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Adventures in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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Posts Tagged ‘caribbean colors’

Best of Playa Raffle & Fundraiser May 27 for the Peanut Pet Shelter

Posted by Tony & Cheri on April 24, 2011

Our friends at the Peanut Pet Shelter here in Playa del Carmen have had a rough year. A local competing charity and various individuals with personal agendas tried in a malicious and underhanded way to discredit and close them down. It was an ugly campaign that caused rifts between various individuals and businesses. Fortunately, this small group was unsuccessful in their endeavor. However, the result of their effort was a reduction in donations to the Peanut Pet Shelter, which has since then been struggling to make ends meet.

We are big supporters of the Peanut Pet Shelter. Because of them, we have our dog Roxie (the star of the poster) and, indirectly, our dog Gypsy, both of whom entertain us and make us happy on a daily basis. Many of our friends here in Mexico and also in the US and Canada have adopted dogs that were rescued by the PPS. We have seen first hand the amazing work they do in rescuing and caring for the many, many abandoned animals of Playa.

As a result, we’ve decided to join together with other local business owners and sponsor a kick-ass raffle and fundraiser to not only raise a boatload of cash for the Peanut Pet Shelter but to show them that the people of Playa del Carmen and the nearby communities care about them and see them as a valuable part of life here south of the border.

We’re calling it the “Best of Playa,” because most of Playa del Carmen’s best businesses (as well as several businesses from the surrounding communities) are donating prizes to this worthy cause.

Raffle Details

From now until the Best of Playa Raffle Party on Friday, May 27, 2011, for every $10 donation to the Peanut Pet Shelter, you will receive one raffle ticket for the Best of Playa Raffle, where Playa’s best businesses have donated dozens of cool prizes to support this worthy cause. Tickets may be purchased via the link below until 4 pm the day of the event.

Before the event, tickets will also be available at the Luna Blue Hotel & Bar and at the Peanut Pet Shelter dog & puppy washes on Saturdays & Sundays. Tickets will also be available at the event up until the drawing.

You need not be present to win…but you do need to go to paradise to redeem. 🙂

Every 10 kilos of dog food donated to the Peanut Pet Shelter will earn the donor another raffle ticket. Food may be delivered to the Peanut Pet Shelter or the Luna Blue Hotel or brought to the event.

The drawing for prizes will be at the Best of Playa Raffle party at the Luna Blue Bar on May 27. We will have live music, drink specials, and some fun surprises. AND 50% of the bar proceeds will go to the Peanut Pet Shelter!

Click Here to Make a Donation/Purchase Raffle Tickets

There are dozens of raffle prizes available, including a private sunset cruise on the Catamaya for up to 80 people(!!), a seven-night stay at the Royal Oasis condos, and a five-night stay at our own Luna Blue Hotel! Prizes will be added daily up until the date of the event, so check back often.

And please patronize the many Friends of the Peanut Pet Shelter who have so generously donated prizes:

Posted in Activities, Dining in Playa, Events & Happenings, Friends, Living the Dream, The Hotel & Bar, What's New | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Paintings For Pets: Art Show & Benefit at the Luna Blue Bar This Week

Posted by Tony & Cheri on November 24, 2008

Award-winning artist Barry LauniusThe Luna Blue Hotel & Bar is proud to announce that tomorrow night and the next night, Monday and Tuesday November 24 & 25, we will be sponsoring “Paintings for Pets,” an Art Show & Benefit at the Luna Blue Bar, from 6-11 pm. Our friend and extraordinary artist Barry Launius, has brought a collection of his tropical watercolors and acrylics to display and sell, with the sole purpose of raising money for the Peanut Pet Shelter here in Playa del Carmen! This is an extraordinarily generous gesture on Barry’s part. He and his wife Phyllis are also pet lovers, and according to Barry, this show is a memorial of sorts to their dog Rex, who they recently lost, as well as our own Huggybear, who we also lost a short time ago.

Barry is an award-winning artist of major talent whose works focus largely on the tropical paradise of the Riviera Maya. We love his art, and it is displayed prominently in the Luna Blue Hotel and Bar and throughout our home. This week’s art show is a rare opportunity to see many of Barry’s original pieces and pick up some early Christmas presents–while benefitting one of our favorite local charities.

