Review: Tensing Pen Resort In Negril, Jamaica

From the blog “One Girl, Whole World  (Or An Introvert Abroad)”

Written by Jessica | April 2020 | Click here for link to Jessica’s blog.

Sometimes you’ve just gotta disconnect.  Really truly disconnect.  And that’s what I was feeling when I booked this trip…I knew I wanted sun, beach, fruity drinks, and absolute CHILL.  I’d narrowed it down to Turks and Caicos or Antigua, and then I stumbled across the beautiful Tensing Pen…

As I was doing my trip research, Negril’s Tensing Pen popped up a few times on different “best of” lists as a hidden gem, including Travel+Leisure’s 2019 “Best Of”…they named Tensing Pen the #5 hotel in the Caribbean and Mexico and one of the Top 100 in the World.  And after looking into it more (and seeing its price range vs. other hotels at the top of the list), I was totally sold!

What should I know about Tensing Pen?

Though it’s only a few minutes from the famous Seven-Mile Beach, Tensing Pen Resort instead clings to the West End cliffs of Negril.  It’s a small, intimate little boutique hotel, with crashing waves, sweeping ocean views, beautiful sunsets, clear turquoise waters, and a delightful staff.  I’ll go into more detail below, but here’s an overview…

The service was awesome, and staff treated the guests like family.  In fact, you could tell that many people come over and over and there isn’t tons of turnover—the staff clearly knew a lot of the guests by name, and greeted them like old friends upon arrival.

Rooms were super clean and generally comfortable, and the grounds were gorgeous.  The restaurant and bar were great.  Note, Tensing Pen is not an all-inclusive.  And it was chill and quiet, not at all crowded…and no party vibe.

The welcome

My travel day went WAAAAAYYYYY sideways, and so instead of arriving at the resort around 3:00pm, I arrived around 10:30pm.  Woof.  So it was dark and I couldn’t see anything, but the staff’s welcome was just as warm.  They guided me to my room in the dark through the maze-like paths…I could hear the waves crashing nearby and the full moon gave it a magical feel.

The next day I could see the gate where you enter, and enjoy the little outdoor “lobby” near check-in.

The rooms

I booked in late November for an early February trip, and really only had one option room-wise…it’s a very popular time to visit Jamaica, and lots of people come back at the same time every year.  So I stayed in the lovely Garden B, I think probably the smallest or one of the smallest rooms.  But still completely comfortable and plenty roomy.

The resort lives by their manta of “At Tensing Pen, Life is Simple”.  It’s intended as a place to disconnect, so rooms don’t have phones, music players, or TVs.  For a reader like me, this is not an issue at all.  And honestly, I don’t spend tons of time in my room anyway.  I did enjoy sitting on my little covered porch and reading at night.  The only thing I’d have liked is a comfy chair or loveseat in the room for sitting in.

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