Category Archives: divi

One Year Later: Divi Little Bay Beach Resort & St. Maarten Thriving Once Again

Exactly one year after Hurricane Irma hit Divi Little Bay Beach Resort and St. Maarten, the island and its resilient people are well on their way to recovery and eager to welcome back travelers to enjoy the island’s stunning beaches, duty-free shopping, mouthwatering restaurants, exhilarating excursions and fabulous accommodations!

“The island and our beautiful resort have come a long way from where we were this time last year,” said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO. “Twelve months ago, Divi Resorts Management made a commitment to our owners, members, loyal guests and the people of St. Maarten, that we would come back, not just the same as prior to the storms, but even better. We’ve kept that promise, and our beautiful resort nestled on its own private peninsula, which reopened in May, has been completely renovated, refreshed and refurbished with many new and exciting amenities.”
The newly renovated Divi Little Bay features completely refreshed units, updated Seabreeze and Infinity Pools, Fort Amsterdam Cafe (formerly Bayview Café) with gourmet coffee and a new menu, new chairs and areas to relax at the pools and beach, new furniture for Gizmo’s Bar & Grill, a restored dock where boat trips have resumed, brand new restaurant menus and upgraded landscaping and lighting throughout the resort.

Updates still to come in 2018 include a stunning new main pool called the pureocean pool (formerly the Casitas pool), which will be enlarged with waterfalls, a new pureocean pool bar and an expansive seating area, a new eatery, The Shack, serving Caribbean BBQ, Jerk Chicken, Roti and more, expanding pureocean Restaurant and adding new terrace furniture and lighting and creating a new kid’s space and game room.

“We were thrilled to show off our new digs not long after reopening when the famed Patriots Cheerleaders visited to shoot their annual swimsuit calendar and Sideline to Shoreline promotional video,” said Divi Little Bay’s General Manager Anne-Marie Brooks. “The ladies had an amazing time exploring both the French and Dutch sides of the island, meeting locals, dignitaries and media, and learning more about St. Maarten’s culture and history through a variety of planned activities.”

Highlights from the Patriots Cheerleaders’ visit include:
• Perfume Experience at Tijon Parfumerie
Loterie Farm
• Guided Tour of Front Street in Philipsburg
• Philipsburg Courthouse
Guavaberry Emporium
Gelateria Milano
Majesty Jewelers
Topper’s Rhum Distillery
• Karaoke Night at Divi Little Bay
• New Start for Children Foundation
Aqua Mania Adventures Sunset Cruise
Blue Flag Environmental Project
• Interactive Cooking Experience with Divi Little Bay’s Executive Chef Octavio Verheist
• World’s Steepest Zip Line “The Flying Dutchman” at Rainforest Adventures
• Beach BBQ Party at Divi Little Bay

“The Patriots Cheerleaders truly enjoyed their stay at the Divi Little Bay, with the island of St. Maarten being one of the most beautiful destinations they’ve ever visited. The hospitality at the resort was second to none and we were provided so many unique opportunities, giving the squad a great feel for the island’s culture and all it has to offer,” said the Patriots Cheerleaders’ Director Tracy Sormanti. “The kindness of the locals coupled with the beauty of the ocean and scenery made this a picture-perfect trip.”

The Official 2019 Patriots Cheerleaders Calendar goes on sale in the third week in September. For more information or to see more photos from the trip, visit www.patriots.com/cheerleaders. To view the Sideline to Shoreline promotional video, visit www.patriots.com/video/patriots-cheerleaders-from-sideline-to-shoreline.

Travelers seeking a similar island experience to the Patriots Cheerleaders are in luck! Divi Little Bay’s Concierge Desk offers special discounts on many of these experiences are more than happy to help you book excursions and plan the trip of a lifetime. Plus, from now until September 30, 2018, travelers can score 30% off room only and all-inclusive stays at Divi Little Bay for travel through December 20, 2019. With rates as low as $169 per night (room only) and $195 per person, per night (all-inclusive), and roundtrip flight deals starting at just $231 from FLL (Fort Lauderdale), now is the perfect time to book fall and winter travel.