A local art framing shop, Paré, has offered a 15% discount on matting/framing any pieces purchased at the art show. We use Paré exclusively to frame all of the art we have purchased for the house and hotel, and they have always done an excellent job. They are located in central Playa del Carmen on Calle 12 between Avenida 15 and 20.

During the Paintings for Pets events, we will be featuring 2×1 margaritas, and Tony will be cooking up his famous Cheeseburgers in Playadise (with proceeds also going to the pet shelter). Local musician Chris Bollister has hinted that he may drop by one or both nights for an acoustical guitar set. We’re hoping for a large turnout.

The cost of the paintings will range from $30 US for watercolors to $350 for the very largest acrylics. Once you see Barry’s work, you’ll fall in love with it!

If you’re in Playa, please drop by the tomorrow or Tuesday night 6-11 pm at the Luna Blue Bar. Calle 26 Norte between 5th Avenue and 10th Avenue. Hope to see you then!

Here are a few of the paintings that will be up for grabs at the Paintings for Pets event:

To view some others that will be for sale at the event, click here.

Posted in Activities, Events & Happenings, Friends, The Hotel & Bar, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Art of the Luna Blue

Posted by Tony & Cheri on April 12, 2008

Cheri's favorite piece by Barry LauniusWhen we finally made our dream come true by buying the Luna Blue Hotel & Garden, we wanted to decorate it with things we enjoyed and with art we found interesting and unique. Over the last couple of years we have collected the works of various artists with local connections and placed them in the rooms and around the grounds. Here are some of the artists that have helped make the Luna Blue Hotel & Garden such a special part of Playa Del Carm

Our favorite artist is our friend Barry Launius, an award-winning artist specializing in paintings of the Caribbean, its islands and its coastal areas. Like most visitors here, Barry fell in love with the physical beauty of Playa del Carmen and the surrounding coastline. With amazing skill, he began to reproduce the extraordinary seascapes that he saw here. Painting in oil and watercolor, his vivid colors perfectly capture the beautiful joining of sea and sky. He often shows the sea as if the viewer were walking up and discovering it through palm trees and tropical flowers, being drawn down onto the beach and into that clear blue water. We have many of Barry’s oils and watercolors hanging in our home here in Playa, and are currently adding several watercolors to rooms at the Luna Blue. In fact, every time Barry and his wife Phyllis come to visit, we joke that we’re going to have to add on to our house to create more wall space for the paintings that we can’t stop ourselves from buying! In addition we have a number of Barry’s paintings reproduced on ceramic tiles that have been set into the walls around our hotel and bar. We’re also happy to announce that Barry’s artwork will be decorating the cover of the May 19 issue of Travel Weekly magazine, featuring “the Best of the Caribbean.” If you’d like to see more of Barry’s work, check out his website at

A piece of artwork by Henry Valdez CeballosWe also enjoy the work of Henry Valdez Ceballos. Henry is a local Playa del Carmen artist with a growing reputation. He specializes in art of the Taino culture, a pre-Hispanic Caribbean society. Henry fuses ancient symbols with bright Caribbean colors and tactile materials of many sorts into large canvases. There is a feeling of space surrounding primitive symbols. Some creations are abstract, others more realistic, and all touch the viewer with a sense of timelessness. We have one of Henry’s pieces hanging in our house as well as several in the rooms at the Luna Blue Hotel & Garden. You can find Henry’s art at the gallery directly across the street from Hotel Lunata on Fifth Avenue between Calles 6 and 8.

The mural in the garden at the Luna Blue....Xtabay, the Mayan goddessIn our treetop terrace rooms we also have two wonderful large oil paintings that our guests seem to enjoy. One is of a beautiful bikini-clad woman rising out of a sea of red, and the other is of a golden haired beauty sleeping on a cloudy, star-filled night sky. Both were done by an Italian ex-pat artist, Lallian. We thought the ethereal mood created by these portraits fit perfectly with the ambiance of our rooms above the trees.

