Category Archives: divi

Travel Resolutions for 2016

Destressing in Caribbean

Happy New Year! We hope that 2016 is your best year yet. This year,  be sure your travel resolutions are to have more fun and make lifelong memories; maybe even in the Caribbean!

1.) Experience Something New

In 2016, resolve to expand your horizons! Visit new places, try new foods, and experience something new. How about learning a new sport? Learning a new sport can open a new world for you filed with new experiences, new people, new lingo (bet you don’t know what a tank banger is), and new things to look forward to.

At all of our Divi Resort destinations, we have water sports centers and recommended tour guides who make learning a new sport on the island a breeze. Here are a few highlights:

  • Learn to Snorkel or Scuba at the award winning island of Bonaire.
    • According to the 2016 Virtuoso Luxe Report, the top motivator for travel in 2016 is to “discover untouched, unique places”. As a hidden gem that has been voted “Best Shore Diving” 22 years running, Bonaire is a great fit for the traveller looking for an adventurous vacation to an untouched island. The newly renovated Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino is a SSI and PADI 5-Star Dive Resort and the only location on Bonaire with:
    • Hassle-free 2-tank boat dive packages
    • Five custom dive boats
    • Technical diving & all levels of dive instruction
    • Unlimited tanks for shore diving
    • Day and Nighttime diving
    • Easy access for diving & snorkeling from the resort’s beach and dive pier
    • House reef drops to 134 feet off the resort shore

If learning to dive or snorkel is on your bucket list – what are you waiting for? The Divi Dive team of certified instructors and the pristine waters are waiting for you in Bonaire.

  • Harness the power of the wind! Windsurfing and kite surfing are extremely popular on Aruba, Bonaire, and St. Maarten. These islands are legendary among wind sport aficionados and feature ample conditions for beginners with flat, calm waters and steady winds.
  • Catch a wave on Barbados! The island of Barbados is rarely touched by inclement weather and the island’s unique geography and landscape provide for year round crystal clear waves that surfers from around the world flock to. Beaches like Freight’s Bay, Surfers Point, and Pebbles are great spots to find beginner waves. Our island experts will get you paired up with a local surf instructor who will have you hanging 10 in no time.
  • Go Deep Sea Fishing! Charter a boat and head out on an angling adventure. Follow your captain’s lead as he guides you in your hunt for big game fish like barracuda, tuna, wahoo, marlin, mahi mahi, and shark. Each of our resorts has great relationships with local charter companies, just let us know what kind of fishing experience you are looking for and we will start planning your ideal fishing experience.

2.) Fall in Love

While some say love hurts, some also say that love is the only thing in this world that doesn’t hurt. If you are looking for love in 2016, look no further than Divi Resorts:

  • Reconnect with your loved one and indulge in a romance package. Romance packages at Divi Resorts include candlelit dinners, flickering bedside candles, petal-strewn beds, chilled bottles of champagne, and lavish couples massages. Relax, unwind and spend some quality time with the one you love, complete with plenty of pampering so that you can fall in love all over again. For more information about the different romance packages at Divi Resorts, click here.
  • Love yourself! We have all heard the saying that we cannot love others if we cannot love ourselves – so treat yourself! On your upcoming trip to Divi Resorts, book that extravagant spa treatment, reserve that exuberant dining experience, and make that swanky room upgrade. You deserve it!
  • Rekindle your love of nature. Soak in the Caribbean sun, burry your toes in the sand, and rejuvenate in the crystal clear waters with the lapping waves as your soundtrack. This trip, really take it all in and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Caribbean. Even more, explore the countless hiking opportunities and see the beauty of the island from a new vantage point.

