We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“breathtaking views; service mediocre”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Tensing Pen Resort

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Tensing Pen Resort
Ranked #4 of 85 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
heart of bluegrass
Level Contributor
72 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“breathtaking views; service mediocre”
Reviewed October 29, 2011

We had a great time on the cliffs. We had been to Jamaica but never to the cliffs. The pictures of TP called out to us. This place is incredible. Everywhere you go there are waves crashing onto the cliffs, no place is without a fantastic view. We wanted to rejuvenate and spend time with one another and this was a perfect spot. We stayed in the cove cottage and slept in the evening with the doors open and the sound of the waves spilling into the cove.

We began each day with a jump from the bridge and several other cliff jumps. The water was quite rough during our time but not unmanageable(however, we are good swimmers). The sea life was amazing and one morning we spent investigating the cliff "pools" and the sea life contained in/on them. The coral fossils were wonderful to examine. Many different crustaceans in the greenery and roaming the cliffs. We thought this was wonderful. There are plenty of floats to take in the ocean and there was never a problem finding any shade. Each day we found a new spot to spend a few hours.
The complimentary breakfast was satisfying and we ordered from the breakfast menu one day and it was very good. The evening meals were equally delicious. I enjoyed the shrimp and jerk chicken with rice while my husband found the beef medallions and potatoes the best. We also tried the rosemary pork and it was good. I don't think you could go wrong with an evening meal at TP. We also enjoyed desert each night which was cheescake--the best--or chocolate cake. The outdoor dining was very romantic and we had a sea view while eating.

The drinks are very expensive at TP and we went to the grocery shack across the street the 2nd day and bought red stripes and coke to have in the room. We found the prices reasonable there and this was more affordable for us. The first night we drank from the bar and the beers were around $5 a bottle! Unlike others who have posted, I did not find the bartender to be helpful at all. I requested a hummnigbird but there were never any bananas for my drink. I thought surely someone would bring in a banana so I could have my hummingbird but no one ever did and I never had my drink. At other resorts, the bartenders have suggested drinks and chatted but not here. Maybe I should have brought my own banana to the bar. It didn't put a damper on the vacation or our stay but friendlier bar service would have enhanced the experience.
Our room was amazingly clean, the bed was very comfortable and the cleaning staff were very friendly. The cove cottage had plenty of room and there was a safe. The view from the patio was a delight each day and every evening we had a red stripe and would watch the sunset.

We did not book AI this time because we wanted to venture out. We visited Rick's to watch the divers and had a beer each (overpriced), went to Sips n Bites--the brown stew chxn was fabulous and hubby had curried goat which he enjoyed. Went to LTU pub for a beer and chatted with the local artists and had a great time. We also went to downtown Negril--I got sick one evening and knew I had to get medicine. We found a pharmacy open on a Sunday morning and the pharmacist was very helpful. Jamaicans are friendly and interesting. Yes, we never walked anywhere that we didn't have people walking with us and wanting money for this and that. But we didn't mind and learned a lot by engaging these people in conversation and enjoying the moment.

One other thing--upon checkout we were surprised by the amount of extra "taxes" on our totals. We knew to expect the 20% tax but we were charged other taxes beyond this and the total amount of taxes actually was around 25% (no small amount in our opinion).

Will we go back? It will be hard not to come back to the cliffs and Tensing Pen was the perfect place to rejuvenate and spend romantic days and nights together. I think next time we will do a split beach/cliff stay. I don't think we could do any better than TP for the cliffs. The grounds are beautiful and everything fits the surroundings and seems to come from the cliffs themselves. If you're going you will be stunned!

Can't wait to return to Jamaica and the cliffs!