Of course art is not limited to a framed picture you can hang on the wall. Inspired by the work of legendary fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, and by the Mayan legends of a beautiful jungle goddess Xtabay (Eesh-ta-buy) we asked local artist Omar Gonzalez D’Leon to paint a mural on the wall of our cenote garden. Omar had previously created the three-dimensional Luna Blue logo on the wall of our bar. He did such an amazing job on that project we felt confident he would design something special for us. We were not disappointed. Within a few days Omar had painted a gorgeous rendition of a beautiful girl standing beneath a blue moon waiting to lure people into the magic of the tropical night.

The stone terrace in the Luna Blue gardenAlso in our garden you will find the unique stone terrace we designed. The terrace is in the shape of a circle, the ancient symbol for the sky and the universe. It is made entirely of stone taken from the quarries near the Mayan temple in Cobá, the same source used by Mayan builders centuries ago. Within the circle are seven black stones set in the pattern of the constellation Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters. The design is an homage to the Mayan people who believed that their ancestors descended from those stars to start their people’s history back before recorded time.

Of course art can also be useful, as we discovered when we asked a young local carpenter, Benjamin Aguilar, to design and build some handmade furniture for us. He built some hardwood cabinets in our bar and some larger storage units for our bodega (storeroom). He did such a great job we asked if he could make some chairs for the deck area. We showed him some pictures of traditional Adirondack chairs and he brought us back his own version. They are comfortable, interesting to look at, and painted in various shades of the same blues and greens we see each morning on the Caribbean Sea. We decided Benjamin is not just a carpenter, he is an artist.

Some of the colorful chairs handmade by Benjamin AguilarAnother bit of functional art at the Luna Blue are the gourd lamps that serve as the light fixtures in the reception area and outside many of the rooms. Of course, everybody has gourd lamps in Playa del Carmen. When you walk down Fifth Avenue, practically every other store offers them for sale. But we had some of ours specially made by our friend Domingo Rodriguez. Domingo is the owner of Bone Art Place, located on Calle 8 between 5th Avenue and 10th Avenue (across from Yax-che), where he sells jewelry that he designs and carves out of stone and bone. For many years, when we were visitors to Playa del Carmen, some of our favorite gifts for friends back home were jewelry pieces created by Domingo. He and his wife also design and create gourd lamps. When we decided to add some new gourd lamps to the hotel, we gave some designs and ideas to Domingo who promptly turned them into works of art. Whether he’s working carving bone or hollowing out a gourd, he is one of Playa’s premier artists.

One of the quotes in the rooms at the Luna Blue Hotel & GardenFinally, one of our most recent decorative additions is our own idea and work. We were thumbing through a magazine on a recent airplane flight and saw an ad for stencils of various words—peace, love, etc.—that could be painted on walls for decoration. That inspired us to paint quotations on the walls of our hotel rooms. We have always felt that our guests were a special breed of tourist…travelers who enjoyed the spirit and adventure of a journey. We wanted our hotel to reflect that feeling. We chose 18 special quotes about the love of travel from such diverse sources as Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne; Douglas Adams, the author of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; nineteenth century philosopher Henry David Thoreau and many others. We had stencils created back in the US and then used them here in Playa del Carmen to paint these inspirational sayings onto the walls of our rooms. We love how they turned out and the spirit they invoke.

We think of the Luna Blue not just as a business but also as an extension of ourselves, our view of the world and our feelings about life. We’ve chosen art that makes us feel good and that we hope is pleasing to our guests and friends. Next time you’re in Playa, please stop by to take a look at the Luna Blue Hotel, Garden and art gallery. 🙂

Here is some more of our favorite artists’ work:

More paintings by our friend Barry Launius:
Another of our favorite Barry Launius paintings

A favorite oil seascape by Barry Launius

Another Caribbean beauty by our friend Barry Launius

Yet another gorgeous Barry Launius painting

A necklace carved of stone by Domingo Rodriguez, owner of the Bone Art Place:

One of Domingo's more intricate bone pieces

Red bikini girl in Treetop Terrace room #9:
The painting in Treetop Terrace room number 9

The Luna Blue logo, carved in cement by Omar Gonzalez D’Leon

The Luna Blue logo, carved by Omar

Posted in Living the Dream, The Hotel & Bar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »