Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
May 1, 2007
A brief chat with her revealed that she had a couple of girls, the eldest eight years was already following in her mother’s footsteps and playing the piano, with aspirations (at her tender age) of becoming a classical pianist. Ambitions are important let’s hope she makes it. Although she had some tried-and-tested tunes she was always receptive to audience requests, a quality which endeared her to everyone.
On the pianist’s night off, a classical guitarist took over and played with real gusto and enthusiasm. However, he had zero stage presence and really was performing for himself or the odd member of the audience who had bought his CD. Indeed this guy had a certain arrogance and surrounded himself with old posters, presumably of times when he performed in bigger and better venues.
At night, the bar is fairly full and it requires patience to queue for your drinks, but they generally make a good cocktail and certainly they don’t skimp on the alcohol, although you won’t be surprised to read that most of the cocktails were rum-based. They did manage an Irish Coffee, with lashings of whiskey making it a superb after dinner drink.
There’s a smell, not unpleasant, although I suppose really unhealthy, of stale cigar smoke that pervades the bar and in the corner is a store selling a whole range of cigars from small cigarillos at one peso each, to a decent hand-rolled cigar at six pesos. Although I haven’t smoked for over twenty-five years, I decided to have a go at a Cuban hand rolled cigar. It was a smoke for an occasion and took most of the night to finish. Although I enjoyed it, I shall not become an addict. I threatened to take a couple back home as a celebration, with a friend, for my retirement and that I shall do. Interestingly, the price of cigars in the hotel is actually cheaper than those in the factory shop in Havana and no more expensive than the open shops in Varadero.
Often, during the day, we wandered down to the Piano Bar for a coffee and a mid-afternoon Pina Colada. I guess it would be easy to get into this lifestyle; being waited on and enjoying the food and drink at any point of the day without having to dig deep in the wallet to find it.
From journal All-inclusive in Varadero
We were impressed with a magic show and I’m always amazed at the trickery involved and, each time, I am determined to identify the deception. I failed miserably as a single scarf multiplied into many and then transformed into a dove, which when placed in an empty box ‘grew’ into two full-size ducks. I'm not even sure how the two ducks would have fit into the box, nevermind about where the dove disappeared to. The show was mainly conducted in Spanish but as it involved a lot of mime and posturing the language really didn’t matter.
Perhaps the best and most professional show that we saw was the water ballet. I’ve never watched synchronized swimming for more than about thirty seconds before and so was amazed how transfixed I became with this performance. The performance both poolside and in the pool was almost perfectly executed and in absolute synchronicity with the music. I have to say that I struggled to hold my breath as long as the swimmers did and when they emerged from underwater it was always with a smile. Or perhaps it was just relief! Dives were clean and crisp and it was fascinating to note how quickly the performers changed their wet costumes for the next bit of finery.
In contrast, the next night was billed as Cubano and a selection of Cuban music and dance. Considering this was their native dance, the dance of a nation that claims to have rhythm and love to dance, it was an absolute shambles. A couple of the dancers had the beat but the majority were out of step and most noticeable the whole ensemble was unsynchronized and lacking in choreography.
Around the pool there were additional performances ranging from a superb jazz saxophonist, a couple of upbeat vocal groups and, unfortunately, the dreaded karaoke seemed ever-popular, usually with the family and friends of those performers who may be able to sing the notes, but not necessarily in the right order or pitch. The karaoke was certainly a performance to avoid!