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“Second time, exceeded first.”
Review of Tensing Pen Resort

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Tensing Pen Resort
Ranked #4 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 November 2012

This is my second trip to Tensing Pen. My wife found the place purely by accident last year, and we will most likely be long term returning guests.

This vacation was shortly after hurricane sandy hit Jamaica, and while Negril was largely spared, some damage was taken from the storm surge along the coast. I have the impression however that the tensing staff worked 24/7 to repair any damage, as the grounds were immaculate.

The staff for this resort plays a large part in our desire to return. Housekeeping, front office, grounds and bar area all have wonderful people. A particular favorite of mine is Owen, he has always been a fun conversationalist, and made our first trip a pleasure. Having him remember my name when I arrived this time around made me feel like they really care about the guests.

Rooms for this hotel are are quite nice. There is really something for everyone and they all offer their own type of privacy. We stayed in south house this trip. The view from the building is quite honestly phenomenal. There is a completely unobstructed view of the ocean, both rooms have air conditioning, and you are at the end of the resort. All of the pro's for the room outweigh the minimal con's which are only noise. In the early evening/afternoon the road noise is pretty heavy, and the neighbor (a private residence, this is not under the control of the hotel) has four dogs. I am a dog lover, but there were a couple of times I went out and told those dogs to be quiet... And I was not directing nice relaxing jamaica thoughts at them....

Meals at the hotel are a mixed bag. It's good, just not terribly consistent, I've noted that on the occasions when the resort owner is present, breakfast start times are punctual for the most part. This trip, owners were present at the beginning, but by the end of the week, start times were slipping.. Coinciding with the owners departure at mid-week. Dinner was food for every meal. The portions are good sized, and the food was quite tasty in my thinking. I was especially fond of the jerk pork kabobs as an appetizer.

Taxi service arranged by the hotel is reasonable, the driver (tony) is a character, and was kind enough to stop and let us hit the cambio for $ to $J exchange, saving us a good bit from the horrible rates offered at the airport.

The property is cliff side, so does not have a beach, after multiple trips to jamaica, I have come to prefer this. There is ample area on site for sun bathing, and you afforded privacy nearly anywhere you go, due to the clever placement of patio areas on the cliffs themselves.

While children are allowed here, it is really not a kids place. There is a pool, however the rocks could be daunting for a child. Also, this is a boutique hotel, there are only 43 guests max, I believe... There would not really be a lot for a child to do.

Bottom line, I am coming back (heck, I am already booked for 2013) and would not hesitate to recommend the place to anyone.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms on this property, but not all are air conditioned. If you need ac, make sure...
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Hussyband
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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491 - 497 of 854 reviews

Reviewed 20 November 2012

This hotel is approximately 1 1/2 hours from Montego Bay's airport. Suggest you make online reservations beforehand for round trip transfer to and from hotel at a cost of around US$50. Otherwise, you could be paying US$70 one way. On your return, plan to arrive early to airport so that you could enjoy the local cuisine at the Island Grill at a very reasonable cost.

My family of approx. 35 members were there in November 2012 to attend the wedding of my niece who lives in California and wanted to have a destination wedding followed by a "formal" wedding in December in California. On this subject, the hotel's wedding planner attended to every deal and the event was carried out smoothly without a hitch.

Now, here's the nitty-gritty of Tensing Pen. It's a lush and beautiful resort. It sits atop a cliff overlooking the ocean. There's no beach to go walking but this is will not be missed because of the nice pool at the edge of the cliff and the breathtaking vistas from every cottage. If you're brave, you can jump from the wooden bridge which spans two ends of the property and scale down the rocks to the water for a nice swim. It's a small property with approximately 22 rooms. There's one "main" house with three bedrooms, each with its own en-suite bathrooms and outdoor patio and balconies, living and dining rooms and large, fully equipped kitchen.

The main receiving salon sits above the pool and it's open-air; this is the most welcoming and relaxing spot on the property. Their continental breakfast is great with the basics and tropical fruits aplenty. There's coffee available all day.

