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“More of a Vacation Rental than a Hotel”

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Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 27 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 6 September 2011

I think we would've enjoyed this hotel more if we'd realized what it was: individually owned units that make up a resort area. We were expecting a beach resort, but instead it was more like a managed condo situation.
The rooms were clean and did have service while we were there (daily). However, the staff seemed fairly uninterested in our various problems (internet not working, toilet issue, given wrong room at first). They were fixed, eventually.
If you dine there (our breakfast was included), dine at the upper pool. DO NOT DINE AT THE LOWER POOL. We ate two meals there and both were a mess. Our dinner order took two hours to arrive (and that was the appetizers) in spite of no one being in the restaurant. Once it did come, the portions were laughable (fish and chips with five french-fry size bites of fish?) and the bill incorrect (we were seated with bottled water, then charged for it). It took so long that it wasn't even worth fighting them over; we just wanted out!
The hotel is up on the bluff with amazing views. If you dislike stairs or have trouble climbing, this is not the hotel for you. Once you get down the steps from your room (it could easily be 100, if not more), then you still have to walk down more steps into town or to the beach.
We enjoyed several resaurants in town including Bamboo Beach Club (for dinner) and the place next to Iguanas (for lunch). You MUST go to Pan de Vida for anything they sell-- pastries, breads, and more. Amazing and local (no credit cards).
Stay here if you want a full kitchen and access to two pools (no hot tub). Don't eat here (unless it's breakfast or lunch at the upper pool), but do enjoy the sunset!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank AK2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PelicanEyes, Guest Relations Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 October 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your honest review of our resort. We appreciate the feedback and will take many of your suggestions into consideration. Our head chef read your review and wanted to personally respond to your feedback:
"First I would like to apologize for the experience you had in our restaurant. I take pride in my work and the work of my staff, so I am very disappointed you left unsatisfied. We are constantly working to improve all aspects of our clients' dining experience and have recently added many key people to our team. I welcome you back to La Cascada Restaurant at Pelican Eyes and hope that you will ask for me upon your arrival so that I can guarantee our top notch service. Thank you for time. I hope to see you soon.

Chef Jacob

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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459 - 465 of 755 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2011

There's many good things to say about this resort. Great hillside location overlooking the ocean and only a few minutes walk from the center of town and beach. Courteous, efficient staff. Three nice swimming pools.

Others have commented on the insects in the rooms and it's a real problem, perhaps especially in the rainy season. I don't think management has control of this problem and it's sure to deter visitors who feel squeamish or who feel that such things should be handled in a place that markets itself as upscale.

One other criticism. On the Saturday evening we stayed, two of the threes pools were taken over for a promotional event with loud music etc. No problem in itself, but it effectively put the pools off limits for the evening for anyone like us with kids.

The management has work to do to get this place living up to it's own image.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank MJMH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2011

We stayed in one of the casas which was off of a unpaved, very rough dirt road. The property is poorly lit considering the road conditions and the shuttle stops at 10pm. The guards are very reluctant to walk you back. I also had money taken from my wallet by a maid.

Overall, a terrible stay - you can definitely do better

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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9  Thank LisaB131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PelicanEyes, Guest Relations Manager at Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 14 September 2011

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We regret to hear that you had an unpleasant visit. Theft is simply not tolerated at Pelican Eyes. Therefore, if this incident was reported, management will investigate and take appropriate actions.

The resort is in the process of getting the road to the upper levels paved. We do apologize for this inconvenience and will speak with our guards about their level of customer service.

Again, thank you for your feedback.

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Reviewed 23 August 2011

I came to Nicaragua to surf, relax and enjoy my vacation for a month. The Pelican Eyes offered everything I wanted for my vacation and threw in amazing and personable staff, great views and some fine cocktails, by the end of my trip I felt like part of the family. After long days of surfing there was nothing better than to come home to a relaxing view, great service and maybe a spa treatment. OMG! Best facial and full body massage ever, not to mention the amazing spa: it is a bungalow resort/retreat in itself, nestled in the beautiful tropical gardens that are another plus to the resort. I am a sailor so it was great to find out that the Pelican has its own amazing sailboat! We went out for a great sail, the crew was great, very experienced and knowledgable about the coastline, the fish, etc. And they prepared delicious ceviche and drinks throughout our sail! In addition, it was great to meet the other guests, internationals as well as locals and folks from Managua at the happy hours/weekend parties hosted by the Pelican with local DJs and artists. While there, I found out that the Pelican also has a part in community projects in the area; it is wonderful to see your money being funneled where its needed. The location of the resort is also wonderful, secluded but in town it is safe and covered in a beautiful garden/jungle... what more could you want?! I am sending my friends and returning with my family in a few months, so excited to share this paradise!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank 123Roo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2011

Returned yesterday from Pelican Eyes Resort and wanted to say how fantastic it was.
The staff were friendly, polite and couldn't do enough for you - made sure everything went well all of the time.
The pools, bars, restaurants and Spa were all well run and made it a cool place to be.
We stayed in Casa Russo - which was amazing!!!! A beautiful property with a great view. it was clean and well kept. The private hot tub was an added bonus and again was kept immaculate and ready for use at the crack of dawn.
I can't compliment it enough and am grateful to have had such a fabulous experience! :)

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Emma L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2011

We stayed at Casita Dulce Vida and it was excellent service and we are looking forward to coming back. it was a family vacation because it was secluded but at the same time easy access to the town. its like being in paradise

Room Tip: we stAYED AT casa dulce vida
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Eve C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2011

This is my first time at Pelican Eyes and I never imagined i would see a place like this in Nicaragua. Its very relaxing! Everything is perfect!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Carolina R
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

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 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: £176 - £267 (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

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