New Year 2019/20 - Sample Itinerary (Holiday Closed)
26 December 2019 - 06 January 2020 (10 nights)
3 nights All Inclusive Beachside location
7 nights Bed & Breakfast in Havana (or arrange your own accommodation)
15 hours dance classes with world class Cuban teachers from the Raices Profundas company
Dance programme classes in Salsa, Casino, Afro-Cuban, Orishas, Rumba, Son, Cha Cha Cha, Mambo, Rueda and Reggaeton
Free welcome party with the Cuban dancers on the first night
Exclusive access to bands, backstage access where possible, latest updates on all the best bands, clubs and options
Over 40 hours of accompanied dancing with 5 professional dancers every night with the option of 5 additional animation dancers and teachers for every club
Optional extra programme of unique events including a Bembe, private Rumba party and beach parties with live bands
1-2-1 coaching for beginners
Live percussion for Afro Cuban classes and warm ups along with Master classes with Ildolidia Ramos
Start your holiday at our stunning all inclusive resort for 3 nights where we begin our classes. Chill out at the beach and travel into Havana every night to Salsa and party with our professional Cuban dancers. We then move on to Old Havana where you have two options to choose from:
PACKAGE A: Stay at Al Capone's favourite hotel in the heart of Old Havana, the majestic Hotel Sevilla
PACKAGE B: Arrange your own accommodation in a recommended Casa Particular or choose your own
Whatever Cuban dance style you would like to specialise in, be it Salsa, Orishas, Rumba, Son, Casino, Rueda, male/female stying or whatever your level, be it beginner or professional, our dancers and programme planning ensure that all your dance dreams will be fulfilled. You will be moved!
Check into the stunning all-inclusive beach resort just 20 minutes outside of Havana - all food, drinks and most water sports included. Take a dip in the turquoise blue sea and chill out.
At 10pm a luxury coach will pick us up to go to the Key2Cuba welcome party in Havana. On the rooftop of Graham Green's favourite hotel, with stunning views of old Havana and the sea, you will be accompanied by the Key2Cuba team of dancers and have the chance to dance away the jet lag to a fabulous live band. Alternatively, if you prefer, you may choose to chill out and take it easy on the first night and have a cocktail on your balcony or the bar and be rested for the next day. All depends on flight arrival and what works best for you. Our holiday is packed full of exciting events and there is no pressure - you can dip in and out of the programme as you like.
Free morning to relax, sunbathe, swim in the pool or the sea, take a massage on the each or a private Spanish lesson, enjoy all the free water sports or sip free mojitos with the clan.
Lunch: A Key2Cuba table is reserved every day and night in the main restaurant for all our group to dine together. Enjoy fresh grilled fish, chicken, pork, salads, rice, plantain and a huge range of fresh fruit..
Afternoon: Meet with Kerry and the group to go over any new additions to the itinerary and get to know all the group. Shake off the jetlag and get back into your body with a one hour introduction to Cuban style and technique.
After dinner, enjoy free cocktails in the bar followed by a night of Salsa dancing with the dancers in Havana. It's Friday night so we will see a top live band at the new Rueda club in central Havana. It will be packed full of great Cuban dancers and our team to ensure a night of world class dancing.
Free morning to relax on the beach, enjoy free water sports, take a massage, swim in the pool, have a Spanish lesson or go sight seeing into Havana.
1.00pm: Meet informally for lunch
4.30pm: Salsa class (2 hours). Introduction to Cuban style with Kerry and our Masterclass Teachers.
7.30pm: Meet for dinner. Enjoy the free wine and extensive buffet. A table will be reserved for Key2Cuba clients.
10pm: Coach to Havana to visit the world's number one Salsa club. Enjoy a VIP entrance with the top table reserved for our group and dancers. Splash some rum and let your Cuban style have wings on the dance floor.
3am: Return to the beach hotel for free drinks in the bar and for those that have the energy, late night partying till the sun comes up.
