The Cuban Nightlife
The Cuban Nightlife is Legendary
The Buena Vista Social Club is a name most of us have heard of. All because the Cuban nightlife is legendary. Buena Vista Social Club was made popular again by a 1999 movie bearing the same name. The movie displayed the talents of some of Cuba’s legendary musicians such as Rueben Gonzalez, Compay Segundo and Ibrahim Ferrer. The actual Buena Vista Social Club was a members only club in Havana, Cuba, that closed in the 1940s. Today the BVSC is an unofficial brand name that represents the musical spirit of a time and era.
In the 1920s hotels, restaurants, night clubs, golf clubs, and casinos of Havana drew the wealthy from all over the world. American debutantes and celebrities came to Cuba for vacations, getaways and used it as an adult playground. Of course, all of that changed after the revolution. Today with Americans returning to Cuba. Many are wanting to experience the fabulous Cuban nightlife.
Many people are trying to cash in on the enthusiasm of tourists. There are many choices in Cuba and they all appear to be good. They all have a healthy price tag too. We saw prices that ranged from $79 to $300 CUC. We had a chance to go to the Tropicana. Tropicana was at the pinnacle of high society in Cuba before 1959. Today it always fills up to capacity quickly, but gone is the casino.
Don’t be fooled
During our trip, we saw no less than 3 or 4 different places all claiming to have the original members of the Buena Vista Social Club. Now if you apply basic math most of the original members are either deceased or would be around 100 years old. I guess the BVSC is a lot like the Motown group the Temptations. Last count there were 6 groups claiming to be the Temptations including an all white group that performs in Las Vegas.
A less expensive option
We decided to go to the Nataly Show at the Habana Libre Hotel (Formerly the Hilton) The show is nightly at 11 PM. With a cost of only $10 CUC. The show is performed nightly at 11 PM on the 25th floor of the hotel. The 25th floor has an amazing view of Havana from 2 sides. This is an old style Cuban show with dancers in colorful costumes and large headdresses. We would compare this to our Las Vegas shows. The show has several wardrobe changes and a live band. The singing and dancing is something to see.
The Nataly Show
Now, I know I said it was a live band but that does not do it justice. I am talking about 18-22 musicians. A brass section, woodwinds group, piano player, and then the percussion. Top that with men singing and dancing to a Latin beat that just accentuates the positive! Nikki described the show as, “a glittering and exotic spectacle of music and dance showcasing a mash-up of Cuban culture and Las Vegas flash.” It was a terrific show. We got to experience the Cuban nightlife. We did it at a fraction of the cost! Winner, Winner Pollo Dinner!
List of Cuban Clubs and Shows:
Calle 21 y O | at the Hotel Nacional, Havana 10400, Cuba
Avenida 23 | Entre N y o, Havana, Cuba
+53 7 662402
Calle O, between Calles 17 and 19 | Vedado, Havana 30331, Cuba
Zulueta 660 Apodaca y Gloria, Havana, Cuba
+53 7 8617761
Empedrado | Empedrado # 411 entre Compostela y Aguacate, Havana 10100, Cuba
+53 7 8671537
Hotel Melia Cohiba, Ave. Paseo | 1ra y 3ra – Vedado, Havana 10400, Cuba
+53 7 8333636
More Avda. Paseo, entre 17 y 19. El Vedado., Havana 10400, Cuba
+53 7 8338738
Ave. 20 No. 3308 esq. a 35, Miramar, Havana, Cuba
+53 7 2040447
Calle M, La Habana, Cuba
+53 7 8346100
This is in no way a complete list. Please consult other resources for additional information.