Harlequin News articles, bulletins & posts relevant to owning freehold property in Harlequin Hotels & Resorts
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14 September 2013 Harlequin announces investor trust plan
29 July 2013 A personal message from Dave and Carol Ames
25 July 2013 Harlequin wins multi-million fraud case against former contractor
11 July 2013 Chairman's statement re Harlequin's restructuring options
26 April 2013 Harlequin chairman on the recent meeting with investors in the wake of the voluntary administration request
Dear investors and agents,
Thank you to all who attended the Open Day meetings in Warrington and Basildon. We tried our best to accommodate as many people as possible; however, within the next few working days, we will be providing a document that covers everything that was discussed in the meetings, so nobody will miss out.
Dave Ames [the Chairman] is very grateful for those who continue to show their full support, but equally those who took the opportunity to constructively air their concerns and, we sincerely hope, have them answered.
We acknowledge that communication is key and are urgently putting changes in place that will facilitate more regular updates and a platform for frequently asked questions to be addressed.
A number of purchasers have recently mentioned their wish to combine their investments into one unit in a joint agreement and Harlequin is currently consulting with its regulatory solicitors to ensure that this complies with the relevant legislation. Please do not enquire about this facility at the present time; we will be in touch as soon as we have news.
As was discussed at the meetings, Harlequin Property entered administration proceedings this week. To be very clear, this news does not affect any of the Caribbean resorts where clients have purchased. Put bluntly: your investments are unaffected. Harlequin Property is a separate and very distinct company that acts as the primary UK property sales agent of Harlequin’s hotels. Harlequin will continue to develop its hotels and build investors’ properties.
There are two key goals in entering Harlequin Property into administration: securing and restructuring the company; protecting our creditors’ interests.
Due to unfounded negative publicity in the public domain that has been instigated since 2011, the day-to-day UK sales business of Harlequin Property has become increasingly challenging, to the point that it is now almost impossible. Harlequin has always sought to manage its affairs professionally throughout this difficult time.
The last few months have given Harlequin the chance to restructure its business to attract new outside investment and develop properties in accordance with the sales made via Harlequin Property. The first stage of this restructure is for the directors to place Harlequin Property into administration via a notice of intention to appoint administrators. Harlequin Property has supported the Caribbean resort development companies over the years but is not, in its current form, an essential component to the future business of Harlequin in its role of delivering investments as a developer and hotel operator.
Kind regards, Harlequin
25 March 2013 Harlequin chairman Dave Ames issues an update on recent events
23 January 2013 SIPPS. Regulatory authorities have announced that IFAs have to also give advice on unregulated products
The FSA has stated that IFAs must now advise on unregulated products "Financial advisers using this advice model are under the mistaken impression that this process means they do not have to consider the unregulated investment as part of their advice to invest in the SIPP and that they only need to consider the suitability of the SIPP in the abstract. This is incorrect.
The FSA’s view is that the provision of suitable advice generally requires consideration of the other investments held by the customer or, when advice is given on a product which is a vehicle for investment in other products (such as SIPPs and other wrappers), consideration of the suitability of the overall proposition, that is, the wrapper and the expected underlying investments in unregulated schemes. It should be particularly clear to financial advisers that, where a customer seeks advice on a pension transfer in implementing a wider investment strategy, the advice on the pension transfer must take account of the overall investment strategy the customer is contemplating.
For example, where a financial adviser recommends a SIPP knowing that the customer will transfer out of a current pension arrangement to release funds to invest in an overseas property investment under a SIPP, then the suitability of the overseas property investment must form part of the advice about whether the customer should transfer into the SIPP. If, taking into account the individual circumstances of the customer, the original pension product, including its underlying holdings, is more suitable for the customer, then the SIPP is not suitable - FSA (Financial Services Authority)
03 December 2012 The Hideaway, Las Canas, Dominican Republic. Construction is set to begin February 2013
Harlequin Hotels & Resorts have just announced that Construction of The Hideaway is anticipated to start in 2013. Read more >>
- Escarfullery & Asociados has obtained the definitive no objection letter from the Ministry of Tourism and the approval to build 238 rooms
- All documents and drawings have been submitted and reviewed by the Ministry of Public Works
- Escarfullery & Asociados is awaiting the issue of the License for Construction
- Full project design has been completed
- Escarfullery & Asociados and all consultants currently updating the project to include the additional 10,000 m2 of land and the use of ICF technology
Updated project to include spa, gym, redesigned back of house facilities, additional apartments and penthouses
- Harlequin Developments have given instruction to proceed with the opening of the bid process on January 7th 2013
- Initial discussions with interior design and kitchen consultants have started for the design of a Jack’s Restaurant in the Beach Club building
- A site visit was conducted on 7th November 2012 by Harlequin Developments with local consultants Escarfullery & Asociados and HKS master planning architects.
