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“This place is full of peace and tranquility with the most amazing views of the ocean!”
Review of Tensing Pen Resort

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Tensing Pen Resort
Ranked #4 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Cleveland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“This place is full of peace and tranquility with the most amazing views of the ocean!”
Reviewed January 9, 2010

After the drive from Montego Bay we were welcomed to Tensing Pen with a cold glass of juice from the bar and the very friendly staff from the hotel. In addition, two of the most beautiful Norwegian Ridgebacks came to welcome us as well. The dogs live on the property and added a fun element to our stay. We traveled with our daughters ages 17 through 23. I would not recommend the place for young kids unless you are willing to keep a close eye on them. We loved the rooms and felt like we were in a very clean tree house! At night the waves crashing against the cliffs rocked us to sleep with a wonderful breeze coming in from the ocean. During the day we were greeted by a great breakfast in the main house in the morning. It's a great place to get to know the other guests as well because it is small and intimate. We loved having no tv, newspapers or telephones while we were there (although I checked my e-mails in the office once). We read lots of books, swam in the very warm ocean, jumped off the bridge and the cliffs, took yoga and did some major relaxing! Lots of great places to eat within walking distance and the food at Tensing Pen is great too. The rooms were clean although rustic. Not a lot of amenities, but you don't really need them there. We are planning on returning next year.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank bwb1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Woodinville, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
24 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2010

We stayed at Tensing Pen for 3 days after extending our trip and deciding to give the West end of Negril a try and see what it would be like to stay on the cliffs. Our focus was mainly on 7 mile beach mainly because we have a 7 year old daughter traveling with us. I must admit, I have seen their website and pictures from other reviews, yet each time I thought that the pictures probably were taken in the best lighting and that there would be no way that it could look like this in real life. Boy was I wrong! Upon entering the gates of Tensing Pen we were immediately met by Tracy who we had emailed before. By this time it felt like we were being united with a long time pen pal. Moments later "Razor", the bartender came out and gave us a refreshing rum punch. Talk about the perfect way to welcome us. We brought my parents with us and together the 5 of us stayed in Sea Grape 1 & 2. Ive never before stayed or set foot in a structure with an acutal grass roof and must say it was awesome. The views were out of this world and im not just talking about the water. The grounds had lush foliage, Ackee fruit trees, Orchids, and other colorful flowering plants. There is a hammock hut that was great to just lounge in and take in the sea air and sounds of the water. After settling in my mother and wife slipped off to get a full body massage while my father, daughter, and I walked around the cliffs looking at the water and marveling at how these images looked like something out of a travel magazine.. As the sun set we sent to the dining area where I had made arrangements for us to dine on lobster. To this day my father says that was the best lobster he has ever had in all his life. The following morning I was itching to get in the water. I couldnt believe how warm and inviting it was. One of the great benefits of staying on the cliffs is the ability to snorkel without having to pay for someone to take you out on a boat anywhere. I spent hours every day in the water. I swam with fish, followed a large manta Ray, and even jumped from an outlook on the cliffs some 30+ feet above the water. I was amazed at how boyant I was in the water and can only assume it has something to do with the salt content, but it all made for a great experience. Our stay began at the beginning of low season on April 15th and was amazing. We are going back again in mid February 2010 and cant wait. Some of the resorts on the cliffs will say that no children under 12 are allowed however Tensing Pen welcomed our 7 year old daughter. She especially loved being able to pet the two resident dogs, Tensing & Sugar.
In choosing a room I would suggest keeping in mind that not every room has air conditioning. In Sea Grape 1 & 2 the downstairs does have AC while the room upstairs does not. Many places with grass roofed ceilings do not have AC, so take that into consideration when looking for accomodations. We found that in mid April it was very hot, over 89 with high humidity, and AC would have been great. We considered that for our next trip and booked accordingly, ensuring that our room does have AC. We also loved the complementary continental breakfast of Tea, Coffee, and toast that was available in the dining area. The dense white bread made for great toast and a smear of Guava jelly made for a tasty morning light breakfast when washed down with Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. Of course you can order off the menu as well and have other items if you like, which are also very good. Also make sure to strike up a conversation with "Razor" at the bar, as he can make up a fantastic drink. This is where I was introduced to Coconut Rum & Pineapple Juice.
If you want to find some great information and pictures of the different rooms I would suggest visiting both the resorts site at www.tensingpen.com as well as www.negrilonestop.com as they have a map of the grounds and more pictures available. I hope my review helps.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Eastside3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2009

