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“Most Spectacular Place for a Destination Wedding”
Review of Tensing Pen Resort

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Tensing Pen Resort
Ranked #4 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Solvang, California, USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Most Spectacular Place for a Destination Wedding”
Reviewed 18 November 2011

I got married at Tensing Pen on Nov. 11, 2011. We had 40 guests in attendance, and every single person raved about their stay. The resort is the most perfect place for a destination wedding with the beautiful location on and the cliffs and even more spectacular sunsets. Every event and experience of our 5-day, 4-night wedding weekend was wonderful. Each and every member of the staff was so helpful, friendly, and made sure everyone’s needs were met. I cannot say enough good things about Tensing Pen.

The property was even more beautiful than I remembered. Each cottage is so unique and special. It was an ideal place because there were many little secluded spots that guests can get away from the action, or be right in the middle of it all. We stayed in Rock Cottage 2, and it was so wonderful. We also had the Red Birch house that we used as a hang out location, so not intrude on anyone’s actual cottage.

The wedding coordinator, Shanique, made sure every single detailed was covered. She is amazing. We started our correspondence as soon as I had expressed interested in having my wedding at the property. I booked the property more than a year in advance because I knew how popular the 11/11/11 wedding date would be. Shanique contacted me regularly to check on my progress and reminded me of important deadlines needed for the wedding. Planning a wedding via email and phone was actually much less stressful that I could have imagined.

I organized my guests’ transportation through I guy I met last time in Jamaica, Gary Ritchie of Best Jamaica Taxi. He was on time for everyone’s arrival waiting with a sign for our wedding guests. Knowing he was there to safely transport our guests was a huge relief. Plus he is extremely personable and made our guests feel comfortable right away.

When our guests arrived, we hosted a welcome party with a Mento Band and cocktails. They helped organize the welcome party, and all we had to do was enjoy the time with our guests. The day before the wedding, we had a short rehearsal before heading next door to Ivan’s Bar at Catcha Falling Star. Dinner was excellent, but I must say that the food at Tensing Pen is even better. Most of our guest ate all their meals at the restaurant on property.

The day of our wedding was a whirlwind, but everything was above and beyond our expectation. The officiant of ceremony was great. We did the traditional vows and it was really lovely. During the ceremony, we walked to one of the other patios to sign the marriage certificate. That was a little weird but, hey it’s Jamaica. Just a warning to brides that have very high heel (I wore 4 inch heels), be careful with your shoe choice. The stones can be difficult to walk on.

We had a steel drum band play for the ceremony and cocktail hour. He was great. We used Sun Golf Photography for pictures. They too were great and we got some amazing photos as the sun was setting.

While we had pictures taken, our guests enjoyed cocktail hour at the pool. They set up a bar and a table for hors d’oeuvres down by the pool. The staff at TP had decorated the pool area with luminaries. It was really beautiful. The lodge was also decorated so nicely with the flowers and paper lanterns. We used Floral Fantasies. They did a great job. They were able to translate my vision via email and make it happen.

The wedding dinner was so good. We chose lobster and beef tenderloin. I tasted both and I cannot decide which I like better. Everyone raved about the food. After dinner, we cut a serious rug on the dance floor. We chose Sound Illusion for the DJ. They are sooooooo good. We meet with them the day before and talked about the music for the wedding. They played all of our requests and even some that I had forgotten about. The music was one of the most important things for me for the wedding, and I was not disappointed. The fact that every single person danced was awesome. Even my father, who doesn’t dance, was out there. I don’t think I sat down once. The DJs even knew when a song wasn’t well received, and they immediately changed it. I had people come up to me afterwards and say that it was the best music at any wedding they have been to. We were having so much fun that we got the DJ to stay a little longer.

It was a truly magical night. Everything was beyond my expectations from the decorations, to the food, to the music. If you are even possibly considering a destination wedding, Tensing Pen is the only place to do it. The fact that the only guests on property were our wedding guests, made it much more special. The staff bent over backwards to make sure we were taken care of. Tensing Pen is one of a kind.

