Resorts along Sunny Grace Bay Beach Bloom with Lush Tropical Foliage
You step out of the airplane at Providenciales Airport and you’re immediately surrounded by that rich tropical air that says you’re in some place special. You step out of your hotel and the wonderful scents that fill the Caribbean air are unlike anything you know at home. But at one resort, it’s the fantastic floral sights that really say, “Welcome to the islands!”
Located in the heart of Grace Bay resort area, on Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Villa del Mar is a place where landscaping doesn’t just mean manicured lawns or trimmed hedges, but a cornucopia of colorful buds and blossoms. And what truly makes these lush gardens at Villa del Mar Resort so reflective of the Caribbean is that these flowers are native to the Turks and Caicos islands.
Our tour of the tropical flora begins with a colorful character that possesses a vividness which immediately stands out amidst its backdrop of abundant, lush greenery. The Cordyline or Ti plant as it is sometimes known, with its long sword-like leaves and dry stem, looks like a palm. It’s actually an evergreen and its incredibly vivid red or purple color is neither painted on nor some magic trick. Interestingly enough, when the chlorophyll breaks down in the plant, the chemical left called anthocyanin produces the bright red color. The foliage of Cordyline is stunning and on the Villa del Mar site is the perfect accent to a relaxing, tropical setting.
Popping up around Villa del Mar is another dainty delight common to the islands called Desert Rose. The Adenium obesum as it is known to botanists, is an evergreen succulent. This little beauty thrives in the tropical humidity. Contrasting the robust stem from which they grow, the delicate pink and white petals look like they’ve been hand-painted.
Another stunning ornamental flower which greets guests to Villa del Mar is the Bougainvillea. Naturalist, Philibert Commercon, named the plant after his friend, Admiral Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who circumnavigated the world between 1766-1769. The Bougainvillea plant loves lots of bright direct sunlight which is why you’ll see them not only at the resort, but all over the islands. Their appearance is deceptive and you need to look very closely to not make a very common mistake. You see, the large brightly colored parts are not flowers but bracts, the petal-like part of the plant beneath the flower. On closer examination you’ll see that the actual flower is quite small and white.
Finally, nestled among the gardens at Villa del Mar are the beautiful peach colored Hibiscus flowers. The flower and the word itself is so popular that you’ll see the name and image throughout the islands. There are townhouses, hotel suites, and villas named after the Hibiscus. The brightly colored flower is often used in wedding bouquets and local artists paint them on their canvas. You can even see on them on cell phone covers, sandals, and skirts. Just one look at these spectacular blooms and it’s easy to see why they are so popular. The Turks and Caicos Islands boast the variety called the double bloom hibiscus which has more petals in each flower and therefore more beauty in the bloom.
Winner of the 2014Certificate of Excellence Award by TripAdvisor, Villa del Mar Resort and its wonderful displays of Caribbean flowers and foliage give you a lasting memory of the islands that is as intoxicating as that first breath of tropical air you savored when you stepped off the plane.