Flight deals (starting rates per person for roundtrip flights to SXM) are as follows:

Spirit Airlines
• $231 from FLL – September 15-22
• $428 from ORD – September
• $333 from BOS – September
• $385 from DFW – November, January & February

Delta
• $335 from BOS – February
• $406 from MIA – October
• $370 from JFK – December-April

Air France
• $464 from CDG – November-June

COPA Airlines
• $327 from BOS – December

American Airlines
• $330 from BOS – January

JetBlue
• $356 from JFK – September-October

Divi’s 30% off deal runs through September 30th, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET, for travel through December 20, 2019. For reservations, book online at www.diviresorts.com/caribbean-promotion.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.

Sale Terms & Conditions
This offer applies to reservations made through September 30, 2018 for travel through December 20, 2019. Discount based on rack pricing. All-inclusive rates based on double occupancy. Taxes & services charges NOT included, except for All-Inclusive packages. 3-night minimum stay required for All-Inclusive packages. No maximum night stay is required. Restrictions & blackout dates apply. Full payment is required at time of reservation. Cancellations must be received at least 7 days prior to arrival for refund. Flight cancellations are subject to airline cancellation policies. Divi Resorts is not responsible for changes in airfare pricing. Offer is subject to availability and may be discontinued at any time. Offer valid on new reservations booked at a nightly rate only. Offer not valid on timeshare reservations. Cannot be combined with any other Divi special offer or discounted rate.

Team Member Spotlight: Aruba Pool Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve ever visited Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort or Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort, you’ve seen the work of our incredible
pool team. They handle seven major pools across the two resorts, as well as two large 25-person Jacuzzis and 55 smaller six- person Jacuzzis. They make sure that the decks and the water are kept fresh and that everything meets Divi’s high standards. They also look after the water feature at the Divi Village Clubhouse and the beach area in front of Divi Village.

“We’d be absolutely lost without the hard work of our great pool team,” says Rene Genser, chief engineer at Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort. “When you go on vacation, more often than not, the first thing you do is head to the pool. Our pools are one of the most important features of our resorts, andour team always keeps them sparkling while staying friendly and upbeat.”

Thanks to the Divi Dutch Village/Divi Village Golf pool team for all they do! Each supports the team in their own way, although Rene mentioned two of them by name. “I’d like to recognize Heberto Romero, the pool supervisor, who won Divi Supervisor of the Year in 2016,” Rene says. “His excellent management skills keep everyone working together as a team. I’dalso like to thank Jesus Lobo for his fantastic customer service. He always gets great reviews on TripAdvisor, and guests praise him to management all the time.”

Next time you see one of our friendly pool team members on Aruba, be sure to stop and say hello!

Aruba Pool Team Rockstars: Heberto Romero, pool supervisor and 2016 Divi Supervisor of the Year; Markendy Piere Luis, pool attendant; Jorden Rico, pool attendant; Jesus Lobo, beach attendant; Jonathan Lobo, pool attendant; Rene Dominique, pool attendant; Juan Carlos Ramirez, pool attendant; Nerky Vallejo, pool attendant; Richard Negretti, pool attendant; Rocio Velez, towel hut attendant; Seneck Elionard, pool attendant (not pictured)

Team Member Spotlight: RoseAnne Cengiz-Jenghis

If you’ve ever traveled to a Divi Resort as part of a large group, or for a wedding, you can thank RoseAnne Cengiz-Jenghis, In-House Sales Manager for Divi Resorts in our North Carolina office. She’s responsible for booking group travel and weddings, and doing everything she can from North Carolina to make sure these trips go smoothly. A round of applause for RoseAnne! We sat down with her to learn more about her background, and what makes her job so rewarding.

How long have you been working for Divi?

My desire to travel brought me to Divi Resorts 15 years ago. I began my career with Divi as a reservations agent, where I found my passion for the Caribbean through many wonderful conversations with Divi owners and guests. After discovering my love for scuba diving on a personal family vacation to Divi Flamingo Beach Resort in Bonaire, I sought out a position as the group coordinator. That gave me an opportunity to focus on helping large groups create and enjoy their own incredible diving vacations with Divi Resorts.  In 2010, I broadened my scope of business when I accepted my current position as an In-House Sales Manager. I’ve been to all of the Divi Resorts, except for Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Beach Resort on St. Croix. Divi Flamingo on Bonaire is my favorite. I really just fell in love with the coziness of the resort and the friendly locals. And you can’t forget the amazing diving.