The only negative thing I have to say was that I wish we had an extra day with all our guests. Four nights was not enough, as it went by too fast. Otherwise, Tensing Pen really did make our wedding dreams come true. Thank you so much to everyone at TP, as well as all of our vendors.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Maggie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Kansas City
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2011

We stayed in the Long House....the largest of all the cottages. If was FANTASTIC. We had views of the sea from patio to both balcony's. Large house with a massive kitchen area, dining area and seating area with sofa's and chairs. Just open the doors from there and what a spectaclar view. Three bedrooms with baths; one king size down, one king upstairs and the third one upstairs had two twins beds. All bedrooms were air conditioned. Amazing!! The staff was very, very friendly and kept us entertained. We were there for our daughters wedding and what an amazing venue for that. No phones or TV's....but after a day, you don't even miss it. We were there Oct.27-Oct.31st.....Lot of sun and HUMIDITY (which was horrible). It you can stand the heat, this is an awesome place to visit.

Room Tip: Choose an airconditioned cottage!
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank sas300m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Libertyville, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2011

My husband and I have been guests at Tensing Pen since we discovered this perfect little hideaway on our 15th anniversary back in 2001 on a moped run looking for a dinner spot. We were politely informed that the restaurant was only for the guests but were graciously offered a tour. We accepted......We fell in love.....The rest is history! Since then we have gone every year, sometimes twice and have brought many good friends and family. We couldnt wait for our children got older so we could bring them and introduce them to this little piece of heaven! The warmth of the staff is only the beginning of how exceptional this resort is. From the staff to the food to the grounds, down to the bedding in the rooms....it all culminates to make your stay one that you will never forget, and you WILL want to come back for more. Thank you Tensing Pen for all the beautiful memories! See you in March!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank bagnasco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2011

We stayed in a Pillar directly on the cliffs. The Pillar is built in a tree-house fashion with a single room on the second story with a bed and 1/2 bath. No air conditioning, no TV, no phone. We wanted to get away from everything, so this suited us just fine. There's a nice ocean breeze in the evening and we felt quite safe sleeping with the door to the terrace open. The resort is located fairly close to some nightclub, so there was some loud music to contend with and no option to close the windows without a/c. The shower is actually located outside, under the tree-house. It's private in the sense that you aren't showering in full view of others, but the neighbors certainly can wave as you lather. This wasn't a problem for us and my wife is quite modest, so not to worry.

The views are simply spectacular. We spend many hours on our terrace watching the world go by. We also had our own sunning area right off the Pillar with direct access to the ocean on a ladder down the cliff. There is also a bridge that spans the cliffs that we jumped off several times. Highly recommend that experience.

Breakfast was included at the Tensing Pen, so we had the breakfast there most days. We bought some groceries at the local market and had a hikers lunch on the Pillar terrace everyday we were there. This consisted of Red Stripe beer, sardines, crackers, cheese, salami, etc. It was simple and fabulous. For dinner we ventured out to local places. Highly recommend the Rock House. We had two great dinners there and breakfast one morning. We watched the sunset at Ricks Cafe, which is an experience. Very touristy. Glad I did it, won't be back.

We did get harassed by the locals (wanting to sell drugs) a little bit on the way back from dinner. Suggest that you walk to dinner and take a cab back when it's dark. We never felt anything but safe in the daylight.

Room Tip: Choose an ocean front room. Well worth the extra cash.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mattitude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seminole, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2011

We stayed here in late October and had the perfect honeymoon.

This is not the type of resort/hotel with lots of activities going on or things to choose from. This is the type of place you book for true relaxation. Our days included waking up, eating breakfast, swimming, taking a nap, eating lunch, taking another nap, swimming and then eating dinner. Every day. It was wonderful!

