Harlequin’s The Merricks Resort as it really is right now

Harlequin Merricks 21

The Merricks, Barbados – Thursday, March 7, 2013

(click all photos for larger versions)

Dear Barbados Free Press

While sight seeing and using Barbados Holiday Map provided to us tourists as a guide, we went looking for the “Photo Opportunity” shown on the map at Palmetto Bay. As we looked for Palmetto Bay, we came across the Merricks sign; so being a periodic reader of BFP I decided to proceed to see what Photo Opportunities we could find.

The attached pics were just taken Thursday March 7, 2013.  They look strangely similar to those previously published on BFP in August 2012! What has been done in the past year?

There were two workers (?)  on the site.  An old guy who was dismantling a temporary storage area, and a young kid who was wandering around and sitting around. Thought you might want save the time and gas expense to go out to the Merricks site.

Harlequin’s promotional claims that “The Merricks Resort is situated on the stunning Atlantic coast in the south east of Barbados; and the resort has been designed to take advantage of the stunning cliff top position which affords spectacular vistas across the Atlantic Ocean.” are true. I must have missed it but I saw no beach.

“Just Taken” moniker reflects that the photos attached were just taken a couple of days ago.  Fortunately I have not been taken in by the Harlequin Scheme.

Just Taken

Harlequin Merricks 24.Harlequin Merricks 23.Harlequin Merricks 22.Harlequin Merricks 19Harlequin Merricks 32

47 Comments

Filed under Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues

47 responses to “Harlequin’s The Merricks Resort as it really is right now

  1. Why am I not surprised…… maybe some one will like to put a HP spin on that?

  2. 30

    what a quality post, well done Just Taken – your tag would have been perfect for the 6,000 mugs who parted with their money!

  3. Life's a beach

    Just read the online brochures … there is no mention of a beach… no pictures of a beach. Maybe they were planning on running a beach shuttle to Sam Lord’s? After all – all beaches on Bim are public.

  4. Mr Blue

    There are only two workers in Harlequin’s update photos too, I wonder if they’re the same ones.

    http://harlequinupdates.wordpress.com/

  5. yatiniteasy

    @Lifes a Beach…wrong…they had a promotional video showing aerial views of the beach etc also some CGI showing the villas with the beach ..will try to find and post.
    In the meanwhile this is an interesting blast from the past..(The link no longer works for obvious reasons…most historical statements from H have been wiped from the internet.)
    Merricks, Barbados, October 2008;

    “We are delighted that the planning process for The Merricks Beach Resort is moving along more quickly. The final plan has been submitted to the Barbados Government, including details for the back of house and public areas, and we expect full planning permission and approval by Christmas 2008. Full planning permission has been received for the show houses and work has already started with completion by early 2009.”

    Extract taken from

    http://www.harlequinproperty.co.uk/newsletter/newsletter_issue3.pdf

    The show homes referred to have still not been completed. Truly remarkable that anyone questions the viability of this and other projects, sold to investors for the past 6 years or so.

  6. yatiniteasy

    This is their promotional video from…..2008.

  7. yatiniteasy

    Harlequin” Studio” office closed today…not a car in the parking lot.
    Not one worker on site at H hotel construction site.

  8. homefront

    @100 looks interesting dont you think? Things appear to have been done in an odd order,have YOU had a look around?

  9. Dave

    Heard that dave campion has made a killing and been telling a few people in Barbados about how he made his money…. Also I heard that Sean is asking everyone and anyone for a job. So this is the end the road….

  10. 138

    Don’t think Dave will be getting work any time soon. Anyone associated with that gang of thieves will not be finding many people keen to take them on.

  11. Who is Dave Campion? is thar sean the security guard?

  12. Gingerbread Girl

    P O N Z I
    O
    N
    Z
    P O N Z I

  13. Well Well

    False advertising is supposed to be a crime, but in Barbados………………..

  14. Eddie Lizzard2

    David Campion is the Managing Director of hdstudio, formerly known as Harlequin Developments where he was the Director of Developments. The company was set up to oversee the projects at The Merricks Resort and the H Barbados hotel.

    In his own words…
    “I play the role of connector; a facilitator of collaboration, assembling a team of diverse talent, encouraging collaboration at all levels, and wielding influence rather than authority to move things forward as and when required.

