79%
Members Recommend
4.0
Very Good 767 Reviews
Jetsetter Verified
This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Seriously spacious casas with cocktail-friendly porches and Pacific Ocean views
  • Seafood and local cuisine at open-air La Cascada restaurant
  • Sailing into the sunset on Pelican Eyes’ 41-foot sloop
  • READ MORE: Find your perfect Nicaragua vacation

What To Know

  • San Juan Bay beach is three blocks away; shuttle transfers are available for a small fee
  • Hills and staircases criss-cross this cliffside resort
  • The new management team is working out some service kinks
  • Spa services and sailing trip adventures are available on a daily basis and can be requested at front desk

Amenities

  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Room Service
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Luxury Rustic Tropical Villa chair property wooden home living room cottage Resort Dining farmhouse restaurant

Overview

Colorful cliffside resort with 70 villas, three pools, an open-air restaurant and a spa overlooking the Pacific

The Look

Gaudi goes tropical. Legend has it that Pelican Eyes founder Chris Berry saw this cliffside plot from his sailboat, Pelican Eyes, and vowed to build Nicaragua’s first luxury resort. That he did, and today there are three pools, two restaurants and 70 romantic studios and villa-like casas all overlooking the colorful fishing village of San Juan del Sur.

Bed & Bath

All accommodations are surrounded by lush tropical gardens and show off a thoughtful sense of place, with exposed natural woods and handcrafted furniture. Modern amenities include air conditioning, kitchenettes and TVs with DVD players, but the real highlight is the private terrace looking west toward the town and the water. Staff work hard for their guests, but its clifftop setting above a small village in a developing nation present some challenges; for example, I had some difficulty getting hot water in my lovely tile shower.

Beyond

If Pelican Eyes isn’t quite perfect, its privileged setting and raw charm make up for its lack of finesse. Fish pulled out of the Pacific, local lamb and artisanal cheeses are the highlights of the menu at the open-air La Cascada, and the massages at the new Tranquila Spa are heavenly — and not just because they’re done on a terrace looking out over the bay at the world’s second-largest Jesus statue.

How to Get There

Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa
De la Parroquia 1 1/2 cuadras al este
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Reviews

4.0 Very Good 767 Reviews
Great restaurant and rooms
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The villa we got was gorgeous I side and out with a beautiful water view. Arriving late at night I’m sad I didn’t get to enjoy the 1 night stay more. For breakfast I went to their restaurant and ordered some fresh seafood. The fish and octopus were yummy! Not only that but the several was great and view was even better! They even have a pool there!

Old, Dirty Room and Overpriced...
Reviewed 1 month ago

The pool area, food and service were excellent! Very friendly and nice staff!

My complain is really with the room.
Regular price was $245 + tax but they were nice enough to give us a discount down to $175 a night for a 2 bed suite as SJDS is empty due to the political tension in happening in Nicaragua at the moment.
Even at this discounted this was the most expensive hotel right in the town.

The A/C is old, loud, and it doesn’t cool well enough. Wen I called from desk they sent a guy and he said “these are old AC units.” They never offered to change us to another room.

I could see the dust in the wooden beams that ran across the room. In the bathroom there were a few roaches, and the garbage bin lid was pretty dirty with stains from previous guests throwing used toilet paper in. In the shower a ball of hair got stuck in my toes.

Mostly good, but overpriced
Reviewed 2 months ago

Considering the $220/night price tag, this hotel could use some updates. The rooms are spacious and clean, with good A/C units, but the bathrooms are sadly outdated (toilet seat stuck, garbage bin ancient). You also need to climb hundreds of steps every day, because the property is on a steep hill, so it's not for the elderly or handicapped. The plus is that the views are unparalleled, especially sunset from the upper pools. The infinity pools are wonderful, but could be cleaned more frequently of leaves, flowers and bugs. And yes, cats often bother you at dinner. Food is okay, neither bad nor excellent. Just average. Plus: you can walk everywhere. Downside: City noises abound, even at 6 am.

wonderful view but many steps and cats abundant
Reviewed 2 months ago

wonderful view, not so happy with cats abundant (1 of 2 of us were). Great gem of a property but needs some work to make it a great stay. Disappointed with no bar service at pool - check in service told us bar service would be available and then it wasnt. stairs were abundant and not such in great condition - good to know ahead of time.

issues with language barrier for breakfast - really heard with being vegan - had contacted via email prior but with no response.

Beware of scorpions
Reviewed 3 months ago

We stayed 3 nights at the Pelican Eyes Resort with our two kids ages 6 and 7. A 5 star hotel ... not so sure of that. Unfortunately, our experience has not lived up to our expectations. First of all, we did not receive any information when we arrived regarding the activities offered by the hotel, nor information about the wifi or the hours of opening / closing of the pools.

Also, fumigation campaigns do not serve much purpose. At the price we paid, we did not think we needed to use mosquito nets to sleep. None were provided in the room and no installation allowed us to install ours. We then thought we could lower our guard and sleep peacefully. Unfortunately, in the morning, my spouse walked on a scorpion on the floor of the room. He was extremely lucky and did not got stung. There were two scorpions in the room. We had the jitters since one of our girls could have been the one to step on the scorpion. In addition, there were spiders and an ant nest near the bathroom. We had one night left to do. We notified reception and the staff was not happy to see our photos. We asked for a discount for the last night, but they did not want to give us a credit. They offered us a massage instead ... or to change rooms. We did not want to have to redo and unpack our luggage for the remaining night and there coild be scorpions in the other room as well... Nothing else was offered to us, apart from a can of insecticide type Raid.

In addition, we were offered free travel to Granada. We even asked twice that this transport was free. When they told us that no compensation would be offered for our stay, they mentioned at the same time that the shuttle is not offered for free and we should pay $ 80. Yet in town this same service is offered at $ 50 !!!

Finally, the cleanliness of the room leaves something to be desired. We expect a lot more from such an expensive place. There was a pair of dirty socks from a previous guest in the room upon arrival and the balcony was not clean.

The prices for the various services offered are inflated by two and sometimes even three compared to the city.

We recommend avoiding this hotel at all costs.