Tensing Pen came highly recommended to us by friends who had honeymooned there two years prior...we couldn't have been happier with their emphatic suggestion of Negril accommodations!

We shared a JUTA van from Montego Bay Airport (arrange online) with a few other couples/vacationers...it was interesting to drop each of them off at their respective hotels (breathing a sigh of relief after each one that WE weren't staying THERE...) as the driver worked his way out to the West End/cliffs area where Tensing Pen is located. The moment we pulled through the gates at Tensing Pen, we'd literally reached a private tropical Eden.

The warm, welcoming staff greeted us with a fresh rum punch drink, and quickly checked us in. Tensing & Sugar, the resident Rhodesian Ridgebacks greeted us warmly and escorted us over to Cove Cottage (which we think is THE best honeymoon spot on the property!) -- they stuck around and hung out with us for awhile, and even accompanied us to dinner later. Tensing Pen only has about twelve cabins, so the experience there is very personal and intimate -- really nice and cozy.

Cove Cottage was amazing. It is literally perched right on the cove, and is filled with the sound of huge, crashing waves at all times. At first i found it rather noisy, but quickly grew to love it! The cottages all have palapa-style thatched roofs, tiled floors, and a rather stark approach to decor -- but the rooms are very beautiful in their simplicity. There is no air conditioning in the cottage, just an oscillating fan, but honestly, we never needed it and were completely comfortable our entire stay. We loved the large, private shower with doors that completely opened out on to our private terrace on the cove...very romantic and secluded. We enjoyed a oceanfront couples massage on our last day at the resort...the massage pavilion overlooks the sea on a secluded outcropping at the edge of the grounds, and is the perfect spot to relax and soak in the sounds of the ocean.

The meandering walkways thru the small resort are lushly landscaped and beautiful. The whole area is so private and secluded, you feel like you're marooned on your own tropical island! We loved being on the cliff end of the island...while you don't have a beachfront or sand at all, there are a variety of secluded levels of coral stone sundecks built into the resorts' cliffs that are kitted out with comfy, padded loungers and umbrellas/tables. The infinity pool and its cabanas are really nice and well-kept, and we appreciated the jovial and outgoing bartenders who were happy to mix up their own rum concoctions, hand you a Red Stripe, or my new favorite soda, Ting. We had dinner at the resort the first night we were there, and my snapper dish was some of the freshest fish i've ever had -- I thought it was wonderful. Breakfast is included; there is just something about the bread in Jamaica that is so incredible...makes the best toast ever!

Service at the resort was great...our room was always clean & tidy, and we had literally NO complaints. The staff was more than happy to arrange outings for you -- one thing to note if you have not been to Negril...it is a relatively remote location and there are not many activities in the very immediate vicinity that don't require a little traveling to reach. We actually did not even venture out to 7 Mile Beach; I understand there is a lot more "to do" in that part of Negril. We went on a horseback ride with Country Western Tours one afternoon...I'd never ridden before but had it on my "to do" list for this trip. The farm was a little disappointing at first -- not the lush, tropical paradise that you'd prefer as the backdrop for your outing. Regardless, once you finally reach that beautiful stretch of white sand private beach and can ride your horse straight out into the turquoise water, it makes it all worthwhile! Our guide was very entertaining and helpful since I'd never ridden before, so his patience was appreciated.

