Friday, January 23, 2009

Too Funny - Blog Was Hacked

Someone managed to hack into my previous blog and replace the link to one for an advertisement for Blue Seas. I must be getting someone's attention.

Interestingly, the link that it was replaced with was to:

If you go to the website and look at the pictures you may note that few, if any, are actually pictures of Blue Seas.

I have contacted blogspot about my blog being hacked and they assure me they take this very seriously. They may be able to trace the hack back to where it came from and if it was someone's personal PC or a business PC, as opposed to one in an internet cafe, they said they would take appropriate action.

Another Satisfied Customer

This posting is on the internet at:

and was sent to me by a Blue Seas fractional owner. The fractional owners are not affected by this, but if you had purchased a timeshare at Playa del Sol you would have been.

How Blue Seas is trying to RIP OFF the Gay and Lesbian Community

Time shares were sold to the gay and Lesbian community starting in 2001 in Playa Del Sol, the original and legal name of the complex.

After 7 years those who bought were thrown out!

The seller formed a new company and sold the time share portion of the complex (about 50%) to a new company he and his wife now own.

He then threw out all of the people he had sold time shares to and is now selling that same space to you!

How long will it be until YOU are thrown out for a new group by another new corporation!

Don’t be fooled!

Stay away and save your money!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Few Not So Favorable Comments

Here are a couple of comments that were posted on TripAdvisor from a couple of people who have stayed at Blue Seas within the past several weeks:

I just stayed there and it was a strange experience. The website was very misleading since this is not a gay hotel! The "club" they have created is gay friendly but they mostly just want your money. Every time you turn around they try to hit you with time-share sales. The pool is tiny and green with algae slime. It was gross and we won't be staying at this hotel again.


To prevent confusion based on the last post, Blue Seas is NOT a hotel. If anyone is thinking of booking thinking this locale is similar to the mega resorts of Nuevo or the hotel zone you'll be sorely disappointed.

It's a condo complex (now in its umpteenth ownership and name change...I feel for original purchasers, you guys have seriously gotten screwed over!). A condo complex that has some amenities but they are smaller than an actual hotel.

Let's not confuse people any more than they already are about this place. And yes, they are avaricious about the timeshare selling right now so be careful...they're rivaling Mayan Palace, it's that bad.

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and depends upon whether you are actually staying at Blue Seas or just visiting the Beach Club or Restaurant.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Favorable Comment

Again, in an effort to be fair I will post comments about Blue Seas that are favorable. And, until I get down there to see for myself what is going on I will refrain from posting too many of my personal opinions.

Mr. Beck, who owns and edits a restaurant guide, had this to say:

This 'new' resort is mixed and very comfortable for people of all walks. The lounges on the beach are top notch as is the attentive service!

I am looking forward to getting to Puerto Vallarta. Won't be long now, just a little over two weeks.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Truth In Advertising???

I just visited this website:

This was the picture they had posted for the pool at Blue Seas:

Now unless Blue Seas has done some pretty dramatic landscaping and have installed a significantly larger pool in the last week or so, these pictures are nothing like the pool you will actually find.

This Is What It Really Looks Like

Not quite the same, and this is a somewhat flattering view. That kind of horseshoe shaped thing at the end is the Jacuzzi that they advertise. There are some jets that, theoretically at least, could blow out streams of water. I have never actually seen it work though. When prospective timeshare purchasers ask about it they are told that it is just shut down for the day for maintenance.

To be honest, the above picture is the one from the actual Blue Seas website. The other is from a website that will book you rooms at the Blue Seas. They do say, however, that the accuracy of the pictures is the responsibility of the resort.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

In The Spirit Of Fairness

Most of my comments on this blog have tended towards the negative, for a variety of reasons. Primarily is that over the years those of us who bought fractions at Playa del Sol have had certain things systematically changed on us, and not for the better.

First and foremost was the questionable changing of the by-laws to permit timeshares and timeshare sales on the premises. Secondly, not providing certain amenities that were promised to us, the Private Beach Club being one of them. And, of course, the changing of the name to Blue Seas and the repositioning as "Puerto Vallarta's newest and hottest gay resort."

