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  1. #1
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    Mark Warner Resort Childcare Information

    In the current Mark Warner Brochure on page 86 it states,
    "The room listening service operates from 8pm until midnight when our nannies tour the rooms checking on the children and reporting any problems to you."

    [Current Brochure Link]

    Here in full;



    You may download the brochure in pdf format from the Mark Warner resort site.

    My question is this; If this room listening service is offered as a selling point by the Mark Warner resort (& other resorts also), then isn't it safe to assume that it's a common practice for parents staying at these resorts to leave their children alone with the presumption that the children will be safe?

    The only difference I can see with the McCann's & their friends is that they elected to check on their children themselves.

  2. #2
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    Yes, but they have babysitters available, or the children could have been dropped off in a secure area and put to sleep there. They didn't have to be left alone all night.

    I took that to mean older children could be checked on - not babies and toddlers.

    On Ocean Club website:

    http://www.markwarner.co.uk/sun/portugal/ocean-club

    Award-winning childcare

    The Ocean Club offers a unique 'dine out' service. Simply get your little ones ready for bed and drop them off at our kids club. We'll watch over them whilst you go out and enjoy yourselves and you can pick them up on your way home.
    I can understand them not wanting strangers in the rooms with their kids. But then, what's the point of leaving the doors unlocked?

    And if Nannies go around checking on people, then why didn't someone notify a nanny employed by the resort when they supposedly heard Maddie crying and calling for her father on several occasions? That is sad.

    I looked up some reviews of the place on TripAdvisor, and this is what I found about the childcare:

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...s_Algarve.html

    We stayed at the Ocean Club with Mark Warner. The child care was excellent, and the apartment good, the food however was terrible. Both the Millenium and Tapas restaurants disappointed in terms of choice and quality. Other guests who had previously stayed with Mark Warner in other resorts stated that the food quality was far below that which they normally experienced. Additionally the Millenium was a 10 minute walk from most of the apartments along roads, which was really too far for most people with children to go for breakfast, as a consequence most families with kids did not bother. Would I go with Mark Warner again? Yes I would, for the child care and sports facilities . . .

    On the plus side, our kids had a great time and the MW nannies were superb.
    We booked the Ocean Club on a last minute deal through Mark Warner and were very impressed. We took our 9 month old son on his first trip abroad and were a little nervous but we couldn't really have asked for a better resort and accommodation. We stayed at the back of the resort and it was a little walk to the beach but we spent most of the time around the pool.
    . . . The Mark Warner staff were superb. The childcare facilities were great and when our son was ill they couldn't have done more to help.
    And here's an article that specifically mentions how good the nannies were for kids there, even if everything else isn't perfect:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ma...algarve121.xml

    But what really made the clubs such a success for them, and what must be the secret of Mark Warner's popularity, was the dedication of the indefatigable nannies and the sunkissed young men (with names such as Will and Olly) who run the waterfront and tennis activities.

    In a world of depressingly bad service, their energy, enthusiasm and cheerfulness made everything seem possible. The set-up in Praia de Luz was particularly appealing to teenage guests, who could spread their wings and dip in and out of the various activities and hostelries in the village.

    . . . as far as we were concerned, the venture was a success. After two weeks, I was thoroughly rested and fit. And the children were distraught at leaving Praia de Luz and the nannies they had grown so fond of. Several weeks later, their conversations were still peppered with happy reminiscences of their days spent in the care of Natalie, Becky, Lucy, Chloe and Laura.

    That's alot of Nannies!

    And finally, this article is the official statement of the Mark Warner people about what the McCann family did not request in the way of nannies:

    http://portugalresident.com/portugal...y.asp?ID=18787

    The Mark Warner website states: “For you to relax on holiday, you want to know your children are in expert hands, being cared for in a happy safe environment. That’s why all our nannies are fully trained by us either in the UK or at the resort, are all English-speaking and the majority hold a DCE, NNEB, NVQ or equivalent qualification.”

    According to the company’s website, extra baby-sitting can be arranged in resort through the Childcare Manager at 12 to 15 euros per hour.

    The Resident spoke to John Hill, operations manager for Mark Warner at Ocean Club, who said the parents went for dinner at a tapas restaurant in the resort while the children Madeleine and two-year-old twins, Amelie and Sean, were asleep in their accommodation.

    John Hill said: “They had not requested the dining out service, a child minding service which allows parents to enjoy a meal while their children are being looked after by qualified personnel.”

    While this service is available at the resort, the parents decided to check on the children at regular half hourly intervals themselves.
    I believe that if Nannies were available, then children that young should have had one. It's not as if they had an older sister or brother there to watch out for them. And the parents were too far away to hear anything, so I don't think it was safe.

    I'm the proud mother of a new attorney!
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    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing ~ Edmund Burke
    Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense. ~ Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThoughtFox View Post
    Yes, but they have babysitters available, or the children could have been dropped off in a secure area and put to sleep there. They didn't have to be left alone all night.



