Almost every hotel here has some form of nightly entertainment, usually a Broadway theater review or local cabaret-style show. These can vary from sadly comic to totally professional. Most give way to a dance party. By far, the biggest and best cabaret show, the Tropicana Matanzas, is located about 20 minutes away on the outskirts of Matanzas; see "Matanzas After Dark," earlier in this chapter for details. Other cabaret options include the Cabaret Continental at Varadero Internacional (tel. 45/66-7038; cover CUC$25); the Mambo Club at Gran Hotel, Carretera Las Morlas Km 14 (tel. 45/66-8565; cover CUC$10); and the Palacio de La Rumba at the Hotel Bella Costa, Avenida Las Américas (tel. 45/66-8210; cover CUC$10).
The new Egrem-run Casa de la Música, Avenida Playa between Calle 42 and 43 (tel. 45/66-7568), kicks off at 10:30pm with different shows and turns into a disco afterward. Admission is CUC$10. It's open Tuesday to Sunday.
Perhaps my favorite place for a show is the new La Comparsita, Calle 60 and Avenida 3 (tel. 45/66-7415), which is a lovely open-air space that evokes the feel of a colonial-era courtyard. There are good sightlines from all the tables here and an excellent nightly show from 10:30pm with wide-ranging Cuban music and dance styles. Admission is CUC$3. The place also has a happening bar upstairs.
Cueva del Pirata, Autopista Sur Km 11 (tel. 45/66-7751), is a midsize cave that has been converted into a popular cabaret and dance club. Lights create eerie shadows among the stalactites. The cabaret show begins around 10:30pm from Monday to Saturday and has a pronounced Afro-Cuban emphasis. It's followed by dancing to either a live band or a DJ. Admission is CUC$10.
The Mirador, atop the Mansión Xanadú (tel. 45/66-8482), is a good spot for a quiet drink with a nice view.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.