More about Piedras y Olas, A Pelican Eyes Resort
resort hotel with a conscience (San Juan del Sur)
Pelican Eyes - Piedras y Olas is probably the best place to stay on the entire Nicaraguan southern Pacific coastline. It wears a lot of hats - hotel, resort, casita community, investment corporation, community service and foundations (Fundación A. Jean Brugger), gourmet restaurant, scholarship and sponsorship organization for local young people getting into the tourism industry, sailing trip organizer, deep sea fishing organizer, the list goes on...but what's most important- it's a great place to stay, run by wonderful people, and you know you're money is going to the right places and to the right people. Two endless pools and one new pool project underway (as of 1/2006); gorgeous and very well built/styled guest houses (casitas and habitaciónes)- with A/C and ceiling fans, beautiful bathrooms with great showers and a water cooler in most rooms (probably all, but I can't say for sure).
Watch the sunset at Pelican Eyes pool
This hotel is set high on a hill overlooking the bay of San Juan. It is comprised of rooms and bungalows, two restaurants and 3 pools. Not for the budget traveler, however, you can stay at a cheaper hotel in town and pay $10 to use the 3 pools at pelican eyes. It is definately worth it! On Wednesdays and Fridays they have 2 for 1 happy hour from 5pm to 8pm. We watched the sunset in the upper infinity pool and it was spectacular.
Spending the day by the pool at Piedras y Olas
Before coming to San Juan del Sur I had read that you could pay to use the pool at Piedras Y Olas for the day. It tuned out they had a promotion when I visited and if you drank or ate for 10 dollars in the bar/restaurant, you didn’t pay anything for staying the day by the pool. This suited me good and I came back a second day.
Piedras y Olas is an expensive hotel with cabañas spread out among the trees and flowers, on the slope above San Juan del Sur. They have several pools and at least two restaurants. I stayed by the lower pool, or a little to the side, in the shade under a tree. It was relaxing to lay in the sun chair reading a good book with a great view over the bay below and something to drink on the small table next to the chair. Now and then I went for a swim in the pool.
The food is supposed to be very good at Piedras y Olas and the lobster sandwich I ate one day was very delicious. If you don’t want to come here for the day I would recommend to come here for a drink at sunset, as the view is very beautiful.
the only gourmet restaurant in San Juan del Sur
How can you get any better than a gourmet restaurant, staffed by people who are attentive and are always there to refill a glass that sits at the foot of a pool that overlooks the ocean- and no walls, just a big thatched roof. Well, in San Juan del Sur - you can't. La Cascada is the official name, but people just refer to it as Piedras y Olas or Pelican Eyes. My personal favorites: Lobster and corn fritters, cantaloupe granita, hot artichoke dip with homemade tortilla chips which taste/look/crunch better than any you've ever had, and the mahi mahi.
What a disappointment!
We stayed at Pelican Eyes for New Year's Eve, in the Jasmine cabin. Our room was not clean when we arrived (hair in the shower drain, dust and dead bugs on the window sills). Our "garden view room" was actually a view of some metal roofs and a dirt hill. Dinner was delicious, but the management seemed unorganized, as we noticed customers not being noted on the reservation lists. Our reservation was at 5:30 pm, and while we were seated promptly, we didn't recieve our meal until 8:00 pm.
The next morning we arrived at the restaurant to have the complimentary breakfast that was covered in our room cost, as explained by the front desk at check- in. When we arrived for breakfast, we were told that it was a special New Years Day brunch and that it was a seperate cost. We ended up getting our breakfast free of charge, but it was quite mediocre, and the sugar bowl with the coffee was filthy inside and out... yuck!
We checked out of Pelican Eyes a day early, and received a 20% discount on the night we stayed. Not what we expected for a $200/night establishment! Stay at La Posada Azul just down the street instead!!
Had the pleasure of staying 3 days/nights at Pelican Eyes in December 2006. Stayed in Casa Llama del Bosque in the lower portion of the resort yet had amazing panoramic views of the ocean and town below. It wasn’t a full suite rather a standard room with 2 queen beds, large view windows, a beautiful bathroom, a small fridge to keep drinks cool and a coffee maker. What more do you need? Barely used the t.v. and dvd player but did make good use out of the many candles throughout the room to create a romantic setting at night. The room was lovely and the view/surroundings spectacular. Enjoyed spending some time each hot afternoon and evening relaxing on our private covered patio just taking in the view, surroundings, sounds and bird/critter-watching . Only problem with critters was small ants in the bathroom/kitchen later in day and the odd gecko in room... but, hello??... you are in the tropics... what do you expect? Could have been a lot worse! The maid service was very good and I felt quite safe with the security on site.
Although I enjoy the exercise, my husband was thankful that our room was on the lower side of the resort as there are a lot of stairs on this property. The 200+ steps to the upper pool each day was nothing compared to the absolute tranquility and enjoyment of morning sunbathing and refreshing swims in the beautiful upper pools. Heavenly!!
The food at this resort was incredible. Unlike the previous reviewer, I found the portions to be very large and had a difficult time finishing my meals. They were all so delicious though I just had to force myself! The choices for the included breakfasts were much more than I expected, very delicious and filling! We had a blast partying with our local friends at Pelican Eyes “2 for 1” Happy Hour which is every Wednesday night. Many of the local transplants partake in this event and it was fun to meet so many local business people who have moved there from Canada, U.S.A., Australia, etc.
