Category Archives: Divi Southwinds

Stay Fit: This Year’s Foot Races on the Islands

If your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape, join the club. Several of us at Divi Resorts are embarking on the same journey this year. At Divi Resorts, we may be all about having fun, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stay healthy in the process! On your Caribbean vacation this year, why not join a foot race? You’re on island time, so the competition is easygoing. After spending the morning running, jogging or walking, you’ll quickly lose any guilt you might have about overindulging at pureocean. And best of all, you’re sure to meet a range of friendly fitness-focused tourists and locals alike.

We’ve assembled a short list of scheduled races on our islands. Don’t forget to confirm dates and times with the race organizers. Here’s to a healthy 2017!

Aruba

Aruba International Half Marathon (March 2017): Aruba’s longest road race, covering the length of the island from San Nicolas to Eagle Beach

Aruba’s 5K Beer Run (November 2017): Sponsored by local brewery Balashi Beer, this fun run/walk offers Balashi (as well as Powerade and water) as refreshment along the way

Barbados

Run Barbados (December 2017): A series of fun races and walks taking place over the course of a weekend

Bonaire

No major races scheduled

St. Croix

St. Croix Scenic 50 (January 2017): This series of 50-mile and 50-kilometer runs and relays is perfect for serious ultra marathoners

St. Croix International Marathon (December 2017): Half marathons and marathons

St. Maarten

Lagoon Half Marathon & 10K (March 2017): A race organized by the SXM Road Runners, a group open to the public that meets regularly for fun runs

Bastille Day Run (July 2017): A 6-kilometer run in Marigot on the French side of the island

Why You Need to Take a Vacation Right Now

Are you exhausted from the busy demands of the holidays? Is the daily grind getting to you? Believe it or not (don’t laugh!), December is National Stress-Free Month. You deserve a vacation. We know it can be overwhelming to plan, but it’s worth it: according to recent scientific studies, vacations can actually improve your health.

Most Americans never take their full paid vacation time. Maybe it’s time for a break. Not only do vacations relieve stress, scientists have found that regular vacations can help your heart stay healthy, improve your mental well-being and improve your relationships.

Okay, we might be a little biased, but the science is right there! Now you have your excuse to escape somewhere warm and sunny, like the Caribbean. Check out our resort + air bundling tool to book your accommodations and flight all in one go. National Stress-Free Month, indeed.

This Is How You “Eat Local” When You Visit Barbados

_i4a0944

When you stay at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort on Barbados, a small garden plays a big role in the meals you eat. Executive Chef Henderson Butcher grows most of the herbs that flavor the pureocean menu—as well as a few fruits and vegetables—right on the resort property. It can be difficult for “locavores” to make sure they keep eating locally when they’re on vacation, but pureocean Barbados makes it simple.

Chef Henderson believes that fresh herbs and produce grown locally are far more flavorful than anything shipped in from elsewhere. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and he’s tasted it countless times as he prepares his meals.

He’s also a strong believer in the farm-to-table concept. “Every morning, our employees go out to the garden and gather only what they need for the day,” Chef Henderson says. “It’s best to keep it simple, and to use what we have right here.”

Chef’s garden changes according to the season, but a diverse array of herbs can usually be found there, including thyme, marjoram, rosemary, basil, lemongrass and chives. He also grows spinach, a common ingredient in pureocean’s vegetarian offerings, as well as several varieties of lettuce. “We’re growing a few different kinds of hot peppers now, too,” Chef Henderson adds. “Scotch bonnet peppers are a common ingredient in Caribbean cuisine—we keep a patch of those. We also grow ghost peppers, some of the spiciest peppers on record.” He laughs. “We use them more than you might think. We make a jerk sauce that’s pretty mean.”

In his recipes, Chef Henderson also makes use of other plants that can be found around the property, such as mangos, breadfruit, almonds and even the leaves of the sea grape tree. Whenever possible, he makes an effort to source his ingredients locally. “It’s good for our budget, but most importantly, everything tastes better when it’s fresh and straight out of the ground,” Chef says.

How to Plan a Group Trip with Friends

10

Have you ever thought about traveling to the Caribbean with a dozen or so (or more!) close friends and family members? When you have a major milestone coming up in your life, or if you’ve just received great news, a fantastic way to celebrate is to go on a group trip. You might think group trips involve a staggering amount of planning, but with a little forethought, they’re actually quite manageable—and the discounts you can rack up from traveling as a group are significant. Here are few points to go over before you jet away with your crew to an island escape:

Who’s going, and when?

Who’s on your guest list? Ideally, everyone will get along reasonably well together as a large group—you’ll want to avoid any awkward dinner conversations! Once you’ve decided, it’s easy to settle on dates using an online scheduling tool like Doodle. Simply create a Doodle poll and email it to everyone on your list. You’ll be able to narrow down the best time for the whole gang to travel.

What group rates are available?

