Category Archives: Activities

Playing in the Sand

In addition to dazzling white beaches and a nearly constant blue sky, the island of Aruba offers endless excitement and something new to discover on each visit. Like beach tennis. Even if you don’t know a thing about beach tennis, doesn’t it just make sense that Aruba is the perfect place in the world for this emerging sport? All that sugary sand and brilliant sunshine recently attracted beach tennis players from around the world to play in the first ever Divi Resorts Aruba International Beach Tennis Event, held November 14-19, 2012.

The Italians came to defend their #1 world ranking in a rousing series of matches on Eagle Beach. Over the course of four days, six hundred beach tennis players battled it out on the 26 courts that had been erected for the competition. Athletes hailed from Brazil, Slovenia, Germany, the US, Netherlands, Venezuela, Czech Republic, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Italy and Aruba. The Italians indeed did sweep the event, capturing the men’s and women’s singles and doubles matches as well as the Nation’s Cup and the Team Cup.

You didn’t have to know how to score a match to enjoy the serves, volleys and smashes. For most of the 2,000 spectators in the stands, watching a beach tennis tournament was a first for them. The adjacent sports village provided nightly entertainment, an experience the visitors were unquestionably more familiar with in Aruba. The tournament organizers declared every aspect of the event a huge success.

I can tell you now: the Divi Resorts Aruba International Beach Tennis Event can now be rechristened The First Annual Divi Resorts Aruba International Beach Tennis Event, because next year’s dates are already confirmed: November 13-18, 2013.

To see even more images taken from the Aruba International Beach Tennis Event, feel free to visit their Facebook photo albums.

Taste of St. Croix 2013

It is now the end of October and my mind is on April. Two thoughts: food and travel. Three words: Taste of St. Croix. (Is that technically four?) Who among us on the Mainland doesn’t think that a jaunt down to the Caribbean is our due come April? Travel is a good thing after a winter up north. Food – that is a good thing, too. Food is good. And, by the way, that shortens to F-I-G, and that is the name of one of the sensational restaurants whose stellar chef will be participating in the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience next year. Mike Lata, the award and award and award-winning chef is set to be a judge at the Taste of St. Croix, April 17th, 2013. As always, the Taste of St. Croix is staged at Divi Carina Bay All Inclusive Beach Resort and Casino.

The Taste of St. Croix started thirteen years ago as a little local food event devised to raise a little money for charity. It has grown and has been described as, “one of the best International food events,” according to Forbes.com.

And, for that reason, the event now draws some of the best chefs around. And from all reports, Mike Lata in Charleston, South Carolina, is one of them. And, get this: he’s self-taught. (Take hope, all of you.) Lata and his restaurant, known to all Charlestonians by its acronym FIG, (see above) have been written about in numerous epicurean magazines. His restaurant also has been featured on the Travel Channel as well as in travel publications. Food, it seems, is now drawing people to Charleston. And, it draws people to St. Croix now, too. Lata, no doubt, will draw foodies to St. Croix in April.

The television program “Dateline” reported that the food at FIG is, “so good it will buckle your knees.” Mmmm. Can’t wait.

Lata will take part in nearly a week’s worth of activities while on St. Croix from April 16 to the 21st. The centerpiece of the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience is the Taste of St. Croix, always on Thursday night. This tasting and sipping extravaganza brings about 1500 people to Divi’s beachfront. It’s festive, glittering with twinkling lights and fashion finery, the food is endless and delicious and everyone is swaying with the palm trees and music.

Two words: book now.

Anyone up for some beach tennis…in Aruba?

Did you say beach tennis? Why, yes I did! What exactly is beach tennis you might ask? It’s anything, but your normal tennis of course! You know those bouncing balls, tennis racquets & hard courts you’re accustomed to in tennis? Well for starters, in beach tennis, there are no bouncing balls, they play with paddles instead of the average racquets and the game is played on a much softer court made out of, you guessed it, sand!

And, what about the attire in beach tennis? Well, it’s definitely skimpier than those tennis whites you normally see worn at Wimbledon.  Other than that, it’s pretty much the same ‘ole tennis. And, it’s an official sport like tennis is too!

Want to see what all the excitement’s about with beach tennis?  Come to Aruba and watch 200 of the World’s top players compete in the 2012 Aruba Divi Resorts International Beach Tennis event during November 14 through November 19, 2012.

Currently, the best beach tennis players in the sport are the Italian teams in both the men’s and women’s divisions.  For this Aruba tournament, the Italian teams will be joined by teams from Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, Mexico, Bermuda, St. Martin, the US, Puerto Rico and of course, Aruba, where beach tennis is now practically its national sport. Like tennis, beach tennis is predominantly played in singles and doubles match-ups. Over the course of the tournament, 600+ players, ages 6 up to 69 years old, will have taken to the courts as they vie for a purse of $15,000.

Spectators and players will also be able to enjoy a sport village that will be erected on the beautiful white sands of Eagle Beach in Aruba, just a short stroll from all five of the Divi Resorts in Aruba.  The village will include 20 beach tennis courts, a food court, bars, merchandise stands and entertainment stages for DJs and live bands.

After the tournament has concluded with its final match, the nets will all come down and all the energy and enthusiasm from the beach tennis tournament will burst out into an “after dance party” on the centre court! They’ll be celebrating until the wee hours of the morning and they want all of you there as Divi, BTA and Aruba will make this a “lifetime experience” for everyone!

