel were extremely friendly and gracious. All in all, the people of Nicaragua are warm, friendly & very helpful should you need directions along the road. (We drove here from Costa Rica) This hotel is a short drive from the CR border about 35 minutes or so.
San Juan Del Sur town is very charming with one waterfront Tiki Hut restaurant/bar after the other, right along the waterfront. My wife and I felt very safe walking the streets even at night. There are very few cars in the town so that makes strolling the streets fun and safe. Don't miss the brick oven pizza (Forgot the name but right in the main restaurant row along the beach). Also, Henry's Iguana is a fun bar with decent inexpensive food.
We drove to the colonial city of Granada from here (About an hour & a half drive) and it was well worth the trip. Have lunch at "Lily's" it is awesome.
The Nicaragua countryside is lovely and peaceful. Traveling north, you are driving along side Lake Nicaragua with the twin Volcanoes as a backdrop. There are more horse and buggies than cars.

Ironically, you see many wind turbines along the way that make you wonder why we can't get this going in the U.S.?

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank paulandsuenewyork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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668 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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (152)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2012

My partner and I stayed here for 3 days in January. Everything about the facility (the rooms, the pools, the view) is beautiful and lends itself to relaxation. We were very pleased to have chosen Pelican Eyes for our stay because, quite frankly, there really isn't that much to see and do in San Juan del Sur. On the plus side, the staff upgraded us when we arrived from a room to a casita, which was higher up and afforded gorgeous views of the water. The casitas are impeccably furnished and had everything we needed (coffee maker, fridge, bottled water, etc.). We loved hanging out on our porch, watching the sunset and drinking wine.

On the downside, there are some problems regarding communication with the staff. We speak some Spanish, so I don't think it was a language issue. Perhaps they're understaffed (it's a huge property and it was a busy week). But we were a little frustrated with the front desk staff at times. As an example, we asked the front desk to make a reservation for dinner the next night at El Colibri. When we checked the next day, however, the reservation had not been made (fortunately the restaurant still had open tables). Another example: the staff never told us that breakfast at the bistro was included in our room rate (we discovered this on our own a day before checkout). We also tried to book a sailboat cruise one day, but the front desk said there were not enough people. Instead we rented a lancha down by the water for two hours, which was very nice. But imagine our surprise when, on returning from our tour, we saw the Pelican Eyes sailboat going out of the bay! It was a little frustrating

Previous reviews have mentioned the number of steps at Pelican Eyes. It's true, there are a lot of steps to climb. We're in our 40s and pretty healthy, so we didn't have a problem. But If mobility is an issue for you, definitely stick to rooms in Phase I close to the reception area.

Room Tip: Casa El Faro was lovely and had a great view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank lisabee39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Central Florida, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2012

We stayed at Pelican Eyes for 5 nights during the last week of January, first of February, 2012. We were mortified that we had to go through the main dining room, the bar and the pool area to get to our "cabina", but after the first day as the hotel was not busy, it began to feel like our own villa. We loved the private patio on our cabin that overlooked the bay, the breezes and birds. The cabin appeared to be adobe and quite comfortable except for the steps to the coffee maker, bathroom and closet. The beds had the only mattresses that my husband has found to be comfortable in all of the places around the world where we have stayed.

The staff is cheerful, but most of them have so little English that it is almost impossible to communicate. We have some Spanish and between that and the little English and sign language, we managed. Despite the hotel not being busy, we were forced to use the pool at the bar because the desk staff refused to allow us to use the other pools most of the time on the pretext that they were too busy. There were only 4 lounge chairs and they did not recline or have cushions. Neither did they have pool towels available during our stay. Good thing for those breezes.

The property is extremely steep with stairs everywhere, up and down, too much for most. They do have vehicles to take you down to town and around the property if you require, although, most of the time we got the pick up and not the suv. They have a sign up about their own sailboat, but they could never get enough people to book it and tried to rent it to us for $600. They couldn't arrange any other sailing trip, or snorkeling or anything else, so we simply walked around San Juan Del Sur for 5 days. The place appears to be geared mostly to young surfers who want to pay $15 per night for a room and extra for sheets. Most of the restaurants are that way too. We had some concerns about Nicaragua, but found the people charming. We were happy for the experience, but are not likely to return.

This hotel is somewhat pretentious for the surrounding area.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank gremma1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lima, Peru
Level Contributor
130 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2012

We stayed a couple nights attending the wedding of a close friend's daughter. It's a destination hotel oriented to the market niche of weddings and receptions for foreigners and upper income Nicaragua families. The hotel is located on a hill overlooking the bay of San Juan del Sur. The rooms and apartments are scattered along the hill and there are a lot ups and downs to move through the installations. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, decorated with taste, in a rustic style but the steps inside our room to reach the bathroom were dangerous and may cause accidents. The hotel's main attractions are the swimming pools and the panoramic views but other than that it is not worth the money: the cheapest room is $200, which is a lot for Nicaragua standards, and the food pretentious and expensive.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Camoto54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandria, LA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2012

I stayed at Pelican Eyes from Jan. 11-17, 2012. The hotel has great expanded since my last visit, and we stayed in the Casa Cielo, which is probably the highest house on the property. It was gorgeous, with a huge downstairs area with full kitchen, gas grill outside and upstairs sleeping quarters with a balcony and beautiful view of the bay. A really incredible room, where you could cook your own meals, etc. There is also a small restaurant that serves the higher parts of the property, with superb service from Gato and Saca. The only negatives are the prices, which are comparable to expensive hotels anywhere, and way above SJDS rates anywhere else; and the long walk uphill to the Phase II buildings.

I would definitely recommend the sail again, as well as day trips to Playa Madera and Playa Hermosa. Both beautiful beaches with bar/restaurants on them. You need a truck to get there though. I did not use the 4WD, but the roads were very bumpy with steep uphills and downhills. Good thing I am used to alot of offroading here in Louisiana.

Room Tip: I would suggest getting a room closer to the lower bar/restaurant. The walk up to the very top mult...
See more room tips
Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Engelsmung
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
Region: 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 On the Beach Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#3 Green 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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