Tour bus bust-up. Portugal deflation. 8 hotels insolvent.

The Diario is reporting an ugly bust-up between the drivers of a tourist bus and an off-road jeep after one blocked access to the popular Pico do Facho viewpoint above Machico (opposite) yesterday. The tour companies concerned are actually named in the article, together with registration number of the vehicle involved, The drivers apparently became involved in “severe verbal and physical aggression”, much to the alarm of 100 or so tourists reported to be at the mirador at the time. The police were called to the incident, which is hardly the best way to promote this generally most peaceful of holiday locations. Perhaps the tourist authorities should talk to these (presumably licensed) companies?

Portugal trade deficit and deflation

A gardener walks past a wall with graffiti that reads, Portugal recorded the fifth largest trade deficit in the 28-member European Union between January and May, with a negative balance of €4.1 billion in international trade according to Eurostat today. Meanwhile the Telegraph reports that “Portugal has crashed into deep deflation……..markets were stunned by the sudden fall in Portugal’s inflation to -0.7 in July, from -0.2pc the month before”. Portugal’s public debt has jumped from 94pc to 129pc of GDP in three years. Full article here: http://tinyurl.com/pt5wstm

“Astronomy of Summer 2014”

The non profit making Amateur Astronomers Association of Madeira has organised three free sessions this week under the initiative “Astronomy of Summer 2014”
The first is tomorrow (20th) between 21:30 and 1:00 a.m. at Cais do Funchal (the main pier on the seafront), followed on Friday, May 22, at the same times, at Promenade do Caniço, and Saturday, again at the same times. at  Chão da Lagoa , next to the north gate; These activities are targeted at a wide audience:  www.astronomiamadeira.net .

Eight hotels insolvent

Hotel Monumental Road should be completed in 2008 but is still in the 'skeleton'.  Most likely it is offered for sale.  PHOTO? JOAN? SOUSA / ASPRESSFollowing the demise of the Golden Gate and the Yacht Bar, the Diario reported last week that eight hotels on the island are insolvent, after Millennium BCP requested the insolvency of the company that owns the Madeira Palacio, due to accumulated debts of € 114 million. It is another episode in the impasse that has fallen in the work of renovation and expansion of the five-star hotel on the Estrada Monumental which should have been completed in 2008. The documentation shows that the two parties failed to reach agreement on funding for the completion of works. After judicial confirmation of the insolvency the most likely path is the company’s liquidation and sale of the property. This hotel  opened in 1972 by American owners. Two years later it passed to a Portuguese company, hand was then sold in 2005 to Fibeira group, financed by BCP. At the end of the following year, the Madeira Palace closed for restoration and the construction of 112 new luxury apartments (Madeira Palace Residences). In November 2008 the works stopped for lack of funding. In April 2011, the bank give sufficient credit to finish the Madeira Palace Residences. In late 2012, the 112 apartments went on sale but became bogged down in a dispute – Fibeira apparently intended to sell the flats separately, while the BCP would rather sell them together with the hotel.
The Madeira Palacio is the eighth large or medium sized hotel to be the target of an insolvency proceeding or revitalization (pre-bankruptcy) courts in the region over the past two years. All have financial difficulties in common, with combined debts of more than € 227 million. However, the Palacio is the biggest in monetary terms. According to the Diario the other seven units involved in insolvency proceedings / revitalization since 2012 are: Regency Club, Regency Palace, Choupana Hills, The Lince, Quinta Jardim da Serra, Hotel Paul do Mar and Hotel Santa Catarina. The main creditors are BCP and BES. The Eden Mar is not included as incorrectly reported in other places (Editors note: Clarification 21.8.14 – It has been subsequently established that the “Hotel Mar” referred to previously is definitely not the Eden Mar – thanks to readers for clarifying this! Apologies if the blog has impugned the reputation of this successful hotel in any way).

Note: Sincere apologies to the Pestana Group – one of their hotels was mentioned in the original version of this blog in place of the Choupana Hills – this error has been corrected now.

16 thoughts on “Tour bus bust-up. Portugal deflation. 8 hotels insolvent.”