As for the location...if you've never been to Negril's West End, prepare yourself. It isn't the most posh area overall -- if you've not spent much time in the Carribbean, or have only stayed in larger, all-inclusive resorts that you never left, it might surprise you. While there are plenty of wonderful eating establishments up & down the main road, there are no sidewalks, and it can be a little unnerving (especially in the pitch dark of night), when careening cars & taxis fly by mere inches from you. Be prepared to be hustled every five steps you take...you WILL be offered every variety of drug known to man by numerous street hustlers who will take up with you and continue to walk and talk with you, all the time offering their sales pitch. If that's your thing, then you're in luck here...but if its not, its best to just be firm and say "No thanks..." an "um, maybe on the way back" will only guarantee that he'll be right back on you again later!

We had several wonderful meals in Negril, all within walking distance of Tensing Pen...the food is so incredibly fresh and the flavors are immense...definitely great eating to be done here! There is a jerk chicken stand across the street that doesn't look like much, but was incredible! We also enjoyed LTU Pub (a very local, no-frills cliffside bar/restaurant W of the resort situated high above a lovely cove), The Hungry Lion (E of the resort and not on the cliff side, but has a lovely rooftop open-air dining area and wonderful fresh seafood and interesting mixed drinks -- probably the best meal we had while in Negril.) We had dinner and a lunch at Rockhouse, a larger resort a bit further E...the people watching is good and its definitely one of the nicer resorts in the area, so it has a much less "local" vibe than LTU or Hungry Lion.

If you are looking to to decompress and find total relaxation on your Negril vacation, then Tensing Pen is the place for you. Its far, far away from the non-stop party/Margaritaville-type Negril nightlife scene, affording a tranquil and remote getaway. It was interesting to us how many couples were at Tensing Pen who come there every single year...some for months at a time! Its definitely the kind of place you would want to return to time after time.

(Jumping off the bridge into the cove is an experience you simply MUST have: ask a neighbor to take photos!!!)

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank orangekoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Tx
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2009

Trip number 7 to Tensing Pen and it just keeps getting better. We went with 9 other members of my family for Thanksgiving week, and stayed in Red Birch this time. It was truely great. Open air living room and Kitchen, with 2 air conditioned Bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms. It sits back a little from the water although you can see the water from the living room and front bedroom. It is very private with its own yard. Everything was very clean and very well maintained as usual. We also had Long House, open air livingroom and kitchen, 3 airconditioned bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a great front porch area, Rock House II, One bedroom one bath, airconditioned with front porch, and Sea Grape I, similar to Rock II. The only slight complaint was from Sea Grape, they could hear the couple above them walking around.

The owners have taken over the mangement, since Courtney Miller the previous manager has moved on to bigger things, while they look for the right person to take over the position. It was very nice to meet them and hear the stories of when they first lived there when there daughter was born in what is now the dinning area.

The food was nothing less than spectacular, we ate there three nights as well as had a phenominal Thaksgiving Feast! Chef Kevin is a Rock star!
They offer a continental breakfast included in the room price, for $3 more you can add french toast, $4 eggs or omlette. Lunch is also very good, The fish wrap was great. Their dinner menu has something for everyone. We had several none seafood eaters and they were very happy with the Fillet, garlic chicken pasta, and burgers. I had the curry shrimp, lobster pasta, and Mahi Mahi all were outstanding. The prices are more than outside the resort, but the quality is head and sholders above the rest. That being said Juiette across the street at Sharky's cooks the best snapper I have ever had, and has my favorite jerk Chicken as well. Ras Rody also across the street cooks Ital or Vegan food. My husband loves everything there, I love the Festivals (banana corn pancakes). The bar at Tensing Pen is small but great. They make drinks that acually have alcohol in them, try a dirty banana. Drinks range from $4 to $7 dollars for most, but of course if you like a stiff drink they are happy to accomodate you.