Admission to the sport village and to all the beach tennis matches is free! Each of the Divi Resorts properties in Aruba are offering specially discounted rooms during this beach tennis tournament.  For reservations, call 888.367.3484 (if International, call 919-367-3484) or visit Divi Resorts to select your resort & travel dates for your stay. And to get our “special discount”, simply click on the “Corporate Rate” tab and enter the code “BTA”.

You never know, you just might be watching the next great Olympic sport! We look forward to your arrival!

The Cannes of the Caribbean

Is Aruba turning into the Cannes of the Caribbean?  A few weeks ago, the Aruba International Film Festival wrapped with all the makings of a film festival on the rise:  movie screenings, glittering parties, rock stars, red carpets, paparazzi, fashion reports, Hollywood celebs, and location, location, location.  All the happenings were a stone’s throw from the stunning Caribbean Sea.

Aruba isn’t typically where one goes to catch a movie, but come the last week in June, the island attracts an international crowd and lots of press attention for its upstart film festival.  Aside from some pretty good new films, destined to hit a theatre a bit closer to home, Aruba is also a good place to take in some exciting people watching.  The AIFF is only three years old, but it’s attracting serious wattage.  This year, Ray Liotta was “in town.”  Mark Anthony and Juanes, too, both heartthrobs with a strong South American following.  Both were headliners for musical concerts during the week-long festival.

Divi Resorts, expert at putting out the welcome mat for guests every day of the year, rolled out the red carpet for a bevy of celebrities. The Clubhouse at the Links at Divi was the place to catch a cluster of stars the night of June 28th.  Guests included Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated Virginia Madsen, whose latest turn is in The Magic of Belle Isle, the kick-off film of the festival’s many screenings.  Xavier Samuels, hunky in The Twilight Saga:  Eclipse fame, also joined the crowd at the Divi Clubhouse, along with Juanes, for the closing event for the film festival.

I can’t wait to see what they line up next year for the fourth annual.  Mark you calendar now:  “Make your reservations for the last week in June 2013 at one of the Divi properties in Aruba!”  I hope they bring Juanes back.  Or that he just jets in.  Juanes, famous for his earlier penchant for heavy metal, has won 17 Latin Grammys.   Maybe you saw him in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade a few years ago singing from one of the floats.  Or heard him croon “The Shadow of Your Smile” with Tony Bennett.

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Does the guy in each of the photographs below look familiar?  You’ve probably seen him around Divi Resorts in Aruba.  That’s Alex Nieumyer, Managing Director, on the job for Divi for 18 years.  For all his hard work, dedication and good ideas, he’s earned every night out with the stars.

The Top 5 Summer Essentials You Need!

It’s summertime and we’re here with our Top 5 summer essentials you need while you’re vacationing!

Summer and my mind turns to physics. You know the law: a body at rest tends to stay at rest. And, what could be better than R&R at the beach. It does a body and the mind good. Some people even think there’s something in sea spray – little positive ions that are beneficial in some scientific way. It all sure beats the neighborhood beauty salon, head to toe. A few highlights in the hair, bronze glow on the cheeks, heels smoothed by the sand and a little vitamin D for the body (just 15 minutes to meet the recommended daily allowance).

So get going and spend a day or two – or three, four or more at a beach. Here’s my packing list.

Beach read – Whatever floats your boat. I’m going to read Atlantic Fever, the new book on the race to conquer the Atlantic by airplane. Back in 1919, a $25,000 prize was announced for the first nonstop aircraft flight from NY to Paris. But, it wasn’t until eight years later and thirteen attempts by others that young Charles Lindbergh succeeded, flying 33 and1/2 hours. We owe Mr. Lindbergh for his triumph. He opened up the skies for travel! Now, it’s so easy to get the Caribbean!

A cover up – (No, that’s not what I meant. If you’re going to read Fifty Shades of Gray, get a Kindle to keep your secret.) If you’re settling in for a long read on the beach, you’re going to have to cover up from the sun after awhile. Whether a pareo, maxi dress, long-sleeved T-shirt, Everything But Water has a huge selection, including this long caftan.

Sunscreen – Don’t leave home without it. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends at least 30 SPF, partly because people don’t use enough. It does get expensive, but it’s your skin and your life we’re talking about here. It’s got to be the “broad spectrum” type. My final three words of advice: Reapply. Reapply. Reapply.

Big hat – Skin does not survive by sunscreen alone. I come from a long line of hat wearers. It was once strictly for style, but in this day and age, it’s a necessity. My all-time favorite hat designer is Helen Kaminski from Down Under. I figure an Aussie knows a little about scorching sun. Many of her styles are packable, so when you see me around Divi in Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, St. Croix or St. Maarten, that’s a Helen Kaminski hat I either packed in my suitcase or put in a carry-on tote for the trip. Either way, these hats are good travelers. For the guys: lather up with sunscreen and get under the umbrella.

And last, but certainly not least:

Summer love – Good things are best shared with others. So, take your honey to the beach. I suggest Aruba right now, because the Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort has a special that’s, well, pretty special – with a petal-strewn bed, flickering candles, chilled champagne – all in the room upon your arrival. The deal also includes a sunset sail. The special is $499 for four nights for two! That’s a great deal. And, deals are sexy.