Rockhouse v. Tensing Pen

Aug 19th, 2004, 02:36 AM
  #1  
KDR
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Rockhouse v. Tensing Pen

I've read the helpful reviews of Negril, and am deciding between the Rockhouse and Tensing Pen. I think I understand the differences, but am having a hard time making a decision.

My husband and I are going to Jamaica in January. I love what I've learned about Tensing Pen, but am concerned because I am not really a rustic person, and do appreciate being able to order a margarita from time to time. Am I better suited for Rockhouse? How bad is the bug situation at either place?

Also, can someone speak to the differences in the cottages and rooms at Rockhouse? There is a huge price difference, so wondering what to do. We don't need much space, but we would like a little privacy so I am wondering if the studios and/or standard rooms are on top of each other.

Thanks so much.
Kym
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Aug 19th, 2004, 04:42 AM
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This could be of some help if you have not allready checked out their site . A couple out of Toronto specializes in Jamaica and They have great photos etc. of all the resorts ; look for www.negrilonestop.com/netscapenew.html. Faith .
faithie is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 06:52 AM
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I haven't been to Tensing Pen (we selected Rockhouse because of the restaurant/bar situation--on vacation, sometimes I get lazy!) but did spend a fabulous 5 nights at the Rockhouse in a studio room.

I would not want to stay in the hotel itself if I had a choice (although rooms do sleep 4).

Studio slept 2--was half a bungalow. Entrance to the other half was by a different path, so we didn't bump into our neighbor. We were really close to the restaurant, but the only time I felt a lack of privacy was when I was rinsing off in the outdoor shower and realized there were people on the roof!

We loved the Rockhouse and would return in a heartbeat.

Hope this helps,
Racy
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Aug 19th, 2004, 07:20 AM
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The Rockhouse rooms/villas have AC, the TP ones don't, if that matters to you.

Rockhouse is now about twice as large a property as it was, they bought the old Pickled Parrot next door and have already completed villas there, or are very close.
liza is offline  
Aug 20th, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Racy,
I just looked at the pictures on the website that Faith posted and the studio rooms they show there don't look like they're half a bungalow. They look like they're in a 2 story block of rooms and seem very different from the villas (i.e. no stone walls or vaulted ceilings). They look rather like regular hotel rooms which is something I'd like to avoid. Are there studio units other than the ones shown on that website? Thanks.
Patty is offline  
Aug 20th, 2004, 04:00 PM
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I think I answered my own question. I found this info on another page of the same website:

Studios (8) - are grouped together in building of eight, two and two rooms standing alone. They are spacious and have balconies with water vistas and feature the amenities above including the semi-outdoor showers.

It sounds like you got one of the studio units that isn't in the 8 room building. I wonder if you can specifically request one of these or one of the two stand alones?
Patty is offline  
Aug 21st, 2004, 05:06 PM
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We have stayed at both and love both equally, however, they are different. If you want just a little bit of added comfort, opt for one of the villa rooms at Rockhouse. You will have your own patio overlooking the water, a swimming pool nearby, and a bar / restaurant. Tensing Pen does have these, but is special anyway. Some of the rooms are fantastic (Cove Cottage is especially nice.) There are several private spots to sun at TP. My only complaint ever from tensing Pen was the dogs they have...they tend to bark at everything that moves during the night. (Haven't been to TP in 2 years - maybe they are not there anymore...?) Hope this helps.
kimschulze is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 06:35 AM
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Patty--
When we visited (almost 2 years ago, before the expansion) the studios were all in the little bungalows, and the Standard rooms were the block rooms in the building of 8. Don't know if that's changed with the addition of the Pickled Parrot site.

But I do wonder if there are still nude cliff divers from Hedo and the annoying honeymooners from Sandals jumping off the cliffs where the PP used to be... would be nice if the Rockhouse's ownership of that land did away with that daily interruption of quiet!

Racy
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Aug 23rd, 2004, 09:40 AM
  #9  
KDR
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Thanks for responding everyone. We've decided on the Rockhouse, and I can't wait (although I guess I have to make it to January somehow). Tensing Pen sounds wonderful, I just want the benefit of having a bar with fruity drinks nearby.

I emailed the Rockhouse about the rooms, and here is how they described the set-up:

"The twenty villas are situated directly over the water with spacious, wrap around, private terraces and sliding glass doors providing great vistas of Pristine Cove. Five of the villas have lofts with an additional double bed. The villas are all individual, thatch-roofed, cottages that have private, enclosed, outdoor showers open to the skies.

