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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
Seattle
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Wait just one moment...”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2006

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.

  • Disliked — Lack of security, bad and dishonest customer service, stray animals
  • Tips/Secrets — Do your homework before choosing your stay in San Juan del Sur
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Jaybirch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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707 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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See reviews for
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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 (160)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Orlando
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2006

Beatiful hotel without an inch of grounds that is not planned with building or landscaping. Service and security to the point of being militant. There were workers everywhere. We loved the place. The food was great. It was very private and beautiful. Two great pool areas with nice views of San Juan Del Sur.

Downsides: There is a lot of walking up and down stairs. The hotel is really dozens of individual units from rooms to multiple bedroom houses built up the hillside. There is still contruction going on at the top, and the power saws cranked up outside our balcony around 10am.

  • Liked — Very private. Great landscaping. Beautiful Views. Great Food
  • Disliked — Power outage during the day. Construction during day.
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank surfnole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
50 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2006

Spent 2 nights here (Aug. 29 - 30). The property is beautiful. The ammenities are fantastic. The service is a good as can be expected in a developing country that is just beginning to develop it's tourism industry with this hotel (and a handful of others) being the center of the new tourism industry.

Because of the fragile infustructure of Nicaragua, electricity can not be counted on. So... when the power goes out... there is not much that can be done to fix the problem. (A Generator would be nice)...

Also, keep in mind that this property is also selling vacation homes (that they rent out to tourists)... The emphesis here is to build as many of these vacation homes as possible. Contruction begins at 5:30 - 6:00 AM so if it is close to your rental house, you will have to deal with it. When we brought this to the attention of the front desk we were told that there was nothing they could do as we already had a discount (a promotion given when we made the reservation). Finally the manager gave an extra 10% off for the trouble.

Also, when staying here you will need a 4X4 to get around the property as most of their internal roads up and down the hill are not paved yet and can not be traversed easily by a regular car (Nica taxi's not included in this as they seem to be able to traverse anything). Most of the rental houses are up the hill from the hotel restaurant and it is still easiest to drive back and forth.

  • Liked — The houses, pools and grounds are beautiful
  • Disliked — Electricity went out for 7-8 hours. Ineffective staff.
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank JBinTLV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco Bay area
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2006

This is a truly beautiful resort. We had a villa with two bedrooms, bathroom, a beautiful living room, and a fully equipped kitchen (great to make your strong Nicaraguan coffee, which is hard to get from most restaurants in Nicaragua, or to cook fresh lobsters, fish, and shrimp). The views are to die for, from the villas and from the three gorgeous swimming pools. We loved the food served at their very gourmet restaurant, comparable only to the best restaurants in Berkeley/San Francisco Bay area. The service is absolutely wonderful, the people very proud to serve you. I was only sorry that I didn't plan to stay longer. I tried to extend our stay, but they were booked solid.
Sonia

  • Liked — everything was perfect, views, food, service
  • Disliked — problem with power caused wireless service not to be available in the villa
  • Tips/Secrets — book a lot in advance!
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled with family
    • 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 SoniaR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plattsmouth, NE
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2006

I have personally staying in 5 star hotels all over. This hotel has some of the best customer service I've ever experience. The rooms are very nice and at great value. The food is excellent. I would recommend this property to anyone looking for a little pampering (with comforts of home) after roughing it in the beautiful Nicaragua! Book early this place sells out fast.

  • Liked — After roughing it...THE LUXURY!
  • Disliked — nothing i didn't like
  • Tips/Secrets — book early and make it a more than one night stay
  • Stayed March 2006, travelled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank henner_69
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 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

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