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“We really enjoyed our stay at Tensing Pen” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tensing Pen Resort

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Tensing Pen Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   West End Road, Negril, Jamaica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 91 hotels in Negril
Madison, Wisconsin
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“We really enjoyed our stay at Tensing Pen”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2007

Tensing Pen is a cool place to stay, especially for couples. The cabins are simple, but beautiful, contain everything they need (a bed, furniture to sit on, and even a refrigerator) and the surroundings are a pleasure to the eye. It is quiet, personnel does not bother you if you do not want to be bothered, and the restaurant serves high quality food, although a little limited in choice. But that provides you with the opportunity to check out other places, down the road.

We arrived in Montego Bay, where we had rented a car at Thrifty. Service at Thrifty is below par: they had not filled up the tank, which we found out only when we were well on our way, because all your attention is needed to focus what happens on the road. Driving on Jamaica is not for the faint of heart: it is supposed to be the third dangerous country in the world to drive a car in. But it is doable, especially when you take it slowly, , driving on the wrong side of the road and facing the local drivers with a death wish. However, it meant that it took us nearly two hours to make the rip from M'bay to Negril (60 miles).

  • Liked — Quiteness, privacy
  • Disliked — Some services (e.g. massage) are overpriced
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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516 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (147)
Date | Rating
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Atlanta
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2007

We just returned from our wedding/honeymoon in Negril. We spent the first 2 days at White Sands and 5 days at Tensing Pen. In addition, we were married at Tensing Pen.

Sonia at Tensing Pen was amazing in planning every detail of our wedding in 2 weeks! She made sure we had beautiful flowers-Floral Fantasy and a wonderful photographer-Sungold. She handled every small request including a steamer for our wedding attire. The mini reception and private dinner was a fabulous touch. Everything was so great we forgot about the rain showers.

Owen-Server and Razorblade-bartender were the most pleasant people. Small lunch menu but very tasty. Great room but bring spray for mosquitos. Excellent gift shop. All in all, Tensing Pen is perfect! Do not forget to check out 3 Dives and Famous Vincent Scuba Diving.

  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland/Jamaica
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2007

We stayed in TP in the Garden B Room. The room was fabulous, the bed was tapered with mosquito netting and the alternative furniture was so quaint. I really loved this resort. We go to Negril quite a bit and this is up on top of my list. The bed sheets were so soft and the property was kept very well. My only fault would probably be the dining area. We did not have dinner here because there was a wedding on that night and the restaurant was closed however they did offer room service. We ate elswhere. Breakfast is fruit, coffee and scrambled eggs. Stayed in Rockhouse following night...very nice also..breakfast there good. TP excellent resort to stay in. TIP:Diving in Negril Escape (on cliff end) excellent dive instructors very professional.

  • Liked — Views and vibes
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2007

I throughly enjoyed my stay at Tensing Pen. I had my wedding shortly after Hurrican Dean. The staff worked around the clock to get the place in tip top shape for the event. The managers were especially helpful in providing information about tours. My friends also enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere.

Overall, a great place to stay. Save ur money for this trip :-)...its worth it! Also the place looks just like the pics I see online.

  • Liked — The viewwas magnificent
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2007

This past June my husband and I held our Wedding and Honeymooned at Tensing Pen. The setting couldn't be any more perfect for a destination wedding. We reserved the entire property for our guests for 4 days.

Almost all the rooms/cottages have spectacular views of the deep blue
sea. And each cottage has it's own uniqueness.

We were told by the staff that our wedding was actually one of the largest Tensing Pen had ever hosted (75 guests) to date. Our wedding coordinator, Garett completely transformed the ceremony site, cocktail and reception site with exotic florals and white linens draped from the roof to the floor. Our guests almost couldn't recognize that it was the same areas of the property that they had spent their time dining, sunbathing and swimming.

We had our ceremony at sunset and by the time the evening set in, the
setting grew even more intimate as the pool was lit with coconut shell candles and tikki torches were placed around the Sea Sung hut with numerous candles on each table.

The food was amazing the entire weekend. Even though lobster was not in season at this time, the staff was able to reserve a batch of lobsters before the season ended in order for us to have it on the menu for our wedding. We were so amazed at this effort made by the staff. Also, try the pumpkin fritters. They are delectable. One of our favorite appetizers there.

The entire staff was so accommodating to us as the bride and groom and to our guests. We truly received VIP treatment.

Our wedding cake was very unique, a 3-tiered, pearlized seashell cake
that Garett decorated that very day of the wedding.

Our family and friends still talk about the amazing time they had that weekend at Tensing Pen. They are memories that will hold us for lifetime. We can't wait to go back and visit.

If you're looking for a remote and private location for your destination wedding, Tensing Pen is the perfect place!