After breakfast, have a swim in the sea, relax around the pool finish your packing, squeeze in some lunch. At 1.30pm, the coach will waiting to take the group to Havana where you can check in either at the historic four star Hotel Sevilla or go to your casa of choice.
Evening: Dance at a colonial Arabic Salsa style venue, with our fabulous Key2Cuba dancers. This new venue is practically unknown to tourists. There's a secret cigar room for aficionados hidden in the back corridors. Table reserved on the stage, and let’s dance with our dancers and all the locals in this very relaxed downtown Havana vibe. The best dance floor in Havana too!
Morning: Dance Class with Kerry and the Cuban dancers. Warm-up, and technique for the first hour followed by classes of you choice at all levels. Stretches to finish.
Evening: Meet to go dancing at Casa de la Musica where Maykel Blanco plays on a Monday. After a sensational concert and photo shoot backstage with the band, we will head to one of Havana's most famous restaurants. It is close to the club and after many hours of dancing you can eat as much Cuban style food as you like. Chicken, beans, plantain, rice, salad, coconut ice cream and Cuban coffee. This is one of Havana’s most popular restaurants and the ‘frijoles negra’ and chicken recipes are a military guarded secret.
Day 6 (New Year's Eve)
Morning: Dance Class with Kerry and the Cuban dancers. Warm-up and Rumba technique for the first hour followed by classes of you choice at all levels. Stretches to finish.
7pm: For those staying at the Sevilla hotel, a stunning candlelit champagne gala dinner is beautifully presented around the pool.
9.30pm: After the gala dinner, the coach takes you to Cuba's leading Salsa venue where the rest of the group will have finished dining. VIP table reserved in advance to ensure your New Year's Eve in Havana will be one magical night you will remember for the rest of your life. As midnight approaches, we'll countdown to 2020 together with our dancers. It's tradition in Cuba to kiss everyone on the cheek. As the orchestra plays, we will dance and party till the late hours.
Day 7 (New Year's Day)
12pm: Roll out of bed and into our luxury coach to go to the beach with all the dancers. Chill-out, swim in the turquoise clear sea, Rueda in the sea, enjoy a late picnic lunch and share some rum. Dance the afternoon away with a privately hired live band, on the long white sandy beach as the sun sets. Everyone is invited to join in or watch the dancers in a short cleansing ceremony / offering fruits to the Goddess of the sea Yemaya, which symbolises the closing of the old year and opening the way for the new one. Return to Havana after the sun sets.
Morning: Salsa Class (3 hours) with a Rumba warm up, Son technique, then split up into different levels.
Afternoon: Meet at the Sevilla to take an open topped Cadillac on a tour of Old Havana an stop off to meet the Godfather of Cuban Rumba, Amado and his ensemble from Clave y Guaguancó. We all bring rum to share as the world’s leading Rumba group play, perform and party with us in their private residence. Hear Amado sing next to you, sending shivers down your spine and dance with all of Havana’s legendary Rumberos. You will be moved!
Evening: Dinner on the border of Old Havana as a group. Walk back to the hotel along the sea front (Malecon) and soak up the starry Havana night.
The last salsa class followed by a short ceremony after class to say "Thank You" to the teachers and to take photos.
Dance class (3 hour)
Evening: The Key2Cuba dance team joins us for dancing at the famous concert at the Malecon at La Piragua for a 200,000 strong crowd. We secure VIP backstage passes, VIP coach entrance and have unprecedented up close and personal access to Cuba’s leading orchestras, the musicians themselves and hang out with their families in the safe area next to the stage before returning back to old Havana. Enjoy four consecutive live bands and dance the night away with all our dancers.
Free morning to go shopping, get a massage, visit the rum museum, chill out or simply wander the atmospheric streets of Old Havana.
12pm: Join a tour of Old Havana led by our production manager. Discover the hidden secrets and history of Old Havana and see the boat that Fidel Castro brought his men on back to the island in the war. Finish with a Piña Colada on the rooftop of Hotel Ambus Mundos overlooking the port.
