An Island Culture: A Celebration Of Jamaican Music, Heritage, And Food

In the heart of the Caribbean, where expansive seas meet pristine sandy beaches, Sandals Ochi Beach Resort stands as a symbol of luxury and a celebration of the vibrant culture of the island of Jamaica.

Semi-private pool suite at Sandals Ochi Beach

From the rhythmic reggae beats to the tantalizing local cuisine, Sandals Ochi not only offers a tropical escape but also plunges guests into the rich heritage that defines the island.

In this blog, explore our love for Jamaican culture, heritage, music, and food, and why they are integral to the true essence of Sandals Resorts. And while you’re reading, why not listen to our uniquely curated "A Love For Culture" playlist that features the very best of Jamaican music?


A musical joy

The music of iconic artists such as Bob Marley encapsulates the true spirit of unity and harmony that spreads across Jamaica. Sandals Ochi embraces this message, infusing every aspect of the guest experience with the infectious rhythm of reggae. Sandals Ochi pays homage to the musical legacy that has become synonymous with Jamaica, where guests unwind to the soulful melodies that mirror laid-back, joyful vibes.

Preserving heritage

Jamaican heritage is steeped in historical influences, shaped by the people who live there. Sandals Ochi takes pride in preserving this heritage, incorporating local art, architecture, and traditions into the resort. From the moment guests arrive, they are greeted by the vibrant colors and authentic designs that reflect the spirit of the island.

Savoring the flavor

Jamaican cuisine is all about bold, punchy flavors with a focus on local and fresh produce. The most authentic dishes are a blend of techniques and cuisine not just from the Caribbean but also Africa, Asia and even Europe. Sandals Ochi’s commitment to using local ingredients not only enhances the dining experience but also supports the communities that contribute to making Jamaica the vibrant island it is.

But Jamaican dishes are about much more than the signature jerk chicken served alongside a robust glass of rich, dark rum. Take oxtail for example—the meat from the tail of an ox or steer that’s perfect to include in a wide range of stews and soups. Oxtail recipes truly bring out the flavor of this rich and delicious meat. Here is how you can make traditional Jamaican Oxtail to enjoy time and time again from home:

Jamaican Oxtail Recipe

jamaican oxtails with plantain, cabbage, and rice and peas

Cover image credit: BrittanyD/


2 ½ pounds of oxtail

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of garlic and herb spices

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of Grace browning sauce

¼ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

1 chopped onion

4 cloves of garlic

3 cups of beef broth

1 bunch of thyme

1 sprig rosemary

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons butter

How to cook Jamaican Oxtail:

Step 1: Add the oxtail to a shallow baking dish.

Step 2: Mix the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, salt, garlic and herb seasoning, browning sauce, sugar, paprika and both types of pepper to create a sauce. Rub the oxtail with the sauce and remove any excess from the dish.

Step 3: Place a large pan over a high heat and sear the outside of the oxtail in vegetable oil until it turns golden brown. This should take around three minutes. Then, remove the oxtail and place it on a plate.

Step 4: In the same pan, saute the carrots, garlic, celery and onion until they begin to go soft. Once softened, add the beef broth, thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf. Bring the mixture the boil and add your oxtail.

Step 5: Reduce the heat on the pan and cover. Simmer at a low heat for around three hours or until the oxtail is tender and falls apart.

Step 6: Once tender, remove the lid and increase the heat. Stir the mixture regularly to thicken the sauce.

Step 7: Your authentic Jamaican oxtail is now ready to serve! You can serve this dish as it is, for a comforting stew, or accompany it with typical Jamaican sides like rice and peas or fried plantain.

And paying homage to the legend himself, why not serve up a Frozen Bob Marley for a real Caribbean treat?

What you’ll need to make a Frozen Bob Marley:

2.0 oz. Strawberry Daiquiri Mix

2.0 oz. Mango Daiquiri Mix

2.0 oz. Appleton Gold Rum

1.0 oz. Blue Curaçao Liqueur

How to make it:

Step 1: Set up your blender and gather all your ingredients along with some ice.

Step 2: Blend strawberry daiquiri and ice until mixture is slushy. Add to your cocktail glass to make the first layer of your cocktail.

Step 3: Blend mango daiquiri with ice until slushy. Pour/scoop half of the mango mixture into your glass for the second layer. Do not stir.

Step 4: Put Blue Curaçao into the other half of the mango mixture. This will cause your mixture to turn green. Place the mango mixture into your glass as the third cocktail layer. Do not stir.

Step 5: You can add more rum to the top of your cocktail layers as a float, but this is optional. Add rum to taste.

Step 6: Garnish with fresh fruit and serve.

In Jamaica, culture, heritage, music, and food is not just a theme—it's a way of life. Through immersive experiences, guests are invited to embrace the spirit of Jamaica and become part of larger cultural movements that celebrate diversity, unity, and the beauty of the Caribbean.

Follow us on Instagram and indulge in the love of culture that defines our islands.

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