Tuesday, 27 October 2015


I've named this article thus after the song I sang at karaoke the last time I was here at Clube Praia da Oura for any length of time. And although I chickened out of doing likewise last night, it seems an apposite title for any article reflecting upon the very major changes which have taken place at CPO at the behest of the new management style introduced by MGM Muthu Hotels.

When I first arrived here at 11.00pm on Saturday night I was quite surprised to see the Piano Bar packed to the rafters, to the point where my family and I couldn't find a seat until the bar began to clear shortly afterwards. Even when I visited the resort in July last year, at the height of the holiday season, it wasn't like this.

Similarly, the pool area during the day is to all intents and purposes fully subscribed. Not everybody is prepared to brave the chilly autumn water, but many do and many more still spend a great deal of their day sprawled out upon the ample sunbeds around the pool. In the evenings the M&M Bar (formerly Amanda's) is invariably full, whether there is a staff show, karaoke or visiting entertainment.

What is happening is that MGM's new all-inclusive option has kicked in with a vengeance. Holidaymakers who pay a set amount for their meals and all they can drink tend, not unreasonably, to make every effort to get their money's worth. The autumn throng at CPO probably makes little impact upon the local economy beyond the walls of the resort, but it has transformed the resort itself into a bustling hive of activity.

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends very much upon whom one happens to be speaking to. Many of the staff whom I have come to know over the years seem suddenly to have moved on, and those with whom I am still in touch generally tell an unhappy story.


This has the effect of rubbing off on long-time regular users who, like myself, feel that part of the CPO experience has traditionally been about the sense of belonging which comes with continuity. It feels good to be greeted by bar staff and entertainers who, not only do I remember, but who remember me. The team MGM has at the moment maintain the excellent standards set by those who have moved to pastures new. But the arrival of so many new faces still leaves me feeling like a newcomer at a resort that I've been using, and using well, for over a decade.

On the other hand the business case for the present approach does appear unanswerable. CPO is a holiday resort, and it is not unreasonable that the management should aspire to fill it with holidaymakers, and to apply whatever strategies are best equipped to achieve that objective. There can be nothing wrong, surely, with having a bar and reception area which is buzzing, a pool which is popular and entertainment which is well supported?

Memories are a wonderful thing, but progress is the life-blood of any successful business venture. And it is not as though the current set-up actually lacks ambience, it is simply not my ambience, at least in the way that I remember it.

If the management is smart it will endeavour to marry its new strategy with an attitude towards long-standing and loyal users of old which is sympathetic. To consciously drive away one's most faithful and dependable clientele is silly. CPO is a big resort, there is room for both - and for a business strategy which incorporates both models with a flexible approach to membership and to service provision.

I will continue to come to CPO, as and when I can afford to do so and work permitting. I'll adapt to the new approach, I'm sure, but if it can adapt to me also, and to others like me, that will be a bonus.


  1. I own a week at CPO - have done since 1994 CPO is indeed a different place, as is the strip My gripe with MGM is the money I am charged for 'maintenance' of a one bedroom apartment - not been upgraded for years and no extra benefits- £700 per year A family of 3 non owners paid £700 for a one bedroom apartment on an all inclusive basis the same week as I stayed - to say I am less than impressed is an understatement Cannot sell it as no one wants it and their exit fee is ridiculous

  2. I sympathise as I was in the same predicament a couple of years ago. If you are in a position to do so my suggestion would be to bite the bullet an go for the Exit option. I took this route, it cost me £4,800 over a 12-month period and by way of compensation I received points which enabled me to take holidays which I estimated would have cost me in the region of £3,800. So I was about £1,000 of pocket, which is probably not a great deal more than the annual maintenance fees on my two-bedroom apartment would be by now. Of course I understand that not everybody is in a position to do this, but if you can my advice would be to go for it. Otherwise your fees just go up and up, forever.

  3. I think this article is an honest attempt by the author to see things from both side. A holiday provider wants to fill bedrooms and maximise takings in the restaurants and bars. The number of customers returning each year on ludicrously over-priced time shares will have been constantly reducing and a point would have been reached where no-one at all would have been able to afford to continue. The all inclusive move is a good marketing idea. I agree with the author that the resort's traditional customers should be factored into the equation, not treated as a relic of a past that the new management wants to make a complete break from.

  4. I agree with author but don't think the problems are with the all inclusive it is with the stag and hen party that the problem lies, the management should manage the situation better(stop group drinking in the pool and vile language and nakedness in front of of children and families) one security guard is no good when lots of hens and stags parties are present

  5. I like Anonymous have "own" bought pre 1990. The fact the all inclusive holidays are cheaper in most cases less than our maintenance fees, THE problem is as a points owner WE cannot get availability when WE want to go to the resort. I think that MGM should offer "ALL" OWNERS an extra week FOC to compensate us for subsiding the resort as we have paid even if we don't use the room