But, to be fair, I did receive an email from someone who posted a comment on my previous blog. This individual spends time in both San Francisco and Puerto Vallarta and is the owner and publisher of a restaurant guide. He made the following observations:

I enjoy the Blue Seas. The open air bar seating is great, brisas and service. Inside is A/C, great when we partied in October. Have not dined there as they were still remodeling the old pirate into a full kitchen. Quite pretty a month ago.

I have my condo and no association with Blue Seas but have been treated so very well by the owners and managers that they gave me a lifetime member card.

So there you go. I look forward to getting down there at the end of the month and seeing for myself just what is going on.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sage Advice?

Normally I wouldn't post someone's comments, but in this case I will make an exception.

The person making the comments, Hazen S. Colbert, lives in Mexico and Canada. He is Managing Director of HSC Financial (Canada) Inc., and its Mexican subsidiary, HSC & Associates. Mr. Hazen holds an MBA in Finance. His articles, opinions and commentary have appeared in The Globe & Mail, The Puerta Vallarta Tribune, NOW Magazine and others. He has been a contributor to The Canadian Press.

Although Mr. Hazen says Playa del Sol Costa Sur in his comments, he was actually talking about Playa del Sol Condominiums, the original Playa del Sol located on Los Muertos, also known as Playa del Sol Centro, and which is now Blue Seas. Mr. Hazen has verified to me that this is what he meant so I have changed the wording of his comments here to reflect that.

Playa del Sol Costa Sur, formerly Costa Vida, was a later addition to the Playa del Sol holdings which now include Playa del Sol Grande and Playa del Sol Los Cabos. As followers of this blog know, Mr. Molinaro just recently split Playa del Sol Condominiums from the larger group and renamed it Blue Seas. Whether this was done legally or not is still an open issue.

The Playa del Sol Condominiums is one of most bizzare legal arrangements I have ever seen in my business life. What people refer to as "fractionals" are not legal fractionals as we refer to them in Canada and the US. They are actually more like timeshares even though they are refered to as 'fractionals'. The original developer does have the legal right to make changes to "his" fractional and timeshare based real estate by changing the by-laws LEGALLY (if he can create quorum he can do it with limited support by the owners, but quorum requires rules and he didn't follow the rules), but I am mystified as to how he can rebrand the condo owners real estate, including the exclusive use common elements, under a new name. That requires more than just a change to the by-laws, it requires a change in the escritorio, and no change has occured. In addition, the developer appears to have transfered some condo common elements out of the Playa de Sol Condominiums legal structure to a new legal structure, something that is simply impossible to do because the developer does not have title to the original common elements, only the condo owners have such title.

As for the beach club, legally there is no private beach club. There may be a federal concession but that only refers to the actual business of operating the club, not allowing use of the beach. Anyone can occupy the beach using their own chairs, umbrellas etc. As for a federal concession, who owns it? First right of refusal has to go to the "owner" of the abutting property, whoever that might be.

This is going to be a long, drawn out battle. I think I would just sell out.

Well, selling out is not really an option I would like to pursue, but Mr. Hazen certainly does raise some interesting points and I appreciate him taking the time to make a comment on my blog.

Monday, January 5, 2009

More Letters To The Editor

The following letters, one by an owner of several fractions at Playa del Sol/Blue seas and a rejoinder by Ken Molinaro, the developer and primary owner of the resort, were the first ones published in the PVMirror that addressed the ongoing saga of the Blue Seas.

Dear Editor,

In 1998, we purchased a 4-week Fractional ownership at Playa
del Sol on Los Muertos Beach. We were told that only 4-week Fractions and full time ownership would be sold, and never time share (According to Article 23 item XII). In 2000, Ken Molinaro decided, without the legally required 75% homeowners’ approval, to change a by-law, that he was going to sell timeshares at Playa del Sol. This was the beginning of darker things to come. Time share buyers were told that they would have deeded ownership to their time. How can you have a deeded timeshare when you don’t physically have a permanent unit as do Fractional owners? The Playa Del Sol sales people were making illegal promises and misrepresenting the facts to timeshare buyers to justify Ken Molinaro’s greed. In 2007, the owners of the time shares in Playa del Sol on Los Muertos were told that starting in 2008, they would no longer be able to use the time they had planned and paid for, and that they had to use units in Playa del Sol Grand, and Playa del Sol Costa Sur. In August 2008, the name of Playa del Sol was changed to “The Blue Seas Resort“ at a meeting that several attorneys in Puerto Vallarta said was illegally called and held. This meeting was held on August 1, 2008, and even though the law calls for meetings to be held on the premises, the meeting was held in Ken Molinaro’s office and fractional owners were not permitted to attend. Once again, Ken is selling time shares, this time to a totally new group of clients. Another tactic that Ken employs is not sharing independently audited financial information with the homeowners or their board. He causes us to believe that he is commingling all of his corporations’ records. Additionally, there is currently a lawsuit in the courts, sponsored by over 130 fractional and full time owners, seeking to stop the sale of time shares at Playa del Sol Los Muertos. We feel that Ken Molinaro has grossly mismanaged our investment. This man has to be exposed as a large fraud.


