Expect a lot of steps! Piedras y Olas, also known as Pelican Eyes after the sailboat this hotel owns, is a hotel overlooking San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean.
Contemporary haciendas of white adobe and red clay roofs dot a hillside and are connected by an intricate web of brick steps. Exquisite tropical landscaping includes palms that sway in the breeze and lavender, purple, and white bougainvillea.
San Juan’s harbor is visible from nearly every part of the hotel as are views of dramatic sunsets that are often the main attraction of the day.
The clientele is mainly North American with wealthy Nicaraguans apt to visit on weekends, Christmas, and Easter.
Of the three swimming pools at Pelican Eyes, two are infinity pools that offer the sensation of swimming into sky. Not recommended for the fear-of-heights crowd, but quite an experience. The pool areas are moderate but adequate in size as are the pools. One is a lap pool; another, a social magnet.
Pelican Eyes has wireless Internet access, but expect some blind spots. Internet access in Nicaragua is generally good.
The almost entirely Nicaraguan staff is notably welcoming, and the resort is gay-friendly. The hotel's open-air reception area is frequented by well-cared-for resident cats and dogs. The hotel profits go to fund educations for local kids as well as a veterinary clinic on the premises that takes in injured and abused animals, including monkeys.
Warm morning breezes dissolve into midday heat. Between noon and 3:30, it is very hot. By margarita time, the air cools down.