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What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

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What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by aquila on 16.12.11 8:25

I am at a loss here as to why so many professional people choose this holiday venue. Is it for the golf? is it because it's a 2-3 hour flight from UK? is it for the Portugeuse culture? is it for Portugeuse food?

I'd like some suggestions as to why that particular place seems to be a favourite with professional (high earning) people.

I'm just curious.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by dentdelion on 16.12.11 10:33

It is a relatively long distance from the airport at Faro. It is situated on the Atlantic sea so subject to tidal conditions and westerly gales that can leave the its effect on the water days after the wind is gone. Golf of course is an attraction yet none of this group played. For ex pats, perhaps there is a tax advantage to residing there?

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by jd on 16.12.11 10:55

I know from people who work at Mark Warners that they are the most popular resorts for doctors because of their child care services

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by tigger on 16.12.11 13:00

[quote="dentdelion"]It is a relatively long distance from the airport at Faro. It is situated on the Atlantic sea so subject to tidal conditions and westerly gales that can leave the its effect on the water days after the wind is gone. Golf of course is an attraction yet none of this group played. For ex pats, perhaps there is a tax advantage to residing there?[/quote

Gerry plays golf. In fact had been to Portugal on golfing weekends. Without Kate. Official, it's in the bewk.
My betting is that it was PdL and therefore he DID know the area. One of the golf clubs is part owned by Brian Kennedy. I believe, but may be wrong, that the Kennedy meeting (pre 3/5) with Murat was at a golf club.

As for the resort, it appears to be a sort of 'Islington on Sea' there are so many expats there. One airport is about half an hour away?

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by Marian on 16.12.11 13:46

@jd wrote:I know from people who work at Mark Warners that they are the most popular resorts for doctors because of their child care services

I can't decide if you're being serious or not JD! If we believe that the McCanns and their friends (most of whom are also doctors) left their children unattended in the evenings, they clearly weren't bothered about the facilities on offer.

By the way, I'd never heard of PDL before May 2007.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by aquila on 17.12.11 2:49

Does anyone know how much per week that particular holiday in PDL cost in 2007? I understand, forgive me if I've misinterpreted previous info, that it wasn't a package holiday per se. Even though I'm given to understand the holiday was on an all-inclusive basis, I seem to remember that flights were booked as an additional cost.

I'd be interested to know if the actual documentation for all the bookings and flights was obtained and assessed. It would be interesting to see receipt of payment in terms of how and when payment was made and to ascertain exactly when the booking was initiated. I am assuming it was done on-line but perhaps I haven't read enough.

From what I gather on the pages in this forum, the holiday was all-inclusive, offered creche facilities and activities for children, offered sporting/sailing activities for adults and child-minding services (although it is reported some of them were apparently not available at the time and others were on a paid-for basis).

I feel sorry for MW holidays (IMO they don't deserve to be mixed up in this - neither do the people in PDL who have suffered). I just wonder if all the relevant documents were presented to the PJ for analysis.

Just curious.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by uppatoffee on 17.12.11 7:24

Aquila from what I understand the Mccanns did not book it as a package. They booked their own flights seperately as they were flying from east midlands rather than a mainstream airport. I think it says this on the MW sheets. The only mention Kate makes in the bewk is that they had pre booked a people carrier to take them from the airport.

Kate also says that although they hadn't been to a MW resort before, 'the others had in Sardinia and Greece. Everybody had been very impressed by the locations, accommodation and amenities.'

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by tigger on 17.12.11 7:52

Although I've no idea where I read this, either here or on MM site, in a discussion re Mrs. Ruth McCann, the owner of apartment 5a, that the McCanns had paid 1500 pounds. It seems an awful lot to me for a week.
They also paid quite a lot for the villa they stayed in later although I understand that MW gave them free lodging up to the beginning of July.
(when MW offered them free wine, they went for 14 bottles I think there's a topic on it - freeloading like the Blairs imo). I will check the book, but I had a feeling that the McCs were rather miffed about MW turning them out. MW was losing the income on two apartments a day as they'd also given them a separate one as an 'office'.

