A British couple says that their two-week vacation at Buccament Bay Resort, for which they paid 3,000 pounds sterling for accommodation alone, has not turned out to be what they expected.
The couple, who is from Devon in England, spoke to iWitness News on Wednesday on the second full day of their two-week vacation at the resort, where workers have been striking since Friday over no pay.
They say that their stay at the resort was “not good. Not as we expected,” but described the resort as “beautiful”.
“We got a really nice villa, but it’s the services mainly and it’s obviously deteriorated since the strike last Friday,” the woman said while sitting on a beach chair.
“The restaurants haven’t been opened, the shops have been open once or twice since we’ve been here. The room hasn’t been serviced [for] four days today and even before that, there were many days when it hasn’t been serviced,” she said.
The linen in the room were changed just three times during their two-week stay, she said, adding that they have been keeping their beach towels and taking them back to the room everyday or else they would not have any to use.
“One of the things that attracted us was that they said that there was fine dining and three other restaurants … but those restaurants haven’t been opened. We’ve had four meals at the restaurant they were good and what they were expected,” she, however, said.
“So that is one of the main reasons that the holiday is spoilt. But it is also they don’t look after the premises. The [beach] mattresses are left out overnight so they are sopping wet in morning.” The woman said.
She said there was a sewer leak outside their villa twice.
“And the sewage came right up to the little path that went up to our door.”
The little beach bar has only been opened two days since they arrived.
The resort has come under significant pressure since Friday to provide for its guests as workers have been staying away from their job, having not been paid for almost three months.
They have been gathering outside of the resort every day since Friday but have refused to work, saying that they will only return to their jobs when they are paid in full.
The couple told iWitness News that they have read on the internet about British-born, naturalised Vincentian businessman Dave Ames, who is chair of Harlequin Property St. Vincent, owners of Buccament Bay Resort.
They, however, said that a director of the company has denied their own experience at the resort.
“And he wanted to put us right. And he was denying that there were any financial problems, he was denying that the staff wasn’t being paid. Every single thing that we knew was not true, he was denying,” the woman said, adding that she thought it was “absolutely terrible that the staff hasn’t been paid”.
Meanwhile, the man told iWitness News that the staff is very diligent.
“The staff work very hard and they are not receiving any recompense at all. If it weren’t for the loyalty of some of the staff, the resort would have to close down. It just can’t service what it promises,” he said, adding that while the resort’s website claims that it is a five-star establishment, that is obviously not the case.
“It has the possibility of being an excellent resort if it is properly managed and there are obviously serious financial difficulties within the whole of the HHanksarlequin group which they deny. Basically, we’ve been lied to,” he said.