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“Heaven right here on earth”
Review of Tensing Pen Resort

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Tensing Pen Resort
Ranked #4 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 August 2009

I and my friends had been in Jamaica for a while now and we were having a great time, we did not think it could have gotten any better; well, that was until we got to Tensing Pen which is on the cliffs in Negril. OMG!!! This place is wonderful, so said everyone in my group and we were all right. You cannot go wrong staying here, it is impossible to have anything go wrong here. Pleaseeeeee.......if you have a bad attitude check it, it will be lost on this place. The service is wonderful, we met and love everyone here, Voliver, Razor and Ms. Jeniffer to name a few were wonderful. There was nothing that we wanted that was not accommodated.

We booked the Long House and it was great, there are 3 bedrooms, sitting, dining and kitchen (huge) we never cooked but had dinner at the local places up on the cliffs and or dinner at the restaurant in the hotel. The rooms are great, quite large and the bathrooms are also pretty big. We all had our own and each room in the house looked out on to the sea. Great view! The beds are hard, but that did not bother me at all, infact I slept quite well, guess it was all that sun and relaxation,

We did visit the Rock House to see the property as it was one of the places we had thought of booking, but I must say I was very, very happy that we stayed a Tensing Pen. We like that property much, much better, it is more relaxing and the pool though smaller was much more inviting.

If you are considering this property, just go ahead and book, it will be well worth it. This property is all about the relaxation. We are looking forward to going back to Negril and definitely back to Tensing Pen, good people, great service and beautiful property . It just does not get better than that.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank travegoddess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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720 - 726 of 860 reviews

Reviewed 31 July 2009

Our stay at Tensing was from July 8-21st and it was the most amazing place I have ever been. We married there on July 11th and had the entire resort to ourselves for three days. I must say I have read every review posted about Tensing and have seen pretty much every picture imaginable before arriving, but I was still not prepared to be as floored as I was.

The second we arrived, we were given rum punch refreshements and had our luggage brought to our room by the most amazing and generous man, Niney. He has worked at Tensing for over 30 years and does a lot of the ground work. Almost every morning we awoke and watched as Niney did his daily fishing and duties around the resort, often stopping by our porch to talk. I highly suggest getting to know the staff because they are all very pleasant people. Ruth was our cleaning lady and was always a joy to be around. I know most reviews always talk about Razor, the beloved bar tender, but please note that they are all worth mentioning!! Owen is a no-bs kind of guy who is so helpful and brings you the best omeletes we've eaten. Kevin, the chef, is so talented and prepares amazing food! We ate at the resort for several meals and never thought they were more expensive than most restaraunts and well worth it. Even a Jamaican grilled cheese sandwich was to die for!! Oh, and please make sure to order the french toast at least once! My goodness!! We even had Billy across the street at Alice's wake up especially early and make us a lobster omelete!

Sharks was our first place to eat at, but since we had 10 people with us it took about 2 hours to get our food. Every since then we usually ate at Billy's since we got to know him much better. (and yes they do serve french fries if you ask, but it's not on the usual menu)
Back to the resort.......We stayed in Rock Cottage II for our entire 2 weeks. It felt like home immediantly! The views of the carribean are breath taking, especially while sleeping in the very comfortable bed with the doors swung open. I did have a chance to go into every single room since we had the entire resort and all rooms were beautiful. Most all the wood has carvings all over it, so make sure to look closely. I even posted a picture of a small table in the bathroom that I didn't even notice until several days into our stay.

*I have noticed that a few people that have had anything less than a fabulous, perfect time at Tensing were also the people that enjoyed Rick's in the evening. Rick's was horrible!! Nothing but tourists, packed elbow to elbow with the only locals being the cliff divers and entertainment. The music was loud, food was horrible and WAY overpriced! We ended up leaving and fast, only to return at 12pm the next day when no one was there to jump off the cliffs. It's worth the trip for the jump, nothing more. Basically, I don't recommend Tensing for the Rick's type of crowd. Tensing is all about relaxing, peace, and absorbing Jamaica's beauty over and over. I also noticed that someone mentioned that Jamaica felt unsafe! This is so far from the truth. We had a few younger teens and people from all ages and everyone always felt comfortable. The locals are amazing! We would basically walk out to the street and within seconds someone would stop and offer us a ride. We met so many people that we constantly talked to every time we entered the street. One gentleman named Byron took us to the Pelican Bar and then all over the country side. I highly recommend this as well. The different Parish's are beautiful! Oh, and the trees!! They have these tress that look like they are on fire! They are the brightest red you've ever seen and they are speckled about the country side.