Early evening: Meet for an authentic private party (Bembé) at one of the dancers house in the suburbs of Havana. Enjoy the warm hospitality of tasty home cooking and world class performances of the Ceremonial Orishas. Kerry introduces and explains each Orisha, so that you can understand the characters, the movement qualities and the significance of the ceremony. This extraordinary and powerful experience ends with Ellegua closing the ceremony and a wild Salsa party kicks in. Make sure you dance with all the neighbours, locals and professional dancers alike.
Have you packed your Fedora Trilby? Best to wear it as we meet at hotel Sevilla in the courtyard to say our goodbyes and sip one last Mojito as the live band serenades us. You can understand why Al Capone loved this place, with its Spanish colonial charm, history and elegance.
If you are travelling on the Virgin flight, a coach will take the London group back to the airport where we have a last dance in the café, before boarding the flight. Private transfers will also arrive for our travellers, at the requested time.
Arrive home, splash Cuban rum on your kitchen floor and make your Cuban dancers proud! Show off your all new dance moves, body confidence and Cuban charisma at your local Salsa club and get ready for all the compliments.
This is again a unique Key2Cuba experience that will bring you closer to understanding the dance culture in Cuba. It will give you more insight as to how the relationship between the African religion and dances are connected. Everyone brings rum, coke and water to share and we have our own informal mini bar, our own Cuban chef, live musicians, singers and dancers. The energy is breath-taking! Say your final goodbyes as we party till late. Back in Havana, those who still want to party, head to the very wild Salsa and reggaeton club next door to our hotel for a last Salsa in Havana.
Please note that flights are not included on this holiday.
Hotel prices have risen substantially over the past year therefore we are delighted to be able to offer you two options.
Standard Package A
3 nights All Inclusive at beachside location | 7 nights Bed & Breakfast at Hotel Sevilla
Airport transfers (if requested), hotel transfers
Dance programme with 15 hours of tuition at 5 levels with equal male/female partnering
Access to Optional Extra excursions
Free Welcome Party
Free tour of Havana
1-2-1 dance coaching with Kerry Ribchester
Dancers and master teachers from leading dance company, Raices Profundas
Standard Package B
3 nights All Inclusive at beachside location | Arrange your own accommodation in Havana
All else as above
Paradise Beach Location, Blau Arenal,
Santa Maria, Havana
The beauty of spending the first 3 days at the magnificent Santa Maria beach means that every night we still have access to the world's leading Salsa orchestras in Havana accompanied by our Key2Cuba dance team. Unwind on the white sandy beach, swim in the turquoise sea, enjoy the free water sports, treat yourself to a masage and get to know your fellow travllers from all over the word as you sip fresh coconut juice and dine with the group in the stunning fresh fish restaurant overlooking the sea. Late afternoon, we have a short dance class with the Cuban masters, then in the evenings, we head to Havana. You can swim until the sun sets in heavenly tranquil waters.
All food, soft and alcoholic drinks and water sports included.
Luxury Hotel Sevilla
All of our summer holidays are now based at the stunning colonial 4* Hotel Sevilla in the heart of Old Havana. Steeped in history with its Moorish architecture, white marbled entrance, elegant courtyard with fountain, a huge outdoor swimming pool, rooftop restaurant with panormaic views of the city and port, you will feel like you are walking back into a 1940 movie. No need for taxis here as you can walk to two of Cuba's most famous Salsa clubs plus hundreds of bars, restaurants and museums on your doorstep.
All rooms have air-conditioning, ensuite bathroom, tv, daily maid service, room service, 24 hour bar and cafe services, internet facilities, money changing services at the front desk and live music daily.
As you follow in the footsteps of Al Capone, you will soon realise there is no other hotel in the world with quite the same Cuban charm and elegance as the Hotel Sevilla.