  1. Trying to find out more information on setting up internet access for our 3 month stay on Madeira island this coming winter, we want to have sufficient strength to connect to TV (hdmi) and internet. Last year we checked with Nos about getting a box and we were assured at the store that it was possible. Now someone has told us that we require a Portuguese bank account. Any help would be appreciated. We are trying to decide our residence for this coming winter but one does not have internet. We do have a phone that we use on the island. Have been on the NOS website and can not find any information on residency. We speak English only which is a problem. Canadian residence.

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  2. I am fairly sure that you will need your Portuguese residency and Fiscal number. I do not think a bank account here makes any difference. Both NOS & MEO will want you to sign a contract for 24 months unless they offer a pay as you go product. having been with Zon / Nos for over 4 years, I have just changed to MEO and much prefer it

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  3. Hi William,

    When we were in you position we found the only way was to rent a place that had internet access included. (also Canadian residence but now Madeiran residence). If you would like info re: residency, bank accounts, NIF etc, or to meet up with a fellow Canadian, ask admin to forward a private message to me.

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  4. I’m surprised that yet again the website mentions Eden Mar in terms of the hotel liquidations. you say here that “The Eden Mar is not included as incorrectly reported in other places.” but actually its not other places that mention it, its your own previous article where you wrongly attribute your translated article of hotel mar, to be eden mar. i would guess you meant hotel do mar, which did previously go into liquidation.

    as the eden mar is part of the profitable and stable porto bay group i think should remove both comments as they are extremely misleading and i am surprised that you haven’t received anything from porto bay regarding it.

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  5. expat – my reporting on the demise of the Golden Gate included a pretty much verbatim translation from the local newspaper which said that “Sindicato do Trabalhadores da Hotelaria e Similares, Adolfo Freitas….explained that “Hotel Mar” (Eden Mar?) also became insolvent”. The conjecture that it may be the Eden Mar – with a question mark, was deliberate, as I was not convinced that this was the hotel in question. Unfortunately the blog is so widely copied nowadays that those replicating it removed the uncertainty and reported it as fact. My report made it clear that I was only speculating as to the identity of the “Hotel Mar”, which subsequently transpired to be “Hotel de Mar”. Those copying should perhaps research in more detail on their own behalves. Subsequent blogs have clarified the situation.

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  6. sorry but i really think you should remove the remarks. the bit in brackets is your words, the diario didnt suggest that the eden mar was going bankrupt, you did. someone unknowing would read your blog and be given the erroneous idea that Eden Mar, and therefore Porto Bay were in difficulties, you know this is the case because you say yourself that other blogs reported this as fact. you say you were only speculating but you were speculating in print that a business was in financial trouble and i don’t think your subsequent blogs have clarified the situation, in fact the opposite.

    I’m not suggesting you did this deliberately but i am really surprised you have left the comments on two different blogs. i am not trying to attack you, i think the blog is brilliant, but this surprised me.

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  7. expat – I think an important reason that the blog remains well respected is that I do not exercise any “editorial control” or change anything after publication, other than comments not caught by spam filters that are either threatening, abusive or self-promoting in nature. What I will do is add a final paragraph to both blogs clarifying that the Eden Mar has been in no way implicated with any insolvency or restructuring, as is clearly the case.

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  8. What this tale does show is that too many hotels were built. The area aroung Ajuda had loads of homes and banana trees which have all been cleared for new hotels. It begs the question – were backhanders involved in gaining permission for the clearances?????

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  9. The Azores are well-known for a luxury hotel that was built and has never been occupied. Apparently the investors saw it on the one day/year that it was sunny – and the location is stunning on that day. Rest of the time it is in the Azores’ normal mist.

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  10. William – Meo have a €19.99 package for 3 months, then €26.99 for nine months – but it is minimum term of 12 months. This is 30Mbps which will be fine for streaming TV. Can’t see anything with a shorter contract. Likewise “Nos” (used to be “Zon”) have a nearly identical offerring at €19.99/24.99 but only 20Mbps – again a 12-month contract. Mobile connections run up to 5Mbps, which might just manage some TV but the data limits are restricted, so it would cost a fortune to keep “topping up”. Why not try to do a deal with the landlord and get him to sign up – he may well get additional bookings after you leave.

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  11. William – you should not have a problem with just speaking English to either Zon or Meo, and I have frequently seen people paying in cash at the Zon shop at the Loja da Cidadao in Funchal (correction – for Zon read “Nos”)

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