Endlessly thumping hypnotic house beats fill the air as clinking glasses mix with laughter, smiles, and maybe, perhaps, a lie or two.
It’s dark, mostly, the better to see the moon and stars above, and maybe, perhaps, to better enjoy that special brand of privacy only found within a crowd.
Several stories below, laborers work into the night, breathing new life into the tropical urban sprawl seemingly, perhaps, in rhythm to the revelry playing out all around me.
It’s 9:15, but tonight’s fun is only just beginning.
This is the Wednesday night happy hour at The Terrace Lounge within The Best Western Premier Pétion-Ville, one of the finest hotels in the uptown (literally and figuratively) suburb of Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince.
Mirroring the crowd I encountered at the weekly Thursday night RAM Party at Hotel Oloffson downtown, the partygoers here were a well-coiffed mix of diplomats, businessmen and women, politicos, tourists, and well-to-do locals. The vibe, though, was more restrained, the persistent hum of pleasant conversations and hugs replacing the wild hoots and howls you’ll find as the night wears on for RAM.
An on-site DJ, loads of waitstaff, and a steady stream of drink specials kept the party so nice that even a few light sprinkles couldn’t chase the crowd inside.
The people, the vibe, the music, the elegant surroundings – all of it just another slice of the Haiti you don’t usually see via mainstream news.
For more on what makes The Best Western Premier Pétion-Ville one of the most exciting new hotel openings in Haiti in years, check out this story in The Miami Herald by my good friend Jacqueline Charles.
Hope to see you there on a Wednesday night real soon!