Tending the Gardens of Little Bay

How many gardeners does it take to make a hotel gorgeous?  4 +2 + 1 + 1 is the winning formula at Divi Little Bay in St. Maarten. Eight Divi employees – four gardeners, two landscapers, one supervisor and one engineer – are always hard at work making Divi Little Bay such a verdant oasis.

The lush and lovely grounds are a key attraction of the property. Words like “impeccable,” “lovely,” and “gorgeous” pop up frequently in reviews.  Nor are we surprised when we read, “most beautiful spot on St. Maarten.”

But, as anyone who’s ever planted a garden knows, the property blossomed over time.  A considerable revamp of the landscaping was necessitated by the arrival of Luis and Marilyn, a couple of hurricanes that came ashore in 1995.  The storms dealt a heavy blow to the resort, leading to its shuttering for a do-over.  In 2000, a much expanded and upgraded resort was opened, with the new buildings, layout and landscaping taking full advantage of Divi Little Bay’s unique topography.  The resort rose again, literally, you could say, with new villas climbing up the hillside toward historic Fort Amsterdam.  And, you could also say Divi Little Bay Resort came though with flying colors – with myriad tropical flowers now putting on a show all year long.

St. Maarten, with its subtropical climate, is an exceptional place for flora.   The grounds of Divi Little Bay Resort feature flowers, shrubs, ferns, palms and cacti.  There are brilliant hot pink bougainvillea, yellow blooming plubago, red hibiscus, white lily and coral ixora, adding color at every turn.  Bismarck palms drip with feathering red berry branches and the royal palms add a sculptural note with their giant fans of grey-green foliage.

There are also flamboyant trees.  Yes, that is the name and a fitting description, too.  They blossom from June to September in brilliant red, orange and yellow.  The flamboyant tree is also the national tree of St. Maarten. I guess you could say, that’s fitting too.

There really is no peak time to enjoy the landscaping at Divi Little Bay, given the diversity of plants and bloom times.  According to Barry Richardson, Chief Engineer at Divi Little Bay, the grounds look good all the time.  We agree.

And, Richardson knows his plants. He and his head landscaper, Eduard O’Donel, have been tending the grounds at Divi Little Bay for over 20 years.  Twenty years creating paradise.  Nice work, guys.

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