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“Paradise!”

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Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 27 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Paradise!”
Reviewed 26 May 2014

My husband & I purchased a Groupon for 5 nights at Pelican Eyes. We arrived at the resort and were greeted by friendly (English speaking) staff. They drove us to our villa as the grounds are extremely expansive on a mountainside. The driver was friendly & chatty. He briefed us on the grounds & showed us the walking path from our villa to the main lobby. The grounds were lush & tropical. The resort sits above the town of San Juan del Sur which I initially thought would make for a laborious trip into town. I learned that the walk outside the resort gates is only about 5 minutes to the heart of San Juan & about 10 min walk to the San Juan del Sur bay (& beach). In hindsight this is the perfect location for the resort because undoubtedly it has THE most spectacular view in all of San Juan. If you're out of shape or find stairs to be a hassle you may want to ask for a lower level room. We attempted to count the steps from the entrance of the resort to our villa & stopped counting after 400. The resort does offer a ride to your casa if you ask but it seemed like an inconvenience for the staff just because we were too lazy to work off our dinner. They were always willing to give us a ride however and never seemed bothered by the idea of shuttling their guests. Our first full day we planned to spend it on the beach down at the bay but we quickly abandoned that plan after finding gale force winds and not the best views. We returned to the resort where we learned there were actually THREE pools. We started at the lower pool right in the middle of the lower restaurant. I wasn't crazy about swimming in the middle of the open air dining room so we hustled up the steps to another pool. The views here were beautiful & half the poolside was covered with a pergola with gorgeous vines shading it. We set up camp there before we heard laughter above us. We found where it was coming from & were shocked to find yet ANOTHER pool right above us. This pool also had a bar and restaurant where the staff kindly made constant trips offering drinks or food. We were astonished at the amazing views from this pool. So much so that we never even made it to the beaches in the area. We had gorgeous views, cool water, and all the poolside service we could hope for. What more could a gal ask for? Beware the margaritas there though- our daily waiter offered me a top shelf tequila (I dont remember what the name was) & halfway through I found myself passed out poolside! They will definitely sneak up on you but they are delicious. Speaking of delicious- THE BEST GUACAMOLE EVER! My husband doesn't even like guac & consented it was the best he had ever tried & even took to ordering some on our trips up to the bar. To this day he will still mention how he wishes he had some of that delicious guacamole. Our room was clean & spacious. I'd read reviews on this site before we arrived & some people stated the rooms were dark, cavernous, & unwelcoming. I'm not sure what casas they were staying in but ours was floor to ceiling glass windows that made for bright rooms & authentic looking thatched room huts. Thankfully they have air conditioning for those of us less accustomed to the high temps. There are large spacious patios with monumental views & beautiful wooden lounge chairs. We spent countless hours just staring at the views & wishing we could stay forever. The bathroom in the casa was all tile & included an open aired shower with rainfall shower head. I've always thought I would want a rainfall shower head until I showered here. It was relaxing but there's not a lot of water pressure for rinsing out shampoo, etc. That's not even a complaint though! In fact, I have no complaints about this place. My only complaint about the whole trip is that we didn't have enough time here. I never return to the same places on my travels but Pelican Eyes is one I would reconsider visiting & would definitely recommend to anyone.

Sidenote: The food at the hotel is delicious & a bit more expensive than most places in town but not unreasonable. The only downside is a limited menu. You can find some great deals outside the resort gates also though. I highly recommend El Colibri (the hummingbird) right outside the gates. If you walk to the front gate of the resort, hang a left & its a block or two down on your left. The atmosphere alone makes it worth the trip but the food is phenomenal too.

Room Tip: Make sure you visit all 3 pools- the top level has the best views in San Juan del Sur
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Julie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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724 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (162)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We stayed at this property for 2 nights at the beginning of May 2014 and really, this is a hotel i would not recommend to anyone. I am surprised at the great reviews. We were travelling with a 10 month old baby (4 adults plus baby).

The views are beautiful, no doubt.

We stayed at Casa Pacifica. Nice private terrace, wonderful views, pretty quiet as well. But no blackout in the bedrooms so don´t plan on relaxing in bed and sleeping till late if the brightness is an issue for you. The house is full of bugs, ants, etc. They got into our luggage, clothes, diapers.

