Timeshare association comes to the rescue at Caravanserai

POSTED: 10/7/14 2:03 AM

Urgent meeting with Minister Richardson;

St. Maarten – The Minister of Tourism, Ted Richardson and the St. Maarten Timeshare Association held an urgent meeting yesterday morning to discuss recent developments regarding the new owner of the Caravanserai Resort, Alegria Real Estate and its relations with people who have purchased timeshare rights at the property.

While the SMTA is a resort association, its primary mission is to represent the best interests of timeshare in St. Maarten, the association pointed out in a press release. “The current state of affairs with Alegria offering to annul unilaterally the timeshare rights purchased since 2007 does not foster this goal, and so the SMTA has chosen to act as an advocate for the timeshare owners in resolving this quickly and in a way that serves everyone’s best interests.”

The SMTA has asked, and Minister Richardson has agreed, to invite the principals of the Alegria Real Estate company, the head of the St. Maarten Scotiabank and the SMTA to sit together to come to a quick solution that would not require court action to resolve these issues. The purpose of such a meeting would be furthermore to see that the timeshare rights that were purchased are honored. “The Minister is certain that we can come to an agreement that will benefit our tourism, investors and the industry alike,” the SMTA press release states.

This past September provides a major insight into the importance of the timeshare industry and timeshare tourists for St. Maarten’s economy. Off-season tourism occupancy is considered the Holy Grail of Caribbean tourism programs. Timeshare resorts on St. Maarten, which make up over 70% of the island’s tourism beds had an occupancy in excess of 65% on average for the month.

Alegria’s argument that Caravanserai was not allowed to sell timeshare without written permission from Scotia Bank will not hold up. An anonymous source told this newspaper last night that Scotia Bank was full well informed about the activities at the resort.

 

Did you like this? Share it:
Timeshare association comes to the rescue at Caravanserai by

Comments (39)

 

  1. John Dunn says:

    I am a time share owner at Caravanserai and I know full well that Scotia Bank was aware that timeshares were being sold and maintenance fees were being paid. Do they think we are stupid and they were not privilege to how and where the resort got their money to pay them? I’m also sure they saw all that information when Mr. Manek stop paying them, come on man!! Is that really going to be their position?

  2. Uton Donaldson says:

    I’m an original owner and I hope this issue gets resolve very quickly. I would hate to see my family’s investment goes to waste as I will not return to the island.

  3. Mary Reese says:

    I am a timeshare owner at Caravanserai and do not believe that Scotia Bank was unaware of timeshares being sold. That is out right lies. If the Minister of Tourism and the SMTA allows Alegria Operations to annul the Timeshare units purchased, I hope they are prepared for the many lawsuits that will follow. Not to mention what will happen to this industry when word gets out via the web and social media that purchasing in St Maarten in NOT a safe investment. I welcome any Caravanserai owners to contact me so we can join together to fight against the annulment of our timeshare.
    reesemar1@aol.com

  4. Robert Truhlar says:

    We also own at caravanseri since 2005…is there ANY legal action we can hook up with re:the letters that went out “annuling” our rights to what we paid for?

  5. lisa walker says:

    We own there too this has given St Martin a black eye we will never buy out of the USA again There is other places to go and spend our money there

  6. Michael DiGiovanni says:

    I purchased my timeshare in 2006, pre-construction and Scotia Bank was not involved at that time.I wonder if all this nonsense involve me.

  7. Alayna Clark says:

    It is a travesty that the country of St. Maarten will let a company(Allegria) wipe out signed, sealed, and delivered contracts which were purchased with hard earned money and trust. My contract states I will be able to have a 1-bedroom deluxe unit every year at Caravanserai, not a hotel room. What about all the money in Maintenance fees we all have paid over the years? This is truly an injustice at it’s best and St. Maarten will pay dearly if they let this happen.

  8. paula a. mcaloon says:

    Is any one going to sign the contract and pay the maint. fee before November 1, 2014 What should we do. I already have my airline tickets

  9. Jae Y Choe says:

    I too am a timeshare owner at the Caravanserai. The best way for SXM to collapse their tourist industry is agreeing to the Alegria Real Estate annulling the timeshare agreements previously signed and sealed, as this will assure there will no more be any tourism investors for the country SXM.

  10. Jae Y Choe says:

    I too am a timeshare owner at the Caravanserai. The best way for SXM to collapse their tourist industry is agreeing to the Alegria Real Estate annulling the timeshare agreements previously signed and sealed, as this will assure there will no more be any investors for the country SXM.

  11. Karen says:

    Some Information that I have found out. I have many points in my RCI account and they are still valid and can be used to exchange for resort stays. However Caravanserai resort is no longer available for reservations through RCI. So you can use your existing RCI points to exchange at other resorts, but not at Caravanserai.

    If you used RCI to reserve your week at Caravanserai, most likely it will not be honored by this new Alegria. Most unfortunate.

