“A laid-back seaside hideaway on a clifftop in Negril - ideal for rest and romance”
There are 19 rooms, suites and stone-and-thatch cottages, nicely spread out amongst tropical gardens. Most have an ocean view, and a private sunbathing deck or terrace. There are no TVs; instead they are packed with simple detail - mahogany four-poster beds, chunky waffle covers, bamboo tables, carved wooden pineapple lamps, slatted shutters, terracotta floors, and local oil paintings on the walls. Eight rooms have air-conditioning, but all have ceiling fans and are breeze cooled. It’s a simple style, well done, that needs nothing more.
The cheapest offerings are Garden A and B, the Bungalow and the Patio cottage. We stayed in the latter and enjoyed sitting out on our veranda at night. The Pillar treehouses were our favourite; 2-storey properties with an outdoor (private) shower on the ground level, and bedroom on the first floor. Their sea views are magnificent, and their clever design allows natural ventilation so there's no need for air-conditioning.
Honeymooners and those wanting extra waterfront privacy should book a remote Rock Cottage, or one of the Seagrape suites, which sit in their own private cove (be sure to ask if you prefer to be 'up' or 'down').
The Long House is the largest offering, with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a kitchen and sitting room. It is closer to the road than the sea, but great for bunch of friends. Most rooms have showers only, although they are generously sized. Our bathroom (in Patio) was open to the bedroom, so be sure to know your sharer quite well!
Meals are taken in the open-air restaurant that overlooks the pool and shoreline. Menus change daily but feature modern Jamaican food and use seasonal local ingredients.
Breakfast includes juices, smoothies, a choice of eggs, pancakes, and a daily Jamaican special - perhaps Ackee and Saltfish, Steamed Callaloo and Fried Plantains. Lunch is an a la carte menu - maybe Escoveitched Chicken Salad, Smoked Marlin Salad or Curried Pumpkin Roti, though we recommend the Tensing Burger if you are hungry!
Have a pre-dinner drink in the colourful bar; perch on high wooden stools, or comfy bamboo sofas as you soak up the spectacular sunsets. The tablecloths come out for dinner, but it’s still an informal atmosphere and there's no need to get too dressed up. Try the grilled lobster, freshly caught fish and traditional jerk chicken; all are delicious.
Refreshingly, the hotel encourages guests to go beyond the confines of the hotel to experience local life, and there are some good local restaurants for a change of scene. Ras Rody's is an excellent organic vegetarian roadside stand; Shark's is tops for seafood. Rick's Cafe is the famous one - worth it to watch the cliff divers, though the food is generally considered to be overpriced.
If you're staying in Long House you get a kitchen that's well equipped for self-catering, should you wish to cook for yourselves; there are supermarkets in Negril plus some small grocery shops opposite the hotel. Alternatively, you can ask for hotel staff to cook for you in your house. As Tensing Pen is so intimate, friendships easily form so people staying in these cottages sometimes invite other guests to dine with them.
Children are allowed, but not encouraged. The only children who stay are usually the kids of repeat guests, who are aware of the property's dangers – there is plenty of scope to fall off the cliffside and straight into the sea. Baby cots (free of charge) and extra beds (surcharge) are available and can be added to certain cottages.
Teens (over 12)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available