New Development

Telling The Tale of Veranda

By Kathy Borsuk
Photo by John Sina


For many years the Island Princess, Providenciales’ original beachfront hotel, sat empty, verdant tropical vegetation slowly overgrowing the deserted buildings that once spun so many memories. Emerging from the mists of time is Veranda, a development committed to writing its own memoirs, a story unlike anything else in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

verbchVeranda can best be described as a Caribbean coastal community, quite different from the surrounding condominium and resort hotel complexes. Encompassing a mixture of beachfront villas, single-family townhomes and condominium-hotel residences laced with extensive common areas and showcasing the best of local architecture, Veranda strives to satisfy anyone with a hunger for an authentic Caribbean lifestyle.

Veranda’s design and marketing approach is unique as well. Many of the project’s basic concepts evolved from an intense “envisioning session” and its sales program and Discovery Center reflect a storytelling scenario . . . one that describes a vision of a dream-like, oceanfront lifestyle woven within a magical Caribbean environment.

Veranda’s tale is co-authored by a confluence of entities. The property itself is owed and developed by Cherokee Ltd., a company under the leadership of Jeffrey Rosenbaum, known for his resurrections of historic properties around England under the auspices of the W.D. King Group. For assistance with the group’s first Caribbean venture, Rosenbaum partnered with International Hospitality Advisors (IHA), a Miami-based destination resort advisory company. They, in turn, brought into the fold: Playground Destination Properties, the marketing and sales arm of destination real estate for both the Canadian-based Intrawest Company and other select developers; premiere Caribbean architectural firm OBM International’s hospitality design group, and COXCO Ltd., a prominent local construction company.

Sketching Out the Storyline
In mid-July, 2002, representatives from the development team and experts in tourism, travel, and local ecology, history and culture, along with a number of island residents, came together in a series of intense brainstorming sessions to create the vision that would become Veranda. The resulting storyline serves as a roadmap to the future, ensuring that every member of the Veranda team is “reading from the same page.”

The basic plot is simple: Veranda will be a village-based community, with residents’ and guests’ lifestyles focused beyond the beautiful ocean and beachfront to the daily happenings within their neighborhood. Veranda residents will embrace the best of local flavor — be it cuisine, music or arts and crafts — and the architecture will reflect authentic Caribbean influences. And the name? “Veranda” symbolizes the relaxed, sociable atmosphere the term conjures, a mood expected to prevail throughout this sanctuary. At the same time, it refers to the long, covered porches, shaded galleries and floral patios that will effuse the property — perfect vantage points for watching turquoise seas, mesmerizing sunsets and star-filled skies.

Filling in the Details
The nine acre site (just west of The Alexandra Resort), with 700 feet of prime beach frontage on the Princess Alexandra Land and Sea National Park, will include 85 homes spread out in four distinct neighborhoods. All are connected by crushed shell pathways to make it easy for residents and visitors to circulate throughout the community, enjoying its pristine beachfront border, lush garden courtyards, multiple water features and ever-evolving interaction.

The property’s hub is Veranda House, a quaint colonial-style inn adjacent to the main entry/reception area. Available here are studio, one and two bedroom condominium/hotel suites. Housed in several separate buildings embellished with verandas, patios and decks and linked by covered balconies, Veranda House surrounds a magnificent courtyard, flanks a 40-foot pool and overlooks the central plaza performance area and rippling peacock-blue sea beyond.

Immediately to the west is the Tradewinds Neighborhood, featuring eight, three story, three bedroom townhomes, each with a personal plunge pool in a private courtyard. The building’s 1/2 story elevation assures prime views of the sea and adjoining peaceful park area. Each four-plex has a gated entrance of low stone walls to emphasize the quiet, intimate lifestyle to be found here.

Northwards towards the beach is the more lively Sandpiper Neighborhood. Here, outdoor living and sociability speak from townhomes in six-plex, three-plex and duplex styles, all boasting huge porches and surrounding a grand courtyard. Three private homes Ð two, three story, four bedroom cottages and a two level house Ð occupy the prime oceanfront property. These homes are unique on the island as being the only full-size, stand-alone, beachfront homes which reap the full amenities of a resort.

Also along the beach are the Callaloo Restaurant and indoor/outdoor bar, with its unusual seaside reflecting pool. With a menu that will include a melange of island flavors, the Callaloo is expected to become a popular gathering place. Upstairs, in the shadow of the trademark clocktower, is Veranda’s members-only lounge.

An additional four beach cottages and one larger beach home, all with private pools, lie to the east of the restaurant in the upscale Kingston Well Neighborhood. Named after the historic freshwater well that satiated settlers for years, this elegant neighborhood is close to the wellness center and spa and steps from the beachfront massage cabanas. It includes a selection of duplex, three-plex and four-plex townhomes, as well as the Carriage House, with four, one-bedroom suites topping eight attached English carriage houses that serve as parking garages for owners of Veranda’s private homes.

vermodSetting the Scene
Uniting the entire Veranda property is an architectural style rooted in the character of TCI’s Salt Islands. Project architect Raul Lastra of OBM International Ltd. explains, “After the envisioning session, our team visited Grand Turk and Salt Cay. What especially stood out were the deep porches, shuttered windows, overhanging eaves and ‘dogtrot’ passages between buildings, regional traditions that have evolved to take advantage of shade and capture ocean breezes. We incorporated many of these elements, along with pastel colors, low stone fences and iron gates, into Veranda’s design.”