The idea that Maddie could have raised a ransom from them, which crops up from time to time, is untenable. They were broke in 2007, which is why the mortgage was paid for the months of June and July 2007 by the Fund. No idea what was arranged after that. Both of them still had money coming in from their jobs.
Personally, I think if you ignore all else and simply go through their finances from at least 10 years back, a lot will become crystal clear.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by jd on 17.12.11 10:22

@Marian wrote:
@jd wrote:I know from people who work at Mark Warners that they are the most popular resorts for doctors because of their child care services

I can't decide if you're being serious or not JD! If we believe that the McCanns and their friends (most of whom are also doctors) left their children unattended in the evenings, they clearly weren't bothered about the facilities on offer.

By the way, I'd never heard of PDL before May 2007.

I am being serious Marian. Even before 2007, employees at Mark Warners were always curious that the MW resorts always seemed to be filled with people from the medical profession. This is because the child minding and after care is very attractive to them, as well as being able to leave your kids with nannies in the evenings if you want to go out

This has always nagged me why the mcscams didn't use the evening nanny service, as this is what MW was famous for and why in their circle, MW resorts were so popular to go to

I think it was about £1200-£1500 a week to stay there

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Post by russiandoll on 17.12.11 19:15

if the pair were broke 2007 any idea why they would not have organised a better value holiday for one week....one with bargains or free places for children? The accommodation in the photos of apt 5a looked pretty basic for the amount they paid..
if the childcare was the big difference why on earth was it not used?

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by tigger on 17.12.11 20:30

@russiandoll wrote:if the pair were broke 2007 any idea why they would not have organised a better value holiday for one week....one with bargains or free places for children? The accommodation in the photos of apt 5a looked pretty basic for the amount they paid..
if the childcare was the big difference why on earth was it not used?

I think it was a holiday arranged by Payne? Inasmuch that the whole set of people had agreed to have a week together at PdL. Payne and Gerry had both been to Portugal before. That, at any rate is the official story. I have other ideas, as you know.
Their insistence that they went because of the childcare may well be to emphasise how much care they took of their children. A case of 'we chose it for the children's safety and look what happened..'.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by Pershing36 on 17.12.11 20:51

@tigger wrote:
@russiandoll wrote:if the pair were broke 2007 any idea why they would not have organised a better value holiday for one week....one with bargains or free places for children? The accommodation in the photos of apt 5a looked pretty basic for the amount they paid..
if the childcare was the big difference why on earth was it not used?

I think it was a holiday arranged by Payne? Inasmuch that the whole set of people had agreed to have a week together at PdL. Payne and Gerry had both been to Portugal before. That, at any rate is the official story. I have other ideas, as you know.
Their insistence that they went because of the childcare may well be to emphasise how much care they took of their children. A case of 'we chose it for the children's safety and look what happened..'.

Was there suppose to be childcare in the evenings?

If so what was the reason for not using it? If it wasn't available then I am very surprised they haven't sued MW for lack of it.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by jd on 17.12.11 21:11

yes there was child care every evening. On the night itself Charlotte Pennington was on duty and first on the scene (allegedly). All holiday makers had a choice in the evenings, they could leave their kids with the resort nanny free of charge and with this all the kids are together. Or if you prefer to have a nanny looking just after your own kids then there was a small charge

You would have thought the group of Tapas 9 (remember they were all friends and on holiday together) would have chipped in each to have a nanny look after just their kids, if they didn't want to use the FREE service

But instead they left them all on their own in an unlocked apartment and were in a location obscured by a plastic covering which they could not see the apartment clearly enough! whilst consuming bottles of alcohol!

Does anyone know if the Tapas 7 had their apartments patio doors unlocked? or were they locked and they used their keys?

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by uppatoffee on 17.12.11 21:33

Clearly the person who posted the following comment was not too enamoured with Charlotte's efforts that holiday. They claim to be another staff member, but who knows...

http://truthformadeleine.com/2008/05/charlotte-pennington-at-nanny-agencycom/

"Charlotte is not a nice caring girl, she made a lot of money from telling a story on a missing girl! She was only in the resort for a few days and had minimal things to do with the abduction on the day. I know this for sure as i was there at the time…the WHOLE time before and after the incident and i like ALL the staff there apart from Charlotte made absolutely no money out of the cruel situation."