    I have assembled a diverse team as I find such teams achieve better results, provided they are properly led. Bringing together professionals from different backgrounds, disciplines, cultures and generations and benefiting from all they have to offer is one of my main objectives.

    I encourage vigorous debate within teams but ensure this is followed with clear decisions and immediate actions through clear leadership structures and responsibilities, as only then can the final decision-making be an efficient process.”

    source: Assets International’s UK-based website, who describe themselves as an ‘overseas property business’; they are unregulated and sell Harlequin products.

  15. 100

    @homefront, I was taken by merricks not long ago, whilst being shown various hotels and developments on the island, did not bother to look around for long. There was no activity when I saw it. I was told that they were sold out long ago, so I asked why bother building show units then, and just go ahead and build. Was told about planning but also was told that it is suspected it was a scam – I had already been aware of Harlequin. FYI, go to conferences from Bahamas down to Trinidad, when Harlequin is mentioned, it is followed by headshaking and other accusations. Perception is important, and if it is not a scam, the perception is that it is and that needs to be addressed by Harlequin using more than various trolls and stooges on various forums, but by actual doing some development.

  16. John Smith

    Eddie,

    You should check out David Campion’s history. He worked for the Irish builder before back stabbing everybody and jumping ship.
    He promised Dave Ames the world and delivered nothing. Selfish little eel who is in it for the money and his choice of titles (MD, Director, VP, whatever..).
    He is a perfect example of what trolls work for Harlequin…

  17. Some questions on finance:

    If you were a financial institution would you lend money, possbly 100’s of millions ‘to a company’
    • Who have very poor accounting systems
    • Little experience in the area of investment
    • The chairman had gone bust, apparently twice
    • Negative international press
    • Disgruntled investors albeit apparently only 1%
    • One of the directors has been in the press for an unrealeted fraud incident and arrested
    • SFO investigation and the police
    • Court cases, for deformation of a solicitor
    • Sueing the former builder for millions
    • The builder counter sueing the company for millions
    • Track record of none delivary of projects
    • A history of banking errors regarding payments to investors
    • A 70% LTV on property valuations… risky?
    • An attempted freezing order by disgruntled investors to get their deposits back

  18. Eddie Lizzard2

    @ John Smith, Thanks for the update.
    Would you care to elaborate on David Campion’s history? You sound like you have first-hand experience.

  19. confusedoned

    What happened to …”Beginning of the end for Harlequin…” No posts since
    12:06GMT. Stopped at #1229.

  20. muck and bullets

    Can anyone at harlequin tell us why these sites are not crawling with tradesmen?is it lack off tradesmen?or lack of ??? tell us please,you are the developers you must have an answer.

  21. Anthony75

    @confusedoned, maybe an overload, i was thinking the same.

  22. John Smith

    Eddie,

    Common word in the construction fraternity in Barbados. He worked for ICE before so any colleague or builder in Barbados knows the stories…

  23. Dave

    @A John Smith, did you work for or with Dave campion on the projects? What you do say sums the guy up totally. I hear Garrett is around anymore in Barbados?

  24. All,
    We have had a team working on the technical rules around SIPP.
    We have already sent letters of claim to SIPP providers inviting them to explain why they did such little due diligence on Harlequin investments.
    From our review of the pension transfer advice we have seen :-
    – most SIPPs invested 80%+ of the available fund. Some as high as 100%.
    – all rely on the value of the property to increase to allow the 70% loan at the back end.
    – we see no evidence of any 70% loan to complete.
    – movement of final salary schemes losing very valuable benefits.
    – pension liberation
    – no consideration of what would happen if the member dies. Remember after 2 years HMRC require the estate to transfer the assets out. If not, a 55% tax charge.
    – not one single piece of advice actually tells you that the Harlequin investment is high risk. Most say nothing.
    – it is clear that some advisers have allowed their authorisation to be used to put through any transfer. They will rue that decision.
    – it is clear that some of the biggest IFA firms have been involved. Where was the compliance oversight ?
    – All SIPP contracted with a Caribbean company and paid the money to the UK company. We are waiting an explanation of this with interest.
    We know from the FSA rules most advisers will have £1.5m – £2m of Professional Indemnity Insurance. This will be inadequate. Therefore, the early claims will have the most chance of receiving redress from the professional indemnity insurer.
    All in all, a complete pigs ear. Regulatory Legal Solicitors and Pannone LLP are making precautionary claims for investors with pension based investments.
    The writing is on the wall for IFA’s / SIPP providers. They know, we know and we suspect pension investors know. Time to protect yourself.
    We can turn round pension letters of claim in under 24 hours. Better to act with caution is our strong advice.
    Regulatory Legal Solicitors

