Tropicana: A cabaret beneath the star-filled sky

Tropicana: A cabaret beneath the star-filled sky

by WhyNotCuba

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Tropicana (click for the location) is a famous Cuban cabaret that breaks with preconceptions. It is located in the open air in a wooded area. The so-called “Paradise beneath the stars” is placed within the former farm Villa Mina, in the municipality of Marianao, Havana. The nightclub is blended with the colours of the Cuban folklore, the variety of rhythms, the beauty and grace of the dancers.

A bit of history

The club was established as Tropicana for the Christmas celebrations of 1940. A year before, Mina Pérez Chaumont, the widow of the property’s owner, had rented out the place to a group of entrepreneurs lead by Víctor Correa. The cabaret captivated the wealthy, and the marvellous night, the starry sky and charming women dazzled the public quickly. Besides, the unusual, exotic ambience provided by its ample garden was a hallmark for this mythic place since the beginnings. Tropicana was fuelled by different rhythms like the bolero, the cha-cha, and spectacles involving circus performances, ballet and the carnival. In the first half of the past century, Tropicana was known as the most beautiful club in the world and later as “the Montecarlo of America”, being compared with the Casino de Montecarlo, in Monaco.

A representation of the many milestones associated with Tropicana are the musical magazine Congo Pantera, the productions La viuda alegre (The happy widow), Rhythm and Fantasy, and Six Beautiful Cubans, some of them created by the choreographer Roderico Neyra (Rodney), considered the best of his genre in his time. One of the locations in the club, the Rodney Café, is honoured with the name of this outstanding director.

After 1959, Rodney moved to Mexico. Then, Joaquín M. Condall, Santiago Alfonso and Tomás Morales inherited his legacy to become the show directors for several years. Santiago Alfonso, also a dancer, took under his egis the artistic direction of the cabaret in the 90’s. He created the superproduction “The glory is you”, which merge the Cuban musical rhythms with grace and sensuality. Santiago has also been a professor to some important artistic figures of the cabaret. Several Cuban and foreign artists have performed in the cabaret. To mention but a few examples: Rosita Fornés, Rita Montaner, Bola de Nieve, Elena Burke, Joséphine Baker, Libertad Lamarque, Cheo Feliciano and Nat King Cole.

Inside Tropicana

The club comprises a variety of lounges and locals for enjoying the great spectacles and sampling the nice food and drinks.

Salón bajo las estrellas (Lounge under the stars)

It is a magnificent patio located outdoors and surrounded by an exuberant grove. This is where the superb shows of Tropicana take place. 

Time: from 8:30 pm until dawn.
Capacity: up to 1000 persons.

Salón Arcos de Cristal (Glass Arches Hall)

On rainy days, the Tropicana shows take place in this hall. In these air-conditioned premises you can also see fashion shows, concerts, dances, press conferences and conventions.

Capacity: 500 persons.

Café Rodney

The Café Rodney is a site that relives the modernity of the 50’s. Captivating and with a bohemian ambience, it offers a variety of options and attractive prices.

Time: every day from 12 pm until 12 am.
Capacity: up to 50 persons.

Los Jardines Restaurant

A restaurant and piano-bar that presents a relaxing atmosphere, supported by a natural illumination coming from the moonlight, that filters through the glass. A view of the external wood makes the place a luxurious and exotic spot inside Tropicana, suitable to sample the international cuisine.

Time: every day from 7:00 pm to 12 am.
Capacity: up to 100 persons.

Two symbols of the cabaret Tropicana are the sculptures of the Ballerina and the Fuente de las Musas (Fountain of the Muses), which is located at the main entrance of the club. The former was sculpted by famous local artist Rita Longa in 1950 and the latter by Italian Aldo Gamboa in 1952.

Tropicana shows are famous, so much, that it could be an entire cast in the cabaret at Cuba and another showing the exclusive spectacles abroad. The folkloric performances, traditional dances and women with sensual attires put a mark of distinction in the Tropicana shows, along with the classic cocktails and the Cuban rum.

Book a show

You can book online a place for a show, a show accompanied with a dinner and the special offer on next December 31st.

Standard ShowPlus ShowPremium ShowSpecial Offer December 31st
Ticket price FromUSD 75.00 (+20 with dinner)USD 85.00 (+20 with dinner)USD 95.00 (+20 with dinner)From USD 300.00
What is included?1 Welcome drink
¼ Bottle of Havana Club Special Old Rum
1 Soft Drink
1 Appetizer (peanuts)
Preferential Table
1 Welcome drink
¼ Bottle of Havana Club Special Old Rum
1 Soft Drink
1 Appetizer (peanuts)
Preferential Table
1 Welcome drink

¼ Bottle of Whisky or 7-years old Havana Club Rum
1 Soft Drink
1 Appetizer (peanuts)

Special Menu (8:00 pm)

Gala Night on New Year’s eve
Customized gift for each of the guest

Black-tie is required

Insider Tips

Because of its location, far from the city centre, maybe hiring a taxi is the best choice to reach Tropicana. In addition, some tourist agencies offer excursions with transportation included. The outfit has to be always formal, and you have to avoid shorts, sandals or trainers. In general, everything that would spoil the elegance of the place. This is strictly enforced.

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To have a better experience, maybe the Plus and Premium shows are the proper option, since you are able to witness the spectacle from a privileged position. If you are not a person with a huge appetite, it could be enough buy a ticket for a show only, which also offers a snack. On the contrary, you could eat at the restaurant before 9:30 pm (time when the show starts) and taste a dish from the haut cuisine. There is also the possibility of buy a ticket for the Show + Dinner option.

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