Owners of Fractions 11, 12 and 13.

Ken's rejoinder:

Dear Editor,

I do not believe in fighting one’s battles in the “letter to
the editor” section of any publication, but feel that I must make at least a brief reply to the letter from “Owners of fractions 11,12 and 13”. Due to on-going legal disputes with these owners, I have been cautioned by my counsel not to go into any specifics, but to respond only in general. That being said, I would like to state unequivocally that what was said about me and my company in that letter was inaccurate, erroneous and downright libelous. The owners of Playa del Sol Los Muertos were guaranteed certain things contractually and they have been given those things from the opening of the project up to and including now. I have never cheated them, stolen from them or defrauded them in any way. I do not manage their “investment” for them, so I have no way of mismanaging that investment. “Grossly mismanaged, illegal promises, misrepresenting, greed, and fraud are all strong words, easily said; what is not so easy is the ability to back them up with facts.

Ken Molinaro

I can hardly wait to get down to my little paradise in the sun.

Just a personal comment. What Ken says about the owners getting everything they were promised in their purchase agreement from the opening of the project is not true.

Case in point, we were promised a gymnasium and it was several years before Ken, under pressure from the owners, finally installed a small one behind the reception area.

We were promised a pool with a Jacuzzi. The pool has a small whirlpool thing at one end that has never worked, to my knowledge.

We were told we would have a private, members only, beach club. Ken claimed that the two lavatories, used by restaurant customers and staff as well as owners, satisfied that promise.

Our by-laws specifically forbade the sale of timeshares at Playa del Sol and that was one of the big inducements to buy. It certainly played a large part in my decision to buy. Ken, somehow, managed to change the by-laws to permit timeshares. His reason for doing so was that he was unable to sell fractions during the summer months. Yet when I tried to buy a summer fraction I was told they were all sold. That Mexicans liked to take their summer vacations in Puerto Vallarta and had bought them all. The truth was that the fractions were never put on the market so that Ken could retain a majority ownership and could have inventory when he began selling timeshares. Something he had planned to do from the beginning.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Death At Blue Seas?

I just received an email from a friend of mine who is currently at Blue Seas. He is a long-time fractional owner so, although I haven't been able to independently verify this, I have no reason to believe it isn't true:

"This morning they hauled a gringo young man from condo #500 to the MORGUE. Another national in the same condo to the hospital --overdosed on something. Apparently the other 3-4 fellows in there were still functioning. (That's a one bedroom by the way!)"

I will post more if I get additional details.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Blue Seas, Making The Papers

Ah, the saga at Blue Seas continues. Recently there have been several letters published in the local English language weekly, the PVMirror. Here are several of them and you can see the general theme is who has the rights to used the beach in front of the resort. Keep in mind that last year this area was open and primarily used by the fractional owners at Playa del Sol and was an amenity we all thought was included with our purchase. Also, beach chairs (paid for with our maintenance fees) were provided for free Now the area has been taken over by the Beach Club/Restaurant and you are requiring you to either pay $20 or purchase drinks or food for the right to sit there.

Dear Editor,

It is with interest that I have been reading
about the Playa del Sol saga now renamed
the Blue Seas by Ken Molinaro.

The last writer explained what the laws
of Puerto Vallarta (concessions) and the
national law of free beach are. However,
any law or regulation, if it is to work,
takes enforcement by the local officials,
and they have not seen fit to do this. The
Blue Seas are clearly way beyond their
‘legal limit’ in putting chairs clear down
to where the waves come up under the
chairs, making it uncomfortable if not
impossible to walk the beach, let alone
place your chairs there.

Today, the owners at Playa del Sol took
matters in their own hands and placed
their chairs and towels in the ‘national
free beach’ area, much to the consternation
of the restaurant. They, in turn, proceeded to
move their chairs and umbrellas up to
and touching and leaning on and over
the ‘owners’.

Unfortunately, I see this ending badly,
with tempers flaring & possibly someone
getting hurt. If nothing else, it sure hurts
the ambiance of the area and discourages
one from encouraging family and friends
from visiting Puerto Vallarta.

I’m wondering if this is what the “City
Fathers’ really want representing their city.

The ball is certainly in their court.

A Watcher

The letter that "A Watcher" was referring to was written by Germán Estrada Navarro , the author of a popular book, Mexico Magico, that tells you everything you need to know about Mexico.

Dear Editor,

In the last few editions of the PV Mirror, I
read several letters complaining about issues
in which Mr. Ken Molinaro is involved, as
well as his answers to those complaints. To
this I can only remember that old Mexican
saying that goes… “cuando el río suena, es
por que agua lleva” (when the river sounds,
is because it’s carrying water).

But in his “arguments” about the facts,
he states, and I quote… “The beach area
is ‘privately owned’…” And here, it seems
that el Señor Molinaro either does not
know anything about what the Mexican
Constitution says about the Federal Zone
regarding the beach, or he is simply lying
and trying to mislead your readers.

The area in which PV is located is within
what is known as the Restricted Zone. And
concerning the beach, up to twenty meters
(20) from the highest tide (preamar = in
normal conditions), it is Federal Zone that
“belongs” to the Nation. That means that
NOBODY, Mexicans or foreigners, can own
privately any centimeter within that area.
As we all well know, many hotels and
condominiums, as well as private residences,
have “invaded” that area and, for many, many
years, had free use of it. However, sometime
ago the federal and local governments
decided to put an end to this “free for all”,
and began collecting the fees due for the use
of the area that was invaded, and issuing
the corresponding concessions or permits
to those who paid.

It’s true that there are still many people,
especially in condominium buildings, hotels,
and developing areas, who have abused
-and keep doing it!- who put aside the law,
basing themselves on their experience …
the fact that the local authorities exercise
NO supervision whatsoever over what goes
on, and who is doing what with the beach
inside the Federal Zone, allowing them to
block the “Derecho de Paso para peatones”
(the right of passage for pedestrians.. (an
outright and flagrant violation of the law),
using as “excuse” the permit that was given
to them for the use of the Federal Zone where
their properties have been already built. In
other words, they just “extend” –using only
words— these Permits to cover whatever
purpose they want to use them for.

They all base their violations of the
law, in their belief, and almost certainty,
-which is not totally wrong- that most
Mexicans and tourists who go to the
beaches, do not know anything about the
law and, consequently, they operate as if
they “owned” the beaches in front of their
properties, or had the “right permit” to do
whatever they please.

I may add that some of these people do
obtain certain “concessions” (as may be
the case of the “beach-beds”), but one
would have to read each “permit”, for each
case, in order to be sure what is covered,
and what is not.

But, as another old Mexican saying goes,
“no tiene la culpa el indio, sino quien lo
hizo compadre” (in this case… let’s not
blame the abusers, but those who allow
them to do what they wish).

As long as Mexicans and foreign residents
and tourists alike, as long as nobody
complains to the so-called authorities,
they will not move a single finger to
correct …anything! They are all involved
in their grand “Macro Plans” –whatever
that means, forgetting that the “microproblems”,
the daily-ones, are those that,
if not solved, will prevent them from
carrying out their “dreams”…and, sooner
or later, will cause them problems.
Supposedly, they all want to bring more
tourists to PV, but none of them take the
necessary steps to protect them from the
always present bunch of vultures that will
surround them once they arrive here.

