Category Archives: St. Maarten

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.”

Divi Resorts in Aruba Participate in Soup Drive to Assist with Hurricane Irma Relief

While cleanup continues on several Caribbean islands affected by Hurricane Irma, including St. Maarten, hotels in Aruba are banding together to raise money to assist the Red Cross Aruba in their efforts to help victims of the storm.

Divi Resorts purchased 100 soups for employees as part of Holiday Inn Resort Aruba’s Soup Drive, which took place Friday, September 15. All proceeds from the drive go directly to the Red Cross Aruba.

“We were more than happy to support this effort to help our fellow Divi family in St. Maarten and other hurricane victims,” said Gerrit Griffith, Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort General Manager. “Plus, the soup was delicious, and really brightened up our Friday lunch.”

The Best Souvenirs to Bring Home from Each Divi Island

best caribbean souvenirs from each divi island

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 Divi Resort—we hope you have an opportunity to check them all out!

aruba aloe

Courtesy of Aruba.com

Aruba: Aloe products

Aruba Aloe 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.

Barbados: Pottery

Earthworks Pottery 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.

bonaire cactus liqueur

Bonaire: Cactus liqueur

Cadushy Distillery, 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.

st. croix crucian love bracelets

Courtesy of GoToStCroix.com

St. Croix: Crucian bracelets

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 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.

St. Maarten: Guavaberry liqueur

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, a small shop just off Front Street in Philipsburg.

 

Savor the St. Maarten Beach Lunch

There’s nothing quite like eating lunch on the beaches of St. Maarten. Imagine a juicy, perfectly cooked hamburger and a cold beer or cocktail enjoyed while gazing across the turquoise waters of Little Bay, a fine dusting of sand like powdered sugar still between your toes.  The bright blue lounge chairs and beach umbrellas spread out in front of you as you feel a warm breeze begin to pick up. Gizmo’s Bar & Grill at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort on St. Maarten can give you the beach lunch of your dreams.