Category Archives: Barbados

Divi Does More for Kids!

Divi Resorts is expanding its children’s activities at six of its Caribbean resorts starting July 22nd.  The weekly schedule of free family events, called Treasures of the Caribbean, includes a treasure hunt, sandcastle building and movie night.

Every Monday morning starting July 22nd, children and their parents will follow clues (and the resort’s activities staff) around the Divi Resort property to amass a stash of keepsakes.  The real treasure at the end is a T-shirt, one that does special things:  It turns every kid into a member of Divi’s Pirate Crew.  And those crewmembers enjoy free refreshments – beverages and ice cream – throughout their stay at Divi.  It also earns them a salute from Divi staff each and every time they wear the shirt.

On Wednesdays, the big event is sandcastle building; souvenir bucket, shovel and great sand and ocean are supplied.

To kick-off the new Treasures of the Caribbean program Divi is hosting a contest to decide who can build the best sandcastle this summer at a Divi resort.  Pictures of the sandcastles will be showcased on Divi’s Facebook page (Divi does the posting and all the picture taking) and Divi will invite its Facebook followers to decide the best one.  The winning family gets another vacation, but this time it’s a FREE one.  (The contest gives new meaning to the term “vacation home,” wouldn’t you say?)    The winner can select any of the participating resorts for their free stay.

So let the fun begin! Join Divi’s Pirate Crew.  Hunt for treasure.  Build a castle.  Enjoy a movie on Friday night.

Need a little inspiration for the sandcastle you’re going to build?  Redbook Magazine gives a step-by-step on the basics.

Want to step up your game a bit?  Check out these architecturally awesome sandcastles collected by the folks at Popular Mechanics.

Get more details about the Treasures of the Caribbean, including participating Divi resorts, complimentary family photos, contest deadline and more here!

In Praise of Good, Clean Comedy

A Night of Laughter and Jazz Set for Divi Southwinds

Sylvia Moore is a minister, a minister of comedy.  She does stand-up for God.  Her stage name is Small Fire (formerly known as “Small Frie”), and she’s a big deal in the world of Christian comedy, a genre that’s described as “clean comedy with a cutting edge.”  Small Fire is familiar to television audiences, having been a featured performer on BET’s Comic Views, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, The Wayans Brothers Show and It’s Showtime at the Apollo.  She’s often introduced as the “Queen of Christian Clean.”   And, praises abound for her comic routines.

Laugh it up with Small Fire in person in Barbados next month during the island’s annual GospelFest.  She is half of an evening at Divi Southwinds billed as “Laughter & Jazz,” which marries comedy with unique jazz vibes of local, regional and international artists.  Canadian trumpeter Dave Brown and young Barbadian saxophonist Roman Greaves do the musical honors.  Tickets are $25 at the door.  Showtime is 8pm.   It promises to be a very entertaining evening.

For the full list of GospelFest events, visit Barbados GospelFest.

Divi Southwinds is proud to be one of the sponsors of the 2013 GospelFest, held this year from May 18-26.

Knock, Knock. Holland Has a King!

Today promises to be a very colorful day in certain parts of the Caribbean – all stemming from the rise of a new king in Holland. His Royal Highness The Prince of Orange ascends to the throne that day. Hear ye and welcome King Willem-Alexander.

The investiture of the new king is taking place on Queen’s Day. Confused? If you’ve ever found yourself in The Netherlands, on St. Maarten, Aruba or other Dutch provinces and states around the globe, you know that April 30th is huge holiday, called Queen’s Day. When Queen Juliana ascended to the throne in 1949, she marked her monarchy with an annual celebration on her birthday, April 30. Her daughter, Beatrix, who became queen in 1980, didn’t think January 31, her birthday, was a good day for outdoor parades and merry-making, so she kept her Queen’s Day on April 30th.