Room Tip: Cove Cottage is fabulous but it is in view of the bridge which could be an issue for others. No AC...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank awaywegoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

797 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    638
    113
    26
    14
    6
See reviews for
115
507
13
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (230)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Graham, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2011

We were fortunate enough to get back to Tensing Pen resort on the Negril Cliffs last week and have a most memorable vacation! This resort is unmatched in its character, charm, food and the wonderful and caring staff. For about the same price as one of those ridiculously crowded all inclusive places, you can have the trip of a lifetime at Tensing Pen. Rooms are full of character and very comfortable, with stunning views and personality. And the food??? Is heaven sent, always hot and steamy when it arrives at your table and is super fresh. It was so delicious and spiced right every time - cooked to perfection! Comparing to an all inclusive where they cook for the masses, well - Tensing Pen has the ultimate Jamaican dining experience. LOVE the Jerk Chicken Pizza and just about everything on the dinner Menu. My husband especially enjoyed his Bleu Cheese topped steak with Tamarind sauce. Drinks are made to order, and hand blended - so once again the all inclusive places with the slurpee machine pre-mix could not compare. Tensing is Unique.... a true gem of a property for someone who has been to places like the Four Seasons in Bora Bora, Provence and Ritz Carlton level hotels - Tensing has a charm that the other guys cannot touch. Despite even a few quirks of imperfections, the Location, People, dining, experience and care are simply unmatched. For a true place to unwind and let your cares drift away, look no further. We cannot wait to go back already - and for the ULTIMATE experience - get a group of friends together and rent out the whole place! :)

Room Tip: All rooms offer their own Unique Charm. This is our 2nd trip to the Red Birch Cottage, but after se...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank divasmurfette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2011

We spent 4 days at Tensing Pen and here is a summary....

Location - it's a great spot on the cliff with lovely views over the sea. The bridge across the water is cool and the pool is nicely positioned to take advantage of the breeze and the views.

Accommodation - the room was clean and ok although s little tired. The shower didn't really work but overall this was fine. Nothing really more to say, if that is a guide at all.

Dogs - two great big dogs which are perfectly nice and their 4 puppies like to bark through out the night. We did discuss this with the manager but it made no difference. Again, this wasn't the worst thing in the world but continues to add to the distinctly average nature of our stay.

Staff - this is the low point and I would think that if this was addressed iit would make the rest of the issues pale in to insignificance. To provide a frame of reference, there were only 10-12 people in the whole resort (low season) so surely this is when service should be at it's best?
Everything for the morning restaurant and bar chap was a hassle. He was unfriendly and didn't do what he should have done let alone going the extra mile. It rained one day and they took the pool lounger cushions away (quite rightly) and then when the sun came back out I asked him if we could have them back and he told me to go and find them in the storage shed. There was no one in the bar or restaurant so he was hardly stretched. He really was a low point.
The evening bar man was friendlier but was never off his phone. The owner even joked with him about it. By way of example, I approached the bar and he carried on talking in to the phone whilst talking to me. Completing my order with one hand and carry on talking to his girl on the phone.
On a more positive note, when the above two employees were on days off, the chef took it upon himself to really make an effort. He came to the pool and asked us if we wanted drinks or to pre order some lunch. He was friendly, filled our glasses without being asked. I would say promote this chap and get rid of the other two.

Food - very limited menu but what we had was reasonable. It lacks some nicely little nibbles or similar to have with a cocktail pre-dinner. The menus were laminated so I suspect it's been the same for years.
A low point on this front is the cleanliness of the kitchen which is open for all to see. I would suggest not looking before you eat anything. Again, nothing a couple of hours hard work wouldn't fix.


summary - this place has the key 'location location location' but it looks pretty tired and the staff ruin the holiday. If they got Some decent people in there I would suspect you could turn it around pretty quickly and it would be a great place to go but as I stands I wouldn't return or recommend it to anyone. Catch a falling star hotel is next door, same views, better staff and nicer feel.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Borehanley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2011

LOVE Tensing Pen! Stayed in the Cove Cottage, and it was perfect! But, I do not think you could go wrong with any of the cottages on the property. Floating in the ocean, jumping off the bridge, enjoying the delicious food, relaxing by the infinity pool....everything was perfect!! Thank you, Tensing Pen!

