Category Archives: Aruba

Island Adventurer

When you’re dreaming of a past vacation, the easiest way to relive it is to bring out a few mementos. Souvenirs can help you recall the good times and the great stories from your trip. The best souvenirs communicate something about the spirit and the personality of the place you visited. We gathered a few suggestions of great souvenirs you can bring home from the Caribbean. Each of these islands is home to at least one of the Divi Resorts—we hope you have an opportunity to check them all out!

Aruba Aloe (arubaaloe.com) is the oldest aloe company in the world. Founded in 1890, it’s also the only aloe company in the world that grows, harvests and manufactures its products right on-site. Its products are sold pretty much everywhere in Aruba. You can also visit the Aruba Aloe Museum & Factory Store.

 

Cadushy Distillery (www.cadushy.com), located in Rincon, is the only distillery on the island of Bonaire. It’s most well-known for Cadushy of Bonaire, a cactus liqueur with a cooling lime taste, the earliest entry in the distillery’s Island Liqueurs line. Sign up for a tasting and learn first-hand how the spirits are produced. Don’t forget to bring home a few bottles of your favorite flavors.

 

Earthworks Pottery (earthworks-pottery.com) is worth the short trip to the Edgehill Heights section of the St. Thomas parish. Everything at this workshop is authentically Caribbean, handcrafted by local artists. It offers a range of plates, bowls and vases, available as unique pieces or as part of beautiful sets. Earthworks is also happy to ship fragile items back home if you’re worried about their survival in your suitcase.

 

Although the wild-growing guavaberry can be found elsewhere in the Caribbean, locals speculate St. Maarten is the only place it truly thrives. It’s a central part of local folklore and traditional cuisine. The juice of these berries (no relation at all to guava) is mixed with rum and sugar and then aged to create guavaberry liqueur. Sample the sweet, light concoction and bring home a few beautiful bottles from Ma Doudou (www.rhummadoudou.com), a small shop just off Front Street in Philipsburg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you visit St. Croix, you’ll notice many local women wearing a unique type of bracelet. The St. Croix Hook or the Crucian Hook (www.gotostcroix.com/st-croix-blog/show-love-crucian-bracelet/) is a band-style bracelet with a horseshoe-shaped clasp. This clasp (or “hook”) represents true love on St. Croix. These bracelets come in a wide variety of styles, and you can find them in most local jewelry shops.

Meet our featured President’s Elite members for this issue, James and Brenda Dubilzig from Perrysburg, Ohio.

They became members of the Divi Vacation Club in February 2016, converting their traditional Divi vacation ownership weeks to Pure Points. They travel twice a year to Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort—often with their adult son, daughter and their significant others—so James and Brenda were looking for more flexibility.

On one of the Dubilzigs’ recent trips to Aruba, we sat down with them to learn why the Divi Vacation Club fits their needs so well.

“The flexibility is truly a great benefit to the whole family,” James says. “We enjoy being able to choose different-sized rooms depending on how many we have traveling with us. It’s also convenient for us to take advantage of midweek arrivals. We often choose to travel Wednesday to Wednesday, for example.”

The Dubilzigs have visited Divi Little Bay Beach Resort on St. Maarten—“It’s so beautiful,” Brenda says—and on Aruba, they enjoy playing golf at The Links at Divi Aruba, the course surrounding Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort. Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort is still their true home-away-from-home. “Phoenix has everything you want, without being a huge, touristy spot,” says Brenda. “The beach is right there; the pool is right there. You really get to know the staff. When we’re here, we love just relaxing, reading, trading stories with the family and going out to restaurants.” Pureocean, the upscale chef-driven restaurant on the resort grounds, is a favorite—especially when they want to dine and watch the sunset right from the beach.

When they visit Divi Aruba Phoenix in the fall, the Dubilzigs enjoy watching college football from the swim-up bar at purebeach, the resort’s casual dining restaurant. “It’s become a family tradition to watch the Michigan-Ohio State game every year here,” James says. Since their children went to the University of Michigan and the Dubilzigs live in Ohio, the famous rivalry is an absolute must-see for the entire family, especially on vacation. The staff at purebeach is always more than happy to devote one of their TVs to the big game.

“Everyone at Phoenix is so welcoming and accessible,” Brenda says. “It really does feel like home.”

 

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.”

Divi Resorts Ditches Straws to Reduce Pollution & Promote Eco-friendly Efforts

In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Divi Resorts is getting rid of plastic straws at all of its Caribbean resorts on Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, St. Maarten & St. Croix, as part of its “Divi Green” initiative.

According to National Geographic, Americans use 500 million straws daily and 8 million tons of plastic trash flows into our world’s oceans every year. While plastic drinking straws are not the top contributor, these tiny tubes are unnecessary and have become a huge problem for the beautiful Caribbean islands and the creatures that call them home. Their size makes them one of the most insidious polluters because they entangle marine animals and are consumed by fish. Divi Resorts hopes to curb this pollution by removing straws from all of its resorts, effective immediately.

