HAVANA – Madonna started her birthday celebration with a drive from José Martí International Airport into Old Havana in a caravan of classic 1950s American convertibles. She turned 58 on Tuesday.
She was staying at the hotel Saratoga, a five-story corner building with a Spanish colonial façade on Paseo de Martí. Beyoncé and Jay Z stayed there in 2013.
The luxury hotel, built in 1933, has suites for about $750 a night — in a country where the average state salary is about $20 a month.
“Cuba Libre,” Madonna said in the caption of a photo she posted on her Instagram profile.
Madonna was traveling with her 19-year-old daughter Lourdes “Lola” Maria Leon Ciccone, whose father, Carlos Leon, is Cuban. Her friend Debi Mazar and her 10 and 16-year-old sons with English filmmaker Guy Ritchie, David and Rocco, were also with her.
Dancer Loic Mabanza posted photos on social media before boarding a World Atlantic Airlines flight and later at La Vitrola, a 1950s themed restaurant, where she had a “tres leches” birthday cake, danced on the table and was part of a “Conga” line.
Costume designer Bea Akerlund and photographer Steven Klein were also among her guests.
She joins the list of celebrities — including the Kardashian sisters, Leonardo DiCaprio and Rihanna — partying in Cuba after Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro moved to normalize relations.
Andrea Torres, www.local10.com
August 16, 2016