    I believe that if Nannies were available, then children that young should have had one. It's not as if they had an older sister or brother there to watch out for them. And the parents were too far away to hear anything, so I don't think it was safe.
    Thank you for replying ThoughtFox. The point of my post though was not that it was good parenting or not that the children were left alone or that nannies were or were not available. My point was the room listening service was an option that some parents must obviously use, even with very young children.

    I don't think I'd be comfortable leaving a baby or toddler alone at night but it seems to me that many posters here think that leaving children alone in the rooms while they slept was something out of the ordinary for the resort. I think the quote from their brochure proves that it's not, otherwise the resort wouldn't offer the service.

    Thanks again for your well reasoned post.

  4. #4
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    april4sky is offline It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaize View Post
    In the current Mark Warner Brochure on page 86 it states,
    "The room listening service operates from 8pm until midnight when our nannies tour the rooms checking on the children and reporting any problems to you."

    [Current Brochure Link]

    Here in full;



    You may download the brochure in pdf format from the Mark Warner resort site.

    My question is this; If this room listening service is offered as a selling point by the Mark Warner resort (& other resorts also), then isn't it safe to assume that it's a common practice for parents staying at these resorts to leave their children alone with the presumption that the children will be safe?

    The only difference I can see with the McCann's & their friends is that they elected to check on their children themselves.

    This answers a question I have had about the baby sitting options at the Mark Warner resort.
    I do believe it has been a common practice.
    And it's possibly the reason why the McCanns haven't been charged with endangering their children
    It doesn't suprise me that this service was on offer. We already knew it was offered at the Mark Warner resort in Grease.

    Many Hotels also offer something similar. They have baby alarms that sound in reception so that parents who are in another part of the Hotel having a meal/drink can be summoned if their child wakes.

    I am "not" saying I think it's right, and do not think it's a safe thing to do. Whether it's a holiday resort or a Hotel. Especially in this day and age.

    I just hope now that this practice is no longer an option anywhere!!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by april4sky View Post
    This answers a question I have had about the baby sitting options at the Mark Warner resort.
    I do believe it has been a common practice.
    And it's possibly the reason why the McCanns haven't been charged with endangering their children
    It doesn't suprise me that this service was on offer. We already knew it was offered at the Mark Warner resort in Grease.

    Many Hotels also offer something similar. They have baby alarms that sound in reception so that parents who are in another part of the Hotel having a meal/drink can be summoned if their child wakes.

    I am "not" saying I think it's right, and do not think it's a safe thing to do. Whether it's a holiday resort or a Hotel. Especially in this day and age.

    I just hope now that this practice is no longer an option anywhere!!!
    Thank you for posting april4sky.

    I think we both understand why people are so angry at the McCann's for leaving the children alone but the Mark Warner Child Care info does seem to indicate that it was a fairly common practice to leave children in their rooms and have a nanny check on them, other wise the resort would not offer the service.

    Actually it makes my skin crawl to think what could happen to small children waking up alone in a strange place so I couldn't agree more with the last part of your post.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaize View Post
    Thank you for posting april4sky.

    I think we both understand why people are so angry at the McCann's for leaving the children alone but the Mark Warner Child Care info does seem to indicate that it was a fairly common practice to leave children in their rooms and have a nanny check on them, other wise the resort would not offer the service.

    Actually it makes my skin crawl to think what could happen to small children waking up alone in a strange place so I couldn't agree more with the last part of your post.
    Maybe it was a service they offered because they thought it was necessary for the safety of children, so their parents could go out for dinner without them, it seems like a double edged sword to me, the service was required because it was common practice to leave children alone, or the service was required because it was unsafe for children to be left alone.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shazza View Post
    Maybe it was a service they offered because they thought it was necessary for the safety of children, so their parents could go out for dinner without them, it seems like a double edged sword to me, the service was required because it was common practice to leave children alone, or the service was required because it was unsafe for children to be left alone.
    Hey Shazza,

    Actually I don't see the two things as being mutually exclusive but the service was offered as an option not a requirement between the hours of 8pm until midnight. If it was offered as a safety requirement surely it would need to be available after midnight too for parents who might stay out later?
    Last edited by blaize; 09-24-2007 at 05:22 AM. Reason: Oops left out the word safety.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blaize View Post
    Hey Shazza,

    Actually I don't see the two things as being mutually exclusive but the service was offered as an option not a requirement between the hours of 8pm until midnight. If it was offered as a safety requirement surely it would need to be available after midnight too for parents who might stay out later?
    I have to disagree blaize, the parents brought their children away for a family holiday, so therefore there are responsibilities as parents to look after your children, they were put in the creche for most of everyday, and then left alone at night, I think with children that young you would want to be home by midnight anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shazza View Post
    I have to disagree blaize, the parents brought their children away for a family holiday, so therefore there are responsibilities as parents to look after your children, they were put in the creche for most of everyday, and then left alone at night, I think with children that young you would want to be home by midnight anyway.
    Oh absolutely Shazza, but again the purpose of the first post in this thread is not about the rights or wrongs of leaving the children alone or not but about the fact that the service is offered at all and my presumption that it was offered because resort visitors availed of it, again leading me to surmise that the McCann's child care arrangements were not as unusual as some poster's seem to think.