ACCOMMODATIONS: we had the North Pillar. I felt this was a great choice as it was not super close to any of the other rooms and had an incredible view from the balcony. This room does include an outdoor shower and no AC. We had no issues with this. Nights were cool and there was a ceiling fan and regular fan in the room, never once was I hot at night. The outdoor shower is clean and private as it is shaped like a circular seashell, so no one can see in.

FOOD: The continental breakfast was limited, but sufficient. The coffee was excellent. One morning I ordered the french toast, which was delicious. Lunch menu is also small, but again, sufficient. My husband and I had something different each day and were not disappointed. Dinner menu is a bit larger and I must say, contained some excellent dishes. Our favorites were the Jerk Chicken Pasta and the Nutty Grouper. We bother ordered the same meals two nights in a row, we were so pleased.

DRINKS: Drinks were alright. Nothing exceptional. Cost is about $3 a beer and $5-7 for mixed or frozen drinks. We ended up going across the street to the grocery store and keeping beer and liquor + mixers in the mini fridge in our room for throughout the day and would order from the Tensing Pen bar at night.

STAFF: Bar tenders were great, friendly and attentive. Kitchen staff and grounds keepers were friendly as well. There was one cook that seemed a bit put off by talking with the guests, however another came the next day, so we didn't have to deal with her for very long. The owner can be found walking about the property and she was very friendly and kind. The front desk workers were also great and made check in and check out a breeze.

GROUNDS: The grounds are immaculate. There is staff that sweeps the walkways every morning. The pool is clean and big enough to not feel cramped. There are several entrances to the ocean on property and all of the views are a million times better than you see in any pictures on here. Towels and floats are provided for guest use and there are plenty of hammocks to relax in.

PROS: The view and location is the biggest pro. We would watch the sunset from our balcony at night and felt so at peace. We also liked that all the bathroom products and paper products were organic.

CONS: Mosquitos. There are nets above the beds in the rooms, but I was eaten alive a few nights. Luckily, I had packed some mosquito spray, but the biting/bites did keep me up one night. Keeping citronella candles on the balcony would help prevent this. The only other con we could think of was the fact that if you left the grounds to visit another restaurant or grocery store, at certain times of the day you would literally be surrounded by people asking for money. It was very off putting. I've been to Jamaica many times, so I am no stranger to being asked to buy things, but this time it was a bit unnerving. We literally had a man grab our car door to keep it open and about 5 men standing around the car. My husband was pretty close to slamming the guy's hand in the door. This is not Tensing Pen's fault, however it did affect our overall stay. Negril is so beautiful and quaint with it's small winding roads and restaurants that it would have been nice to have felt more safe walking around. There are many resorts on the same street, so it would be great if they would communicate with the shopkeepers to attempt to prevent the extreme hassling.

OVERALL: We had a great time during the 4 days and 5 nights we stayed here. It was a great spot to unwind after the stress of planning our wedding. We loved that there were only about 10-12 guests total on property throughout our entire stay. We loved the dogs Tensing and Sugar. We had no issues with late night barking as other reviewers mentioned. This was a literal paradise for us.

Room Tip: We loved our Pillar. Sea Grape was close by, that would have been a good choice as well.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jessica L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southern Pines, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2011

We had a great visit the first week of October to Tensing Pen. We stayed in the Sea Grape II room, and found it cute and comfortable for a thatch hut, if a bit out of date and could have been cleaner.
Transport from the airport was entertaining, and included a stop for some Red Stripes which was fabulous after traveling all day.
We were there in the off season which was nice because it was very quiet. The views were amazing and the cliffs beautiful. Cliff diving was an absolute blast for the brave, and the swimming was energetic and fun. We loved the hammocks and lounges placed throughout the property.
The downside of the visit was the on-site restaurant. The continental breakfast was skimpy, but menu items were good. Lunch was barely edible the two days we attempted it, so we did not venture in for dinner. A few little things could make this place world-class, but it's not there yet.

Room Tip: The Cove Cottages looked tiny. We were very happy with our Sea Grape II, but the room did not have...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank allie c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
heart of bluegrass
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 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...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank awaywegoto
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:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre 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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