Hot Havana Nights Turns Heads

This year’s Hot Havana Nights was a wonderful getaway for all! The Lago Santa Margarita Beach Club was filled with the sights, sounds, and flavors of Cuba.

Guests lined up with excitement outside of the Beach Club, and a few even broke out into dance once they heard SitaraSon’s Latin rhythms breeze throughout the Beach Club. SitaraSon, an LA-based Latin band, draws inspiration from both salsa music and Afro-Cuban folksong. Their Maestro, Lazaro Galarraga is a renowned vocalist, and the band has traveled the world with their serenades.

The festivities began with a salsa dancing showcase from Sway Ballroom Dance. The dancers, Matt and Amanda, beautifully demonstrated a combination of steps to inspire guests’ dancing. Matt and Amanda then taught a range of salsa dancing steps so attendees could dance the night away. Later that evening, the attendees participated in a passionate dance contest to compete for the title of Best Dancers!

When guests were ready for dinner, they found themselves in for a treat! Entertaining Events created signature dishes just for Hot Havana Nights, including El Puerco Prima-Slow roasted pork shoulder, Cuban Arrozo con Pollo and Chorizo Sliders served with white rice and soffit black beans. Platanos tostones (savory plantains) was one of the most popular dishes. Key lime pie bars, dulce de leches bites, and Cuban vanilla ice cream with toasted coconut rounded out the delicious dishes of the evening.

The mojito bar was a new addition to this year’s event. The drinks’ crisp and fresh flavors were a big hit! Tastings of international rum, tequila, and sotol were offered for guests interested in exploring new drinks. Hacienda de Chihuahua Crema, a sotol known for its smooth notes of cream and pecan, was one of the most popular tastings. Its sophisticated flavors can be used to sweeten coffee, sprinkle over desserts, or savor alone.

Throughout the evening, winning tickets were drawn for the chance drawings. Attendees had the option to purchase a full wing-span of tickets – some even wore their tickets in style! Winners received a variety of gift baskets from local businesses and community partners.

Many of the guests infused their outfits with Cuban flair. Several Panama hats, guayabera shirts, flower hairpins, and bright colors were spotted throughout the crowd. The winners of the fashion contest showed off their tropical, vintage style as an homage to Havana’s golden days.

Besides dancing, there were lots of other fun activities for guests to explore. A master torcedor (Cuban cigar roller) demonstrated the craftsmanship required to make hand-rolled, artisanal Cuban cigars. The photo booth, sponsors by Club Pilates and Amp Sports Med & Recovery, offered groups and couples the chance to pose with a shimmering backdrop and fun props. These local community partners, as well as the RSM Cares Bell Tower Foundation, offered guests the chance to learn more about their organizations.

As the lights dimmed and the music faded, the guests prepared to leave this year’s getaway – but as they left, they received chocolate cigars to celebrate a sweet ending!

Check out more of our favorite event photos in the Hot Havana Nights Photo Album!

We would love to hear about your Hot Havana Nights experience! For questions or comments about this year’s event, please contact Marley Sansom, Lifestyle & Communications Manager at 949-709-0013 or

SAMLARC thanks this year’s event partners in making Hot Havana Nights a resounding success! Many thanks to this year's business and community partners, who include:

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22342A Avenida Empresa, Suite 102A, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

(949) 709-0010

© 2018 Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Corporation