3.) Spend More Time with Family

Everyone is busy these days, and oftentimes family time means driving from one sporting event to the other or back and forth from school to after-school activities. This year, resolve to take a family vacation to really connect and make lifelong memories. At Divi Resorts, our teen travelers love our freshwater pools, lighted tennis courts, video game rooms and bicycle rentals, while our younger island explorers enjoy hours of fun at the Treasures of the Caribbean Kids Club with daily activities like treasure hunts, sandcastle contests, and movie nights. Each resort also has a water sports center with snorkeling gear, rafts, kayaks and more to keep you having fun in the crystal clear waters.

Learn more information about the Treasures of the Caribbean Kids Club.

4.) Be More Prepared for Life’s Adventures

We all know the feeling of arriving at our destination only to discover you forgot something that could have made your day more enjoyable (i.e. a plastic bag for your phone for a day near the water). This year, resolve to always be prepared. In the age of (over) information sharing and a surplus of advice columns, do a quick Google search before you embark on your adventure to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything crucial.

For your upcoming Caribbean beach adventure to Divi Resorts, here are some helpful tips on how to prepare for the beach:

  • Pack the perfect beach bag for relaxation! For a list of everything from sunscreen to hair accessories, click here to make sure you are prepared to relax.
  • Love the beach but don’t love being a sandy mess? Pack a bottle of baby powder! When you are ready to brush the sand off, shake a handful of baby powder into your hands and rub it where you need to clean off. The baby powder absorbs any moisture that is on your skin and allows the sand to brush right off. This goes for your hair as well!
  • Keep the kids entertained and your bag light. Now that you have everything packed for yourself, don’t overstuff it when you add a frisbee, sandcastle mold, and shovel to keep your kids entertained. Instead, pack a smaller bag full of lightweight toys for your kids to carry and be responsible for. They will love dumping it out and getting started before you can even say, “Wait, we have to put on sunscreen!”

Pro Tip – Find a mesh bag for your kid’s beach toys so that you can easily shake the sand off!

  • Pack an efficient cooler and stay hydrated. While at the resort, put half of your water bottles in the freezer and half in the fridge. Take a frozen water bottle with you to the beach or by the pool so you can stay hydrated with cold water all day.

We can’t wait to see you in the Caribbean!

Divi Cares! Divi Resorts Has Teamed Up with OneWorld Sustainable to Benefit a School in Need

Solar Donated to School

Divi Resorts has recently made a philanthropic donation that combines our commitment to protecting the environment with our passion for community service. Together with OneWorld Sustainable, a renewable energy company, we have donated solar panels and equipment to I Too Can Learn, a school for children with learning disabilities on the island of St. Maarten. This donation was given as part of our company-wide Divi Cares program and will help the school substantially reduce its operational expenses.

Marco Galaverna, Divi’s President and COO, was introduced to this opportunity by Tim Blackwell, President and CEO of OneWorld Sustainable. Marco and Tim worked together in the summer of 2015, when Divi Resorts purchased a solar electricity system from OneWorld Sustainable for Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. Read more about Little Bay’s new system.

After the installation was completed at the resort, Tim approached Marco with the suggestion that Divi Resorts consider donating solar panels and other equipment to a local St. Maarten school in need, to which Marco whole-heartedly agreed. I Too Can Learn was selected as the recipient because of its inspiring mission and because of the ongoing financial challenges it faces.

Since 2013, I Too Can Learn has been catering to the learning needs of children with autism, Down syndrome and other learning disabilities, aiming to break the barriers these students face. The school’s director, Beverley Gibbs, is dedicated to serving her students, but she is open about the difficulties she faces in keeping the school operational due to its very limited funding. For this reason, Beverley was thrilled to accept Divi Resorts’ solar panel donation, which will help reduce the school’s electricity bill each month.

Divi Resorts donated the solar panels as part of our company-wide Divi Cares program, which encompasses community outreach as part of our Divi Impact initiative and environmental protection and preservation as part of our Divi Green initiative. “We were very happy to be able to help I Too Can Learn through the donation of these solar panels,” explains Marco. “This school is a great asset to the community on St. Maarten, and our company is proud to support their cause. We are always looking for new ways to give back through our Divi Cares program, and we’re very grateful to the team at OneWorld Sustainable for introducing us to this exciting opportunity. We wish I Too Can Learn much success for years to come.”