  12. Kathy Filut says:

    We also have our airline tickets for our whole family(13 of us)
    Coming to celebrate our 50 th anniversary. We were told not to sign anything at this point, to wait and see if anything can be resolved before Nov. 1st.

  13. Dennis Cufone says:

    There are plenty of other beautiful Caribbean islands where I can spend my money. If SXM doesn’t come through for us, I’m OUT of there!

  14. Lorraine and Nick Koval says:

    Please keep us in the loop as to what we can do to save our investment into Caravanserai. We have other family members who also purchased there. We don’t want to lose all that we have put into this resort. Thank you.

  15. Tom Tucker says:

    I am an owner of timeshare with Caravanserai and have owned pre construction. I can’t believe the Govt of St Martin would let this travesty happen to so many owners of Timeshare.

  16. Debbie Finnie says:

    I am not an owner there but after much debating my spouse and I decided to book 4 days at the Caravanserai in March 2015, in the back of my mind and still to this day have been thinking this is not a good idea and have been trying to keep up to date on information about this resort. I have emailed them from there website to be told the account no longer exsist, I have clicked on construction updates to be sent to other resorts in St Martins. I am asking you as owners should I be looking to change this resevartion to another resort. I did book through RCI which at the time was pushing this resort so we looked it up and saw the improvements and decided to go for it. We were there in St Martins last year and seen it was still under construction and that’s what made us a little hesitant. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I am in Canada

  17. Faye Heinze says:

    Does anybody know if the St. Maarten Timeshare Association was able to set up a meeting with the new owners (Alegria)? And what the outcome was. The Nov. 1st deadline is fast approaching and no one knows what to do with the poorly written offer from Alegria. We had a week booked over Thanksgiving and changed to another resort as we were told by Alegria staff it would not be honored because is was an exchange through RCI. We are scheduled to go again in March 2015 on our regular week and were told if we pay our maintenance dues to Alegria we can stay there. I hope someone can give us some direction soon. It would be best if Alegria would put out a statement giving us time to figure this out. As owners we need to get together on this and get information out to as many owners as possible.

  18. Beverly P endergast says:

    I am an owner of weeks 6 and 7, one bedroom unit and my daughter owns a studio for the sixth week. We also have our flight reservations as well as two of my guests. I am only interested in using my weeks, not exchanging them. Right now I do not know what to do – sign the darn form so I can go there in Feb or join the group.

    • Sandra J. Buccella says:

      Hi,
      We are scheduled to use our January week. We did not sign the letter. Did you hear any comment replies that would be helpful?
      Thanks,
      Sandy

  19. Charlene Washington says:

    I believe no one should sign anything until the Minister of Tourism and the St. Maarten Timeshare Association give us information on what to do. I don’t believe that these heads of St. Maarten would let a company (Alegria) get away with swindling so many people who work hard for their monies. I love St. Maarten, especially the French side, and want to continue to visit St. Maarten. I’m always telling people that St. Maarten is the place to visit. Therefore, I know they will do the right thing; so again, I suggest that no one sign anything. For those who have booked, go back to RCI and rebook some place else. This is just my suggestion. Just keep the faith in both the Minister and the Timeshare Association that they will do the right thing. Afterall, that is why they are appointed to those responsible positions.

  20. Sandy & John Buccella says:

    We purchased early 2000 1 week, every other year and then in 2007 with upgraded our ownership to 1 week every year with Ray Minelli. We own week 2. In 2013 while using our January week, we go sucked into purchasing another week in April from Endless Vacations. They sold us a week knowing that the resort was unstable. We never got to use our new week. We paid over $1,300.00 in maintenance fees. Is anyone signing the letter? In signing you are giving them the right to anul your timeshare. Can anyone shed any light as to what is going on legally?? Maybe there should be a class action suit. Any comments or info would be helpful

  21. Sandra Buccella says:

    We purchased early 2000 1 week, every other year and then in 2007 with upgraded our ownership to 1 week every year with Ray Minelli. We own week 2. In 2013 while using our January week, we go sucked into purchasing another week in April from Endless Vacations. They sold us a week knowing that the resort was unstable. We never got to use our new week. We paid over $1,300.00 in maintenance fees. Is anyone signing the letter? In signing you are giving them the right to anul your timeshare. Can anyone shed any light as to what is going on legally?? Maybe there should be a class action suit. Any comments or info would be helpful

  22. Sandra J. Buccella says:

    We also own 2 weeks. Can anyone shed any light as to what is happening

  23. Sean Bresnahan says:

    I too am very disappointed. Alegria had to have been aware of the details of our Lease Agreements before they purchased the property. They have simply ignored them. Under Lessor Guarantees, (b) it states “The Lesee will not be disturbed in the case of transfer of the real property to a third party”.
    I’m disturbed, to say the least.
    I really hope SXM steps up to fix this. Very negative impact for sure.

  24. Evelyn L. Steele says:

    I remember the original Caravanserai Hotel (what a classy and beautiful resort this was).

    I bought into a nightmare! I have only stayed there once for about a minute. I ran out of there like a bat out of hell! Construction dust, no maid service, water pressure or elevators.

    My timeshare is paid in full- Scotia bank has my money!

    Help!

  25. Charles Lupo says:

    It seems that the issue is with Timeshares purchased 2007. I bought in 1999 so what happens with me. I have not paid my AMF, so glad I haven’t. The new owner can buy me out, please make me an offer to consider if you want to be a hotel. I’ll gladly sell my timeshare back. I think it’s only fair that be done.

  26. E. P. Mitchell says:

    I AM OUTRAGED!!! I just found out about this this morning when I called to make an inquiry. I NEVER received a letter or email from Caravanserai or Alegria about any changes in owner etc.

    I purchased in April of 2007 for the 17th week. I am paid in full since 2009. I did not get to stay there until last April 2013 because of construction and still paid annual maintenence fees 🙁 As we all know, it was/is still under construction and when we arrived my unit was not available although I was given a confirmation. They upgraded us for the week because I gave them HELL!!!

    I WILL NOT SIGN ANYTHING FROM ALEGRIA!!!

    I would be interested in pursuing a lawsuit with the group if applicable, after the court decision. I understand the deadline is Nov 14, 2014.(epm427@hotmail.com)

    I would like to believe that SXM would not allow us timeshare owners to be “taken to the cleaners”. It would tarnish their reputation and tourism will be affected. WE WILL MAKE SURE OF THAT!!!

    I will keep an eye out for updates on this issue via the Today newspaper and this comments board.

  27. Studio owner since 1999 says:

    What is the latest ? Am I screwed?

  28. Randy Owen says:

    I also have a week timeshare at this place and interested in finding out if their are any class action suits already started? Any groups getting together on this issue? I’m not ready to just lay down and accept this. I know that this is going to just be accepted like some people are saying. Not me. I am in the process of making things happen and getting my money back from this scam.
    Thanks for any help you may know of and don’t hesitate to contact me to see where I’m at with it all.
    Randy Owen
    rowen6762@yahoo.com

  29. Scott Caylor says:

    We are also owners at Caravanserai we purchased in May of 2008 and have been paid in full since 2009. We just found out about this yesterday (12/30/2014) via an email from RCI basically stating that our points for this resort were no longer valid in the RCI system. We to have never received any communication from either the previous owners or the new owners regarding this change. We have not even received an email in regards to the Maintenance Fees for the 2015 year. I am also interested in a class action suit if one has been started.

    Scott Caylor
    smcaylor@gmail.com

  30. Mary trgovcevic says:

    I too only found out 10 days ago that there was a change in ownership and Alegria is not honouring our points. Have called rci and they can’t help. Called the resort they can’t help either. Everyone is passing the bane, oops sorry for your loss. This is outrageous, everyone spent hard earned money and got suckered into it. I bought March 20013 and they knew that nothing was going to come out of it. Told Rci that it’s their reputation as well because their name is attached to it. If there isa lawsuit I am in

  31. Robert & Deborah Appello says:

    Still waiting for the paper work or email to be sent. Spoke to Minerva in November 2014 when we did not receive a maintence bill and was told what had occurred. She stated she would forward all the information to us, still waiting.

  32. Barry and Karin says:

    Any updates? We just found out about this in March from a timeshare magazine. We’ve had a one bedroom unit since 2005 (reconstruction). I remember them selling us on the idea that this was a deeded property ownership. Now what?

  33. Robert & Deborah Appello says:

    Heard that the original order by the court has been changed and that Algeria was ordered to return ownership to the time share owners. Has anyone else heard that? If it is true I wonder how long it will take them to contact us? We seem to never receive the correspondence they allege to send so I am wondering what tactic they will use this time in reaching out to the owners.

  34. Sandra Nuhn says:

    We have formed the Timeshare of Caravanserai Owners Association (TOCA) and Alegria has been informed by the Court that they must return access to our units at the former Caravanserai. There is no class action recognized in St. Maarten, and, therefore, the only timeshare owners given access are those who did not sign and return the letter who have also joined TOCA. There is no fee to join. For more information, please send an email to: tocagroup@gmail.com.

    • Barry Reiss says:

      Sandra, hi…
      Your post says there’s no fee to join TOCA so I emailed tocagroup@gmail.com. Carol Ann responded with a lovely note but wrote that to join it would cost $2000. What am I missing? Thanks! Barry

  35. Carol Ann Lee-Desmarais says:

    Good afternoon,

    The members of the Board for TOCA will host a conference call over the weekend and will make a final decision as to whether or not to accept new members at that time. If YOU HAVE NOT SIGNED ALEGRIA’S LETTER and wish to join our association please contact me as soon as possible at our email address: tocagroup@gmail. com

    Best regards,
    Carol Anne Lee-Desmarais
    (president of TOCA)