Buildings in the community range from 1 1/2 to 4 stories in height, creating a visually pleasing roofscape. He adds, “We want residents, guests and visitors to feel like they are in a small, seaside town. But it’s important to remember that the owners will influence the way Veranda is perceived. It’s definitely not your typical manicured resort property. You’ll see individual tastes evidenced throughout.”

For the interiors, Lastra says that the tone was set early on, a casual, easy and timeless elegance. “We’ll be featuring polished wood floors, pastel walls, dark woods for the furniture, decorative ironwork, canopied four-poster beds, marble washrooms and French doors opening onto the verandas . . . all elements that conjure the romance of the Caribbean.”

Veranda will include all the amenities of a first-class resort. Residents and guests are met at a central reception building and escorted to their homes. The live-in concierge can arrange for everything from scuba diving and fishing trips to golf course tee times and dinner reservations. On Veranda’s sugar-sand beach will be umbrellas and lounge chairs, along with day cabanas complete with showers, refrigerators and wet bars — available for reservation by owners and rental by guests. The on-site wellness center and spa will offer state of the art equipment and treatment programs. 26 Shades of Turquoise is the Veranda’s gallery selling local artwork and crafts, and the central lawn will be the venue for a revolving list of productions, ranging from ballet performances to appearances by the local rake ‘n’ scrape band. In all, the goal is to create a living, thriving village that will appeal not only to residents, but visitors as well, enticing them to make Veranda their lodging-of-choice when they return to the Islands.

Turning the Pages
The idea of a coastal community is not new to either Veranda’s architects or marketers. Lastra says, “This is actually the ideal project for OBM because we have long extolled the virtues of the ‘fourth generation resort concept,’ which merges the variety of a functioning town with the pleasures of resort living. This creates a place where people value not just the buildings, but the entire experience of living there.” Playground has successfully utilized this concept in marketing for Intrawest dozens of ski and golf resort villages across North America and Europe.

Chad Rowe is Playground’s director of sales and marketing for Veranda and at the time of this interview, was busy preparing for Veranda’s VIP Selection Day. Through its years of experience, Playground has evolved a branded approach to sales that it being utilized for Veranda. Rowe describes, “Rather than focus on mass marketing, we held a series of traveling presentations in Colorado, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, New York City, Miami and London, where we introduced the Veranda story to invited prospects, many from our resort data base. David Bowen and a group of local entertainers traveled with us, to infuse our meetings with Turks & Caicos flair.”

On-island, select local advertising brings interested persons to Veranda’s one-of-a-kind Discovery Center. More than just a sales office, the Disney-like village is a truly interactive experience, blending graphics, movies and models to depict the Veranda vision. “The goal,” Rowe says, “is to help investors see the ‘big picture’ and become immersed in the mood.”

Playground’s first contacts, however, were to previous Intrawest vacation destination homeowners. Rowe explains, “Our role is more of an investment advisor rather than sales agent. Our satisfied customers are among the first who want to purchase into Playground-marketed properties. Many buy into more than one project and some investors have actually purchased into 20 to 30. Along with a track record of solid investments, a purchase into a Playground Destinations Property (such as Veranda) allows owners participating in the rental management program to trade time at any of the 33 other Intrawest Playground Resorts in North America.” Rowe expects that Veranda’s owners will consist of about 50% previous Intrawest owners and 50% new owners. Some purchase into the property as a pure investment, while others see it is a lifestyle choice, the fulfillment of a dream to live in the Caribbean.

Interested investors are offered a chance to become involved in Playground’s Limited Priority Reservationª Program. With a $10,000 deposit, they are placed on a Preferred Reservation List. On Selection Day, salespersons go down the list, offering each participant their choice of home from those remaining. In most cases, 50 to 100% of the units in a property are sold on this single day. The closing process takes place when the project is completed.

Intrawest’s corporate web site describes as one of its goals: “to highlight the uniqueness of the cultural and geographic setting of each resort” while at the same time applying 21st century technology. Rowe explains that Intrawest/Playground had been researching the Turks & Caicos Islands for some time as a potential new exotic location. They were especially attracted by TCI’s virtues as a safe and trusted destination, its easy accessibility, astounding natural beauty and relatively undeveloped nature.

Construction on the $90 million Veranda project should begin in September, 2003, with a two-year build-out anticipated. Veranda’s Discovery Center can be found on Lower Bight Road, adjacent to Beaches Resort.

To learn more, call a specialist at (649) 941-4604 or visit

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Gary James at Provo Pictures ( used a drone to photograph this bird’s-eye view of Dragon Cay off Middle Caicos. It perfectly captures the myriad of colors and textures that make God’s works of art in nature so captivating.

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