For those people who MUST have access to televisions and phones, there are none in the rooms, no where on the property. We were able to see the news for a bit in the "owner's cottage" as I was anxious to get follow up on recent SANDY STORM. I was like a fish out of water when I found out there were no tv's or phone but after the first day, I did not miss it. I literally felt myself relaxing and de-stressing. I was able to go to sleep early like around 8 PM which never happens when I am in New York.

Other menu items were reasonable compared to other eateries in Negril. In particular, the "pumpkin fish" was exceptional! I also enjoyed the "ceviche fish" and the "steak" was a good size and perfectly cooked.

The staff were accommodating and although they were friendly, they maintained their professionalism. It's a small property so if you require action, this is not the place for it. You need to go to one of those huge properties. Tensing Pen is exclusive and offers personal attention.

Oh! To go into the "city" [hardly a city really], is very expensive; about US$ for a 10-15 minutes or less ride. However, you can negotiate a deal with a driver if you require his services more than once.

I didn't do any sightseeing so I can talk on that.

Overall, time spent at Tensing Pen was a pleasant and gratifying experience.

I hope this review is helpful in making travel decisions. God bless.

Room Tip: Depends on your budget. There are rooms which do not have good ocean view and these will be less ex...
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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Thank chinamom62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2012

I cannot say enough about Tensingpen and their staff. I went there for a friend's 25th anniversary. The resort is beautiful; the ceremony and food were 5 star. The staff is friendly and very accommodating. Excursions are easily planned-make sure you do Famous Vincent's Snorkeling and horseback riding where you ride in the ocean. I ended up in a special circumstance where someone at home was dying and I had to go home early. Camille and Tracy and all staff were sympathetic, helpful and their kindnesses to me went above and beyond. It is a soothing atmosphere that relaxes and heals. The water, the sunsets-and oh, did I mention the food! I stayed in the Cove Cottage and often just listened to the waves crashing on the cliffs. I cannot say enough great things.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank lainey1213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2012

I just returned from Tensing Pen yesterday for an amazing vacation for friends 25 wedding anniversary. This was my second time, and it is definitely a home away from home. There is nothing like waking up to the crystal blue water in this serene village-style resort, having breakfast overlooking the pool and grass hut cottages. the staff is AMAZING the food is AMAZING. the serenity and peace is indescribable. You must visit and bring your family and friends to experience this paradise escape!

Room Tip: the long house is great for groups of families/friends! 4 bedrooms, 2 bath, huge kitchen!
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank kacie f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2012

Not sure about the Trip Advisor rating system but after forty trips to Negril there is no question that Tensing Pen is by far the best location, has the best rooms and service and really great food.
The value is also much better than these higher rated locations.
The only problem is that they are mostly booked and it is difficult to get a reservation even if you try a year ahead!

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank Larchmont78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2012

Let me first say that if you are considering a destination wedding and/or vacation in Jamaica this place is absolutely a perfect choice! Tensing Pen is simply wonderful! It is a warm, intimate, refined rustic experience. The owners, the staff, the property, the food, the EVERYTHING is out of this world! We have stayed at 2 other places in Negril, one of the popular all-inclusives on the beach as well as another location on the cliffs and neither can even compare to the gem that is Tensing Pen! We were under one of those worst case scenario situations with having a wedding during extreme bad weather not only coming, while we were there but also trying to head home because the hurricane had made its way north and I am still in awe by the personal service, care and attention we received at TP. It was just a dream! Here is the story followed by a short review of specific categories.

The hurricane hit Jamaica on 10/24. That was the day we were supposed to arrive with our wedding to be on the 27th. 22 guests were to arrive on the 26th for a 3 night wedding weekend. Our flight was cancelled due to the hurricane. The remarkable staff including the extraordinary owners, the best wedding coordinator Shanique, and various staff members called numerous times the day before and day of the hurricane with words of encouragement and info. I was concerned about them, a hurricane was coming their way but they assured me they were ok and called happy to report the eye of the storm had passed and Negril was spared major damage. They arranged to have someone pick us up from airport the following day. I highly recommend using their drivers. When we arrived the water was choppy but nothing too alarming. The night was great, we had a warm welcome, had out 1st amazing dinner at the Lodge, and some drinks with the unforgettable bartender, Razor. As we headed back to our room the aftermath of the hurricane started to kick in bringing crazy wind and waves crashing up over the cliffs. This went on all night bringing water into our awesome Rock Cottage II. That following morning it continued to get worse and we had to move to another room. Getting even worse we were moved to a 3rd room. Our guests were to arrive that night and 1 by 1 their rooms were becoming unavailable. Evelyn, one of the incredible owners, met with us throughout the entire day to figure out the most accommodating and comfortable arrangements for our guests who were on their way. She is absolutely wonderful and worked with us to figure out the best situation for everyone. Our guests arrived to this unexpected situation and agreed to these new accommodations. Despite the situation and all the hard work they were doing around the entire property post hurricane and removal of furniture etc, the staff somehow managed to magically transform the lodge that night for our welcome dinner even adding a pretty fabric shield to block the wind. The staff is amazing! The wind and waves continued to crash the entire night and like a miracle the following morning, our wedding day, the sun was shining and it calmed down enough to have our wedding. It was magical and surpassed any expectation I had! The following morning we woke to find out that everyone’s flights home were cancelled and they were to be stranded in paradise for 2 extra nights. The staff was quick to find new accommodations for everyone and we made it a group honeymoon! We had a pregnant guest who needed to leave before the airports closed within just hours and TP was awesome with trying to assist to make this happen and she was able to get the last 2 seats on the last flight out! TP had a driver ready to get her to the airport. We spent the unexpected group honeymooning jumping off the bridge, eating amazing food, exploring the neighborhood, relaxing, loving life, spending quality time…not in any specific order.  It was surreal and just a dream! I was lucky enough to have Tensing, the very very lovable dog on premises be my angel the entire trip following me wherever I went. Love him!!! I simply can’t recommend Tensing Pen enough.
The Staff: Without the staff TP would just be an incredibly beautiful place. They are a talented group with great personalities that really make this place shine. The owners are excellent. The wedding coordinator is superb! The front office is so pleasant and helpful. The groundskeepers are excellent. House keeping is great. The chefs, servers, and bartenders are awesome. Everyone is so down to earth and just a pleasure to meet.
The property: Heaven on earth. It’s filled with lush vegetation and great little spots to just relax. Beautiful, private, simple, and clean. The location and layout of this property is perfect. We stayed at another place on the cliffs and it just didn’t have the same feeling.
The Lodge: The food is fresh and prepared just right. I highly recommend the red snapper, beef tenderloin, and the lobster! Breakfasts were great. All you need is some of that delicious bread and some jam and your good to go but don’t get me wrong the omelets were delicious and loved the breakfast smoothie. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the lodge never disappoints. The servers and chefs are fantastic! Just go early because don’t forget you are on island time.
The Wedding: It was perfect and exceeded all my expectations ! Shanique, the wedding coordinator is fabulous and will guide you every step of the way. We used Floral Fantasies for flowers and Roan Photography and were extremely happy with both vendors. We had a combination of steel drums and a mento band for music and they were both awesome. The food was delicious! Brides please don’t hesitate to message me if you have any questions.
The Rooms: Can’t go wrong with any room. I want to try all of them. Each offers it’s own charm. We did the Rock Cottage II and its perfect for seclusion, great views, great closet space, and beautiful porch area. I loved that the porch areas for pretty much all rooms were really a useful extension of the room itself.
The SPA: OH WOW! I am a spa junkie and this couples massage and facial was in my top 5 ever! Pamela is excellent.
Tensing Pen is simply wonderful! I've never had this many good things to say about one place. It is a warm, intimate, refined rustic experience. I know I'm forgetting so much so please message me if you have any questions.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank azulisland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2012

overall this place is amazing! the staff is extremely relaxed. Everything is "no problem mon'" Very peaceful and romantic. I personally enjoyed the open ocean since im acustomed to a beach. the ocean gorgeous with crystal clear waters. The food is a-mah-zing! there is also other places to eat within walking distance. You also have the famous Ricks Cafe at 2 minute walk. I would definitely recommend this resort, as well as stay here again. The rooms do not have TV or telephone which I enjoyed in order to totally disconnect and enjoy nature as well as do activities.

Room Tip: any room is beautiful and unique. Some actually include outside showers.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank craziehoney3
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:
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: £103 - £256 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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