Divi Resorts offers great discounts to groups of 10 or more. Call our experienced travel planners at 1-800-801-5550 or email groupsales@diviresorts.com. We’ll see to it that you have everything you need.

Time to book your trip!

It will be easiest for everyone to plan their travel if you settle on dates far in advance. Make sure everyone in your group has a passport!

What do you want to do?

Review the amenities at the resort of your choice, and investigate fun things to do around the island. It’s best to stay flexible, as everyone will likely have slightly different ideas on how they want to spend their time. It’s best to find a couple of “must-dos” ahead of your trip, but don’t forget to leave plenty of time to be spontaneous.

Bon voyage! Here’s to an unforgettable Caribbean getaway with all your BFFs!

Tips for Taking Great Instagram Photos on Vacation

When you go on vacation, you’re probably taking photos—and you’re probably sharing them instantly. At Divi Resorts, we see dozens of vacation photos every day as we keep tabs on our social media accounts. We thought you might enjoy a few “best practices” from the Caribbean vacation experts on how to make your trip photos really pop. Your friends and family back home won’t believe what you’re posting on Instagram.

#1 Your photo deserves to be framed!

Take a look at your surroundings—sometimes you’ll find a great way to frame your shot, like with the roof of a palapa. Your Instagram followers will be jealous.

#2 It’s the little things.

Try taking closeup shots of the small, unexpected things that really define your vacation—the quirky items that give your trip its personality.

#3 Switch up your angles.

It’s fun to look at life from a different perspective! Experiment with unusual angles—high, low or from a vantage point that isn’t often photographed (make sure to be safe, though!).

#4 Go off-kilter.

Photography has a “rule of thirds” for a reason. Just place your subject slightly to the left or right of center, and bam—your photo is more stunning already. Good job, you!

#5 People are more than poses!

Putting your friends and family in the photo is one of the best ways to keep your vacation memories alive. Make sure to get a few shots of the entire group together, but photos of people can be more striking when they’re candid.

Good luck out there! We love seeing what a great time people are having at our resorts. If you’d like to share your awesome photo with us, follow us on Instagram @DiviResorts and tag us!

4 Hidden Gems of Barbados

Barbados is home to stunning natural beauty and a unique style of Caribbean culture you won’t find anywhere else. We rounded up a few ways you might not expect to experience the best of the island’s landscapes and people.

Divi Southwinds Beach Resort is the perfect home base for your exploration of the island. Centrally located on the St. Lawrence Gap in Bridgetown, it’s easy to rent a car and experience Barbados firsthand. The island is only 21 miles (34km) long and 14 miles (23km) wide, and many vacationers choose to see it all in a single day, returning to Divi Southwinds by nightfall. If you’d rather take your time, however, the island will reward you with breathtaking views and rich cultural experiences.

#1 Bathsheba Beach

barbados-bathsheba-8

Photo credit Kara Phelps

Bathsheba is a striking white-sand beach located along the East Coast, scattered with rock formations that seem to be boulders—but are actually the only remnants of an ancient coral reef that eroded long ago. The view is dramatic and unforgettable. Enjoy a picnic on the grass at Bathsheba Park, and walk along the beach for truly incredible photo opportunities.

#2 Oistins Fish Fry

dan-costin-oistins-fish-friday

Photo credit Dan Costin

Tourists and locals alike flock to Oistins Fish Fry every Friday night, just a short drive from Divi Southwinds. Flying fish is a Bajan tradition, and you’ll find plenty of it here, as well as a huge range of other local fish. All of the fish platters have generous portions and come highly recommended, although you’ll want to arrive early—the lines for food can get long! You’ll be able to shop for local handicrafts in nearby stalls, however, and maybe even enjoy a breathtaking sunset from the pier.

#3 Farley Hill National Park

barbados-farley-hill-mahogany-trees

Photo credit Kara Phelps

Farley Hill is an out-of-the-way spot toward the northern tip of the island with an impressive view overlooking the inland forests all the way to the northeastern coastline. Mahogany trees, native to the Caribbean but overharvested on other islands, are a protected species on Barbados, and this park has an entire grove of them. Farley Hill is also home to the beautiful ruins of a mansion destroyed by fire in 1965—now a backdrop for evening concerts and other events.

#4 St. Nicholas Abbey

travel-junction-st-nicholas-abbey

Photo credit Travel Junction

St. Nicholas Abbey is a former sugar cane plantation that was recently renovated into an active rum distillery. Tour the house and the grounds for a fascinating glimpse into architectural history as well as many Barbadian artifacts from the 17th century onward. The rum production facility is also open to the public—St. Nicholas Abbey prides itself on using traditional small-batch “pot still” distillation methods. Visitors can also view the bourbon oak casks used in the aging process. Make sure to leave time for a rum tasting and a pleasant meal outdoors at the on-site café.

Barbados is full of hidden gems, and we’ve barely scratched the surface. Where are your favorite off-the-beaten-path spots on the island?