Look, Divi Little Bay Beach Resort Went Solar!

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort has found another benefit to the sunny weather in the Caribbean islands; the resort now utilizes the power of the sun to provide energy for its property! The installation of a 157kW solar electricity system was recently completed on the roof of the resort’s main building, and this system produces 15,000 to 24,000 kWh of electricity each month. This project will play a major role in reducing the resort’s carbon footprint and is the most recent development in our company-wide Divi Green initiative.

“We’re very excited to be able to implement a photovoltaic system at our St. Maarten property,” says Marco Galaverna, President and COO. “This is a big step forward for Divi Little Bay Beach Resort and for our company as a whole, as it will help conserve energy at one of Divi Resorts’ largest properties.”

The solar electricity system was installed by OneWorld Sustainable, a company with experience in providing and maintaining photovoltaic systems for Caribbean properties. The company placed solar panels along the roof of Divi Little Bay’s main building, which contains pureocean restaurant, the lobby, the timeshare sales office, staff offices and several meeting and event spaces. This main building will be powered by the photovoltaic system, as will the various stores in the resort’s shopping promenade. The solar electricity system was introduced as part of our Divi Green initiatives, which display our company’s commitment to providing quality vacation experiences for guests while also working to minimize the environmental impacts associated with our operations.

The installation of the solar electricity system at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort is just the beginning of our company’s solar electricity plans; we are currently looking into using solar electricity at all of our Divi Resorts destinations! “There is a growing need within the hospitality industry to seek new ways to reduce our hotels’ impact the environment, and Divi Resorts will continually strive to meet this need in any way we can,” says Marco.

Want to learn more about our Divi Green initiatives? Read all about it!

Exploring St. Maarten

Is your next getaway taking you to the lovely island paradise of St. Maarten? If so, check out our suggestions of what to see, do, eat and drink while you’re there. Bon voyage!

St. Maarten Sky View

What to see and do:

The half French, half Dutch island of St. Maarten gives you the experience of vacationing in two countries at once, offering a unique cultural fusion that can’t be found anywhere else. Divi Little Bay Beach Resort is located on the Dutch side of the island, known for its high-end shopping and beautiful beaches, but it is only a short distance from the French side, known for its world-renowned culinary establishments (see “what to eat”). Cross the border to the French side (no passport needed!) to visit the capital city of Marigot, a must-see area for vacationers. As you stroll through this charming city, you may even forget that you’re in the Caribbean and feel as if you’re exploring Paris’ sidewalk cafes and the Riviera’s beaches.

This island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with crystal blue waters, vast stretches of coastline and breathtaking vistas.  Each beach has its own unique characteristics and attractions, so visitors can enjoy a new and exciting experience every day.  For relaxation, head to a serene beach like Simpson Bay or Mullet Bay. Other beaches, like Maho Beach and Little Bay Beach, are known for their attractions and activities. Maho Beach is popular among thrill-seeking beachgoers, as it is located at the end of an airport runway where planes fly directly overhead. Our resort’s beach, Little Bay Beach, offers a variety of watersports and activities, including jet ski rentals and snorkeling, and the calm waters are great for kids and leisurely swims. If you want to catch a beautiful sunset, visit the Cupecoy Beach area. This beach is lined with rock formations and caves and offers the perfect location for an evening walk along the shoreline.  No matter which beach you choose to visit, you are sure to find your own piece of paradise in St. Maarten!