  10. #10
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    But I haven't seen anywhere that the children who were "checked on" by nannies were as young as the McCann children. That is my problem with letting them off the hook just because they "checked."

    You can see in my post there was an option for leaving small children with a secure group where they could sleep if they wanted to. I understand why it would be better for them to sleep in their own rooms, but with an unlocked door?

    Again, for older children (say age 10 and up), the nanny coming around to check might be a good thing. But for small children it's not the best option. I think a stay-in babysitter would have been better. I'm sure they could have afforded that.

    In my state it is unlawful for children under the age of ten years old to be left alone. Of course people break that law all the time, but that doesn't make it acceptable to me.

    I'm the proud mother of a new attorney!
    It's better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. ~ James Thurber
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing ~ Edmund Burke
    Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense. ~ Mark Twain


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaize View Post
    Oh absolutely Shazza, but again the purpose of the first post in this thread is not about the rights or wrongs of leaving the children alone or not but about the fact that the service is offered at all and my presumption that it was offered because resort visitors availed of it, again leading me to surmise that the McCann's child care arrangements were not as unusual as some poster's seem to think.
    I see your point but my point was to say that because Portugal was not a safe place to leave children alone, they provided these services so what happened to Madelaine would not have happened if those services were used. I am not focusing here on the McCanns leaving their kids alone, I saying that the babysitting services were there for a reason, that being it is unsafe in Portugal to leave children unattended, as there have been posts saying that Pedophilia is quite rampant in those parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shazza View Post
    I see your point but my point was to say that because Portugal was not a safe place to leave children alone, they provided these services so what happened to Madelaine would not have happened if those services were used. I am not focusing here on the McCanns leaving their kids alone, I saying that the babysitting services were there for a reason, that being it is unsafe in Portugal to leave children unattended, as there have been posts saying that Pedophilia is quite rampant in those parts.
    Ah I think I see where you're coming from, but I don't think the incidence of paedophilia is any higher in Portugal than it is in any other part of Europe so I'm not sure that would have played a major part in the decision making process of the resort management or visitors.

    As a previous poster on this thread pointed out the listening service is also offered in the Greek & other companies resort's & as yet we haven't heard of any confirmed paedophile attacks or abductions from those resorts so unless your point is that the Mark Warner resort in Portugal offered these services specifically because of those fears then I'm afraid your logic is a bit over my head.

    Sorry about that, but it often happens to me lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blaize View Post
    Ah I think I see where you're coming from, but I don't think the incidence of paedophilia is any higher in Portugal than it is in any other part of Europe so I'm not sure that would have played a major part in the decision making process of the resort management or visitors.

    As a previous poster on this thread pointed out the listening service is also offered in the Greek & other companies resort's & as yet we haven't heard of any confirmed paedophile attacks or abductions from those resorts so unless your point is that the Mark Warner resort in Portugal offered these services specifically because of those fears then I'm afraid your logic is a bit over my head.

    Sorry about that, but it often happens to me lol.
    Your not alone blaize, but it isnt just pedophilia, it is also to protect from kidnappers, accidents like choking or if the child is sick, or if the child wakes up and cries for Daddy as this has been stated, or if the child wakes up and wonders of and accidently gets killed, Madelaine was known to have wondered of before, knowing all these things are possible or have happened wouldnt you hire a babysitter or stay at home with your children.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shazza View Post
    Your not alone blaize, but it isnt just pedophilia, it is also to protect from kidnappers, accidents like choking or if the child is sick, or if the child wakes up and cries for Daddy as this has been stated, or if the child wakes up and wonders of and accidently gets killed, Madelaine was known to have wondered of before, knowing all these things are possible or have happened wouldnt you hire a babysitter or stay at home with your children.
    Oh absolutely, Shazza I couldn't agree more with you but again my point in starting this thread is not say that the McCann's made a valid choice but that there were precedents for it in the service being offered by this resort and others like it meant that other guests had used the service in the past and upto the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

    I tell you what though I would be curious to know if they'll continue to offer that service as is or make some changes by saying something like "We do not recommend the use of this service for children under the age of seven", or something like that?

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    april4sky is offline It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaize View Post
    Thank you for posting april4sky.

    I think we both understand why people are so angry at the McCann's for leaving the children alone but the Mark Warner Child Care info does seem to indicate that it was a fairly common practice to leave children in their rooms and have a nanny check on them, other wise the resort would not offer the service.

    Actually it makes my skin crawl to think what could happen to small children waking up alone in a strange place so I couldn't agree more with the last part of your post.

    Your welcome blaize.

    Children waking is what I would have been afraid of too.
    I don't think it would have occured to me that somebody would enter and take my child.
    But sadly times have changed.

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