Category Archives: Aruba

Did He Pop the Question?

According to the latest edition of Advertising Age, six million people were expecting to make or receive a marriage proposal this past Valentine’s Day. That’s two million more than last year. Were you among them?

Ah, love is in the air. Soon, we will hear, “…in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer.”

Are those the vows or was someone referring to the wedding planning when they penned those words? Nothing says stress like the phrase, “planning a wedding.” Experts say satisfying everyone’s expectations — the bride’s, groom’s, their parents’ and guests’ – leads to significant stress, to say nothing of sorting through myriad details and countless decisions.

And, then there is the overall quest for the perfect wedding – with something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. That is actually a good description of a destination wedding in the Caribbean. A couple can have the old with the new, the tradition but with a twist – like a barefoot walk down an aisle in the sugary sand of a beautiful beach. You can borrow a local custom or too, like tossing a shell into the gorgeous blue Caribbean Sea.

A Caribbean destination wedding has perks for everyone: wedding and honeymoon for the happy couple, beach vacation for the happy guests.

Aruba is among the Top Ten places for a destination wedding for American couples. Warm but always kissed by a breeze, it beckons lovers all year round. And, doesn’t an on-site wedding planner sound really appealing, too? Leave the stress up north. Divi makes it really easy. Aruba Weddings For You is located on the premises of the Divi Tamarijn and produces weddings of every scope, size and style on the grounds of all five of the Divi resorts in Aruba. Want to get married on the 7th hole of the Links at Divi? Under a fresh floral canopy on Eagle Beach? Or maybe at the new Pure Ocean restaurant at Divi Aruba Phoenix on Palm Beach?

Here is a proposal: A wedding planner will make the planning go happily ever after. Do you want to contact the wedding planner now? I do.

What’s Your 2013 Travel Resolution?

Did you make resolutions for 2013?   Did the list include:  Be a better person, work smarter, be more organized and take more vacation days? It might come as a surprise that those four resolutions are connected.  Workplace experts highly recommend taking vacations.  Yes, that was an “s” on the end of the word “vacation.”  Vacations recharge the batteries, replenish the creative juices and make a person more productive at work, according to those who study workplace behavior.  So, think of it this way: vacations are a good thing for you and your business.

Planning is key. January is a good time to sit down with the calendar and map out optimum times to be away from work and accommodate the whole family’s activity and school schedules.  There are also early booking specials that help stretch the vacation dollar.  (Was “find ways to save money” a resolution, too?)

Divi has a few vacation ideas for you in 2013.

  • Be part of the yachting set that will gather in St. Maarten-St. Martin for the island’s Classic Regatta, March 29-31.  Divi Little Bay’s Regatta Package gets you a discount on a room; a sail on a catamaran to watch one of the races and VIP passes to opening and closing festivities.  So party with the yacht crews during one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful sailing events. Ever done that before?
  • Or meet on the beach with “top chefs” at this year’s Taste of St. Croix.   Noted chefs from across the US descend upon St. Croix to cook up a party each night of the six-day St. Croix Food & Wine Experience.  The Thursday night event is the Taste of St. Croix, held under the stars on the beachfront of Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort. Planning ahead is absolutely crucial as tickets sell out to the Taste of St. Croix in less than 30 minutes (1200+ tickets gone in minutes).  Get a guaranteed ticket by booking a three-day stay by January 30th.
  • Need a photo for next year’s holiday card?  How about dressing up for the Carnival parade in Barbados in August during Barbados’ famed Crop Over Festival?  Last year, Divi Southwinds provided costumes for guests to join in the fun.  Watch the website for details of this year’s plans.
  • Is 2013 the year you learn to golf?  Make an tee time appointment with a golf pro at the Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort in Aruba.  Golf in the morning, relax at the beach in the afternoon, and fine dine at night at the resort’s gourmet restaurant, Windows on Aruba.  Is there a better way to spend a vacation day, or two, or ten?

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.

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.

A Beach. A Chair. And a Beverage.

I don’t know how photographer Joel Collins managed to capture a shot of all these empty chairs in front of the Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort on Aruba last month. Since the hotel installed them, all painted pretty in Caribbean colors and lined up side-by-side facing the dreamy Caribbean Sea, the site has been a very popular spot for Divi guests — any time of day, morning and night. No matter the time, the chairs are always taken!

The chairs are from way up north – New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Designed in 1903, and originally called the Westport Plank Chair after the city of its birth, the chair is now known universally – truly the world over – as the Adirondack Chair. There are a more than a few good reasons why this design has endured and is inextricably linked with vacation time, no matter the terrain – mountain or seaside: it’s comfortable and durable; and probably of equal importance to many, it has an armrest wide and sturdy enough upon which to sit a drink. The story goes that is precisely what Thomas Lee, the designer, intended.

If you’d like to know a little more about the history of the Adirondack chair (There’s even a little business intrigue in this little tale.), visit the Orvis site. You can even buy a little of the Divi beachfront for back home!

I think this chair on the beach in front of Divi Phoenix Beach is a perfect spot for ____________. Well, you fill in the blank.

And, I wonder why there are nine Adirondack chairs in front of the Divi Phoenix Beach in Aruba. Shouldn’t there be ten, one for each of the Divi resorts across the Caribbean? I know what I would be thinking about if I were in one of those chairs: Which Divi to enjoy next?!