Tensing Pen Hotel
What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes breakfast
- Super-romantic cliffside hideaway in Negril's West End
- Some cottages feature outdoor showers and spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea
- Enjoy an alfresco yoga session in one of the oceanside pagodas
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- All rooms have AC, but there are no TVs or phones
- Popular with honeymooners and couples
- The 22 rooms are divided among 17 cottages
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
With 17 secluded cottages linked by stone paths and wooden walkways that meander along the cliffs in Negril’s West End, Tensing Pen is one of Jamaica’s best-kept secrets. Thatch-roofed pagodas and hammocks dot the resort, and bright orange double daybeds and lounge chairs encircle the pool. The partially open-air restaurant and bar features oversize lamps and bamboo paneling, giving it a relaxed, safari lodge feel.
Bed and Bath
Many of the cottages feature verandas or balconies with sea views, and the rustic guestrooms are proudly gadget-free: Don’t expect a TV or phone (they do have WiFi, though). Local artworks and a simple earth tone palette create a serene vibe, and the dark wooden shutters keep things cool. The bathrooms have huge rainfall showers and come with thoughtful products like aloe vera after-sun oil. Splurge on a Sea Grape or Pillar Cottage for a true Robinson Crusoe experience; these luxe stilted-treehouses are located on their own private coves and feature a secluded outdoor shower.
This laid-back retreat encourages rest and rejuvenation, from the rainbow-colored hammocks shaded by palm trees to the cliffside pagoda, which hosts morning yoga sessions. The sprawling grounds have lots of secluded areas with lounge chairs and intimate tables for two, perfect for sipping a rum cocktail in peace. The main restaurant and bar overlooks the pool; breakfast (included) is simple and delicious (local bread, fruit and yogurt served with Jamaica’s famous Blue Mountain coffee), while lunches and dinners (fresh fish, grilled meats and seasonal dishes) are among the best in the area. For some serious pampering head to the wellness pagoda for a massage, scrub or facial.
In the Area
Located on the cliffs in Negril’s West End, Tensing Pen is a 10-minute taxi ride from spectacular Seven Mile Beach, a tropical strip of white sand and impossibly turquoise water. You’ll find all kinds of action here, from huge reggae gigs to oceanside fine dining. It’s also the place to go for water sports, including kayaking, paddleboarding and snorkeling. Farther afield (about a two-hour drive) is Appleton Rum Estate, where you can learn about the production process and sample one of the finest rums in the world. Stop off on the way back at YS Falls, an idyllic series of waterfalls surrounded by lush jungle. Cool off in the mountain waters or get adventurous on the on-site zipline.
How to Get There
Tensing Pen is our favorite place to stay as a couple. We stare at the beach, eat at nearby haunts, and love the cliffs. the food is good, but the location and rooms and service is truly great. sharks across the street is delicious.
This place is exquisite. Each room has a different name, offers a different experience, and will appeal to a different kind of guest. The Pillars have outdoor showers on the lower level and are equipped with a balchony overlooking the ocean. “Bungalow”, where we stayed, features a large patio, a queen-sized bed, and a moon roof. Save for the roof, it’s nestled mostly under a canopy of trees, near the “Garden” villas, and adjacent to “Long House”, which overlooks the cove and bridge. If you enjoy the sound of crashing waves at night, you’ll want to choose “Cove Cottage”. However, its proximity to the resort’s most Instagrammable features (the cove and bridge) may attract loitering by scantily clad guests endeavouring to take photos of other scantily clad guests, from the vantage point of your room. Pros and cons.
The staff were all courteous and accommodating. Unlike your average Jamaican all-inclusive (which, this certainly is not), you won’t spend 30-40 minutes in the lobby waiting to check in, and you won’t be subjected to solicitation or haggling by outside vendors on the beach. (There’s no beach here.)
Tensing Pen was designed for the more discerning among us, and appeals to young professionals and empty nesters alike. We appeared to be the youngest guests present (late 20s, early 30s), and we didn’t come across anyone or anything that we found obnoxious. Our only regret was ‘not staying longer’.
The rooms, location, service, food....heaven! It’s a gem and one I’d keep a secret if that didn’t mean I’d be keeping well deserved business from them. There is no better hotel in the cliffs of Negril.
Our family of 6 (3 adult couples) just returned from 7 glorious days at Tensing Pen. We stayed in the 3 bedroom Long House. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming from the moment we arrived. The groundsmen were working every morning trimming and sweeping to keep the resort looking wonderful. I thought I would miss having a beach - but didn't at all! The breakfasts were good. We had some of our lunches and 3 dinners there too. All the meals were excellent. We brought along our own snorkels and 6 inflatable rafts. The resort had some rafts, so bringing 6 of our own was not necessary. We loved having Beezy the dog at the resort. She frequently showed up at our house looking for some head scratches and enjoyed a few naps in our living room. All of us jumped from the bridge too! We enjoyed the "adult" aspect of this resort (not really a place for kids because of the cliffs). All 6 of us had massages. The staff was great with calling us taxies when we needed one. If you are looking for a quite, beautiful and relaxing vacation - this is the place! We are already talking about coming back!
Beautiful resort directly on the coast. Very laid back. Food was great in the restaurant and reasonably priced Staff was efficient and very friendly. If you are looking for something away from the hustle and bustle of the beach but access to the water - you can jump right off the edge or go down gently on a ladder this is it.