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Adventures in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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People Who Can Stay for Free

Posted by Tony & Cheri on May 8, 2008

The other day while digging through paperwork trying to catch up on our Mexican and US taxes, Cheri found a little notebook containing a list of names. At the top of the list was written, “People Who Can Stay For Free.” The list is dated October 24, 2004.

We remember that night like it was yesterday. We were several months into negotiations for the Hotel Zanzibar, the little hotel in Playa del Carmen that we would eventually buy and later rename the Luna Blue Hotel & Bar. And, unbeknownst to us at the time, we were four months away from signing the final docs. We were at the the dreaming, planning and imagining stage. What would a move to Mexico mean to us? How would it change our lives? Would we like living in Mexico? Would the deal really go through?

We were having dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco, sharing a bottle of red wine, and one of us said, “We should have a list of people who can stay for free.” “That’s a great idea!” the other replied. We were just tipsy enough to take the idea and run with it. We went back and forth with a bit of “Who is that??” and some “You want who?!” and a couple “Well, if you picked him/her, then I want ____!” After a lot of laughter and wine, here’s the list we came up with. This list is people who, if they ever were so inclined to visit us in Playa del Carmen, would not pay a peso at our little Mexican hotel, the Luna Blue Hotel & Bar. They are listed in the order we came up with that night. A few were added today, three and a half years later, because…well…because we are different people today than we were then. The list is filled with people one or both of us respect, admire, lust after or would just really like to meet. Here it is.

BTW, every name is a link, just in case you’re curious about someone. We have a personal bet on whose name will be clicked the most often. 🙂


Muhammed Ali
Bill Clinton
Aaron Neville
Cyril Neville
Art Neville
Charles Neville
Ivan Neville
Daniel Day Lewis
Salma Hayek
Denzel Washington
Pat Conroy
Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy Carter
Keith Olbermann
Isabelle Adjani
Michael Moore
Hillary Clinton
Christopher Moore
Gene Hackman
Vicente Fox
Susan Sarandon
Tim Robbins
Bob Dylan
Gordie Howe
Anthony Bourdain
Bonnie Raitt
Gary Snyder
John Cusack
Nancy Pelosi
Royce Gracie
Anderson Cooper
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
Cheryl Strayed
Tom Hanks
Kurt Sutter
Katie Sagal
Oscar de la Hoya
Robert Stone
Chip Davis
William Shatner
Michael McCloud
Aretha Franklin
Hank Williams, Jr.
Seymour Hersh
Brooke Burke
Al Gore
Mark Burnett
Jeff Probst
George Clooney
Jenna Jameson
Fidel Castro
Richard Cohen
Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Dalai Lama
The guys from Sons of Anarchy
Big & Rich
The Dixie Chicks
Stevie Wonder
Anne Lamott
Barack Obama & family
Rachel Maddow
Christina Aguilera
Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberg III
Isabel Allende
Keb’ Mo’
George Takei
Tom Selleck
Katey Sagal & Kurt Sutter Royce Gracie
The Dalai Lama Stevie Wonder

So….if you find your name on this list and are in the mood for a quick trip to paradise, give us a call. 🙂 The room’s on us, and we might even throw in margarita or two.

Who would YOU put on this list??

20 Responses to “People Who Can Stay for Free”

  1. If Anthony Bourdain shows up, will expect a phone call!!!

  2. Bruce & Gene said

    You spelled my name wrong, it’s BeeGeeZ! We’ll be there next week? See you soon! I wish! We’d gladly pay to stay at your great hotel. We so enjoyed our late evening visits in April to your swing bar meeting your friends & wonderful guests. Let us know if you have “no shows” , we’ll hop on the next plane! Bruce & Gene

  3. Ginger said

    Yah, like Michele said…only Denzel. If he calls, book me in for the same time frame.

  4. Sharon/Queencityfan said

    SO, if my maiden name was Neville could I get on this list?

    No? well, ok, so just call me if Shatner shows up, he rocks!

  5. novabeachbumz said

    Tony and Cheri – Not sure if my husband left a post regarding our March visit (our first!) to PDC and the beautiful Luna Blue, but wanted to add my own. From the first moment we arrived on 3/20/08 until we left on 3/27/08 – we were in heaven. Our two girls LOVED every second of the trip and, especially, the Luna Blue. They gave Genaro (sp?) and Hose a run for their money and surely kept them entertained. For three days they had the company of a couple of “chico’s” from Canada and were teased relentlesly (and loved it!). They loved the 5th ave shopping, the beach and all that PDC offered. We visited Tulum and El Paraiso Beach Club (wonderful!!). We ate local food each and every day and never had a bad meal. We even allowed the two 16 yr. olds a shot of Tequila one night. We all enjoyed hanging at the bar and swinging – and meeting other hotel guests. It was truly one of our most favorite vacations of all times! You guys run a first class establishment and employ some wonderful people, including Hymay (sp?) and Delores as well as those mentioned above. We can’t wait to return to room #6 at The Luna Blue! Thanks guys. You rock! Jack, Cherie, Caitlyn and Ellen Rinkenberg

  6. Chris & Kat said

    Hey, you forgot to add the wife and I! No worries, we will still see you in June!

  7. Adam and Sarah said

    I want a phone call if Bourdaine is in town, I’m not sure I hang with him in the drinking department, but I want to give it a shot! Great list by the way…

  8. Tappy said

    If Jeff P shows up I will clean his room for free 🙂

  9. Carlos said

    That’s quite a list. I bet some of them tried but there was no room.

  10. Louise said

    Yeah, Capt. Sullenberger for sure. I am still in awe. And what a worthy addition to your list.

    I would love to see Mr. Tony Bennett on that list. 🙂

  11. Sherry Yeany said

    Max Cleland, George Soros, David Frost, Ted Kennedy, Martin Sheen, Ron Howard, John Cusack, Gloria Steinem, Cecile Richards, Carole King, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Donna Brazile, Irene Khan, Bill Cosby…a full house, but they can double up and share in the beauty of Luna Blue’s tropical paradise. No doubt, they’d find something in common. 🙂

  12. Kathy Webb said

    Diablo Cody, Diego Luna, Rachel Maddow and the Iraqui that threw the shoe at George W. Bush!!

  13. Sarah said

    You forgot to add me. 😉

    Miss you guys, Sarah, Adam, & Baby Bufante

  14. Aggie said

    Hi – I stumbled on your site by mistake. I was looking in Yahoo for PDF software that I had already purchased when I came upon your site, I must say your site is pretty cool I just love the theme, its amazing!. I don’t have the time at the moment to fully read your entire site but I bookmarked it and also will sign up for your RSS feed. I’ll back around in a day or two. thanks for a cool site.

  15. If Anthony. Bourdain or Fidel Castro shows me immediately. I think they are fascinating people.

  16. Carlos Santana and Oh, the guy Kathy W. mentioned that threw the shoe at Bush.

  17. wow you did add tom hanks! funny just watched the green mile last night by chance.

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