|The Gardens and Landscape of Chabil Mar|
Maya for "Beautiful Sea", Chabil Mar is a Guest-Exclusive Boutique Caribbean front Resort located in Placencia Village. A place where the natural beauty of Belize meets Barefoot Luxury, where the vibe is casual, and the service extraordinary - the winner of multiple service, luxury and family awards. While you experience the barefoot luxury of the 400 feet of private Caribbean beachfront and two infinity pools you will find yourself nestled in lush tropical gardens and dining under the stars at Café Mar amidst swaying palm trees, all just five minutes from Placencia Village.
Many of our guests have mentioned how "at home" they feel within hours of visiting with us. Perhaps a major contributor to the wonderfully comfortable relaxation that comes over you at Chabil Mar is created by our beautifully designed and maintained tropical gardens and displays!
The original developer of this magnificent property’s landscape is Dianne Bulman, who worked with various Belizean experts on plants that could survive and be moved to the sea and designed the original gardens and planters. Alberto Arias worked here with her and is now the Gardens and Landscape Manager. Alberto is responsible for planting and maintenance, along with his staff of Luis, Orlando and Caesar whom you will see each and every day working in some way to keep them lush, healthy and bright for your enjoyment.
Alberto is the first employee of Chabil Mar, dating to June of 2004, when just four coconut palm trees graced the landscape. They are here today forming the frame of the beach-side restaurant, Café Mar, brilliantly lit in the evening for our guests dining and lounging pleasure. The plants and landscape of Chabil Mar are unique not only to the Placencia Peninsula in particular, but to all of Belize as well, in that they are a blend of species and varieties from the natural seaside 'scapes of Belize as well as the jungle 'scapes. Many of our plants are "imported" from the Maya mountain range and jungles of the Cayo District to form an all encompassing Belizean tropical paradise. Even the soil used in the container pots is special, brought in from the banks of the Burrell Boom River, north of the Belize International Airport, for its fertility and natural born nutrients.
A large Ceiba Tree, now about 40 feet tall, was planted in 2005. To the Maya, the sacred Ceiba tree connects the three layers of the world. The roots reach into the underworld of death, the trunk is in the middleworld of life, and the branches reach up into the upperworld of paradise.
Designers Note: The large carved wooden entrance gates and two pool houses, with their Maya tile work, result in a symmetry and wholeness to the overall design for all of our guests to enjoy.
Have you noticed the many topiaries throughout the property? They are the personal art and craftsmanship of Alberto. Interestingly, Alberto is a self- taught topiary artist. He took this landscape art on as a hobby, beginning with hearts, and at one time there were more than 20 hearts throughout the property. Today there is just one on the back wall of the building that houses the honeymoon suite. Alberto tells us they often start as one animal and then transform, as the Ficus tree, which forms their foundation plant, grows and bends naturally. So he takes advantage of its personal growth pattern and creates another animal.
Can you find all of the animals? (Hint: Some are in containers, some on railings and others in mother earth at the beach, near pools, walkways and rear of the resort grounds.) Around the property you will find the following topiaries. There are 23 of them! Yes twenty-three!
Topiaries of Chabil Mar
One other unique member of the Alberto family of “plant art” is the Chabil Mar "Signage", attached to the roadside wall of the Registration Building. Look up from the street, just outside our entrance and to the left. Enjoy seeing "Chabil Mar" created from Bougainvillea Vine.
As you view the photos of the resort on our web site or if you are lucky enough to be here right now reading this, it is quite an amazing display and combination of art, design, gardening and maintenance that brings it all together in a feast for the eyes set to the backdrop for the Caribbean Sea and private beach.
We hope you enjoy, and get to see, the following plants in all of their glory, while you are here.
Download The Gardens and Landscape of Chabil Mar (PDF)