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“BLISS!”
Review of Tensing Pen Resort

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Tensing Pen Resort
Ranked #4 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 7, 2013

Tensing Pen is one of those places you measure everything against. It views, the staff, the great swimming. It is just beautiful and highly recommended. It is very peaceful and well maintained. My favorite part is the little hut with the hammocks - just laying in them listening to the waves.

Room Tip: It is a small resort - there really isn't a bad room there!
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JHCS10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 1, 2013

Just returned from a week at Tensing Pen. I will say that upon leaving we wanted to stay, but Negril in itself was a bit of a culture shock. The grounds are nice. The food in the restaurant was very good. The water is amazing when it is calm enough to get in and just pure amazing when it is wild. The snorkeling was not the best. I was stung by a jelly fish – but that is part of being in the ocean. The view is amazing – just breathtaking!! We were in the north pillar. It is very cozy and very rustic. Most of the rooms we saw from the outside looked a bit more modern and certainly bigger, but we were comfortable. There was no air in our room, but it was fine as long as you closed the porch doors to keep the sun out for a couple hours in the afternoon. The entrance door is on the opposite wall and we would just open that instead. Mini fridge keeps your water and red stripes frosty cold. Slept under a sheet all nights but two when we pulled the blanket up in the wee hours. The shower is out door. It is private, but needs two things – a new shower head (the ones on the cliffs for after swimming are nicer than the one in the shower) and a teak platform or some kind of lift to keep your feet above the water as the drain is slow. They did just install an on demand water heater and we had warm water every day. We had no issue with bugs until the last couple of days when there was a little rain – then we just pulled the mosquito net down, but slept with the doors open every night. The sound from the nearby bars does go late on some nights, but you are so tired from the sun and fun that you can sleep. Ruth is the perfect housekeeper – great lady. Razor makes a great Pina Colada. Our favorite spot after dinner was the hammocks on the cliffs – perfect way to end a day!! There were dolphins that swam by and some cool birds, some crabs on the cliffs - but not much wildlife. The dogs are great – all three. We ate outside at Presley’s, Three Dives and Sharks – all three were great but we found a soft spot in our hear for Sharks and ended up there 3 times – Juliet’s cooking is out of this world – I will go into more detail on their review. We rented a car and drove from MB. Driving is not for the faint of heart here, and was a bit of an attraction all it’s own. I never felt unsafe in or out of the resort. We were never hassled like some people say they are, just smile, say no thank you and move on. The air is sweet with smoke everywhere so if this is not your thing, you may be uncomfortable. All in all a great experience!!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Brit C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

My family (Jamaicans and not tourists) have been going to this resort for many years now (around 15 or so years), and when my family takes a trip out to Negril, this is where we stay. After the very tasteful renovations that the resort has made in recent years, the resort is now better than it has ever been. This is simply the best place to stay in Negril; not too touristy, and a welcome, luxurious refuge from a lot of the more tourist-centric places in Negril. This is not an all inclusive resort filled with fake Jamaican culture and touristy trappings, so that is why I think some people who might be looking for that kind of thing don't like it. But this resort is much better to stay at than an all inclusive resort, especially for a couple who is looking for a private, romantic getaway. On my Honeymoon, we stayed in the North Pillar Suite, which was unbelievable, and had a stunning ocean view right from our California king bed. I've also stayed in the large house there with my family (which is outstanding for a larger group), and one of the other pillar residences, which was also amazing. This property is the perfect place to relax, enjoy life, unplug and forget about your problems. The only weakness at the place is that the food under the current owner is good, but not great (as it once was about 10 years ago under a previous owner). However, the resort is a close trip up the road from Rock House (a knockoff of this place) which has and awesome restaurant, and of course there are many places to eat in Negril. This is the best place I could recommend in Negril.

Room Tip: The North Pillar Suite is the best!
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DavidSEsq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

Just an all around amazing time. The cliffs were amazing and swimming in the waters around them was just so therapeutic. Will definitely make it back at some point. We traveled as a couple and TP had the perfect balance between privacy and activities. Jumping off th cliffs into the water was awesome! I'd definitely recommend this place!

Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Alex G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

This was our sixth visit to TP. The place gets better and better each visit. Beautiful grounds, delicious food and as always perfect weather. Nothing to do but relax, swim, read, relax some more! We loved meeting the newest member of the ridgeback family, Beezy. The dogs are well trained and a wonderful addition to the resort. All of the staff members at TP are delightful.

Room Tip: Ocean view best, but all rooms are lovely. Only a few with A/C, if you are traveling in the fall/ su...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank nancsign5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Tensing Pen is a lovely tropical resort on the cliffs. Buy this resort is not for everyone. If you want a secluded resort this is your place.
My room was clean but no AC, and being the time of year I went the AC was not an issue. What was an issue was leaving the shutters open allowed mosquitoes and small black insects into the room. Insect repellant nor the netting deterred the many bites. So be careful which room or cottage you select. The next thing you need to consider is if you are a strong swimmer. The current was rough when I visited and trying to climb the ladders out of the ocean was not and easy feat. And unless jumping into the ocean is your forte then you've selected the right hotel.
Personally, I prefer to walk into the ocean, not jump into it.
Also many people referred to the beach as dangerous or being harassed by peddlers , well if you leave the gated security of any hotel on the cliffs you encounter the same issues.
I found the narrow roads more dangerous to walk than the beach.
The dogs barking every night along with the loud music from across the street and Ricks is not exactly the quiet others spoke of-- again perhaps ocean front cottages hear less noise.
If you plan a trip to Negril , best to think if you really want to look at the ocean or enjoy the sand and beach !

Room Tip: Select a single cottage with AC facing the ocean
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Sunshine7778
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

Im not one to write bad/negative reviews, but I had an experience with this resort that I feel other travelers should know about to avoid a really bad vacation blunder with booking. Last night after hours of pouring through reviews on Trip Advisor I decided to book at Tensing Pen. I called the resort to book over the phone and the gentleman that answered the phone said to call back in the morning. I asked him if I could just book online and he said yes. I used the Online booking link on the Tensing Pen website which allowed me to search for availability for my dates. I was offered three room options with rates for my dates of travel. I selected the Pillar option and then proceeded to give my credit card and personal info to complete the booking. I submitted my reservation, then quickly secured my flight to make sure I was good to go. So I went to sleep thinking that I was booked for a great vacation and woke up to an email that said I should call the resort because they had "not received" my reservation...which is strange because obviously they received something since they emailed me back to confirm. I called the resort at 8am and was told to call back in an hour....which I did. the woman who answered the phone looked up my name and said, "sorry there are no rooms for your dates". I told her that there must be a mistake because I had reserved to room online. She apologized again and said there were no rooms. I told her that I was offered three different room options on their website. Why would I be offered three different rooms if they weren't available? She proceeded to tell me that I shouldn't have booked online...I should have called the resort directly. I told her that was ridiculous and questioned why they have an Online Booking option on their site if it actually doesnt work...she just apologized again..no answer. She wasnt very convincing that she cared much about my dilemma or the fact I had already booked my airfare, but if there were no rooms, there were no rooms...end of story.

I understand that Tensing Pen is not one of the large chain resorts with all the bells and whistles(technology) and that's why I chose to stay there, but as a very busy person with very little time to get away who tends to book last minute, I would at least expect a working reservations link...especially when I spent $1800 on non-refundable airfare for those dates.

I guess the lesson learned is don't assume you have a reservation just because it says you do. Im sure the resort is a great place and Im upset that Im not going to be staying there, but as I said be aware of this problem with their online system when booking this resort. Hopefully this review will save someone from the stress I went through thinking my trip had to be cancelled because I had no place to stay.

Luckily I was able to get a Premium Villa at the Rockhouse for those dates after frantically calling around this morning. Their staff was extremely helpful and accommodating and Im looking forward, once again, to a great trip :)

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank Rage27
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:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#4 Spa Hotel in Negril
#6 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range: $194 - $439 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tensing Pen Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 25
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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