Room Tip: Even the Garden Cottages are great. You really can't go wrong here.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Heather D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2011

My husband and I visited Tensing April 2011. We have been going to Couples Swept Away for the last couple of years and decided to try something different. We booked ourselves for 3 days at Tensing and 4 days at CSA. Lets just say we wished we had booked the whole week at Tensing. Dinner at at the Rock House was delicious as well as the service to and from. Everyone is very helpful. We loved the fact we could walk around during the day.

We always felt like we had the resort to ourselves, there were other couples there however we always had privacy. Great service, great food, and we cannot say enough about the resort. My husband found this resort on Trip Advisor and booked us in. I will admit I was a little hesitant on the outdoor showers as well and the fact there wasn't any beach.

Let just say I found it to be paradise. Upon arrival I fell in love with the grounds. The peacefulness , tranquility are priceless. We did have the chance to meet the owners and their story alone is amazing and that alone will keep us going back. We stayed in the first pillar they built on the resort , they say it is the smallest of all , it was perfect for us. The sound of the ocean every night is exactly what we need.

Don't let the reviews of barking dogs,noise or the service scare you away. Remember you are in Jamaica We hope to be able to make the trip again in 2012 and it will certainly be to Tensing.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mimi P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaiserslautern, Germany
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2011

My wife and I recently returned from 6 nights at Tensing Pen. We chose Tensing Pen in large part based on reviews on this site.

Overall, we really enjoyed our experience at Tensing Pen. I'll attempt to cover the good and the 'not great' below:

First - the Needs-Improvement:
We chose the Pine Pillars Suite. While comfortably decorated and furnished, we won't choose a non-Air Conditioned room in August, in Jamaica, again. While the room has two ceiling fans, we used two standing fans to make the space remotely comfortable. One fan, directly over the bed, has its wind blocked substantially by the mosquito netting. We tried to fix that by pulling the netting back. Problem is, dead bugs and what-not fell from the thatched/woven roof onto the bed. Yuk. So, the netting went back nullifying much of the fan's capability. One night I noticed a sizeable cockroach in the bathroom. Not 5 minutes later, my wife noticed a happy lizard holding half a cockroach in his mouth. So - remember, the Lizards are your FRIENDS there.

Wear sunscreen. We wore sunscreen and still got a little burn. I tell you that because the hotel does not seem to use any fabric softener on the linens and towels, making for a very scratchy sleep or dry-off.

Remember - the hotel bill is NOT the rate (for lodging or meals). I knew this going in, but was still surprised a little bit. The bill is for the rate/price plus 20% in taxes and service charges. Everything I can remember buying from any facility - not just Tensing Pen - is 20% more than the listed price. Just something to keep in the front of your mind - not the back of your mind, where I placed it. :)

While eating at Sharks, across the street, (good food, but the ant floating in my drink was a little scary) we met a lady who lives next door to the restaurant. While she was asking us about our vacation, she laid on a bit of guilt; telling us how she couldn't afford food most of the time. I get it - she was maybe poor. But she came across like she was trying to make us feel guilty for being on vacation. And ya know, sometimes we did - lots of apparent poverty surrounding the resort.

Just outside the resort, to the right, is a guy on a bike. He 'gives' woven bracelets, and asks passers-by to 'take care of him'. He's a bit pushy.

Its best to answer 'Yes, I've been to Jamaica LOTS of times, and am not interested in buying anything' when asked 'is this your first time to Jamaica?' by panhandlers and merchants.

Now, the great:
First, the Hotel staff were, to a body, fantastic. I booked my trip from Iraq via email, largely dealing with Tracy. Tracy was/is wonderful. Very helpful and professional, AND personable.
Of course the Bar Tender, Razor, as you may have read in other reviews, is hilarious - great to chat with. We also enjoyed Mikey - really helpful to find us places to visit in the area. All-around great guy.