  25. Gingerbread Girl

    The end is now, it is upon you investors. Alot of you will put faith in ‘hoping and praying’ but the smart ones among you will act now remembering that hope is not a strategy.

    Time to pull up stumps ladies and gentlemen, the sun has set, the light has faded, the umpire has called for the light meter and the fans have started to leave the venue. WHAT THE HELL YOU WAITING FOR, MORNING TO BREAK?

  26. Duppy Lizard

    It used to be “You can fool some of the people some of the time but you cant fool all the people all of the time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Well things change now ‘You can really screw suckers when backed by officials just about everytime’,,,,,,

  27. St George's Dragon

    The Professional Indemnity insurance required from advisors by the FSA is woefully inadaquate.
    In my field, which is not financial advice, PI insurance is required on an “each and every claim” basis. This means that the full amount of the insurance is in place for each claim for the amount insured.
    As mentioned above, annual aggregate insurance is pretty useless as each claim made erodes the amount available to later claimants.
    Maybe the FSA will change the rules after Harlequin falls over.
    .

  28. E @Gareth Fatchett will represent me. wow

    I was talking to a lady last night who has been told by Mrs. Manderfield that there will be properties ready at Merricks by the of this year. WOW !!!2013…………

  29. Anthony75

    @E hahahahahahahaahahaahahahaahhaha, thats the funniest thing I’ve heard all year.

  30. muck and bullets

    @E As Mrs Manderfield has told your friend properties ready this year ,why not some images every month ,from site ,not CGI ,not a problem I would have thought ,keep everyone happy ,no anti HP posts,current investors happy ,and who knows ,future investors inspired to come on board.The company is a development company can they,show us what they can build and how quick?

  31. E @Gareth Fatchett will represent me. wow

    I will ask her to post up the emails later🙂

  32. yatiniteasy

    Must be a different Merricks..unless her “unit” is the guard hut?

  33. E @Gareth Fatchett will represent me. wow

    Mrs Manderfield told me they had full planning permission on TWO RIVERS in 2011. A lot of people will need to answer a lot of questions…………..

  34. E @Gareth Fatchett will represent me. wow

    11.04.11.

    What is the Resorts planning status?

    Two Rivers has planning; Brazil we are currently working through the planning process.

    Here Katharine Wooller states that the Two Rivers Resort “HAS” planning, yet last week in Barbados the Vice presidnt of Harlequin Hotels and Resorts stated that Harlequin “DID NOT” have planning permission

    6, What time scales are we looking at for the build process?

    Two Rivers we expect to be 24 months; Brazil has always had a longest completion date of 2014

  35. Beggars Belief

    What this goes to show is that there is no consistent or reliable information about the status of each project. It is damaging to the Harlequin brand because it gives those of us with genuine concerns that they are not in control.

    If they are serious about getting everything back on track, regaining the confidence of those investors who are justifiably worried and attracting inward investment then they need to do something quickly about putting relaible information.

    Can I make a positive suggestion that they radically revamp the Harlequin website and turn it into a genuine place to find reliable information rather than just glowing press releases.

    As a minimum each resort tab needs to have downloadable information such as the up-to-date construction programme with all target dates shown and regular QS reports. It should include information about all the sub-contractors working on the site, details of the third party funders, planning permissions, EIAs…

    Whenever people ask reasonable questions about this we only seem to have some vague hand-wavey response that lacks credibiility. At the moment a generous person might give Harlequin the benefit of the doubt and simply think that they are not good at investor communications. The longer investors sit with reasonable questions unanswered the more we will have to presume that there are no answers.

  36. Lets just have a look at some recent information.
    • Little of,or no accounts
    • Land ownweship issues
    • No finance available
    • SIPP problems
    • On of the main sellers TailorMade, ‘have genuine concerns’ and have dropped HP
    • SFO investigating
    • SFA looking at SIPP conpanies
    • BBC and local and national press
    • Court action over refunds
    • Only built +or – 5%
    • FSA alerts over HP
    • Investors not being paid the intrest payments

    Would you now invest?

  37. yatiniteasy

    Harlisuccess and Yorkiepoo have nothing to say about this post…what can be said…a picture is worth a thousand words…I especially like the one showing the big black water storage tanks…after all water is scarce in St Phillip.

  38. NEW DATES FOR INVESTOR MEETINGS!!!!!!!!
    Harlequin Investors Meeting: Number 2

    We are now taking enquiries for our second Investors meeting on 25th March 2013.

    Central London around 12pm
    Basildon Essex around 5-6pm

    The exact location and times will be confirmed once we know the numbers.
    Please email the locations you prefer and how many wish to attend.

    harlequininvestorgroupnw@gmail.com

    We will be inviting Mr Ames and or a representative of Harlequin to attend for a question and answers session as well as TailorMade Group.
    Regulatory Legal & Pennone LLP will be present and possibly Number 5 Chambers.

    There will be a presentation regarding the recent finding regarding title to land, accounting,SIPP transfer advice,direct investment and what options you have to recover your investment, if that’s what you want to do.

    After the presentation you will be invited to watch the Panorama program.

    Please email harlequininvestorgroupnw@gmail.com

    So we can start to make arrangement.

    Kind regards,

    Harlequin Investor Group.

  39. Harlisuccess

    Yatinkiteasy
    Good photos.Show a quality build in progress. Even the temporary water storage tanks are quality! Will be lovely when the resort is complete.

  40. yatiniteasy

    @Harli..6 years late..should be ready by 2020 at the rate they are going….that is, if they ever get built, which looks highly unlikely now.
    BTW, the H hotel is also coming along nicely, as you can see from the photos taken in March and shown on another thread.Workers all over the place!

    Harlequin Barbados H Hotel – latest photos show stopped project, no workers

  41. 235

    @ Harlisuccess

    Thank you for your compliment for the “Good photos”

    It will be a long time – not in your lifetime – for those two workers (?) at the site to complete the resort.

  42. 138

    HarlIsuccess, harlequin are such a successful group. Look at all the work they have done with the 300m pounds they took. All resorts are thriving, profits healthy, accounts all in order, communication superb with investors. What a class act Dave ames is, would expect nothing else with his illustrious track record. And he even has made it clear his profit is at the end, so everyone can rest assured he is partner with the investors in this. This no risk investment has really worked out well. That about sum it up? Or could the reality be he has not started most of the projects because he has no money or finance, has lined his own pockets according to uk filed accounts, no idea what he is doing, and has, via a network of unscrupulous criminally minded agents scammed thousands of people? Am sure the sfo etc are just conducting routine checks too. But look at all the great investor reviews on bucc bay, that makes everything ok.

  43. porker

    Well ,it looks like Brackenbury and Co have spent the last 5 years gorging their fat bellies on Banks Beer and Bullshit and not really doing much else
    .Shame … and all the while belittling the indigenous population

  44. Yorkiepoop never turned up even after I gave he/she/it my number….. am I surprised no, desparate measures by the HP Trolls.

    Harlequin Investor Meeting Number 2
    We are now taking enquiries for our second Investors meeting on 25th March 2013.
    Central London around 12pm
    Basildon Essex around 5-6pm
    The exact location and times will be confirmed once we know the numbers.
    Please email the locations you prefer and how many wish to attend.
    harlequininvestorgroupnw@gmail.com

  45. Not Taken - (formerly Just Taken)

    I am just an interested observer; but am wondering – when we might hear a statement from someone in Government, Town and Country Planning, Tourism, or other official source, about this scheme which is an international embarrassment to Barbados’ reputation as a place to to invest in property. Not that it is likely to matter to those who have invested their hard earned funds with HP for a unit in Merricks, but what is status of application for planning permission for the 5 Star Resort