The five studios have a balcony that provides water views. The rooms are grouped together in a double story, eight-room hotel block, with the upstairs and front room looking out at the water. They have private, enclosed, outdoor showers.

The standard rooms have balconies with garden views. Six of them are grouped together in double story block, and are large enough to accommodate an additional twin or a bunk bed. Three more standard rooms are located in the downstairs of the studio block."

So, it sounds like the setup may have changed since the addition of the PP villas. We've decided to splurge on a villa--I am sure it will be wonderful.
Thanks again! Kym
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Aug 23rd, 2004, 01:59 PM
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You will be glad to have the nicer room. We sort of enjoyed being able to see the Pickled Parrot from our porch. every evening, the sunset catamarands would pull up for a swim at the PP across the cove. Usually they were the nude cruises and they really enjoyed putting on a display! Don't worry - far enough away to not be too graphic! Always good for a little happy hour entertainment...then off they would go and it was back to quiet.... okay snorkelling right off the rocks - take your stuff if you like to snorkel.
kimschulze is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 11:25 AM
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There's only one spot the catamarans might stop now in that cove - Pirate's Cave Bar. Otherwise Rockhouse has the whole cove.
liza is offline  
Aug 30th, 2004, 06:21 PM
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Never been to Rockhouse but would love to try it. I was at Tensing Pen a few months ago and it was awesome. Lots of privacy, great atmosphere, incredible views (Rock Cottages were wonderful), and pleasant people. Yes, they still have 3 dogs... but I never heard them bark. They slept right outside the owners house and it made me feel we had a layer of extra protection. The food on the nights they cook is excellent. My only problem with TP is the bugs. You really need to go armed with a heavy duty bug spray. But then again, bugs are attracted to me wherever I go so I got bites from all over Negril!
ReadytoGo17 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2004, 08:56 PM
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I have stayed at both hotels and you will be glad that you opted for the villa at RH...much nicer....I thought that there was only one studio w/ an ocean view and I don't think you can request a certain room at the Rockhouse. Pool & restaurant are fabulous and it is nice having the bar/restaurant on site. They also have a TV w/ couches in the lounge area if you are in need of a CNN fix. TP is very quiet and for nature lovers. I loved it there and did not miss the pool or bar because we stocked our room and you are very close to LTU/ Ricks, etc if you want some activity. I did not notice the dogs barking and I was staying in the Cove Cottage...the waves crashing against the cove was about all I heard. I was there after Christmas and didn't notice any mosquitos but they aren't bad that time of the year. Check out LTU & 3 Dives for dinner when you are at the cliffs...great food at both places. 3 dives is just a group of picnic tables off the cliff road but they have the best jerk chicken and grilled lobster for about $20.00. On the beach, Kuyuba, Norma's at Sea Splash and B-B-Barn are great. Best thing about Negril is you can wear cut-offs and a T-shirt the whole week ..half the time I don't even put on sandals...enjoy!!
ltilson is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 09:54 AM
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Now a moot point as Tensing Pen was very badly damaged in the hurricane...
tivertonhouse is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 10:00 AM
  #15  
KDR
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Tivertonhouse,
I am so sad to hear about Tensing Pen. What about the rest of Negril? Resorts on the beach? Other places in the cliffs, including Rockhouse? Very very sad.
Kym
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Sep 13th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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I heard Rockhouse got it too but plans to reopen Dec 1st. Rick's was damaged, I imagine the Caves might be also. Xtabi and 3 Dives I hear are OK...I guess it depended on which way the hotel faced, which cove it was on, etc.

Reports from the beach seem good, many hotels seem to have had no damage at all.
liza is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 12:47 PM
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Any news on Grand Lido Negril? I am planning a trip there in November.
JoeKool2 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 08:48 PM
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Liza: Most reports from the Negril Beach area is that the beach is gone. I understand it to be a jaw dropping "gone". From CocoLaPalm's web camera, now up and running again, I estimate about 100 feet of beach lost. I don't know if it'll ever be the same. Tough blow to a place we call our 2nd home. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by Ivan and hope they are able to piece what is left back together.
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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I'll gladly report back...we'll be in Negril and Ochi, leaving on the 27th of this month.
liza is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 07:31 PM
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Caribbean Soul,

We also call Negril our second home.We've been going there for 22 years. The pictures from the web cam are devastating, but it's even more tragic to think of all that our friends must be going through trying to piece their lives back together. Please keep posting with any further information. Thank you!
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