This resort is not for individuals that need to be waited on hand and foot. There is great service but they will not follow you around tring to sell drinks, food, tours, or get you to play scheduled games. If that is your thing go to Sandals. This resort is for individuals looking for relaxation and beautiful surroundings.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AshBo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, New Hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2009

There is so much to say about Tensing Pen and Negril Jamaica but I will try to keep it short. I went to Tensing Pen Resort in middle November 2009 and it was the most amazing hotel I have ever been to. I have traveled to 7 country's and 43 states and this is my favorite place now. The staff was excellent, views unbelievable, weather perfect, rooms were clean and the food was delicious! We made friends with other travelers at Tensing Pen [at other hotels that is not normally the case] and went on tours together and made memories that will last a life time. The owners are very nice and make sure you are happy with everything too. The other couples we met went to other hotels around the island before they found Tensing Pen and everyone said the same thing that Tensing is by far the best hotel on the island. I have been to Jamaica now 3 times and I would agree with them. If you are looking for privacy, rest, relaxation in a very easy going casual atmosphere Tensing Pen is the place for you. It is not a good place for kids or stuffy, winy, uptight people. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world. I will go back many times I am sure.
We staid in the Patio room the first 3 nights and the last night in Seagrape 2. They are both extremely beautiful rooms but the deck on Seagrape 2 in probably the most privet out of all the rooms with a spectacular view. The Patio room has two rooms with A/C and a roomy private patio with a slight ocean view. Both of the rooms had a refrigerator, safe and the linens are some of the nicest I have slept on. Razor the bartender is great his favorite quote you will grow to love "everytime, everyday, no problem" and every day is his birthday too lol. Try a dirty banana they are great.
If you want to see some of Jamaica ask for the Driver named David he is wonderful and will make sure you are safe and have a great time. Tell him Jesse says hi if you do. We went to the Appleton Estate rum tour [very cool], YS falls and the Pelican bar [my favorite]. It takes a whole day to do all that so I only suggest you do it if you are there for at least 6 nights so you have time relax too. On Tuesday nights the Escape Resort a few hotels down from Tensing has great reggae shows be sure to check that out.
The best food I thought is everywhere it is all good I am not sure if I had anything I didn't like in Jamaica. Everything is healthy and fresh from the guy selling jerk chicken on the street to the biggest hotels you can't go wrong. The nice thing about the hotel restaurant is that you can put it on your room tab and keep the cash in your pocket or you will be going to the atm all the time. I did like sharky's across the street and Catch a falling star for lunch. The catch of the day at Tensing Pen for dinner is always good too.
Remember this is a 3rd world country they make money by tourism. It is to be expected that people will be offering you goods constantly. Just tell them sorry you don't have your money with you if you are walking. The Jamaican people are wonderful though and very friendly for the most part. They want you enjoy your experience in there lovely country so you visit again. To summarize I will be going back to Jamaica as soon as I can and would go nowhere else but Tensing Pen.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank rvsalesking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2009

great location and scene - awesome food and very relaxing place. sharks was a fun place to eat also!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank waterloon67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2009

We just returned from our honeymoon! We had an amazing time here. The views are breathtaking and the staff are all very nice and accomodating. Owen and Blade had us in stitches with laugher. Very personable. We stayed in the Middle Pillar. It was very nice. We had dinner the first night at Tensing Pen. It was very good. But since I read so much about Jeanette across the street at Shark's - we simply had to go. The food was to die for delicious!! Jeanette is an absolute doll. We actually ate there twice in one day. For lunch I had the jerk chicken and my husband had the curry chicken. We went back for dinner and I had the pan fried snapper and my husband had the curry conch. DELICIOUS!!!!! Definitely pay her a visit you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank IWENT2
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

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 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#4 Spa Hotel in Negril
#6 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#9 Family Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Tensing Pen Resort 4*
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 
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Also Known As:
Tensing Pen Hotel Negril
Tensing Pen Negril
Tensing Pen Jamaica

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