15 November 2012 Buccament Bay Resort: Just nominated for The World's Travel Awards "World's Leading New Hotel 2012"
Harlequin Hotels & Resorts are extremely proud for Buccament Bay Resort to be nominated for "World's Leading New Hotel" by the World Travel Awards. The nomination is particularly pleasing when you consider the quality of all the nominees. They are:
Anantara Kihavah Villas, Maldives;
Buccament Bay Spa and Resort, St Vincent;
Corinthia Hotel London, England;
Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, Ukraine;
Four Seasons Marrakech, Morocco;
Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences, Egypt;
Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel, Shanghai;
Jumeirah Vittaveli, Maldives;
Park Hyatt Sydney, Australia
Sanctuary Hotel New York, USA;
The Hotel Chocolat - St Lucia, West Indies;
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, Hong Kong;
The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Florida, USA
The St. Regis Doha, Qatar;
The Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center, Peru;
The Westin Playa Bonita, Panama.
27 October 2012 Buccament Bay Resort: Hello! magazine features photo shoot with Coronation Street's Michelle Keegan on resort
Michelle Keegan on her Caribbean holiday in Harlequin's first resort - Buccament Bay, Tweets "Can officially say I've been to paradise . . . I've just had the best 11 days. Very Lucky!" Read more
10 October 2012 H Hotel Barbados. Excellent progress. latest pictures
I am happy to report that, contrary to mischievous internet misinformation of the type with which, sadly, companies are increasingly having to contend, as you can see, the 5 star H Hotel, Barbados is progressing quickly. Work is also expected to commence soon on The Harlequin Hotel, Barbados, which is anticipated to open end next year. Excellent building progress to The H Hotel Barbados. See pictures..
09 October 2012 Harlequin Hotels & Resorts 54 page newsletter for 2012 - a bumper read
02 October 2012 H Hotel Barbados construction progress: see September pictures
27 September 2012 Buccament Bay Resort wins “Caribbean’s Leading New Hotel 2012″ at World Travel Awards
Harlequin Hotels & Resorts is thrilled to announce that the luxury, all-inclusive Buccament Bay Resort has won the prestigious World Travel Awards (WTA) “Caribbean’s Leading New Hotel” category for 2012, as well as a second award for “Leading Spa Resort 2012” in St Vincent & The Grenadines.
Buccament Bay Resort wins “Caribbean’s Leading New Hotel 2012″ at World Travel Awards
World Travel Awards flier PDF
The WTA awards programme, hailed as “the Oscars of the travel industry” by the global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.
In winning “Caribbean’s Leading New Hotel” for 2012, Buccament Bay Resort beat the likes of Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro (Dominican Republic) and The Hotel Chocolat (St Lucia), whilst the St Vincent & The Grenadines “Leading Spa Resort” honour was awarded over competitors like Palm Island Resort, Petit St Vincent Resort and Young Island Resort.
Here are the full details of each award:
Winner: Buccament Bay Resort
Winner: Buccament Bay Resort
|Cofresi Palm Resort, Dominican Republic
|Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro, Dominican Republic
||Palm Island Resort
|The Hotel Chocolat, St Lucia
||Petit St. Vincent Resort
|The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, Tobago
||The Cotton House
||Young Island Resort
27 September 2012 Buccament Bay Resort: Football stars coaching & the next West End stars for Harlequin Performing Arts Academy
26 September 2012 Work on the H Hotel Barbados gathers pace
25 September 2012 X Factor's Alexander Burk can't keep away from Harlequin's Buccament Bay
19 September 2012 Harlequin introduces a buy back guarantee with profits to give investors a greater sense of security
Main Resorts: As from September 19, new investors now have the comfort of a Harlequin buy back guarantee option with profits which can be deployed either 3 years or 5 years from the date of reservation. The buy back guarantees an annual capital growth on investment of 5% which begins to accrue from your property reservation date.
