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“Truely Roughing it, Terrible at Tensing Pen” 1 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 90 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Tampa, Florida
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Truely Roughing it, Terrible at Tensing Pen”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Tensing Pen on our Honeymoon in October of 2012. We arrived and the resort was beautiful, the staff was kind and very helpful when they could be. This is the only positives we could say because the trouble started with walking into our room.

Since it was our honeymoon we went ahead and paid for one of the more expensive villas on the property that we booked 8 months before. The view was absolutely amazing and looked like it was a scene from a tropical movie! However, we were tired from traveling and were hot and wanted to cool off. I did a walk around the room only to figure out that THE ROOM DID NOT COME WITH AIR CONDITIONING, which the web site does not explicitly note. The room also did not come with a TV. When paying upwards of $2500 for a week stay I assumed we would at a minimum have a room that included air conditioning, much less a TV. Though television was not as important to us, after a long day we enjoy unwinding and watching some TV before going to bed.

We immediately went down to the front desk and said we wanted to switch to any room with air conditioning even if it was not as nice, we were informed that the entire resort had been already reserved for a private wedding and we were unable to be moved to a new room because we would have to go right back there the following day. Since we had already paid half of our rate and could not be refunded we were stuck.

The first night was horrendous. The bug netting over the bed MUST BE USED, the room is not tight to bugs, lizards, or geckos. We quickly used my wife's hair pins to close the netting around the bed and keep bugs from getting into the bed from inside the room. I spent the night taking tee shirts, boxers, socks, and towels and stuffing them under doors, in holes in the roof, and anywhere things were crawling in came from. Besides the bugs the room, not being air conditioned and without fans, made being in the room like being in a sauna at night. We also wanted to watch a movie and go to bed. We tried to get on the wireless internet with our laptop but the internet did not work to get a movie.

After the first night my wife cried and wanted to cancel the honeymoon and just go home. After talking to her we decided we would ROUGH it and unfortunately stay through the whole thing. After speaking about how hot the room was with management we eventually got a fan in the room which did not help very much at all, and were told internet would be working the next day, it really never worked while staying there.

To make matters even worse we were not informed at the time of booking that a wedding party had booked the entire property and since we were the only two people in the whole resort not involved with the wedding everything became a hassle quickly.

When we would want to go to breakfast if we did not arrive right when they opened all of the wedding party would arrive at once and force us to wait for a very long time. The same would go for use of the pool, or swimming in the cove. The party also had private dinners, and rehearsals that happen with each wedding. We got notices from the hotel to not go to the main areas when those events were taking place. Since the resort is small this basically secluded us to our room only and we could not enjoy the resort as we would have liked.

We also chose this resort because it did not look kid friendly and more like a secluded adult resort. We love children but on our honeymoon we wanted relaxation and peace, we arrived and there were lots of young children and babies, that made a relaxing day impossible to achieve.

We decided that instead of staying around the resort we would try to spend every second we could away from the resort by taking taxis to different resorts, restaurants, and beaches where we could escape our horrific honeymoon villa. We did this every day until we checked out.

It is unfortunate that so many things went wrong with our honeymoon stay and made for such a bad experience. The views were breath-taking, the staff was wonderful, and the atmosphere could have been a dream. Our only real positive was going to the hotel bar where the bartender Blade/Razor made us drinks and kept us laughing with his commentary about the island.

When it all comes down to it, I wish I could say that the best part of our stay was the resort and how our honeymoon was amazing and that we are dying to return. All I can say is that the bartender Blade/Razor was the best part of our experience at Tensing Pen and that our honeymoon was basically ruined by our experience.

Upon leaving we told the manager of the property about how awful our stay was we were offered a 10% discount on our stay, in our eyes much more needed to be done. I still have a sour feeling towards our stay and wish there had been more resolution.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TPManager, Manager at Tensing Pen Resort, responded to this review, January 21, 2013

While we respect the views of nwd07 we find the claims surprising. Our records indicate that this guest was informed that we were hosting a wedding during the chosen dates of stay and that the cottage selected has no air conditioning .

When this guest made a complaint in our Front Office we extended several gestures and even called neighbouring hotels to find alternate accommodation with air conditioning as we were fully booked and had no other room to offer.

Some of our cottages are air conditioned and others are not. Those that are not are located directly on the ocean front high on the cliffs of Negril's West End and have naturally heat resistant hand-woven thatch roofs and are cooled by a steady soothing ocean breeze.

The offer to relocate to another hotel was made but was rejected by this guest who at the time emphasised the beauty of our property and the friendliness and hospitality of our staff. We thank this guest for extending these compliments in this review as well.

Our rooms have no tv's and and will NEVER have tv's... this is central to our concept of a relaxing getaway here in Negril's rustic rugged natural wonderland. We do not indicate having them in any of our communication or promptional material.

We are satisfied that we did all we could to inform this guest prior to arrival and to quickly make ammends when this guest indicated the concerns expressed.

At Tensing Pen the satisfaction of our guests is our purpose and we take it very seriously and we thank the many guests who have thoroughly enjoyed "roughing it" with us.

If you are reading this response and have not yet "roughed it" with us we assure you that Tensing Pen is a terribly great place for "roughing it".

Please read many more of the reviews of our property here on Trip Advisor, the world's leading travel website, and you will be convinced to come and "rough it" with us. You will be glad you did.

