Category Archives: Divi Little Bay

Taste of the Islands: MUSSELS & CLAMS MARINARA

We asked Executive Chef Iwan Hokahin of pureocean at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort on St. Maarten to share one of his restaurant’s most popular recipes with us. He immediately pointed us to this method of preparing Mussels and Clams Marinara. “Our guests love this dish, and it’s one of my favorites too,” Chef Iwan says. “The Italian-inspired flavors, combined with our fresh seafood, are a real crowd-pleaser, especially when you’re sitting right on the beach.” Grazie, Chef Iwan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MUSSELS & CLAMS MARINARA

2 lbs. clams (scrubbed clean)
2 lbs. mussels (scrubbed clean) Angelhair pasta
1 quart prepared marinara sauce Garlic (as much as you want) 1/4 cup parsley
1/2 cup clam juice
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Sautee garlic in olive oil in a large pot, until lightly browned. Add clam juice. When the mixture comes to a boil, add marinara sauce. Add clams and mussels, then cover pot and cook until the shells open (about 5-10 minutes).

Once all the shells have opened, and you’ve discarded any shells that stayed closed, pour the mixture over cooked pasta (or just dip garlic bread straight into the mixture). Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Tip from Chef Iwan: If a shell doesn’t open, don’t eat it! Throw it away! It’s very common to find a few unopened shells after cooking, but these are not safe to eat.

Meet our featured President’s Elite Members, Robert & Sherri Anderson

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!”

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort Donates Furniture to Forever Blessed Foundation

Divi Resorts’ Divi Little Bay Beach Resort on St. Maarten recently donated its remaining furniture and beds left over from Hurricane Irma to the Forever Blessed Giving Back Charity Foundation to help those in need.

“When our resort was hit by Hurricane Irma, we were able to salvage many appliances and furniture, some of which went to our Little Bay staff members in need,” said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO. “So when we heard that Forever Blessed Foundation was searching for furniture donations, we gladly stepped up to the plate, donating all remaining items that were no longer needed on the resort.”

Among the items donated to the foundation were beds, dressers, chairs and more. Organizers and recipients were all smiles as the items were loaded up and delivered to their new homes.

Started back in 2003 with the goal of giving back to those in need, the Forever Blessed Giving Back Charity Foundation was officially notarized last year. Organizers are in need of volunteers and such as clothing, non-perishable foods, school supplies, household items and furniture. Those interested in donating items locally or volunteering can reach the organization by calling (712) 523-8792.

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 Hires New General Manager for Divi Little Bay Beach Resort

Divi Resorts is thrilled to welcome back Anne-Marie Brooks as the new General Manager of Divi Little Bay Beach Resort on St. Maarten. Brooks joins the team in February, 28 years after her first internship at Divi Little Bay back in 1990. She replaces Celine Van Meer, who is now the General Manager at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino on Bonaire.

“We’re overjoyed that Anne-Marie has decided to return to Divi Little Bay,” said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO. “We’re making great progress in getting Little Bay back up and running in May, and we can’t wait to see what fresh and innovative ideas Anne-Marie brings to the table.”

Born in a picturesque village in the southern part of the Netherlands, Brooks grew up right in the middle of a hotel and restaurant region called “Little Switzerland.” From a young age she worked in the family hotel, managing everything from washing dishes to serving 7-course Christmas dinners. Naturally, she decided to further her studies in hotel & restaurant management.

In 1990, Brooks was offered a six-month management internship at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort to learn more about the industry. She had the opportunity to continue her internship in the United States, but opted to stay in St. Maarten as she fell in love with the island and the people. Not long after, she was offered a position as the Guest Service Manager at the resort.

Since leaving Divi Little Bay, Brooks has acquired a vast knowledge of the resort industry, holding management positions at several resorts on the island, and even owning and managing Beau Beau’s Beach Bar & Restaurant with her husband. Most recently, Brooks spent 21 years working for Oyster Bay Beach Resort on St. Maarten, where she served as the Office Manager, Sales Operations Manager and finally, Assistant General Manager. In her position as AGM, she contributed to the resort’s multimillion-dollar success in vacation ownership sales and transient hotel revenue.

“I believe that it takes dedication, hard work, and most importantly, a passion for hospitality. Making sure my guests are happy and all departments of the resort run smoothly is my top priority,” said Brooks. “I take great personal pride in delivering the best vacation experience to vacation club owners and guests.”

Brooks also has a strong bond with the local community. She has assisted in the organization of several neighborhood cleanups, collected donations for a local orphanage and supported food drives for the less fortunate. In addition, she is an active member of Chaine Des Rotisseurs, an International Association of Gastronomy that brings together food enthusiasts who share the same values of quality fine dining and culinary arts.

Brooks is married to Leroy Brooks better known as King Beau Beau, the famous Calypso artist and entrepreneur, and together, they have four children. In her free time, Brooks is an avid reader and Crossfit member.

Divi Resorts Lends a Helping Hand to Hurricane Victims, Aid Workers in St. Maarten

While cleanup and restoration continues on St. Maarten following the recent, destructive hurricanes, Divi Resorts is dedicated to assisting displaced staff members and relief workers.

Divi Resorts President & COO, Marco Galaverna and a group of key staff visit St. Maarten to assess the damage and thank local employees.

“St. Maarten was hit hard by Hurricane Irma, followed quickly by Tropical Storm Jose and Hurricane Maria, causing widespread damage on the island,” said Divi Resorts President & COO, Marco Galaverna. “But what was most devastating was the fact that many of our employees lost their homes and livelihoods due to these storms.”

Since Hurricane Irma struck, Little Bay has been providing shelter for many staff members and their families while they begin to fix their homes or find new housing solutions.

In response to frequent guest and owner outreach regarding how to help, Divi Resorts created a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising funds for staff’s personal needs and recovery efforts.

“Our employees are family to us and to many of our guests and owners,” Galaverna said. “We’ve had an outpouring of concern and support for our staff, and we are committed to helping them recover from this tragic natural disaster.”

Divi Resorts’ GoFundMe campaign continues to accept donations at: gofundme.com/send-love-to-divi-little-bay-staff. All money raised will go directly to employees, as determined by management at the Resort in consultation with staff and their labor union.

The Resort has also been accommodating a troop of Dutch Marines, on the island to assist citizens of St. Maarten, since the end of Hurricane Irma.

Divi’s diva, Gizmo spends quality time with her new friend, a Dutch Marine on site to assist St. Maarten citizens.

“We’re happy to provide accommodations for these heroic men and women as they spend their days cleaning up and rebuilding infrastructure on the island,” said Galaverna. “A few of the Marines have even made friends with our little Divi diva, Gizmo.”