A couple of months ago, in the midst of a super-busy time at work, Lee and I agreed that a vacation was in order. And not just any kind of vacation – the kind that involves doing absolutely nothing in a beautiful place by the sea. We didn’t want to go on a tour or do any sightseeing. We just wanted to relax, pure and simple.
I give Lee all the credit for finding Tensing Pen. It’s a small resort in Negril, Jamaica, about an hour and a half cab ride from the airport in Montego Bay. We were drawn to the place by descriptions of its natural beauty and solitude, and we were not disappointed.
The property has about a dozen cottages, and this was our home sweet home, Rock Cottage I.
When we began searching for a place to stay, an ocean view was mandatory so we could enjoy breakfast on our balcony and watch the waves roll in. But we got so much more, with 180 degree, unobstructed views of the crystal blue water from the two loungers on our front porch. I couldn’t believe our good fortune. The room was nice, with french doors opening onto the porch, and a great ocean breeze negating the need for air conditioning.
We spent many hours on that front porch, me with a book (I read 2.5 books in the 3 full days we were there), and Lee with either a book, his ukulele or his watercolors. He didn’t have to look far for inspiration to paint.
When not on our porch, we could often be found here, at one of the lounge areas set up directly on the cliffs.
Or, perhaps my favorite spot, this hammock hut jutting out over the ocean.
There was no beach, but I didn’t miss it. We enjoyed waking up each morning to the sound of the water curling up against the cliffs. There were various stone pathways and ladders down into the water, and the resort provided floats for bobbing around in the ocean, which I loved. The water was deep (deep enough for cliff diving), but so clear you could see all the way to the bottom.
I absolutely loved the way the resort was designed, with rock pathways carved seamlessly into the rock cliffs. The stone cottages with their thatched roofs seemed to belong, instead of invading on the area’s natural beauty.
For someone so schedule-oriented, it’s not always easy for me to put aside the guidebooks and travel planners and just soak it all up. But here, there was no rush. No television or phone in our room – not even a clock. I woke up because the sun was up. I went to sleep because I was sleepy. And it was just what we needed.
And if the pictures don’t give you a feel for the place, here’s a little video montage of the resort. I had to include the part where I jump off the bridge over the cliffs, but I edited it so you don’t have to watch me stand there for ten minutes working up the nerve to jump!