Note to travelers: Queen’s Day next year is cancelled. Lest you think an uprising is about to occur at the loss of a national holiday, no worries. Starting in 2014, King’s Day fittingly will replace Queen’s Day; but the celebration will move to April 27th, which is the new king’s birthday. The king has already concurred that April is indeed a splendid time of year for a day off and grand party. This decision continues a long line of service to the people and practicality by the Dutch monarchy. (They’re also known for abdication, too. Queen Beatrix is handing the reins to her son, as her mother did for her, believing it is time for a new generation to lead the monarchy.)

Of this you can be certain: the national holiday that celebrates the monarchy – be it king or queen – is a great day for the wearin’ of the orange. Orange is the national color of The Netherlands because the Dutch royal family is known as the House of Orange-Nassau. The dynasty traces its lineage to the marital union of the royal house of Nassau-Breda in Germany with the Chalon-Orange line from France Burgundy in 1515.

The soon to be King Willem-Alexander is the first male heir to the Dutch throne in over 100 years. He and his wife have three daughters. And, you know what that means: King’s Day will become Queen’s Day once again.
The historical signs at Fort Amsterdam in St. Maarten, which are a very special part of the grounds of Divi Little Bay Resort, already have been repainted – with a fresh coat of orange, of course – to note the change in leadership of the Dutch Kingdom. At a ceremony there on April 27, SIMARC, an organization that works to preserve the island’s heritage, was awarded an Orange Bow, a very special honor indeed since it is the last bestowed under the reign of the outgoing queen.
Orange you glad you read this?

It’s Easy Being Green

That great sage and philosopher Kermit The Frog has taught us many valuable lessons over the years. Remember him singing “Being Green?”   At first, he laments his uniqueness, but by song’s end, he’s celebrating it, happily warbling that green is…”beautiful, and I think it’s what I want to be.”

The folks at Divi Southwinds in Barbados totally agree. They’re singing the same tune and going green, embracing a variety of environmental initiatives that sets the resort apart.

You may have heard of the farm-to-table movement.  Well, what’s going on at Divi Southwinds is something unique:  the resort-to-table movement.  Divi Southwinds is now serving vegetables grown right on its own land. The resort built a greenhouse, and upon completion in late November, seeds were sown that have now sprouted lettuce, tomatoes, okra, squash, pumpkins, watermelons and herbs.   The lettuce has already made its way to the table at the resort’s Bajan Breeze restaurant.

That occurred the night of March 11, 2013.  Salad was on the menu, as it always is, but this time there was a difference: the lettuce was just picked and just a short distance from the kitchen’s door. Chef Henderson, along with Porter Jimmy Smith and Ryan Clarke, who is restaurant and bar manager, did the honors, hauling in 11 heads of lettuce that day, along with a half pound of parsley.

According to Alvin Barnes, environmental manager at Divi Southwinds, more fresh-from-the- greenhouse vegetables have been enjoyed by guests and staff since, as the watermelon, okra, squash and okra have ripened. “Chef Henderson made a wish list – marjoram, chives, parsley, thyme and sweet basil – all the herbs flavoring Caribbean cooking. We’ve obliged him with everything he asked for.”

Alvin Jemmott, longtime general manager of Divi Southwinds, also points out that all the produce is organic.   Jemmott has been behind several environmental initiatives at Divi Southwinds and seeded the idea for a greenhouse.  He recently implemented a policy to replant two trees for every tree that had to be removed due to storm damage, disease or old age.  He wanted to ensure that there would be even more greenery as part of the property’s 16.5 acres of lush tropical gardens, which are a key feature of the resort.

Since plants are costly, Jemmott got to thinking that the hotel could create a greenhouse to raise its own plants.  And, from that idea grew another one to grow herbs for the restaurant kitchens and vegetables for employee meals.  At the same time, the “home grown” vegetable idea was being driven by the increasing commitment on the part of certain employees to a healthy lifestyle.

The greenhouse has yet to be planted with landscaping plants and the vegetables are now being served to Divi Southwinds guests as well as employees.  But, the vegetation thriving in the greenhouse will soon be incorporated into compost to naturally fertilize the landscaping plants already in existence.  “We’re looking forward to growing the role of our greenhouse in managing our property and caring for our island,” Jemmott said.

Divi Southwinds is proving Kermit’s words true: “Green can be cool.”

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?