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“Get Away Completely” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 88 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
New York City
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Get Away Completely”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

No phones, no TVs -- in our case no Net and no A/C -- and that was the point for my wife and me. If you replace the black coral with black lava, this place could easily be on the Kona coast of the Big Island, and is at least that beautiful. Because it is on a shallow point jutting into the sea, you rarely see anything but the grounds and the ocean, so it could be an island all unto itself. The point has a few coves cutting into the cliffs, where I dove into the sea at sunrise every day and it couldn't have been more perfect.The North Pillar where we slept was super-romantic, the sunsets are exquisite, the whole place is very clean, the staff were friendly (thanks Owen, Razor Blade, and Mikey), the dinners very good, and the breakfast protein shake (made with oats) was something completely new (and delicious).
Not a great place for kids, and if you're expecting 'amenities' (who uses that word?) move on. The Wi-Fi on the property reaches beyond the restaurant/bar area now, but I really can't imagine anyone surfing the net when they could be enjoying the cliffs and dogs and birds and lizards and water of this gem of Jamaica. Some rooms have A/C so request at the time of reservation if you must -- we were there for the hottest & most humid time of year and never missed it (tropical breeze + ceiling fan + standing fan).

Room Tip: The Pillars are the unique rooms, but I'm sure there's not a bad acommodation on the propert...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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610 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (184)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Haven, Indiana, United States
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

We absolutely loved everything about Tensing Pen! We stayed in the South Pillar and couldn't get enough of the view. We watched the dolphins playing several mornings. Our room was clean and well equipped, although as mentioned before the bathroom is a tad small. We got along just fine though! The outdoor shower actually turned out to be really nice and no worries, its pretty secluded. The food was very good and I thought it was fairly priced. My favorite was the grilled cheese at lunch and jerk chicken for dinner. We found the staff to be pleasant and friendly. They were always helpful but were never overbearing. We had a great time and will definitely stay at TP again if we return to Jamaica.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

I came here with a bunch of friends for a wedding and we had a blast! The vibe, the scenery, the staff are all wonderful and it was incredibly relaxing and fun. Highly recommended for couples, a group of friends and/or family.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

I spend my time in Negril split between the fun and wild times of the beach hotels and the serenity of Tensing Pen - up in the West End. The accommodations are the most romantic on the island. Friendly and helpful staff, great food and awe inspiring sunsets.

Tensing Pen is the antidote to life !

Room Tip: Rock cottage #1 ROCKS!!! beautiful / private view - steps away from the water. Very romantic!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

Highlights: this property is nestled into the cliffs very nicely, with so many little areas to explore. The pool and snorkeling are lovely, and the whole family loved the bridge (no handrails!). It's a fairly quiet hotel, so if you're looking to stay away from the crowds this is perfect for you. The resident rhodesian ridgebacks wandering around are a fun addition. It seems that almost everything on site is hand-made and/or unique. I thought the food was fantastic, and lunch was a good value. Gardeners, cleaning staff and life guard were super friendly.

Drawbacks: The restaurant wait staff have a real attitude problem- they are very aloof, almost resentful, and lack genuine friendliness (although they aren't outwardly rude). Like, if you're paying $20 a plate for dinner maybe the waiter could at least look at you while taking your order? Bar drinks are pricey.

If it wasn't for the wait staff, I'd be falling over myself gushing over this place.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 5
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, October 4, 2013
We thank this guest for reviewing our resort. The comments will be helpful as we strive to improve our resort.

Joseph Smith
Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

Spent a relaxing, sun soaked week at Tensing Pen with a buddy and five 22 year olds- the boys stayed in the Long House and we took Red Birch Cottage-both were extremely comfortable and spacious. Really liked that we could get coolers for our cottages and have them filled with ice, beer and water everyday-made life very simple.

Many thanks to Gail,Ruth and Webster for keeping everything clean and never flinching about our odd sleep schedules.

Much thanks and praise to Georgia for the awesome daily deep tissue massages-best my back and body have felt in a long while-try her out -you will not be disappointed.

Shout outs to the kitchen and staff for some great dinners-particularly the curried shrimp, pumpkin snapper and nutty grouper.

Tensing Pen-every time!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
Bruxelles
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

We stayed there 2 nights on our all around Jamaica trip.

The setting of the place is absolutetely fantastic : our room (north Pillar) had a high terrace with a direct view on the sea where you can sometimes spotted dolphins and enjoy fantastic sunset.
The resort, build on rock cliffs, surrounded by the sea is really beautiful, no doubt about it.

Unfortunetaly, service and confort are not up to the place.

Our room was original and cute, all in wood which was charming. But the bathroom was really small, with an outside shower barely ok regarding water pressure. I kind of like the experience to take my shower outside but some won't. It lacks confort and it is not suited for longer stay (unless you don't mind not washing your hair but i do mind ;). The room is a hut which means no isolation which is very nice to hear the sea (you feel like being in a boat) but less nice to hear dogs barking close by in the middle of the night. Insects are also of the party but luckily we had some big gekos in our room to take care of them. Again, I think it was fun and i enjoy it but some won't so be prepared.

My biggest disapointment was the service (not at reception nor parking nor housekeeping : they were all right, helpful and nice) but at the bar / restaurant area was really poor. The "manager" seems to be very not motivated and make no effort at all to make you feel welcome. Smile must probably be an expensive option on this model of "manager" and greetings are as rare as monkeys in Jamaica. The breakfast was really worth nothing. Bad coffee, some toasts with jam, and that is nearly all, no explanations when you arrive.....only the excellent fruits save it a bit...... Don't go there for food, very average (at least for breakfast and lunch).....but again, as i'm writing this, i just saw some dolphins popping in the sea in front of my balcony.....that makes it better.

It is also possible to do some yoga on a beautiful setting just right in front of the sea. The teacher Fanette has a long experience of teaching yoga in Paris, New York and Negril. We really enjoyed the class and her charismatic personality.

As a conclusion, I won't recommend this place if you' re looking for comfort, great service and food. I would also advise to avoid if you are thinking of a long stay. If you don't care about service, comfort and food, but satisfy with a more "hippie" standard, the great views of that place would do it.

Room Tip: North Pillar is great for the view and the hippie feeling....not good for comfort.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
TPManager, Manager at Tensing Pen Resort, responded to this review, October 4, 2013
We thank this guest for the review. We find the some of the claims made by this guest simply shocking! My own personal recollection of the service offered to this guest is completely opposite to the asertions made about the "manager" and the restaurant staff.

I recall numerous occassions on which myself and the staff went above and beyond the call of duty to extend great kindness and excellent service to this guest and to grant the requests of this guest.

We are very proud of our accommodations. Our pillars our signature cottages. Obviously they are not for someone seeking the penthouse suite on the 50th floor of some grand luxuy hotel in Vegas. We not pretend that they are either. But if you want a truly unique tropical experience which you will find no where else then a pillar cottage at Tensing Pen is your best bet.

Think outside the box of a regular hotel room...make your booking for a cottage in our tropical wonderland today.

We wish this guest all the best and look forward to welcoming many of you to TP.

Joseph Smith
Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
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
#7 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#10 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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