I also recommend taking Famous Vincent's snorkling trip. We heard he was the best in the area and that proved to be so. The water in general was very calm in the morning, a tad choppy (but not unswimable) in the afternoon and then it seemed to go either way in the evening - super choppy or very calm) The pool is a nice addition so you can still relax by the water when the ocean was too dangerous. I, myself never experienced a massage there, but had a friend that did and she raved about it over and over. I will definetly be getting one next year when we go back!!

What else??? Oh, I won't lie....it is hot in July! We loved having the a/c during the day, but I actually got too cold at night and had to adjust the temp the first few nights to get it right. Most all of our guests except for one or two never noticed not having a/c at all. They slept perfectly and never complained.
We only saw Tensing & Sugar once while there for two weeks b/c another individual was scared of them so they had to be locked up. It was a shame because they were so sweet and absoultely beautiful!! Even after most of our friends/family left after 4 days, we still had an amazing time. We met several people during our stay. Some were from LA and one couple even graduated from the same college as my husband and I! All were so nice and pleasant. The resort is laid out so perfectly that you almost always thought you were the only ones there. There are spots to lounge all over the resort and always a place to get comfortable.

If you enjoy all-inclusive places, this is not the place for you. Tensing has so much more to offer than an americanized, commercial bubble that you never leave. Tensing leaves you the luxury to get to know your surroundings and the local beauty that is Jamaica. We ar already planning our return and I can't wait. To let you know how our entire group liked the trip as well, all 31 people want to return to celebrate our 1 year anniversary with us!

All in all, Tensing Pen is a must see!!

Bride Advice:
For anyone thinking of getting married there, please go through with it! I know communication is very, very bad when trying to plan but I will repeat what girls before me have said.....all stresses will melt away once you arrive and everything will go off without a hitch. I will say that I didn't ever care much for Sonia, even after meeting her in person, however Rashida ended up being my new wedding coordinator since Sonia had to step out and it was a blessing!! She was wonderful and sooo sweet!! I would almost try and ask for her instead of Sonia.

  • Stayed: July 2009
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3  Thank hlbman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2009

Beautiful place. Each accomodation is a separate cottage. Some have multiple bedrooms and some are simply single bedrooms. The 2 bedroom cottage we stayed in was very clean and very well laid out. The bathroom was wonderful as well!

I would not recomment this for kids as there is no television or radio provided.

The pool is fabulous, you can swim in the ocean, and the restaurant/bar is very nice as well. Food was marvelous and much less expensive than what I expected!!

Also - if you want to venture out of the resort I would suggest working with the folks in the office to arrange for 'safe' transport and locations. Each trip outside the resort has a cost associated with it though so it's easy to spend quite a bit of $$.

Also if you are going to stay over a friday/saturday night you may want to ask for accomodations that aren't close to the road as there was some event going on, that saturday night, and it was VERY LOUD late into the night making it difficult to go to sleep.

I really liked the resort however I don't know that i'll go back to Jamaica again as I prefer countries / locations where it's safe to leave the resorts/hotels and explore.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank New_Englander225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2009

We really enjoyed our stay at Tensing Pen. We stayed for 3 nights after a 4 night stay at Couples Swept Away. The view was spectacular. I much rather stay in the cliffs and do a day at the beach rather than stay at the all-inclusive resorts. Tensing Pen is a small cottage resort so there were only a handful of other couples and one family which stayed the night. It's complete relaxation. The staff are friendly and leave you alone unless you require their assistance. The food was quite tasty, however a bit pricey. It wasn't lobster seasons so I cannot comment on the seafood. Watching the sunset at the resort's restaurant makes the nearby Rick's Cafe seem second class. For food, my girlfriend and I ate mostly across the street at Alice's Restaurant. Don't be put off by the looks of the place, the food is clean, the service is respectful though a bit slow (this is Jamaica after all) and most importantly the food is delicious and reasonably priced. Average cost was about US$20-22 for 2 meals and 2-3 drinks (non-alcoholic). They have a sign that says they get you anything you want, just ask for Billy and he'll get you whatever you need. I wasn't too trusting to venture out with him as my guide but sitting at the restaurant is just chill and he bends over backwards to make sure you have a good time because they need you to come back. They have a saying there; "we don't eat unless you eat". Try the local food, it's great value and very good. Back to the resort. We stayed in the air conditioned Seagrape 1. Not all the cottages are have air-conditioning. We had a lovely view of the ocean from out bed, a little deck to relax on, but no TV which is a huge draw back because this place offers nothing in terms of entertainment. Zero. It's only about relaxation. They do have wi-fi if you bring a labtop or pay for their internet service at US$2 per 15 minutes. Swimming in the ocean was great and jumping off the bridge offers some thrills but if you want a bigger jump, just walk down to Rick's, it's about a 5 minute walk. There are convenience stores on the way where you can pick up some cheap drinks and food if you want to save a little bit of cash.There weren't many fish so snorkling wasn't great. Most of the reefs and corels are long dead so there are not many fish. The rooms were very clean as were the bathrooms unlike Couples Swept away, please see my scathing review. We had 6 towels at our disposal daily plus the numerous ones laid out on the sunbathing chairs. I do not recommend this place for a family but perhaps a group of friends who will have some numbers when venturing off. It's safe really, you can take a cab anywhere but I did not trust to go out with my girlfriend to any of the night beach parties. The pool looks much better in picture than it does when you arrive. The bar is quite expensive but if you're not a big drinker it's not a big deal and as I stated above, there's a store just across the street. All-inclusive resorts charge you mainly for the alcohol consumption. Tensing Pen is also home to 2 Rhodesian Ridge-backs Tensing and Sugar. They are extremely friendly but as one patron was terrified, they were locked up for most of our stay. All in all, I loved this place and would highly recommend it. Get the message at sunset, it felt just capital.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ChandlerINTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2009

