First of all, I want to point out that it's much easier to write a positive review on Tripadvisor. If you access my other pages, you will see that I have written many positive reviews for other hotels, including the Casa San Francisco in Granada. Unfortunately I cannot write a positive one about Hotel Pelican Eyes, as there are some serious security issues that my wife and I encountered while staying there. I am writing this review and pointing out these issues because I do not feel that they have been, or will be resolved by the management staff or owners.
The past reviews on Tripadvisor for Pelican Eyes have mostly touched on the facilities and the restaurant, which I agree are nice. But the problems that my wife and I had are listed below (with the security issue being the most important)...
1. An employee of the hotel walked into our room without knocking, even when we had a 'do not disturb' sign on the outside of the door (there is no deadlock or safety chain on the doors). He not only walked in but he also saw us changing clothes and did not think of leaving. Instead he told us (in Spanish) that if we did not leave the room we would be charged an extra day. This was not the day that we were leaving the hotel. We never really knew why he came to our room, even after an explanation from the owner (Chris). I marched down to the front desk immediately after the incident and spoke to Chris, who called security and had a meeting with his staff. What Chris did not do is come and speak to us (the guests), to insure us that we were safe and that everything had been resolved. I went back to the front desk later that evening since Chris never came to talk to us. I asked him if we were going to be safe staying at his resort. He said it was a mistake and that the man who came to our room was room service (which was completely untrue) and that we should be fine. I will just say that we were completely uncomfortable staying there that night and did not sleep knowing that with a turn of the key someone could be in our room. The next day, Chris comped our room for the 4 nights so we did not pay. This was nice, but it was not what we were asking for. We wanted to know that we were going to be safe in a hotel in a foreign country. We did not get that, and that is the key reason we would not recommend this hotel. Lack of security.
2. There are two pool areas at this resort. The upper pool is away and above most of the resort area. My wife and I wanted to spend part of the afternoon at the upper pool and take in the views. We were the only guests at the pool that day, and we ordered two drinks from the barman and also asked for two pool towels. The barman had one pool towel with him and told us that he would go get another towel for us. I paid for the drinks with a large (Nicaraguan) bill and he told us he did not have change but would also go to get change. He never came back to us, with the towel or the change. We were at the pool for at least an hour, so after awhile I went back to him and asked what happened. He told me that he could not find another towel and that he could not find change. I don't believe he ever left his post, quite honestly. I told him our room number, and that he needed to give me the change back. We never received the change. This was noted to Chris, the owner.
3. After the first night, we left our hotel for a daytrip. We left the 'Do not Disturb' sign on the outside of our door. Housekeeping still came in and made up our room even though we had asked (by hanging our sign) them not to come in.
4. The front desk clerk who checked us in was in no way friendly. In fact, it almost seemed like he wanted to give us a difficult time. I understand not being able to check in at 1 pm when the room is not ready. However, I do believe that the clerk put us in a smaller room than we had booked. He said it was the correct room. There is an amenities book in the hotel room which shares all of the activities in the San Juan del Sur area, such as going out on the Pelican Eyes sailboat, hiking to a historic lighthouse, and visiting local beaches. The book also states that the front desk would be happy to assist with any of these activities. After checking in, we went back to the front desk to ask about the boat, the lighthouse and the beaches. The clerk explained that the boat was out of commision for the summer, a taxi could take us to the nearby beaches for $50 (in town they will take you for $10 which was not even suggested to us), and that they did not know about a trail to the lighthouse. All of this wonderful help at a first class hotel, hmm. This was noted to Chris, the owner.
5. Construction was going on at the hotel the entire day everyday, just out front of our room.
6. A cochroach crawled out of our muffin basket at the breakfast table in the restaurant.
Just one other comment, not necessarily a complaint but an observation. This resort is supposedly the nicest in Nicaragua, which may be true. We could see that people would be attracted to the nice facilities and excellent views that their website sells. At the same time, it is also a pet sanctuary. My wife and I love animals, but even we were overwhelmed by the number of cats and dogs sitting at our feet while having breakfast. Some cats were trying to jump in our laps and another jumped on the table. There are also monkeys at the resort. They are shackled up and if your room is nearby, you will certainly hear them and smell them.
The driving point I want to make with this review (if the owner happens to read especially) is that safety is very important for people traveling abroad. I would think the owners of Pelican Eyes would understand this, since they are Americans. Comforting us while we were there, rather than buying our stay, would have been a better solution.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Odigeo and Agoda so you can book your Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Pelican Eyes Hotel San Juan Del Sur
- Hotel Pelican Eyes
- Resort Pelican Eyes