Katy Perry’s been there and many of Havana’s beautiful people have been there and now so have we. Sarao’s Bar on Calle 17 e/ E y F (corner to E) is the go to destination for Habanos with good taste and a New York state of mind when it comes to clubs. It’s a gorgeous space, well stocked with an international bar and a clientele of beautiful people. It’s a bar that would be “just another hot place” in L.A. or London, but it is in Havana on a side street in a largely residential area. All we can say is wow. The arrival of Sarao’s is a demonstration that the privately run club is here in Cuba and drawing both tourists and locals who savour nightlife and music.
This new hotspot is a wonder in a country where materials to renovate have been tough to find in the past decades. Someone has certainly found the best, sexiest construction materials, designers and lighting systems to create a stunning space. Nominally, Sarao’s is called a “restaurant cafeteria” and if you slip around the side (as we did) you can see that the club is actually built onto a home. We understood the rules included opening an eating place in your home – if this is officially that, well those are some pretty good rules.
Cuba has certainly discovered the privately run, beautiful nightclub. As tourism booms (up 15% this year) Cuba is responding to create a fabulous climate for those new visitors.
Inside, in the two level space are luxurious white lounges, stainless steel railings and very moody lighting. Big screens shower the guests with salsa and reggaeton videos and dancing is inevitable. The glowing backlit bar overflowing with a superb assortment of your favorite brands makes it easy to enjoy a wide cocktail menu (special bonus – sensible Cuban prices make the whole experience remarkably affordable.)
Yes, Havana has history, colonial architecture and old neighborhoods that really need attention. But we are clearly entering a whole new period in the development of the city in which it has embraced its tradition of fabulous entertainment and hospitality.