Michael Winner talks about Paradise Beach, Simon Cowell and Barbados Free Press

Death Wish film director lets loose on “bizarre saga” of Four Seasons Resort and a lot more

There can be no dispute that our old friend Michael Winner loves Barbados – and not just the West Coast / Sandy Lane crowd either. We’ve seen him pass through places like er, Grape Hall, and he’s usually smiling away in the passenger seat like he’s just had a tonic and gin… or five. Sometimes he waves at folks in much the same manner as Queen Elizabeth in a motorcade. We wave back. Like we said, Michael Winner loves Barbados and we get a kick out of him too.

Mr. Winner has been following what he describes as the “bizarre saga” of the on-again, off-again Four Seasons / Paradise Beach development and has just published a tell-all about the project in the Telegraph. It’s a wonderful and fun read with a few secrets and private quotes thrown in here and there.

Here’s a list of some of the folks he talks about…

Barbados Free Press 🙂
Michael Pemberton
Robin Paterson
Simon Cowell
Andrew Lloyd-Webber
Eddie Jordan
Lucien Grainge
Sir Michael Caine
Sir Philip Green
Colin Scaife
Dermot Desmond

“Fantasy enveloped everyone in charge.”

Then there’s the X-Factor: Simon Cowell. Simon, who I introduced to Barbados in 2000 when he was so unknown even his mother didn’t recognise him, has paid up for a sea-front villa. He’s too famous to reside in public. Every tourist ship disgorging 2-4,000 people onto the quayside in Bridgetown will be besieged by local taxi drivers saying: “Do you want to see Simon Cowell’s house?”

There are no private beaches in Barbados. Even at Sandy Lane I face revellers lying in front of my sun lounger. Villa owners may find their beach filled with ten-deep rows of tourists ogling Simon’s house, the sea full of others swimming with turtles. Paradise Beach needs a marine expert to tempt the little darlings away and a massive bribe to coax Simon away, who could buy the whole place ten times over. Not much chance there.

… read the entire Telegraph article – Michael Winner: Bother on Paradise Beach

Does the Barbados Government’s guarantee make everything fine now?

Avinash Persaud is quoted in today’s Nation News as saying that everything is okay with the Four Seasons project since the Barbados government issued a guarantee for $120 million – except that’s not enough money and the project needs more.

I wonder how much the good folks of Barbados will end up subsidizing homes for the rich and famous? Oh well, in for a penny and all that.

Here’s the start of the Nation article…

THE $120 MILLION GOVERNMENT GUARANTEE that has kick-started the stalled Four Seasons project is not enough to complete the mammoth luxury facility.  It was enough, however, to get the buy-in of confidence-shaken villa owners and creditors, said Professor Avinash Persaud.

… from The Nation article 120 million not enough

I don’t think that at the time of his interview Mr. Persaud had read Mr. Winner’s article. It would be interesting if some of the Barbados press re-interviewed Mr. Persaud on the Winner’s statements and observations, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

17 responses to “Michael Winner talks about Paradise Beach, Simon Cowell and Barbados Free Press

  1. .28

    “Sometimes he waves at folks in much the same manner as Queen Elizabeth in a motorcade.”

    LOL. I’ve seen what you have and you captured him exactly!

  2. Big Lifted Trucks

    LOL good article 🙂

  3. ninemikemike

    Calm down dear – it’s only taxpayers’ money. The B’dos govt must have been watching Michael’s late national govt of thieving wastrels for tips on how to redistribute money from the poor to the rich. One T BLiar, much feted by dumb Bajans is the archetype of the class.
    Don’t you just marvel at how rich a ‘pretty straight kinda guy’ can become by ‘helping the poor’?

  4. ComeHere

    Another GEMS in the making. For the all knowing professor to now say the US 60 million Barbados backed rescue of a failed private company is only enough to keep the lights on is absolutely insane. And to admit he was aware of this shortfall from the beginning is astonishing—why was this not disclosed to the public? If it stalled before, just wait until this bit of cash runs out. Those 2 crooks who started the project should be deported. Where did all of the up front deposits and payments go? I’ll bet a lot went into buying their massive sailboat. Why are they allowed to swan around the West Coast, grandpas dating teenage girls, while owing nearly Bds 30 million to local businessmen? Pemberton’s ex-wife went belly up at Villa Nova owing millions but continues to stroll in and out of the island, working as an interior designer without a work permit. How much money have these 2 poor rakey born posers cost Barbados? And not just in money, I am talking about bad publicity. It is a disgrace, and tells the world what a dumb bunch of star struck pretenders are in charge of the future of this island. Winner, for all his bluster, has always been a promotor of all things Barbados—I saw him once at Lemon Arbor, and heard him say the pork was the best he had ever tasted… better sea cat, too, than at Sandy Lane, I would guess. This project will never complete. But the loan and the bad talk will last for a long time to come.