  • Liked — Cliffside setting
  • Disliked — Food and drinks were pricey.
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2007

Overview: My husband was looking online for a perfect honeymoon spot and booked Tensing Pen - Great Choice! This was our first trip to Jamaica and we fell in love with Tensing Pen. We stayed in the North Pillar for a week and never tired of sitting on the deck and watching the sunsets.
I also never missed my cell phone, computer, TV, alarm clock, etc.... The four poster beds, ironwood floors, crisp white linens, and thatched roofs were exactly as I dreamed a tropical resort. The property was beautiful and in full bloom with tropical flowers (and even bananas). The service was top notch - Ice Water was our waiter and Razor Blade tended bar...both are friendly, professional, and fun to talk with. The office staff is very accomodating and will schedlue any number of activites for you during your stay. Do as much or as little as you like. We went snorkeling, toured the Black River and YS Waterfalls, and even indulged in massages at the resort. We also walked up to Rick's Cafe to watch the cliff divers.

Price: Not cheap but worth it!

Food: Again, not cheap but worth it. Free breakfast overlooking the ocean and rocky cliffs...can't beat that. Dinner was always great and the setting is romantic. If you don't like seafood, you may want to eat elsewhere. However, there were usually two dinner choices. Loved what they did with lobster.
We did not eat family style (sitting at one big table), but there were plenty of smaller tables in the dining area available for a more intimate setting.

Drinks: A little pricey but good. You can buy liquor at the market across the street from the resort if you want to mix your own. Watch out for the overproof rums! We also noticed that many people in Jamica seemed to have a nickname. Our bartender's "real" name was Sheldon, but we teasingly gave him an American nickname, "Stud Muffin". He in turn gave us Jamican nicknames. He makes a mean cocktail called "the dirty banana"... if you double the rum it is called a "filthy banana". Definitely try one.

Outside the resort: Be cautious...people will walk up to you and offer drugs of all sorts. It is a poor area and the culture is very different, but I found most of the people I met to be friendly and hospitable. I never felt uncomfortable or unsafe.
Security at the resort is excellent. Also, there are three dogs that wander the resort, one is named Tensing (after the original dog the resort is named after). Very friendly animals...to the guests that is. If you go shopping, remember to barter. You can even negotiate cab fare.

Schedule: There is none. If you are worried about the time, then you are missing the point of taking a relaxing vacation to Tensing Pen. It is very laid back and to me that was refreshing change from the rat race of DC.

Children: We only saw one. She was a toddler and I can understand not wanting to travel without her, but for older kids this is not the place. There is very little that they would find interesting or entertaining. AND, in such a beautiful and romantic setting, I would be more inclined to spend my time my significant other. I have children and would opt for Disney World (something along those lines) for a "family vacation".

NOTE!!!!! Do not try to rent a car and drive in Jamaica. Speed limits and road signs are more of a suggestion than a law. They drive crazy!!!!!!!! I would also suggest taking a valium and bringing horse blinders with you for the taxi ride from the ariport to Negril.

It was a fantastic place and absolutely perfect for a honeymoon. I have been married for 9 months and still can't stop talkng about Tensing Pen. I can't wait to go back!

  • Liked — the beauty of the resort and the privacy of each villa
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
2 reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2007

My husband and I have been coming to TP for several years now and even got married there last year, but in one short year so much has changed in a negative way. We used to love TP because of its laid back approach and the rusticly beautiful and romantic lodging. The property was never over-crowded as guests would take day-trips off the property.

This year changed all of that. I'm not sure if there was a marketing campaign or what happened, but the clientele is vastly different than what we've experienced in the past. In recent years it was full of couples almost exclusively. This year there were more kids than I could keep track of. There's not much for them to do up on the cliffs, so why parents insist on bringing them I'm not sure. Kids are fine and I have nothing against them, but there's a time and a place and this is neither. They have ruined paradise.

Also, most likely due to the pool, the place feels much more over-crowded. People stake their places early and it's tough to find a quiet place to oneself. And the crowd that was here during our visit were slobs. Empty beer bottles were left laying around, and sticky sauces were spilled and left behind on the umbrella stand/tables. I guess these guests assumed their mess was for the staff to clean up. This was not how it used to be. Guests this time around expected to be served and catered to, which totally changed the vibe of the place.

There's also a planned expansion which, in my mind, will only add to it's demise. 10 "luxury" accomodations are planned with jacuzzis, ac and room service. The crowd that will be attracted to that is the exact crowd we used to come to Negril to avoid. Looks like we'll be forced to find another sleepy, romantic resort. It's certainly true that you can't go home again. Sob. :(

  • Liked — Clean, very private rooms.
  • Disliked — No longer romantic getaway it used to be. Please bring it back.
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Tensing Pen Resort

Address: West End Road, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Negril
#8 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#14 Family Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tensing Pen Resort 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the West End of Negril, Jamaica in its own private cove, Tensing Pen is the ultimate destination for the discerning traveler offering a unique collection of beautiful hand-carved wood, thatch and cut stone cottages of varying sizes for the ultimate secluded and relaxing vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tensing Pen Hotel Negril
Tensing Pen Negril
Tensing Pen Jamaica

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