Dream Vacation Turns Into Nightmare at Five-Star Resort in St Vincent
Adream vacation for more than two dozen guests at the Buccament Beach Resort in St Vincent and the Grenadines has turned into a nightmare.
Already forced to cope with scant services as more than 70 workers stage protests demanding overdue wages for three months now, guests have now been left in the dark. On Wednesday, the state-owned electricity company, St. Vincent Electricity Services Limited (VINCLEC) cut the power supply to the property because of its failure to settle a mounting bill.
VINLEC’s chief executive officer Thornley Mayers told I-Witness News, he could not disclose the sum owed, but he defended the move, stressing it was a tough but necessary action that was only taken after deep consideration.
“The resort is a place of employment that brings in revenue and is an important symbol for tourism in the country. These decisions are never taken lightly and all sorts of things are taken into consideration, besides payment,” he said.
Angry guests are not amused by the unfolding crisis which has gripped the resort owned by Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd under the direction of David Ames, a Britishborn naturalized Vincentian businessman.
Carol Banks, who arrived at the property on Monday for a two-week holiday, expressed dismay at the “shabby” treatment.
“We were told absolutely nothing about the power going down. Everything is just down and we’ve been left clueless really,” she told the Searchlight newspaper.
Banks, who spent £4,000 for the vacation, said the resort promised to send them to a hotel in Barbados, but were later told they would have to a book another hotel in St Vincent on their own.
American visitor Marton Browne was equally peeved yesterday. He threatened to sue the resort’s owners for ruining his US$2,000 vacation.
“The whole thing is insane. Somebody had to know about this,” he argued, adding that it had, “left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouth about St Vincent”.
Browne, who accused the hotel owners of ripping off people, urged authorities to take tough action against the owners. “We lost money, time, effort; extremely disappointing. So again, I hope that the police and the government somehow bring this guy to justice. I don’t think we are going to remunerated. I really don’t think so.”
The property is presently embroiled in several legal battles. Ames claimed he was too ill to return to the island and was scheduled to be tried in Kingstown in February 2017.
Buccament Bay Chairman Dave Ames.