Joseph Smith
Tensing Pen
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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600 reviews from our community

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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 (180)
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013 via mobile

The Tensing Pen is perfect for those seeking peace and quiet, set on a beautiful cliff.
The rooms are gorgeous, intricately handcrafted and look out onto the stunning ocean.
An ideal location for couples.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

In short, Tensing Pen is amazing if your looking for an intimate, seaside resort with character. The people are really wonderful, the food is soooo good and the location really chill. I like how you feel that you're in Jamaica at Tensing Pen. It's not one of those enormous all-inclusive compounds where you could be anywhere in the world. It's a truly romantic getaway! Love the dogs too they make it feel like home.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Tarpon Springs, Florida
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

tensing pen is the best spot in negril! beautiful, private, wonderful staff who will help you make the most of your trip. if you never left the front gates you would not have missed a thing! I took my wife to the 7 mile beach so she can experience how annoying it is, constant hassels from the locals. at tensing pen you are sheltered from all the chaos outside. we did venture out daily for lunch etc. we found the food to be better at tensing pen, and the prices where also better. as for food outside the resort we found the push cart to be a great experience. go to ricks only to see the "high" divers otherwise there staff sux! and food way over priced! we travel alot and found tensing pen to be a rare treat!

Room Tip: all the rooms look great we stayed in the bungalow only because the water front rooms where booked...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at Tensing Pen in 2009 and loved it so much, we decided to get married there.

We booked our rooms over a year ago - bungalow, garden cabin, garden a, garden b, longhouse. Closer to the wedding - additional guests booked Seagrape 1 & 2, cove cottage, garden studio and south house 1 & 2. We didn't book the place out, but had a nice big group of family & friends.

All the rooms were beautiful and every guest at our wedding felt they were staying someplace special - no matter what their room cost. I was thrilled to stay in the longhouse - and would LOVE to stay there again!

Each morning, we all woke and headed down to the lodge for coffee or tea. I was up many mornings at 5:30, because I could not wait to get up and start my day. Other guests slept in but coffee was always fresh, hot and strong, tea always available. The breakfast put out was usually fine for me, but I did sometimes purchase a breakfast and it was really good and reasonably priced.

A day at Tensing Pen can be so fun and relaxing. Hang out in a hammock or in the lodge, read books, sleep or use the wifi, swim or tan at the pool, or grab a mattress and float in the ocean. If you are brave, take a plunge off the bridge.

The neighborhood is relaxed and going out on the street during the day is fine. Two of our favourite places for lunch were just outside the gate. Ras Rody's for delicious organic vegan food and Ahhh Bees for amazing (veggie) burgers and fries. A convenience store where you can buy alcohol, drinks, snacks and others grocery items is also just outside the gates and a short jaunt.

The staff at Tensing Pen couldn't be nicer or more accommodating. The restaurant is amazing, we ate there several nights and were always happy with our meal. The chefs are really talented and very creative. They even made meals that were not on the menu by our request. Everything was presented beautifully and our guests raved about many meals. Pumpkin soup and Ackee quesadillas were especially popular.

Our guests had a ball and everyone's needs were taken care of. I felt in the week that we were there to be treated as friends and welcome guests at Tensing Pen. Absolutely everyone was very nice and totally professional.


This property looks like a dream, and having a wedding here made me feel like I was living in one. Shanique is the nicest and most accommodating wedding coordinator ever. She is so relaxed it made me totally relaxed too. Nothing was a problem and Yah Mon was the usual response to every request I had.

The ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing all went off without a hitch. I had a fabulous mento band for the cocktail hour and excellent dj for the dinner and dance. FUN x1000 almost every guest told me it was the best wedding ever!

I love Tensing Pen and will return here time and time again!

Best vacation ever!!!

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

To start with this property is one of the most interesting and serene places I have ever been. We stayed in the Long House with our family. It is by far the best view as it is front and center directly behind the bridge that connects the two halves of the resort. We stay here after four days on 7 mile beach. We stayed here to finish our vacation on a relaxing note. Tensing Pen delivered on that account. The water can be chopping so don’t plan on spending too much time there is you aren’t a good swimmer. But the pool is nice as are the hammocks, cabanas, and lounge chairs for your enjoyment.
The surrounding area has a number of places to eat would recommend Three Dives, Ivan’s, and Push Cart and drink Rick’s café for the sunset. Be warned Rick’s is a bit of a tourist trap in my opinion. You can eat on premises if you’d like we had lunch a couple of times and it was nothing special pizza was good. Not much in the way of Jamaican food. Breakfast is included, again nothing special. Never did dinner so can’t say much as we like to spread the wealth around and try to eat local when we can.
We found the staff to be quiet but professional, not as friendly as you find in other resort type situations. But this place really isn’t that type of party down vibe. Just enjoy the views, chat with your neighbors, chill. It’s all good.
I have read a number of the other reviews for this resort and most are spot on. We didn’t experience any weddings or have any problems with the noise. The dogs woke us up one night but for the most part I liked having the dogs around. They come around often during the day to be petted and to lay around with you.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upstate NY, USA
4 reviews 4 reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Not our first stay at Tensing Pen, but finally they did something about the bartender whose only spoken words were "every time." Not only did the replacement staff not say "every time" they actually approached us at the pool to see if we would like a drink! That is the first time that has every happened. I had trouble with the new girls name working the bar with Owen, but I think this was a long overdue and bar revenues from us definitely went up with the two of them working the bar! Terry, Terri Ann, Camila, Ruth, Mikey, Ninney all great happy staff to be around and always trying to look after your needs. We would certainly return again.

Room Tip: Most second floor units do not have AC, the exception I am aware of would be South House II
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Tensing Pen Resort

Address: West End Road, Negril, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
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
#7 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#11 Family Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tensing Pen Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
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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