Boutique Hotels: These have a refund option as per all contracts which can be exercised 12 months after the target completion date has elapsed.
How is Harlequin able to offer such guarantees? Operating in the Caribbean property market since 2005, Harlequin owns all developments outright which puts them in a position of strength. Buccament Bay, Harlequin's first resort, has been successfully operating now for over 2 years. Such assets and experience fuels their confidence to be able to offer this exclusive Buy Back Guarantee option.. Full T's & C's will follow soon. PDF: Buy Back Package leaflet
24 August 2012 The Barbados Advocate: Despite reports to the contrary, the 5 star Merricks and H hotel projects in Barbados have not stalled
The Barbados Advocate writes that [despite reports to the contrary] the 5 star Merricks and H Hotel projects in Barbados have not stalled. Read more
22 August 2012 DR1 Travel News: Travel to the Dominican Republic up 7.2% this year
Travel to the Dominican Republic continues to grow with a 4.81% increase in visitors in July. A total of 453,826 tourists arrived by air, 20,810 more than in the same month last year. 16,863 of them were foreign visitors. The total non-resident Dominican visitors increased by 5.64%, or 3,947 more than last year.
So far this year, from January to July 2012, a total of 2,907,598 visitors arrived by air, up 7.2% compared to the same period last year. This is 171,083 more foreign visitors and 24,208 more non-resident Dominican visitors.
The Central Bank attributes the increase to successful overseas promotion by the Ministry of Tourism and the private sector. The conclusion by Central Bank data analysts is that there is evidence that the recovery in the flow of tourist arrivals has consolidated.
The US market continues to grow and lead as source market, with 141,552 travelers so far this year, despite the economic crisis in the US. Other markets showing growth were Russia, with 28,546 more travelers, and Canada with 21,250 more. The Dominican Republic continues to be a vacation destination of choice for travelers from Venezuela (+10,175), France (+7,483), Argentina (+7,320), Brazil (+7,216), Chile (+ 4,534), Peru (+4,274) and Colombia (+3,790). On the other hand, traditional European markets, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and Spain showed declines in number of travelers this year compared to last year.
Punta Cana continues to be the leading airport, with 61.65% of foreign tourist arrivals, followed by Las Americas (Santo Domingo) with 19.82%, Puerto Plata with 9.51%, Cibao (Santiago) with 4.16% and La Romana with 2.91%.
93.48% of tourists visiting the country come for leisure, and 88.89% stay at hotels. Tourists visiting the Dominican Republic are mostly 21-49 years old, with 63.77% in this age segment.
21/23 August 2012 Barbados Today & Harlequin: News coverage on build progress of The Merricks and H Barbados resorts
The H Hotel Barbados target opening is delayed to April/May 2013 from its December 2012 target opening date. Harlequin stated on 23 August: “It's on schedule for April/May  which is [now] the target, they [Barbados Today} have stated 2 months later in the article to be safe. The original date has been moved back slightly simply because it took longer than expected to get the necessary tax concessions from the government and more ground work needs to be undertaken than expected." Read more: (pages, 3, 36 & 37)
15 August 2012 The Telegraph: BDO, auditors and accountants to Harlequin Hotels & Resorts in advanced talks to take over rival PKF
Accountancy group BDO is in advanced talks to take over rival PKF as it attempts to bridge the gap between it and the “big four” through acquisitions. Britain’s sixth biggest audit firm, is understood to have agreed a deal in principle with its smaller rival PKF, which last year had revenues of more than £100m.
The deal will see PKF’s UK business separated from its international operations and incorporated into BDO.
Martin Goodchild, the managing partner of PKF, is yet to put the deal to the firm’s 70 UK partners but it is understood that he has agreed the broad terms, which could include an “equity sweetener” for PKF’s partners. This will be offered in the form of a guaranteed profit share scheme – a method by which firms divide each year’s gains between senior executives. Read more
27 June 2012 Caribbean tourist stopover figures - data supplied by member countries show increases to all Harlequin islands