We throughly enjoyed our stay. As soon as we arrived at the welcoming reception space we knew we had made the right decision. The staff were really nice and helped us with all of our needs. The room was very clean and nice. Views from the general decks and pools, amazing! It was a great stay.. we didnt want to leave! A cliff vacation, not a beach vacation (unless you take a drive/ taxi down about 15min-easy ride)... wonderful new experience for us. I tackled my fear of heights by jumping... really refreshing! Alices across the street was DELICIOUS! and the head cook, hooked us up with fresh calallou, saltfish and bake every morning. The best we had the whole time on the island. Cant wait to go back!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank travelhoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2009

After spending a few days on the 7 Mile Beach and Idle Awhile, we headed for Tensing Pen to get a feel of the Cliffs. This was my wife’s idea and I was a bit skeptical about packing up and moving to another hotel in the middle of our vacation. However I was wrong and Tensing Pen simply took our breaths away. The resort is spread out along a section of the cliffs just a couple of blocks from the world famous Rick’s Café. The resort is very well designed and eclectically decorated by its owners. There are a number of lookout points all around the property that provide amazing views of the ocean and you can spend hours just looking out to the sea and watching the waves smash against the rocks. We were booked in the Garden B, which I believe is the cheapest and the smallest on the resort. Although it was on the smaller side, the room worked out really well for us. It had an AC, a lovely bathroom and a small veranda. The resort also has a nice pool, but waters around the resort were pretty choppy and we did not attempt to either swim or snorkel there. A resort down the road called Xtabi is really good for snorkeling and open to the public (they also rent out snorkeling equipment). There are plenty of spots around Tensing Pen to jump into the sea, however the best is from a narrow bridge that joins two cliffs (this jump is not for the faint hearted)

The resort provides a complimentary continental breakfast that is quite adequate and can be upgraded for just a few dollars. I especially loved the free coffee they provided all day. The resort’s bar was nice and they had really cheap “Red Stripe”, but the restaurant was very pricey so we did not eat there. However there are numerous eating options all around Tensing Pen including Shark’s, Alice’s and Ras Rody’s shack, all located right opposite TP. Ras Rody was a very interesting character, who cooks Ital food, which is vegan and a staple diet for the rastafarians. We had lunch at Ras Rody’s one afternoon and paid 1200 Jamaican dollars, which seemed very overpriced to us. I would suggest that you confirm the price of the food, prior to eating since he is smart enough not to have a menu with prices and therefore can charge whatever he wants. But the food is worth trying once. Another great restaurant about 10 minutes walk down the road is the “Push Cart” at the Rockhouse. They are reasonably priced and the food was outstanding, especially the Escoveitch fish. The 3 Dive's Restaurant (a must visit.. also about a 12-15 minutes walk from TP) had really good Jerk Chicken, Chicken Curry, Vegetables and Grilled King Fish! Rick’s café is a just about 2-3 minutes walk up the road from Tensing Pen and great place to spend evenings and watch the divers jump. Further up the road is the lighthouse and worth the climb up for an amazing view. Overall Tensing Pen was a great experience and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone visiting Negril and wishing to experience the cliffs. A visit to Negril would be incomplete without a stay at the cliffs.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank CrestBug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2009

I went against all recommendations and took my preteen/teen children. They loved it. It took a full day for them to realize there was no Television. I told them there was an internet cafe. They never asked to go. This turned out to be one of the best family vacations we ever had. We jumped off every cliff available, had the Yoga Instructor to ourselves and enjoyed the pool and restaurant. Tensing Pen was ideal for us.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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Thank travelbrook
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: £108 - £335 (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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