If you want to hit the high seas for a day, join one of the many sailing excursions offered by Aqua Mania Adventures. Soak up the sun while you sail to one of many nearby island destinations, including St. Barts, Saba, Anguilla, Prickly Pear and Pinel, or book a sunset dinner cruise for a romantic and entertaining evening. Aqua Mania Adventures has an on-site location at Divi Little Bay, so you can stop by their booth to see what excursions are being offered during your stay. You can also rent jet skis, paddleboards, banana boats, kayaks, snorkel equipment and more from their booth to enjoy a day of fun water sports. Visit www.stmaarten-activities.com for more information.

Many St. Maarten vacationers leave their trip with some very impressive souvenirs after a day of shopping on the famous Frontstreet, located on the Dutch side of the island.  The duty-free shopping in this area offers fantastic deals on luxury items like jewelry, timepieces, designer clothing and more.  Negotiating prices is a common practice in the island markets and stores, so don’t be afraid to bargain a little to get the best deal!  This area is frequented by many vacationers, especially when a cruise ship is docked at the port, so try visiting Frontstreet in the early morning or in the evening to avoid the heavy crowds. Happy shopping!

History buffs will appreciate visiting St. Maarten’s forts because of their historical importance, but these forts also attract tourists because they offer some of the best views of the island. The oldest fort, Fort Amsterdam, is located right on Divi Little Bay’s property. It was built in 1631 as the first Dutch military outpost in the Caribbean and remains a popular tourist destination. There is also Fort Louis, which overlooks the beautiful Marigot Bay. Fort Louis was built in 1789 but has been very well preserved, and like Fort Amsterdam, the views from this fort are not to be missed. Even if history is not your favorite subject, you can admire the vistas.

What to eat:

While vacationing on St. Maarten, a delicious meal is never far away. The island has earned a worldwide reputation for its gourmet cuisine, its wide variety of dining experiences and the fusion of flavors in its fare. In fact, it is known as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean,” offering over 350 restaurants to satisfy any appetite. No single style of cuisine makes the island famous among foodies, so you can enjoy a vast assortment of foods and flavors. We recommend venturing over to the French side of the island for a meal or two, where restaurant styles range from fine dining establishments to hole-in-the-wall cafés, each with their own culinary specialties. Back at Divi Little Bay, a gourmet meal is never far away! Chef Iwan is always busy crafting up delicious dishes with an Italian flair at our NEW pureocean restaurant, and as a St. Maarten native who has traveled all over Europe, he certainly knows good food! Check out the menus at all of Divi Little Bay’s restaurants by visiting www.diviresorts.com/divi-little-bay-dining.htm.

What to drink:

St. Maarten has its own national liqueur called Guavaberry, a bittersweet island folk liqueur that is made from rum, sugar and of course, local guavaberries. Guavaberry is not only delicious to drink; it’s also an important part of the island’s history and culture. This liqueur can be enjoyed over ice or blended into a delicious cocktail, and you can even learn how to make a Guavaberry cocktail at Divi Little Bay when Linette, our activities coordinator, gives her mixology lesson by the SeaBreeze pool! Try out Linette’s recipe at home to live the St. Maarten lifestyle all year round:

Guavaberry Colada

  • 2 oz Guavaberry liqueur
  • 1 oz coconut cream
  • 3 oz pineapple juice or pieces
  • Ice

Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with pineapple, toasted coconut and fresh nutmeg. Enjoy!

For more delicious drink recipes, visit http://www.guavaberry.com.

Go to http://www.diviresorts.com/st-maarten.htm to learn even more about this amazing island!

The Dos and Don’ts of Exploring the Islands

Dos and Don’ts of Exploring the Islands

Our Caribbean islands have so many beautiful and interesting locations to explore; you may want to spend a day or two of your Divi vacation on an island excursion! We want your day of exploration to be fun and safe, so we came up with some “dos and don’ts” of venturing out on an adventure!

Don’t…

… rely on your cell phone or GPS to navigate you.

Technology is great, but when you’re exploring an unfamiliar place, the last thing you want is to get lost because of tech issues. There are many areas on the islands that get poor or no cell reception, and even if you are able to pick up a signal, your battery could die! As a backup, always bring a map along on your excursion to ensure that you don’t get lost.