Only a couple negative notes about this resort. One would be all the dogs and cats roaming around on the property & restaurant - and I‘m an animal lover! One night, when I was walking down the stairs to go to the restaurant during a power outage, a cat jumped out of the bushes in the dark and attacked my leg! Scared the %! out of me, took a bite out of my leg… but I‘m sure he was just playing!! More annoying was all the cats and scraggly dogs mouching around the restaurant. Power went out every night but the property generator soon kicked in so this was no biggie... unless you happened to be in town walking around at the time. A huge disappointment was that we had planned on doing a day excursion on their sail boat only to discover upon check-in that it was ‘out of commission’ for the next few weeks for maintenance. Oh well… next time!
This was the first (working) vacation/trip I’ve EVER been on with my husband - a workaholic - where he actually chilled out and just relaxed while at Pelican Eyes. That’s saying a lot!! We will definitely make time during our future trips to Nicaragua to spend a few days winding down and relaxing at Hotel Piedras y Olas! This is an amazing resort!
I was visiting to take a Spanish course at the San Juan Del Sur Spanish school. The school was wonderful.....contact Veronica the director for information. I didn't want to do a home stay so I stayed at Pelican Eyes. I had a beautiful room. Service was wonderful. Lots of local Americans come here for drinks.........happy hour on Wed. Easy walk to town. The electricity went out frequently in town but the hotel had generators for the rooms and restaurant. Pool has a fabulous view of the sunsets. There are loads of villas up the hill but I didn't venture up that way. This is by far the nicest hotel in San Juan Del sur. I also stayed at hotel Isabella. This was nice but for some extra $ this is much better place. They are very close to each other. The beach in San Juan is fair, very busy on the weekends with Nicas from Managua. We rented boats for the day that took us to beautiful beaches north and south for surfing and fishing. The town is nothing special but it grows on you. I wish I could have stayed longer. If you visit take some items to donate. They are in need of many things.....medicines, sporting equipment(soccer balls!!!!!) You can give them to Veronica at the school or the local church. Enjoy!!!!
Christmas to New Year's
We rented two villas between Christmas and New Year's and had a really wonderful experience. As everyone else has mentioned, the stairs up the hill is challenging but so worth the views! We stayed at the very top of the resort and I think we had over 300 steps from the restaurant to our rooms.
We found the service to be great along with the food in the restaurant. We were there 7 nights and so we did eat a few of those nights in town. Both villas were very nice with lots of amenities. The AC did go out in the living room of one villa on the last day but it didn't bother us much. The electricity went out 3-4 nights for about 30-45 minutes each time but we were usually out on the balconies enjoying the view so it didn't matter much. They do provide a few candles in each room and the kitchen was running on a generator so food was always available.
The town is very cute and resonably clean. The hotel arranged for a boat ride (Pelican Eyes Sailing was not available due to mechanical problems), a canopy tour, and surfing lessons for our two boys.
Overall, a wonderful trip to a beautiful resort!
Carla in Dallas
We stayed at Pelican Eyes for our Honeymoon, September 4-12. We could not have chosen a more perfect place. Our accomodations were huge, beautiful, clean, perfect for romance, with an unbeatable view from our Casita at the top of the hill. The stairs were great on the way down, and a pain on the way up, but they are probably the sole reason I didn't gain any weight on my trip and I wouldn't have it any other way. When we stayed by the pool we pretty much had it to ourselves. The place was absolutely tranquil. I highly recommend "Green Season" for the lush landscape that is key to the area. It only rained one day of eight. The staff is accomodating and friendly and we enjoyed getting to know them and seeing them everyday. The town of San Juan is the authentic fishing village you would imagine. Tourism, though growing, still seems non-existent. After a few minutes in town, we felt completely at ease. The restaurants along the beach are great. Actually, everything we ate was wonderful (we took everyones advice to stay away from ground beef). If you are a beach lover, beware you have to travel to get to a beautiful one- but they have many, secluded, beautiful beaches within an hour car ride. The power went out frequently (that means the whole town), one time at night which is a real inconvience when you can't see around to get to your room. The have a generator for the bar and restaurant and half the hotel rooms, I'm sure the whole hotel will be on it soon. Our trip was a perfect mix of adventure, culture, and relaxing in luxury accomodations for a honeymoon.
One of the pools at Piedras y Olas
La Cascada Restaurant, Piedras y Olas
interior - Piedras y Olas (Habitación Sosegada)
the endless pool (upper pool), Piedras y Olas
Have you been to San Juan del Sur?
What was your impression? How was the fishing? How would you compare it to Costa Rica? Is it safe?Are the prices reasonable?
Re: Have you been to San Juan del Sur?
Touristy. Even for Nicas. Lots of weekend parties with early 20 somethings. Not my favorite place... but I could think of much worse. Much more expensive for food and beverage but accomodation is not bad. You can get stylin' place for 10.00 US a night (2 beds). A fun place.
The fishing on the atlantic coast is good. Not sure about San Juan though. I would assume it's much more expensive given its "cruiseship stop" location. Check out my page if you'd like more of my perspective of Nicaragua. Cheers... Te
RE: Have you been to San Juan del Sur?
San Juan Del Sur is a great area-- my very favorite town in the world. For the most part it is not a party town UNLESS you are there in April or around New Years. It's a very quiet, unspoiled fishing village with great locals and great surfing. Plus the town offers something for everyone-- adventure relaxation-- you can find a range of places to stay-- there are clean hostels for about $30 a night, full service hotels (the Isabella, Pelican Eyes)for abour $80 a night and plenty of rental homes as well depending on your traveling style and budget(I manage this rental home there-- www.sanjuanbeachhouse.com) I highly recommend checking out the town for at least a few days. It's very "untouristy" most of the time (like i said, be careful about the month of April) and a great experience.