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by littlepixie on 17.12.11 22:05

I have friends who are airport staff. They said the Mark Warner OC has a reputation for being the favourite destination for parents who wanted to get away from their kids.
It was a well known thing long before the McCanns went there they said.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by Pershing36 on 17.12.11 22:09

To be honest that MW resort reminds me of some naff Centre Parks style of holiday but with the chance of sun, not a dome. The kids pool looks tidily, and I have not seen any pictures of the kids club facilities or creche. What you do see is pictures of Tennis courts, sporting facilities, sea fishing and bars+tapas.

Looks to me like a posers kind of holiday to me. Perfect for anyone who might be a bit self obsessed.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by Guest on 18.12.11 9:46

@jd wrote:yes there was child care every evening. On the night itself Charlotte Pennington was on duty and first on the scene (allegedly). All holiday makers had a choice in the evenings, they could leave their kids with the resort nanny free of charge and with this all the kids are together. Or if you prefer to have a nanny looking just after your own kids then there was a small charge

You would have thought the group of Tapas 9 (remember they were all friends and on holiday together) would have chipped in each to have a nanny look after just their kids, if they didn't want to use the FREE service

But instead they left them all on their own (allegedly, which I doubt very much) in an unlocked apartment (allegedly, as there is no proof) and were in a location obscured by a plastic covering which they could not see the apartment clearly enough! whilst consuming bottles of alcohol!

Does anyone know if the Tapas 7 had their apartments patio doors unlocked? or were they locked and they used their keys?

If all the children were being looked after in one place by one adult, no apartment needed to be left unlocked.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by Nina on 18.12.11 11:18

Good morning Stella. Does this mean then that there was a member of the group child minding each night? If so were all the children in one apartment or were they in there own apartments with the minder for that night just walking from one to the other apartment to check? Was Madeleine left alone in an apartment? Whose watch was the 3rd?

That is of course supposing that Madeleine "disappeared" on the 3rd. I think it was much earlier with the 3rd being the day as it was the last full evening for tapasing before the due back to the UK so had to be that night that Madeleines disappearance was made public.

I am not asking you to answer I am just thinking out loud.

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in the book..........nonsense

Post by russiandoll on 18.12.11 11:35

Kate Mccann's illogcal and dishonest explanation for not using the evening care facilities was that she did not wish to leave her children in the care of strangers. She did not state in the book whether or not the carers would be those familiar to the children from day care, maybe there was a staff rota and it was pot-luck whether as children you would wake up to a familair face.
I have read nothing to contradict information available that it was the same staff empoyed by MW in the day creches who would care for children in the evening. The children might not have been able to have as babysitters the same staff members who looked after them in the day, however as MW employees they would surely have been deemed capable of childcare and had the necessary background checks.
2 things come to mind.

1.Why would Kate McCann and holiday companions make a difference between care in daytime and evening if the carers were all MW employees, and if happy to leave children for hours on end every day, object to fewer hours......in the evening? Especially as she states in the book.......they were so close at the restaurant ti was like dining in your back garden. And if she was concerned they would wake up to an unfamiliar face from the day creche, why did she not say so explicitly in the book? Still better than children waking up alone and scared, and from a physical safety point of view, a no- brainer.

2. Do MW carry out CRB checks on their British staff? I am sure that these checks would have to be carried out at holiday resorts which offer creche facilities in the UK, not sure if it applies abroad to British owned resorts though. Did the McCanns and friends check prior to their booking that child care staff were checked if checks were available and mandatory?
I would have expected any responsible parents planning to leave young children in the care of strangers for large portions of the day to ensure staff had been vetted, if not able to ascertain this, I would expect parents not to book such a holiday, or if determined to book due to the great sporting facilities, to not leave young children in the creches but to organise a child minding rota with their adult companions. I wonder if the statements about great child care is more to do with being able to leave them in a creche so enabling adults to have free time during the day.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by Pershing36 on 18.12.11 15:29

Could it be there was a maximum amount of hours a day that you could use the child care facilities? From what I see they all had their kids being looked after from after breakfast till bed time.

