Meet our featured President’s Elite members for this issue, Robert and Sherri Anderson of Maryland, USA. 

Meet our featured President’s Elite members for this issue, Robert and Sherri Anderson of Maryland, USA.

We caught up with the Andersons on their latest trip to Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, where they graciously spoke to us about their vacation experiences, the reasons they love St. Maarten and their membership in the Divi Vacation Club.

“Before we purchased timeshare ownership, we used to cruise a lot around the Caribbean. Our goal was to visit as many islands as possible to find one place that we wanted to stay,” explains Mr. Anderson. “We use to cruise into St. Maarten’s port and see beautiful Little Bay and the resort situated on the peninsula. That’s what made us decide this was the place.”

“We don’t like high-rises or elevators,” Mrs. Anderson remarks. “We spend all day on the beach, so that was important to us. The water is always calm here, and the resort faces south, so the beach gets the sun all day long. The sunsets are spectacular.”

Once they settled on St. Maarten as their future vacation spot, the Andersons purchased one week of ownership in a one-bedroom unit at the end of March. Steadily, over the next 12 years, they added another week in March and two more weeks at the end of October. They’ve also expanded to two-bedroom units, as they love to bring along friends and family, and having the extra bedroom is very convenient.    

In March 2016, the Andersons converted their fixed weeks to Pure Points and became members of the Divi Vacation Club. “The main reason we decided to join the Club was to take advantage of the Loyalty Benefits,” explains Mr. Anderson. “We are getting to a point in our lives where we want more flexibility to stay in other locations in the Caribbean and around the world, and hopefully, in the very near future, take advantage of mid-week travel.”

The Andersons always travel on all-inclusive plans, so as President’s Elite members, they really like knowing that they get a “starter kit” of sodas, beer and water right from the beginning of their trip. They also enjoy the added benefit of early check-in and the extra VIP attention. The fact that their President’s Elite benefits transfer over to all Divi Club Destinations was also a draw as they made their decision to join the Club.

The Andersons have a found a unique way to use their membership. “We’ve always banked any unused weeks or Points over the years, so when our nieces and nephews have gotten married, we’ve given them the gift of a honeymoon,” explains Mrs. Anderson. “Recently, when our niece got married, we traded our Pure Points for their honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.”

“Divi Little Bay is our second home. The staff are our extended family and friends. We know everyone so well, and it’s great to come back and see what’s changed in their lives, and catch up,” says Mr. Anderson. “Everyone knows us. We can relax and enjoy ourselves. The toughest part of vacationing used to be getting acclimated, but coming here, it’s like being home the moment we arrive, only we don’t have any chores!”

Meet our featured President’s Elite members for this issue, Brenda and Joseph Farmer, from Morningside, Maryland

Meeting Brenda and Joseph Farmer, from Morningside, Maryland, you get the sense that they are devoted, not only to each other, but to their vacation time as well.  Seven years ago, while walking along Palm Beach, they came across Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort and took a tour.  The couple purchased one week in August on the spot, and then for the next six years kept adding to their ownership.  Last year, they decided to become Divi Vacation Club President’s Elite Members, owning Pure Points Prime, which gives them flexibility to enjoy both their fixed weeks or Pure Points, depending upon their travel plans.

“We come every August for multiple weeks,” explains Brenda. “It’s our anniversary and a special time for us. We sometimes have family join us, but the rest of the time is for the two of us to unwind.”

While they love their one-on-one time, the Farmers share the third week of their stay with friends and family, enjoying quality time together and discovering tourists spots around Aruba.  Last year, when their son got married, they gifted the lucky couple a honeymoon at Divi Aruba Phoenix using some of their Points.

During their visit last August, the two celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in a very special way.  On August 8th, the island of Aruba invited lovebirds to “Renew Their I Do’s” as the sun set on Eagle Beach.  Donning all-white attire, the Farmers joined in on the picturesque event.

“It was very romantic,” says Joseph. “We had pictures taken at Divi Aruba Phoenix, then we were taken to participate in this beautiful ceremony with hundreds of couples. Afterwards, they had plenty of food, drinks, and entertainment, and there were even photographers to capture the perfect moment. We were simply overwhelmed. We were even interviewed by Aruba Today and ended up in the local newspaper!”

The night came to a close with a surprise pampering from the wonderful staff at Divi Aruba Phoenix, including a turndown of rose petals, champagne, candles and anniversary cake at one of the restaurants. Coming up next year is the Farmer’s big family reunion.  They banked points from this year to use next year so that their two sons and in-laws could all be together.

“The flexibility of Points means that everyone can have their own unit and be comfortable,” says Brenda. “Coming back to Aruba is like coming home and we consider ourselves locals. The staff is always so welcoming and we love seeing them every year, they never change.  We also take buses everywhere, walk every day for miles, and have made great friends who we see every year.”

For Brenda and Joseph Farmer, being a part of the Club is the gift that keeps on giving.

A day in the life of a Divi GM

Phoenix Beach Resort, General Manager Gerrit Griffith is a true Divi veteran who has been a staple in our company for many years.  We recently got a chance to talk with Mr. Griffith about his experiences and why he loves his job as a Divi GM.

 

You are Divi’s longest tenured General Manager – how long have you held this role?

“I’ve been a Divi Resorts GM on Aruba for around 32 years!  I actually joined the company 41 years ago, in June of 1976, as Assistant GM.  During my many years with this company, I’ve managed all five Divi properties on the island.”

How does serving as GM of Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort differ from managing the other Divi properties?

“I’ve actually had similar experiences managing each property because fortunately, a lot of our owners and regular guests own or stay at multiple Divi Resorts on Aruba.  As a result, I’ve gotten to know many of these families over the years and have been lucky enough to serve them at each of the properties I’ve managed.  Divi owners and guests tend to have the same high expectations when they vacation with us, and I’m happy to play a role in delivering the signature ‘Divi style’ that they have come to know and love.”

What does the “Divi style” mean to you?

“The ‘Divi style’ means taking a hands-on approach to customer service.  I don’t spend my whole workday behind a desk; I believe it’s very important for me to be out and about on the property, meeting guests and making myself available when needed.  Everywhere I go around the resort, I hear guests greeting me with a friendly ‘Hello Mr. G!’  That sense of familiarity ensures that I am well known and easily accessible to our owners and guests. They know that I am there to listen and help if they ever have an issue during their stay.  The ‘Divi style’ also applies to my management style, the same management style I see across all Divi properties.  We greatly value our staff and always keep our doors open to them. And in return, our staff share this same level of value and service with our guests.”

What is the best part of your job as a Divi GM?

“First and foremost, the best part of my job is interacting with guests.  I love welcoming back owners I have known for years, as well as meeting first-time visitors.  I also enjoy the support system that has formed amongst our staff.  Here, we don’t simply know our team members as individuals; we also know their friends and families.  In this small island community, it’s incredibly important to feel supported by your team and know that you and your family are valued.  We definitely have that kind of relationship here at Divi Phoenix, and you can see the positive impact it has on our company culture.”

How is the culture at Divi Phoenix affected by your team’s involvement in our Divi Cares program?

“The staff at each of our Divi Resorts on Aruba work together to give back through the Divi Impact Initiative, which is part of Divi Cares.  I think this active involvement in community service helps foster caring, positive attitudes among our team.  Our staff loves calling Aruba home, and programs like Divi Cares make them feel good about helping make our community a better place to live and our resort a better place to work.”