“Our goal is to take an active role in protecting and maintaining the beauty of our tropical islands and the creatures that call them home,” said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO. “We’ve always been focused on green initiatives, through our Divi Cares program, and searching for ways to improve our sustainability, so this is just another way we can do our part to help the environment.”

Divi Resorts has been embracing the green movement on its Caribbean islands for years, with initiatives such as water conservation, energy management and waste management programs created to save valuable resources, reducing energy usage and efficiently recycle waste. In addition, Divi Resorts staff participate in workshops and seminars conducted by environmental committees, local government organizations and non-governmental environmental organizations to increase awareness and spread the word about sustainable living. These programs have earned Divi Resorts many awards and recognitions including the Barbados Environmental and Sustainable Tourism Award.

“We’re proud to say we’re putting our best foot forward when it comes to ‘going green’ on our resorts,” said Galaverna.

Travelers looking to stay at Divi Resorts can find information on great Caribbean vacation deals at www.diviresorts.com and also enter to win a free Caribbean Summer Vacation (contest ends April 11, 2018).

Divi Resorts Sponsors Aruba’s Soul Beach Music Festival Featuring R&B Star Alicia Keys

Continuing a 5-year tradition, Divi Resorts’ Aruban destinations are once again sponsoring the ever-popular 2018 Soul Beach Music Festival taking place May 23-29. Voted one of the “Top Five Caribbean Celebrations” by USA TODAY, this year’s event features R&B legend Alicia Keys, neo-soul singer-songwriter Maxwell and actor and comedian Marlon Wayans, among others.

Boasting world-class performers and lively beach and nightclub parties, the Soul Beach Music Festival is just a short walk from Divi’s stunning Aruba properties – Divi Dutch Village Beach ResortDivi Village Golf & Beach Resort and Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort.

“Travelers searching for a fun-filled Memorial Day weekend need look no further,” said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO. “Our resorts are perfect for guests looking for a relaxing place to retreat at the end of an eventful day of sun, sand and stellar performances. Plus, as an added bonus, we’re giving away VIP and ticket prize packs to three lucky winners.”

The contest, which runs from now until May 14th, includes the following prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners:

1st Place VIP Package:
– 2 Friday General Admission Comedy Show Tickets at the Renaissance Festival Plaza
– 2 Saturday & Sunday General Admission Concert Tickets
– 4 Gold Area Entry Passes at the Harbor Arena (2 Saturday/2 Sunday)
– 2 Party Pass Packages (total of 5 entries per person into 5 Official Soul Beach Music Festival After Parties 5/25-5/29) with Express Entry Access
– Bonus Tickets: 2 Friday General Admission Comedy Show Tickets at the Renaissance Festival Plaza and 2 Saturday and Sunday General Admission Concert Tickets

2nd Place Prize Package:
– 2 Friday General Admission Comedy Show Tickets at the Renaissance Festival Plaza
– 2 Saturday and Sunday General Admission Concert Tickets
– 4 Gold Area Entry Passes at the Harbor Arena (2 Saturday/2 Sunday)

3rd Place Prize Package:
– 2 Friday General Admission Comedy Show Tickets at the Renaissance Festival Plaza
– 2 Saturday and Sunday General Admission Concert Tickets at the Harbor Arena

To enter, simply visit https://www.diviresorts.com/aruba-soul-beach.htm, and scroll to the bottom of the page for instructions. Plus, receive 500 extra entries for following @DiviResorts on Instagram.

Special room and all-inclusive rates for the Soul Beach Music Festival are as follows:

Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort:
– Studio suites as low as $159/night and 1-bedroom suites as low as $179/night
– All-Inclusive studio suites as low as $189/night per person and All-Inclusive 1-bedroom suites as low as $209/night, per person*

Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort:
– Studio suites as low as $175/night and 1-bedroom suites as low as $195/night
– All-Inclusive studio suites as low as $199/night per person and All-Inclusive 1-bedroom suites as low as $219/night, per person*

Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort:
– Studio suites as low as $249/night and 1-bedroom suites as low as $269/night

“We invite you to experience an unforgettable weekend of food, fun and first-rate festivities,” said Galaverna. “But be sure to buy your tickets and book your stay today to guarantee you’ll be there, as this event sells out fast!”

For reservations, book online at https://www.diviresorts.com/aruba-soul-beach.htm or call 1-800-367-3484 (Toll-free US) or 1-919-419-3484 (International). For group reservations, please call 1-800-801-5550 or email groupsales@diviresorts.com.

*All-inclusive rates are based on double room occupancy. 3-night minimum stay required.