What is a typical day like for you on the job?

A large part of my day is dedicated to overseeing the travel details for groups I have confirmed. I am passionate about making sure every group has everything they need to have a great time—plus a little extra! I love working with people and making personal connections with groups. I’m also busy all day answering phone calls and emails from new groups interested in confirming travel with Divi. If you’re thinking about booking group travel with Divi, you and I will most likely have a chat—or two or three!

What do you enjoy most about your work?

It’s hard to say! I really enjoy helping scuba diving groups plan their next adventure-seeking vacation. I also love the opportunity to assist excited couples with planning their dream wedding group vacation experience—for example, I was fortunate enough to work with the same friendly family on two wedding groups to Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort. This family fell in love with the island and often plans smaller groups. Another repeat group to Divi Aruba Phoenix also stands out—the Delaney Group, who are mainly a group of retired police officers. I’ve enjoyed working with them ever since they first started coming to the resort in 2011. They return every year, and plan to attend the 2018 Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival.

Hearing our guests’ delight as they talk about their completed group travel vacation experiences with Divi Resorts is very rewarding. I truly enjoy making sure all goes well, and that all guests are completely satisfied and looking forward to their next visit to Divi.

If you’re interested in talking to RoseAnne about planning group travel for weddings, “buddymoons” (honeymoons where friends travel with newlyweds), business conferences, meetings and more, just call 1-800-801-5550 or email groupsales@diviresorts.com. You can also learn more information about group travel at www.diviresorts.com/groups-and-meetings.htm, and find details about our wedding planning services at www.diviresorts.com/weddings.htm.

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, James & Brenda Dubilzig

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.”

 

Employee Spotlight: Changtai Puguero Corporan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s the queen behind the scenes, making your special occasions that much more extraordinary! Changtai Puguero Corporan, Assistant Housekeeping Manager for Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino in Bonaire, is in charge of managing and coordinating the logistics of daily work, and ensuring that rooms are perfect for the arrival of our guests. But her true talent lies in the enchanting towel animals she creates for guests as an added treat.

We recently chatted with Changtai to get a sneak peek into the inner-workings of a tropical, Caribbean resort.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED FOR DIVI FLAMINGO BEACH RESORT?

I have been with Divi Resorts for a year and a half, organizing daily housecleaning activities and prepping rooms for our guests’ arrivals. I also decorate rooms for special occasions like honeymoons, birthdays and special receptions.

WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF WORKING FOR DIVI RESORTS?

The best part of working for Divi Resorts is that we are a great big family, all working together as a team for a common goalmaking guests happy. When a guest approaches me or one of our staff members to thank us for our service and special décor, that is the greatest satisfaction!

TELL US ABOUT THE LASTING FRIENDSHIPS YOU’VE MADE AT DIVI FLAMINGO BEACH RESORT.

I get along very well with everyone, but with the guests, it’s something special. We have many return guests, and I’ve had the opportunity to socialize and get to know them better thanks to the manager rum punch party we host once a week. It’s wonderful to hear about their families, and most importantly, their experiences on the island. Just knowing that I play a part in making their tropical getaway a dream come true is an absolute honor.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TOWEL ANIMAL TO CREATE FOR GUESTS?

I love all of my towel animals, so it’s hard to choose just one! I just let my creativity flow, and my design is usually customized for the occasion. For honeymooners, I like to decorate the room with hearts, candles, and flowers. For other occasions, I tend to create whales, flamingos, turtles, monkeys, or puppies.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING ON YOUR DAYS OFF?

My favorite activities when I am not working are swimming and snorkeling. Bonaire has some of the most amazing beaches, and beneath the water is a magical, mysterious paradise like no other.

DO YOU HAVE ANY INSIDER TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME GUESTS?

The advice I have for guests is to fully enjoy the island of Bonaire, Divi Dive Bonaire, and our many Resort amenities, like our restaurants, pools and beach. You’ll find everything we do here is done with much love and dedication.