Rum Journal: The Caribbean Has a New Speakeasy (And It’s All-Inclusive)

Above: The Rabbit Hole (All photos by CJ)

OCHO RIOS — “I’m sober.”

It’s true at precisely that moment. Somewhat true.

But the statement has no value for its veracity.

It’s the password.

Two gentlemen in fedoras and sunglasses wave us into the building, which is covered in ivy.

sandals-door

Inside, it’s dark and an old 1920s beat sounds, dancers and all.

The bar is tall and impressive — all kinds of cocktails and spirits, some of which you’d never expect to see in Jamaica. Bourbons, small batch bourbons.

sandals-bar

But this is the Caribbean, so it’s time for Appleton 12 on the rocks, though the cocktails are tempting.

I get the pair of drinks and we head upstairs.

There’s no tab at this place, no money changes hands. Not because it’s secret. But because this is the first-ever speakeasy at an all-inclusive resort.

rabbithole

Sandals is always upping the ante for all-inclusives in the region, but this is quite clever: a thoroughly well-thought-out concept, manifested perfectly at the recently-rebranded Ochi Beach Resort in Ocho Rios.

It’s called The Rabbit Hole.

sandals-girl

There’s a new-school-old-school jazz singer, her voice booming around the walls; exposed pipes; sleek lamps; luxurious leather couches. And the cocktails: Moscow Mules and Sidecars and Knob Creek Manhattans and Negronis and even something called “Redneck Lemonade.”

speak

Looking around, everything is in the right place, everything is done right.

They’re really on to something here.

And as for the password, it’s definitely no longer true.

— CJ