Mambo Club, Varadero
Due to the glut of all-inclusive hotels round here, nightclubs have trouble attracting business. If you venture out just once then come to Mambos - I doubt there is a better night out in Varadero.
Nightclub is at the far end of the peninsular, attached to the Club Amigo hotel. Cover charges vary with the wind, apparently including all your drinks sometimes, although the nights we were there it was 8 CUC’s each (no drinks).
Mambo is THE classic club design, like something from an old gangster movie, with a centrepiece stage for the band, and a split staircase behind leading to the first floor bar and balcony tables. Main dance floor is in front of the stage, although I’d avoid if you can’t move like the locals…
You wont pay any more than 3 CUC’s for a drink. Cristal (the beer) is 1 CUC, cocktails are 2. Bar upstairs is managed by the biggest prat you’ll meet in Cuba, doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing, and will leave you unnecessarily waiting whilst organises his staff.
The fantastic show starts around 11pm – midnight, with a full band and vocalists providing the Cuban music, dancers for the entertainment, and a compare who’s a dead ringer for King Jaffe Joffer from Coming To America. Fire jugglers and weird Afro-Caribbean dancers amuse when the band takes a break. When that’s all over, the DJ spins some Latin and the odd pop track, but don’t expect anything more exciting than Shakira or the ubiquitous Bob Sinclairs World, Hold On.
On the busier nights, expect a few local hustlers sharking about. Strangely though, the jinteros we saw seemed more interested in the free drinks they could extract from the girls, rather than anything else (&^£&%£).
Plenty of taxis outside to get you back to your tedious little hotel.
Dress Code: If you're on holiday with plenty CUC's in your pocket, you're in.
It's a popular nightclub to try the dance steps you have learned in your hotel, and they also have some kind of teaching (a professional couple show the steps and the crowd repeat it). They play a lot of "ordinary" disco music, so we actually had to ask for more salsa and mambo.
The 10 USD entrance fee included all the drinks.
The picture is from the following site: http://www.cubanacan.cu/ESPANOL/concurso/ganadores/silvina/mambo.html
Dress Code: I don't think there is a dress code, but most people were nicely dressed.