DON´T GO TO THIS HOTEL IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING WITH A BABY.

There is no changing station in the lobby or in any of the hotel bathrooms. We got in early and the room was not ready, but the receptionist offered no options, no help to change our baby in a comfortable area. (Even at El Timon restaurant downtown, there is a changing station!)

They set up a play pen for our daughter, but no mattress. No crib is fine, but not having a $10 mattress to use in this play pen is just beyond my understanding. We used the bed covers to make a little nest for the baby and there were no additional blankets in the closets.

Mattresses are linens are okay. Definitely not for a room paying $400 a night.

Waiters at the restaurants are very nice and try their best. Kuddos to them.

Food is okay, and expensive. You are better off going to town for dinner or lunch. Breakfast was included and we were fine with it. Nothing spectacular, and slow service, but not bad.

The spa is just a simple room with a curtain a nice guy giving massages. I had one, and it was okay. Erick gets an A for his effort.

When we checked out, they tried to charge me $100 more per night plus breakfast even though it was included. They said the reservation person made a mistake. Had i not had the email printed out showing that breakfast and taxes were included in the rate i mentioned, i would have been screwed and overpaid for this terrible hotel.

Overall, it is a very expensive hotel for what they offer. I asked for the manager a couple of times to try to meet hm, but he was not available. He did call our room, at 3pm one day, right after we got in from the beach, and woke up our baby. Nice timing.

Maybe if you are travelling with your spouse, it would be a better experience.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank HCFS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2014

The hotel is lovely and the view cannot be beat. The casa rooms are indeed very house-like with tons of storage space and decorated very artfully. The pool nearest our hotel room was closed often for private events. And the walk to the front of the property is long. We got a ride once, but the driver made fun of us and said it was "two meters." It was more like a half-mile plus up a winding hill and I had a heel injury. But I walked it the rest of our stay.

The staff -- especially the restaurant staff and housekeeping -- were very kind. The rooms were clean and giants would have had enough room in the spacious interior. The beach itself in San Juan del Sur was nothing special -- much better beaches to the south and north. This place was gorgeous, but I might try something different if I went back closer to one of the other beaches. Still, our family was very happy to be here.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Melarcy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

What a lovely place. The staff is friendly (especially in the bar right at the top), the rooms are nice and the views are beautiful. Only slightly let down by the building work outside our room - but we were right on the fence line and if we had a room further up, I am sure we would not even have known about it.

Room Tip: We were right on the fence line (bottom corner) which was a bit noise. Try to get a room higher up.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank exb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Managua, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

I went there for my BF's Bday and i had reserved a house for the two of us but by mistake they reserved the half of a house and a family was next to us, we talked to the guy that made the reservation and because of the mistake he gave us a different and better house for that weekend. the transportation was included, to everywhere we wanted to go, the pool was amazing and the staff was very polite and nice. I must say that they made our stay a great weekend. The only reason why i don't give the 5 points is because the food was too expensive and it was not worth the prices.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank BrizzaAnahi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CT
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Service and facilities were exceptional at the Pelican Eyes. Paradise for sure.

I would only express some concern with security at the property. On two evenings at our beautiful villa/casa (after midnight) we were woken by strangers who were seemingly trying to gain entrance while we slept. When I rose and arrived at the door they quickly scurried away. While there is significant security at the two access roads to the resort, it does seem that one could readily walk onto the beautiful grounds and property after dark. After the second evening stranger at our doorstep we decided to push a couch in front of the beautiful french doors for added security when we went to bed (and never had another problem).

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank travelcd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampton
Level Contributor
133 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2014 via mobile

We stayed here in March of 2014. The staff is very nice and accommodated us as to room location. We would not have been able to stay if they did not help us. The view from any of the pools is beautiful. We ate almost all our meals by the pool and the food was delicious- I have been trying to recreate the Chimichurri sauce since we got home! Rooms were good size with very good water pressure. Any questions, please contact me I would be happy to answer.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank flycatcher06
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 Green Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#6 Romantic Hotel in San Juan del Sur
#6 On the Beach 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

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