Germán Estrada Navarro

And, finally, the exchange of letters that Mr. Navarro was referring to:

Dear Editor,

To the government, citizens
and tourists of Puerto Vallarta:

The mayor’s office should quickly
investigate and rule on recent developments
at the south end of Playa Los Muertos. Most
residents and visitors in Puerto Vallarta
are probably aware of the existence of a
popular gay resort and beach area known
as The Blue Chairs which is located near
the south edge of Playa Los Muertos.
Recently, the developer and current
presumed owner of what has been known
as Playa del Sol Centro has converted
his building into a second gay resort and
has renamed the building The Blue Seas.
He has also appointed an individual to
manage a restaurant and beach area also
known as The Blue Seas.

While the Blue
Chairs Resort has a clientele
that is almost
exclusively gay, approximately
70% of
The Blue Seas owners are heterosexuals.

The gay and straight residents of Playa

del Sol have lived side by side, socialized
together and built friendships for almost ten
years. This relationship is now threatened
by the recent actions of the building owner
and restaurant manager. This past year
both gays and straights were affected
when the beach palapas and much of the
other beach equipment paid for with the
maintenance fees of both gay and straight
residents was removed to make way for
the new Blue Seas beach area. However,
straight owners were affected even more
when they began arriving for the new
season and were told by the manager of
The Blue Seas Restaurant and Spa that
their presence on his beach would be
considered “offensive “ to his gay patrons,
and that the beach was now a “gay beach”.

He did state, however, that we could sit in

his chairs for a $20 fee or food order, or
sit in a separate small location designated
for straights only. The contradiction did
not seem to bother him nor did the obvious
use of discrimination. Gays are not
strangers to discrimination, so why would
they now choose to practice it? One has to
wonder what Puerto Vallarta would be like
if gays had been told their presence was
“offensive” when they first started coming
to Vallarta or if establishmentsin town
began to designate
their establishments as

The issue here is not
one of gay versus straight.
is a question of managementversus owners
of apartments
in The Blue Seas. It is also an
issue of who should control
one of the most
beaches in all of Puerto Vallarta.

Businesses have a
right to obtain a concession
from the city governmen but the government
has an
obligation to insure that allpeople have
a right to use
the beach. Over the past few
years the Blue Chairs Resort and now the Blue Seas,
perhaps others, have pushed their areas to the
point where
the beach drops into the sea, denying
use of the beach in
front of their concession areas
by others.

Mexican nationals
have been effectively denied
the use of much of their ownbeach. While the
Blue Chairs
has always been recognized as
a gay resort, no one has ever heard them say
that straights
were not allowed or were
unwelcome there. In thatregard, The Blue Seas
set a new standard. They have also set a new
for questionable moralityby renting
out curtained
beds on Playa Los Muertos.

Morality, also, is not a gay
versus straight issue,
and the
use of beds on the beach forquestionable
activities should
be condemned by both gays
and straights.

Denying others the use ofa public beach
involves the
issue of fairness for everyone.
People can choose to patronizeor not patronize
The Blue Seas
using their own conscience.
Discrimination, however,cannot be justified
under any

And, Ken Molinaro's response (Mr. Molinaro is the primary owner of Blue Seas and with his wife owns the Beach Club and Restaurant).

Dear Editor,

Once again I find myself
having to “argue” the facts
in your publication.

I will keep this short: There
is now and never has been
any “discrimination against
straights” or gays or nationals
or anybody else by either
Blue Seas or the previous
owner, Playa del Sol.

The area set aside for
owners is for all Playa del
Sol (now Blue Seas) condo
owners, straight and gay, who
do not wish to consume a
minimum amount at the new
beach club.

The beach area is privately
owned, is not a part of the
condominiums and is used
by the condo owners under
contract between the HOA
and the owners of Blue Seas.
As to the “beach beds”: over
the last several years, the
concept has become quite
popular and can be seen on
beaches and by pools in most
likely hundreds of resorts

Once again, I ask your
readers to remember that just
because something is written
as fact (and this should apply
to both sides of any argument)
doesn’t necessarily make it
accurate or true.

Ken Molinaro

There are a few more letters on this topic that have been published and I will post them in a few days. For those of you interested in the goings on a Blue Seas, these will give you some idea.

I will say this though, Ken's statement "There is now and never has been any discrimination against straights or gays or nationals or anybody else by either Blue Seas or the previous owner, Playa del Sol." seems a bit misleading when you consider the following quote from their website:

"Exclusively for gay men, women, and their friends"

Thursday, January 1, 2009