My husband and I spent 7 nights in Negril in Dec. 2006. (3) at Tensing Pen and (4) at Sunset at the Palms. I preferred Tensing Pen for the beauty and unique setting. He preferred the all inclusive Sunset at the Palms.
Tensing Pen is more rustic. I loved the outdoor shower in the Pillar rooms, the bridge for jumping, the hammock huts for lounging, and watching the crabs crawl around the beach and retreat into their holes in sides of the cliffs.
My husband liked the pampering and more hotel-like atmosphere of an all inclusive. He also got bored very quickly not being much of a nature lover. There is nothing to do after it gets dark on the property. The lighting in the rooms is poor, so bring a flashlight. If you are easliy bored, don't stay more than a couple of days.
The service we got at Tensing Pen was not what we are used to in the United States. We called ahead from the airport on the day of our arrival to requst that we be put on the list for dinner that night. When we arrived after dark, they had no idea we were supposed to be on the list. They told us there was a wedding going on (dining room ws closed) and we should try one of the restaurants outside of the resort. When I told them that the person on the phone that morning had offered to have dinner brought to our room, they agreed that could be arranged. We finally got the delicious dinner, but it was 2 hours later, after my husband walked back to the office to remind them we were still waiting.
We changed rooms once during our stay and we were told that our new room would be ready around noon. It wasn't ready until at least 1.5 hours later. I attribute it to the Carribean culture. You cannot expect things to happen promptly as scheduled. Dinner is scheduled for 7:00pm, but if you show up at 7:00 the staff is never quite ready to receive you. While slightly irritating, the punctuality problems we encounted were not enough to deter me from returning to the property.
The food at Tensing Pen is phenomenal. Being from Boston I was skeptical that they could do lobster, but it was the best I ever had. I was confused that the shell on the lobster was white instead of red. Was it real lobster? Whatever it was, it was delicious. Everything we ate in Jamaica was good, but Tensing Pen was really great in the food department.
Don't be afraid to walk around during the day, and try the different restaurants outside of the resort. The Hungry Lion and Serious Chicken served delicious food. Don't be deterred by the people who try to sell you things as you walk. They are persistent, but just think of it as part of the charm of Jamaica.
In summary, if you choose Tensing Pen, choose it for the privacy, beauty and relaxation. It is really different. If you want excitement, or impeccable service, go somewhere else.
- Also Known As:
- Tensing Pen Hotel Negril
- Tensing Pen Hotel
- Tensing Pen Negril
- Tensing Pen
- Tensing Pen Jamaica
- 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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