Maybe that is over using the facilities?

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by pauline on 18.12.11 16:24

I remember reading (sorry cant remember source) that there was a limit on the hours a child spent in the daycare facilities. They could be there all day every day but there was a supplement for that.

The evening creche was included in the holiday price. The babysitting charge then was c.£8-9 ph but there was a group babysitting rate of c.£15 ph. Other MW resorts also provided a baby listening service but didn't in PDL because the accommodation was spread out and it would have been impractical. Kate has claimed that she expected this baby listening service.

Kate does not mention the individual or group babysitting option, only that she did not want 'strangers' babysitting her children. The babysitters were the MW staff. She could have tried to arrange that her sitter would be the nanny the children preferred. I'm sure that the nanny would try to get the rota changed to accommodate the request because this was EXTRA money for the nanny. Even if it was one of the other nannies, and worst case scenario the children woke up, acted up and were screaming, someone would be there, they could not wander off and the nanny could ring the McCanns to return. Even when children know the babysitter if there are in cranky humour they can act up on the sitter. Mine have done that on occasion.

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exactly pauline

Post by russiandoll on 18.12.11 17:04

There has never been any reasonable explanation given about why the evening service was not used. As there was no reasonable explanation, evidently.
There are no reasonable logical explanations for much of what was said to have happened that week, why Kate was advised to remain silent under arguida questioning, who told her to stay stumm, I think that was likely Mr Mac. He answered his own set of questions from the PJ though did he not...I must re read them.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by tigger on 18.12.11 17:23

What really annoys me is this 'listening service'. It's (excuse my language) bollocks. You cannot possibly tell if all is all right with your children unless you see them and hear them breathe. I suppose a cot death would not be detected by a 'listening service'.
A listening service would not have detected the absence of Maddie.
Sleeping children don't make much noise once asleep in my experience anyway.

So, what I can glean from this topic: it was well known amongst staff and airport staff that people who came to MW did so because they could get shot of their children for most of the days and evenings. That is why the nannies were available even until 11.30.

Much was made of the absenceof the listening service (sub text: misled by MW). Much was made of the 'fact' that because of that they organized this foolproof checking system. Which went by the board according to their own evidence.

Little was made of the free or low price nanny service at night. 'Strangers' could not look after the children at night for some reason, where during daytime it was perfectly all right. The nannies were all female so impropriety could not be a factor.


Imo MW was chosen because it was perfect for the purpose. 'Fate' decreed that the McCanns had the apartment most easily accessed from the dark car park next to it. I'm still not convinced about the booking, not only does 5a belong to a McCann from Liverpool, the apartment was allocated to them via Payne? FP was rather hazy about the details of the booking, I'd have to check Stella's work on that. 1500 still seems a very steep price for a small apartment in the off season.


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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by Pershing36 on 18.12.11 17:28

To be honest I have no idea why any of them took their kids with them. If they wanted to stick them in a creche all day so they could play tennis etc, they may as well have found care in England. Especially as they wanted to spend the evenings out as well.

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Re: What is so special about this particular holiday venue?

Post by pauline on 18.12.11 17:53

Its really depressing that the media haven't picked up ( maybe they did but daren't print it) this inconsistency about the babysitting services.

Kate has blamed MW because she thought the listening service was available as it is in other MW centres. I mean, if babysitting is important to you, why wouldn't you check and get an email confirming the situation. If you had that confirmation, and there was no such service then you'd be able to get a refund of some sort to cover the babysitting you had to pay for.

it is simply not credible that a group of DOCTORS would not pay for the nannies to babysit, and would prefer to jump and and down during dinner to go and 'check', missing out on the conversation and having their food go cold. they can't all have been misers that they couldn't part with what to them would have been a modest sum to ensure the safety of their small children.

If they were all misers, there was the evening creche provided with the holiday price.

The only logical explanation of this is that the story of the night as provided by the McCanns and tapas mates is not true. I don't think you need to be the world's best investigative journalist to realise this.

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