  5. John

    Where does the gov get $120 million from when it can’t afford tax refunds or repairs to QEH. Also when the gov first mentioned this gaurantee, it was only $60million , where did the extra $60 million get into the mix

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  7. St George's Dragon

    The Government does not actually have to stump up the $120 million. All they are doing is giving a guarantee that if the developer does not repay the funder, the Government will. Any risk is meant to be offset by the equity stake the Government has taken in the project.

    It’s quite a cunning way out of deadlock where the origianal developers could presumably not raise finance to continue the project as sales were not happening.

    I can’t comprehend how a development like this could have gone ahead in the first place without proper funding in place. No developer I have ever worked with would stick a spade in the ground without funding to be able to complete the whole project.

    It looks to me as though it was all predicated on taking big advance payments from the purchasers of the units and using them to build out other units and the hotel.

    Don’t forget that although this is called The Four Seasons, the hotel of that name just comes to run and manage the hotel when it has been built by someone else.

    On that note, does anyone know if Four Seasons is actually committed to Barbados? I hear they have closed down in at least one Caribbean country.

  8. yatinkiteasy

    I think the Merricks Resort in St Philip will be another rip off failure. Their claim was that a Five Star Hotel was going to operate there…what happened? Nothing.They were taking deposits on villas four or five years ago.
    When will we learn not to allow a few smart expats to purchase valuable land in Barbados, and then use it to scam people with plans of big developments , that “will employ hundreds of Barbadians”
    I seem to recall swarms of Chinese workers all over the Four Seasons project when the land was being cleared, and lovely trees destroyed.
    We are truly a bunch of idiots!

  9. Up The Mango tree

    Michael Winner has always been a Loser.

  10. yatinkiteasy

    I knew Winner was a quack when he proclaimed Fisher Pond as “The Best Restaurant in The World”.
    Reason: It is NOT a Restaurant, it is a plantation house where a meager Bajan Buffet is served, SOME Sundays. There are more cut flowers on the table than Food, and it is grossly overpriced. It is not even the best Sunday buffet in Barbados. I don`t know what would make him come to that conclusion, but for me it puts anything he writes about into serious question.

  11. whistling frog

    Talking about Developments,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Is it true that the land opposite Culpepper Island has been sold and there are plans to build a bridge to connect the Island Etc.,ETC.,,,,,,ETCETCETCVETCVETC???????????????? OOH GOD ALMIGHTY COME FUH YUH COUNTRY ALL O DEM IF SO INVOLVED SHOULD FEEL YOUR WRATH!!!!

  12. graeme endersby

    I have been going nearly every year to batts rock since 2000. The whole covered area and the lovely beach in front of a derelict hotel complex always added to that own beach feeling. I turned up in sept 2009 and “what a mess” I am no eco warrior but surely they could of designed the new space and kept the green space. The landscape architect should not of been allowed to design such a monstrosity. Barbados please do not sell out, money is money, but Batts Rock was a beautiful place, now it is ruined. Dusty, no green space and I will still pitch up, enjoy the beauty with my daughter. I am glad it went wrong developer you could of done more!

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  15. Francis Cain

    Pembarton is a Parasite and serial fraudster. He has been milkin people with his property developments and other schemes since Glitter Bay in the 1980’s.

    How long will this kind of greed and ego driven antics be tolerated ?

    This man should be put in jail and left to rot before he tricks more good people

  16. Anon

    Mike Pemberton has created the most embarassing development disaster in the Americas now doing the same in Brazil they should have let it go bust with him holding the responsibility not left to continue living the high life and the local tax payers footing the bill, really this cant be legal. Four Season is and will be for years to come a major blight on our tourisum industry.

  17. Eric

    Selfish Greed! The parasite still at large. Mike Pemberton still doing back room deals on Island when will geovernment make him accountable,