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
Parking on site
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Colorful cliffside resort with 70 villas, three pools, an open-air restaurant and a spa overlooking the Pacific
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.
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.
Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa
De la Parroquia 1 1/2 cuadras al este
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
How to Get There
Flights are available to Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA) in Managua and Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) in Liberia, Costa Rica, via connecting flights from major U.S. cities on a variety of carriers. Private transfers are available to/from MGA, about 74 miles away, for approximately $105 to $160 (depending on the number of passengers), each way, and can be arranged through the property. For guests traveling through LIR, about 124 miles away, it is recommended they rent a vehicle for the transfer. Alternatively, taxis are available to/from MGA and LIR; prices vary.