… forget the essentials.

For a full day of island exploration, you’ll want to remember to bring money (preferably the local currency), sunscreen, a map (see above) and a bottle of water along. Don’t forget to pack your camera as well; you’ll want to take a lot of pictures to document your adventure!

… be bogged down by heavy luggage.

Nothing ruins a day of exploring like an achy back or shoulders from lugging around heavy equipment. Pack what you need for the day, but try to leave unnecessary things behind so that your bag is light enough to carry all day. If one of the stops on your excursion involves shopping, save that part for the end of the day so that you don’t have to carry extra bags around for long.

Do…

… your research.

Before you leave for your vacation, do some research on the island you’re visiting to find some attractions to see and areas to explore while you’re there. There are endless options of websites with ideas and tips for travelers, so check out a few and make some notes of places you want to visit during your trip. Each island’s tourism authority has its own website, and these sites offer great suggestions for top attractions and landmarks. Trip Advisor also has a lot of great tips and reviews on popular sites and activities, so you can get ideas from travelers like you!

… ask the locals.

Once you’re on the island, ask around for suggestions of “must-sees” during your vacation. Our Divi Resorts staff members are always happy to provide info about the island they call home, so ask them for some ideas about what to see and do. As locals who are immersed in the island and it’s culture, they may have some insight that you can’t find anywhere else.

… try something new.

Whether the island you’re visiting is like your second home or it’s your first time there, you can always find something new to see and do! Don’t limit your vacation time to doing the same old thing; venture out and explore while you’re there. From checking out a new vista to sampling the fare at a restaurant you haven’t tried yet, experiencing something new and exciting on your vacation will ensure that it’s memorable for years to come.

Packing the Perfect Beach Bag

Laying out on the Beach

Is a day at the beach part of your summer plans? Whether you’re visiting us in the Caribbean or spending a weekend at a beach resort nearby, you’ll want to remember to bring all of the essentials for a great day of fun in the sun. Here are some of our favorite items to fill up your beach bag:

Sunscreen – Undoubtedly, the most important thing you can pack in your beach bag is sunscreen! It will protect you from the sun’s harmful rays and ensure that you leave your beach day with a healthy glow instead of a burn! Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and don’t forget to reapply throughout the day to keep your skin protected.

Tip: Try a spray-on sunscreen that lets you apply even coverage easily without missing a spot.

Read more about sun protection!

Accessories – When packing for your beach day, you definitely don’t want to leave your sunglasses, hat, flip flops and cover-up behind at the resort. These summer accessories will make you look stylish while also keeping you comfortable during your day in the sun. You also won’t want to forget a plush, comfy towel to lie on.

Tip: Polarized sunglasses are great for people with sensitive eyes. They’ll give you crisp, clear views of the beautiful scenery while keeping you squint-free!

Hair products – If you’ve got long locks, you’ll want to bring along some beauty accessories to keep your hair out of your face and untangled for the day. Pack some hair ties, bobby pins or clips, in addition to a headband or scarf to keep shorter hair pulled back. You can also bring a small bottle of detangling hair spray and a wide-tooth comb to brush out any knots from the wind or water to keep your hair looking great.

Tip: Want to keep the beachy waves after you’ve left the shore? Try spritzing a saltwater spray into your hair and scrunching it to imitate the look your hair gets from the ocean air.

Entertainment – While your main reason for a beach day might be to get some much needed R&R, you may also want to pack some things to keep you entertained throughout the day. Pack some portable speakers to play music from your phone or MP3 player, a book or magazine to read, or even a game like bocce ball or horseshoe. If you have little ones, don’t forget the necessary tools for sandcastle building!

Tip: If you’re planning to bring electronics to the beach, like your phone, MP3 player or eReader, make sure to put them into a protective case first to keep sand & water from ruining them!

What are your must-have items for a beach day? Share them in the comments below!