Just returned from a four night stay at Tensing Pen. All in all, we had a great time. Here's my breakdown:
Getting there: no problem at all. We arranged a shuttle from Montego Bay airport through the hotel. We shared the shuttle with one other couple from our flight, and within 20 minutes we were sharing some red stripes in the van and had met some new friends. It took total about an hour and a half, but the drive wasn't bad at all.
The resort: TP is really a cool place. From the open air lobby and restaurant, you are confronted with the selling point of the place: an amazing view. Perched on the cliffs, the view can't be beat.
Rooms: we stayed in Sea Grape 1. This was a the far end of the resort, but "far" is relative...it only took us two minutes to get to the restaurant, which is the epicenter of the place. To get to the far other end of the hotel would only take five minutes. We were ok with our room location, though it is set back on the rocks a bit; it doesn't front the water (but there is no other building in front of it, so it does have good ocean views). I'd probably recommend the pillars or one of the rooms that is right on the cove. But most of the rooms seemed very nice. Just a note: a couple of the rooms, like the pillars, have the showers outside and down the stairs--ours didn't but the room our friends were staying at did and they didn't like having to go down stairs to shower. In general our room was nice and big. Only complaint was the shower pressure was poor.
Restaurant: we ate there several times. the included breakfast is pretty meager, but it sufficed. Lunch also was a bit limited. The dinner however was one of the best we had around the area, so definitely try that out.
Bar: very small. The bartender Razor is kind of legendary and fun to chat with. The resort in general though doesn't have a "bar scene" to speak of, generally just one or two other couples hanging around. And it shuts down very early (10). There is a grocery store right across the street from the resort and most rooms have fridges; I'd recommend stocking up there and bringing back to the room.
Pool: small, but nice. The resort is very small so we didn't really ever have trouble finding chairs around the pool or out on the cliffs or anywhere else we wanted to chill.
Ocean: gorgeous. Definitely do the jump off the bridge into the water...it's not that high and the water is awesome.
Surrounding area: good and bad. we walked about ten minutes in each direction to see what else was around. if you walk right out of the resort, that is where more action is. Next door is Ivan's, where we had our favorite dinner and I recommend highly (the jerk chicken pasta was ridiculous). A few places up is Rick's, which is tourist central. You can go there to get overpriced drinks with people that are literally bussed in from the all inclusives while you watch people jump off the cliffs. So, I'd skip it if I were you. Also a few places up the road was LTU, the best place we found for lunch. LTU also has live music some nights, so generally a good spot to check out (only about a 10 minute walk). There is less to the left of the resort...Rockhouse is down that way, but a long walk so I'd recommend taking a taxi. We ate at the pushcart at rockhouse but weren't overly impressed.
In general, leaving the resort became kind of a pain...there are a lot of pushy people that will approach and try to sell you everything from weed to bracelets, and they often don't let a no suffice. You have to be quite firm; also we got ripped off by one taxi driver which was annoying. Leaving the place just reconfirmed how relaxing and nice it was to stay on TP's property.
All in all, this is a very chilled-out place to stay. It is very small, you'll get to know the other couples on the property, and you'll get to do a lot of relaxing. Check out Ivan's for dinner, LTU for lunch and live music, Rick's for tourist-watching, but we were mostly content just chilling at TP.
We'd definitely stay again if ever in Negril.
- 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