The setting of the hotel is wonderful. Lush gardens, and amazing views. We couldn't ask for a better setting. See attached images. Please jump from the bridge. I chickened-out my first try, but thanks to the motivation of a red-stripe, and other guests, I made the jump twice. Don't leave without hanging your toes over the wooden planks, and taking the leap. You'll be glad you did. Our room's shower was outside, and under the room. The first 30 seconds of a shower outside, watching folks from nearby resorts, or even from Tensing Pen, walking feet from where you're soaping-up is un-nerving. From 31-seconds after the first shower, until we left, it was actually sorta cool. The stone floor of the shower, and the wall surrounding made for a great experience. The wind blowing wasn't cold; and we never felt really 'exposed'. When in Jamaica... :)

Food was great; we had no issues with the Tensing Pen food. The Chefs were fantastic, in our opinion. Food was appropriately prized, sized, and spiced.

Breakfast was a great experience. While offering cereal, Mango, Pineapple, Watermelon, (one other fruit I've forgotten), toast with jams, and coffee, we ate light and felt great. There's a couch just over near the bar, with a tile-topped iron table. My wife and I sat there facing the ocean as we ate in the mornings. We lunched there, too. Much more comfortable than the tables and chairs on the patio, thanks to the over-head fans, our eating-couch was a favorite from day 2 - when we decided to eat 'inside'.

My wife and I stayed around the resort more often than not, except for a snorkeling trip with Famous Vincent's Glass bottom Boats. Roger was our guide and a great one at that. My wife isn't a strong swimmer, so Roger placed a life-vest around her waist and held her hand, literally, as he helped pull her through the perhaps half-mile long route around the reef (just off 7-mile beach). He'd pull her along, stopping to retrieve items/animals of interest off the ocean floor. When he surfaced with a puffer-fish, we got a laugh. I never thought I'd get to hold one. Here's a tip - the bottom is very slimy - keep your hands around the sides. :)

Another day, we went with Ras Rody (food stand directly across from Tensing Pen), on his offer to take us to the Craft Market. Ras Rody was a gentleman and fantastic guide. We filled his gas tank and gave him a little bit for his time. Well-worth it. A tip on the market? Watch American Pickers, and learn/practice negotiation. Worked great for us. A carved alligator and 'red stripe' wood piece was $70 at one vendor. We got it for $30 at another.

Over-all, our experience at Tensing Pen, and Negril was fantastic. Tensing Pen served as a wonderful 'base camp' to explore the area. The staff, the food, and the setting are top-notch. If we can make it back to Jamaica, we're definitely going to plan for Tensing Pen - but an air-conditioned room for sure.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank darin p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2011

This boutique hotel Is a fantastic place to stay on the cliffs in Negril! I stayed in the South House and was amazed at the view every morning. Breakfast is included and was perfect and there are quite a few little places across the street to have lunch and dinner. You must try jumping off the bridge too!!!

  • Stayed November 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jay U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Negril hotels
1.5 mi away
The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel
1.1 mi away
The Cliff Hotel
The Cliff Hotel
#2 of 85 in Negril
192 reviews
0.1 mi away
Catcha Falling Star
Catcha Falling Star
#6 of 85 in Negril
979 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.5 mi away
The Caves
The Caves
#5 of 85 in Negril
674 reviews
3.8 mi away
Negril Tree House Resort
6.3 mi away
Couples Negril
Couples Negril
#9 of 85 in Negril
4,211 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Tensing Pen Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Tensing Pen Resort

Property: 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:
#4 Spa Hotel in Negril
#6 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#9 Family Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tensing Pen Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Hotwire, Priceline, Jetsetter, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Tensing Pen Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Tensing Pen Hotel Negril
Tensing Pen Negril
Tensing Pen Jamaica

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing