Welcome to the Harlequin Hotels & Resorts Development Updates blog!

This blog is the dedicated platform for sharing updates on Harlequin’s development projects.

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We hope you find this useful. Comments are welcome but please direct any questions to your Harlequin representative or agent.

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Statement: BBC’s Panorama and Gareth Fatchett

At the Open Day meetings in April, Dave Ames assured agents and investors that Harlequin would be as transparent and open as possible with you all. In line with this, we want to make you aware of very recent developments with the BBC Panorama programme and Harlequin.

 

As you are aware, Harlequin was to be included in an episode of the BBC’s Panorama programme in April this year. That episode was pulled after the programme’s producer resigned following suspension for attempting to bribe individuals associated with Harlequin. You can find out more at the links below:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/mar/28/bbc-panorama-producer-harlequin

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/apr/05/bbc-panorama-harlequin

 

We also understand that an independent review commissioned by the BBC found that the programme makers had become too close to individuals who are intent on bringing down Harlequin. This supports what Harlequin already knew, not just from the nature of the accusations and questions, but because Padraig O’Halloran actually mockingly quoted private emails Harlequin had sent to the BBC whilst we were suing him in the Irish High Court.

 

Despite the shameful and shocking behaviour of the programme just weeks ago, BBC Panorama is back and this time they apparently have a friend in Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal. Whilst attempting to appear as if he is representing investors’ best interests and claiming he is working with Harlequin, he is in fact briefing journalists against Harlequin and providing Panorama with misinformation. After all, the greater amount of concern and alarm that exists, the greater amount of custom can be attracted to his firm.

 

This has been made plain this week as, most curiously, the new producer of the BBC Panorama episode presented Harlequin with the very same misinformation that Mr Fatchett provided to IFA Online this week regarding commissions paid by HMSSE. The resulting article, which featured quotes from Mr Fatchett and was published despite Harlequin informing the publication’s News Editor that the figures were inaccurate and inflated, is now the subject of a complaint to the PCC.

 

Shortly we will provide more information on Panorama’s requests and Harlequin’s responses.

Harlequin’s response to Regulatory Legal’s PR campaign

R Legal has made a number of conflicting public statements recently, which contain a number of falsities. In the circumstances, it is imperative to set the record straight immediately.

R Legal has recently stated that it is working with Harlequin on a “rescue plan”. It is not. Harlequin as a group is, however, engaged in a restructuring process. Neither R Legal nor any of its staff are involved in this process in any way.

Harlequin is increasingly concerned by the on-going PR campaign by R Legal, which is intended to do little more than create further anxiety amongst investors in order to attract custom to their firm.

It must be remembered that R Legal was the firm that, through the media and its own websites, encouraged purchasers to turn against Harlequin. Only two months ago, R Legal featured in an article claiming Harlequin’s assets would be frozen in March. This application failed but the intention was to cause undue panic and alarm amongst purchasers.

R Legal is of course entitled to represent its clients and advise them as it deems fit; it is not, however, allowed to attempt to jeopardise the investments of the remaining overwhelming majority of investors, nor will we allow this.

Further, R Legal has also tried to draw Harlequin into its campaign against IFAs. Harlequin absolutely has not and will not speculate on advice given by IFAs. Any view allegedly expressed concerning the suitability of such advice cannot be attributed to Harlequin.

Harlequin is currently engaged in assisting a number of purchasers to complete on their properties in Buccament Bay Resort and in sourcing external finance, both of which will dramatically hasten the future development of its projects and our clients’ investments.

Harlequin is not yet at the stage to release details about the restructuring process but will provide information directly to its investors very soon.

Harlequin sincerely regrets that some purchasers have found themselves in hardship and is doing everything it can to ensure it delivers on its promises.

A key message taken from the meetings held with investors in the past month was that lines of communication need to be transparent, and so it is with a conscious effort Harlequin makes the above statement, in order to ensure the minimum of speculation surrounding the spread of disinformation by parties with ulterior motives against the best interests of the majority.

 

ENDS

 

The Merricks Resort: Show Village Update for February

Please find below an update on recent progress with The Show Village at Harlequin Hotels & Resorts’ The Merricks Resort in Barbados.

 

Villa D
• Internal bathroom wall tiling commenced with the floor tiling to proceed by late February
• External DuRock render complete

 

Villa F
• Internal bathroom wall tiling commenced with the floor tiling to proceed late February
• External DuRock render complete

 

MEP Building
• Gutters and down pipes installed
• External render brought up to stage to receive the final coat of DuRock
• External MEP services tanks installed to the rear of the building awaiting final connections
• Internal floor tiling commenced to the chemical, IT, male and female toilets

 

Externals
• Internal walls to the lagoon/trough now rendered and floor screed complete to trough and the lagoon base
• All plumbing pipe work to the lagoon pump house now complete
• Pool pump house equipment now installed along with the electrical supply cable
• Pergolas within the main centre circle being erected
• Pergola foundations to the entrance gates being constructed and erected

 

H, Barbados – Development Update for late January, early February

Progress continues at the H, Barbados development by Harlequin Hotels & Resorts in Hastings Beach, Christ Church. Please find below the latest report:

 

Block C
• Preparation of ground floor slab to receive precast stair
• Installed column forms and pour
• Installed block wall against stair core
• Installed precast stair: first flight from ground floor to 1st Floor
• Completed 1st floor deck to stair surround
• Installed rebar to 1st floor deck, beams and slab
• Installed RCP conduits to 1st floor deck
• Installed forms and rebar to beams at lift 1st floor level
• Inspect, clean and prepare to pour deck
• Installed block work wall to first floor
• Commenced rebar to 1st floor lift shaft
• Commenced Formwork to 1sr floor lift shaft
• Commenced deck to 2nd floor stair surround
• Poured 1st floor deck-stair surround
• Layout 1st floor columns and installed column rebar and forms
• Poured columns for 1st floor
• Installed block work wall to first floor
• Commenced rebar to 1st floor lift shaft
• Commenced formwork to 1sr floor lift shaft
• Commenced deck to 2nd floor stair surround

 

Block E
• Completed installation of Batter boards
• Layout foundation on Batter boards
• Mixed and placed blinding to foundation
• Fabricated reinforcement for foundation cages
• Layout foundation on Blinding
• Installed rebar cages to foundation beams
• Commenced installation of formwork to foundation beams
• Installed rebar to foundation
• Installed formwork to foundation
• Installed extensions to pile reinforcement, welded and placed
• Inspected, cleaned and prepared pour foundation

 

hdstudio (formerly Harlequin Developments) celebrates 1st anniversary in new Barbados offices

The hd studio team celebrating their first year anniversary in their new offices

The hd studio team celebrating their first year anniversary in their new Barbados offices

Iced tea and cupcakes were the order of the day on Thursday 10th January as the team at hdstudio (formerly Harlequin Developments) marked their first anniversary in their new offices in Christ Church, Barbados.

David Campion, sixth from the right in the image above, is the managing director of hdstudio, who are the designers and developers of Harlequin Hotels & Resorts’ luxury destinations across the Caribbean. In summer 2012, David took some time out from working on Harlequin’s projects to answer some questions about the company and its major part in the broader Harlequin brand.

An Introduction to hdstudios

hdstudios

hdstudios

Question             

What is hdstudio?

Answer     

hdstudio is a rebranding of Harlequin Developments, which was formed in June 2010 as a development platform to safeguard the journey Harlequin’s hotels and resorts take from concept through planning, tender, construction and on to delivery. The rebranding has been embarked upon to more accurately capture the scope of the development platform, with an emphasis on the collaborative studio environment.

Question             

What is hdstudio’s mission statement?

Answer   

To set development standards throughout the Caribbean. Successfully deliver its portfolio of hotels and resorts in a cost-conscious, environmentally appropriate manner achieving high quality architecture, influenced by its location, and ultimately delivering luxury living for its investors and guests.

hds4

3D CGI of accommodation from The Merricks Resort project in Barbados

Question        

How do you plan to deliver on this mission statement?

Answer                

By employing industry experts to direct operations in-house from our Barbados headquarters, contracting a team of consultants with international experience for each project, and establishing direct contract arrangements with the industry through project and construction management structures.

 

Question             

How is the company structured?

Answer  

The design studio is the heart of the operation and key to encouraging successful collaboration from hdstudio’s teams and departments. We have a project leader assigned to each of our projects who coordinates our various departments to drive the progress of their project.

Our dynamic and diverse teams are formed from 30 staff members of mixed disciplines who are located in-office and throughout our sites. They come from a variety of backgrounds, which promotes a melting pot of ideas and encourages innovation. A byproduct of this multifaceted diversity is constructive conflict as perspectives clash, which leads us to richer, more innovative, and more valuable results.

hds2

Question             

What does the role of managing director for hd studio entail?

Answer      

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.

Question         

What is hdstudio doing that’s different to other development companies?

Answer   

It’s a number of things, to be honest.

The meticulous attention to detail throughout all stages of development and the high quality of the construction information, which is what ultimately determines the quality of the projects.

The pursuit of low energy, sustainable development, which, as well as being an crucial ethical concern on Harlequin’s part, also simply makes sense in the Caribbean where energy prices are amongst the highest and there’s a good availability of solar energy and trade winds.

Our expertise in building in hot, composite climates, particularly concerning countering the influence of heat and minimize the effects of humidity. It’s also the way we apply that expertise with thorough analysis for all areas of a sustainable design approach, including: renewable energy; ecological value; passive strategies; whole life cost; transport strategies; health and wellness assessment; and the use of sustainable materials.

Last but not least, our corporate social responsibility. 95% of our subcontractors are local to the developments, creating a strong bond between our projects and the community, and we work closely with the governments to ensure we preserve the natural beauty of the environments we develop in. Engaging with the community is very important to us, so we regularly participate in outreach programmes and sponsor charities, schools and sports clubs.

hds3

Photovoltaic field technology that is being used at The Merricks Resort project in Barbados

H, Barbados: Update for Dec 2012 & Jan 2013

Please find below an update on Harlequin Hotels & Resorts’ luxury boutique hotel, H, Barbados. This update covers the work through hd studio (formerly Harlequin Developments) that took place before the Christmas/New Year break in 2012 and from 7th to 11th January 2013. Text in red denotes the latest work from January.

 

o Block A

  • Grouting of exterior joints complete
  • Screeding to 4th and 5th floors complete
  • Block walls to ground floor 98% complete
  • Wall lining to Mock UP room commenced

o Block B

  • Piling of North Foundation upgrade and walkway foundation complete
  • Earthing/grounding of all plunge pools complete

o Block C

  • Installation of services to 2nd floor slab complete
  • Concrete to 2nd floor slab complete
  • Advance decking to 3rd floor South is 98% complete
  • Beams installed for rebar installation to 3rd floor South
  • Production of stair case commencing
  • Advance columns and beams around staircase commencing
  • Precast stair case completed for installation
  • Ground floor slab structural preparations for installation of stair case in progress
  • Form work fabrication for deck of 1st floor stair surround
  • Fabrication of columns to deck of stair surround

o Block D

  • Backfilling to bays complete
  • Excavation for under-slab services to kitchen in progress
  • Advance foundation of plunge pools in progress
  • North wall modifications in progress

o Block E

  • Installation of all services to GF slab complete
  • Batteboards for foundation layout in progress
  • Jack hammer and clear foundation pile caps
  • Fabricate reinforcement for foundation cages
  • Excavate and clear foundation pads for blinding

 

Images for December 2012

 

Images for January 2013:

Harlequin Hotels & Resorts' new "H" brand appears in Travel Weekly

Harlequin Hotels & Resorts’ new “H” boutique hotel brand is planned to be launched in late 2013 with the opening of H Barbados in late 2013, which will be a luxury, adults-only hotel on the beach.

Travel Weekly, a newspaper for the travel industry, has published an article on hotels expanding throughout the Caribbean, including Harlequin Hotels & Resorts. Read the article here.

H, Barbados - CGI

H, Barbados – CGI

H, Barbados - CGI

H, Barbados – CGI

H, Barbados - CGI

H, Barbados – CGI