Category Archives: To Do

Eat. Play. Love.

The Taste of St. Croix, set for April 18th, turns thirteen this year!  What began as a modest one-night celebration of local restaurants now has grown into a week-long food festival, called the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience.  It is now the largest culinary event in the Caribbean.

And, that’s a fact that makes Katherine Pugliese mighty proud.  Pugliese, proprietor of eat@canebay restaurant, together with Kelly Odum staged the first Taste of St. Croix in 2001, at Divi Carina Bay Resort.  Now, the Thursday evening event – the highlight of the Food & Wine Experience and the social event of the island’s social calendar – draws over 1500 people and stretches nearly the length of the Divi beachfront.  Speaking about last year’s event, Pugliese said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen St. Croix look so beautiful and so happy…”

Eat.  Play.  Beach.  Music.  A little wine.  A little rum. What’s not to love?

What are you doing for Memorial Day?

Pack your bags and your groove and hip hop on down to Aruba for the 13th annual Soul Beach Music Festival.  It’s five days of beach parties, nightclub events, big name concerts – and laughs, too.  Comedians Sinbad and Damon Williams, well known to Comedy Central audiences and beyond, entertain on Friday night.  And, Divi Resorts has sumptuous suites waiting.  Is there a better way to kick off summer?

The musical line-up for this year’s Soul Beach Music Festival will either stir your soul or soothe it – or both.  Elle Varner, D’Angelo and Tamia are among the music makers for the weekend along with Ne-Yo, who’s the big closer of the festival on Sunday night. Motown  artist, crooner and songwriter for his own recordings and others soulful stars – among them Queen B, otherwise known as Beyoncé – Ne-Yo’s songs win Grammys (three) and are huge crowd pleasers. If his Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself), has a certain ring to it, that’s because it has had a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the last 28 weeks.

Of course, there is nothing like being there to really feel the beat. Enjoy amped up nightclub events, sizzling beach parties, warm temperatures, fun people and party after party after party.  And, travel deals, too.

Divi Resorts is a travel sponsor of the Soul Beach Music Festival, and is offering Soul Beach Music Festival special rates at Divi Dutch, Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort as well as Divi Phoenix Beach.  Studio suites start at $129; one-bedroom suites start at $149.

Whether or not Aruba is your Memorial Day weekend getaway, right now is the time to enter to win a seven-day stay at Divi Resorts in Aruba.  The prize is good for any time of year. Find out about the Divi Resorts specials and enter to win a seven-night stay!

Did He Pop the Question?

According to the latest edition of Advertising Age, six million people were expecting to make or receive a marriage proposal this past Valentine’s Day. That’s two million more than last year. Were you among them?

Ah, love is in the air. Soon, we will hear, “…in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer.”

Are those the vows or was someone referring to the wedding planning when they penned those words? Nothing says stress like the phrase, “planning a wedding.” Experts say satisfying everyone’s expectations — the bride’s, groom’s, their parents’ and guests’ – leads to significant stress, to say nothing of sorting through myriad details and countless decisions.

And, then there is the overall quest for the perfect wedding – with something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. That is actually a good description of a destination wedding in the Caribbean. A couple can have the old with the new, the tradition but with a twist – like a barefoot walk down an aisle in the sugary sand of a beautiful beach. You can borrow a local custom or too, like tossing a shell into the gorgeous blue Caribbean Sea.

A Caribbean destination wedding has perks for everyone: wedding and honeymoon for the happy couple, beach vacation for the happy guests.

Aruba is among the Top Ten places for a destination wedding for American couples. Warm but always kissed by a breeze, it beckons lovers all year round. And, doesn’t an on-site wedding planner sound really appealing, too? Leave the stress up north. Divi makes it really easy. Aruba Weddings For You is located on the premises of the Divi Tamarijn and produces weddings of every scope, size and style on the grounds of all five of the Divi resorts in Aruba. Want to get married on the 7th hole of the Links at Divi? Under a fresh floral canopy on Eagle Beach? Or maybe at the new Pure Ocean restaurant at Divi Aruba Phoenix on Palm Beach?

Here is a proposal: A wedding planner will make the planning go happily ever after. Do you want to contact the wedding planner now? I do.

St. Maarten’s New Top Dining Spot

St. Maarten, regarded as the dining capital of the Caribbean, just got a new “top” dining destination:  historic Fort Amsterdam.  The promontory, on the grounds of Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, is now the backdrop for a special dining experience under the stars, hosted by a pirate costumed waiter, serving up history and memorable cuisine at one of the Caribbean’s most enchanting and exclusive settings.

By day, a hike to the summit of Fort Amsterdam, which dates to the 1600s, provides a stunning vista across the Caribbean, all the way to St. Bart’s and Saba.  No wonder the peninsula served as the island’s lookout, protecting valuable salt ponds from advancing navies and marauders.  Now, by night, the fort at Divi Little Bay Resort hosts Dinner Atop the Fort, an epicurean event that combines history, pirate’s tales and Dutch cuisine amid the native flora and stone ruins of the fort.

A waiter, dressed in pirate garb and well-versed in local facts and yore, welcomes just a few couples nightly.   Diners are driven to the top of the fort by golf cart, tiki torches illuminating the ascent. The specially conceived menu takes inspiration from long ago and includes Dutch stew with beer and vegetables, a true Dutch apple pie and an old-fashioned Dutch dessert called Dutch poffertjes.   Diners will also be enthralled with the twinkle of lights in the capital city of Philipsburg far below and ships sailing in and out of Great Bay Harbor.

The cost of the dinner is $350 per couple, $185 per person; wine is included.   Reservations are required due to limited seating. To ensure availability during your stay at Divi Little Bay, reservations are suggested at the time of booking by calling Divi Resorts at 800.367.3484 or 919.419.3484.

Yum…Who’s In The Mood For Food?

The St. Croix Food & Wine Experience isn’t until April, but we just can’t wait to talk about food until then.  We found Tanisha Bailey-Roka, an attorney by day and a “countess” by night.  She’s the Crucian Contessa, a name given to her by her friends and homage to Tanisha’s favorite celebrity chef:  Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.  (Who sadly is not one of the celebrity chefs judging this year’s Taste of St. Croix at Divi Carina Bay, April 18th.)  Tanisha likes to cook food and, even better, she loves to share it.  So last year, she started The Crucian Contessa blog, full of recipes she cooks up for friends.

Well, count yourself among them.  Let’s try her Passion Fruit Mimosa.  Yum!  Easy, delicious, colorful — it’s a taste of the islands in a glass.  (I’m sure there are some vitamins in there, too.)

Tanisha says that St. Croix definitely influences what she creates, but she has such a curiosity about food that she doesn’t limit her culinary explorations to the island.  “Food is fascinating, whether it originates around the corner or around the world,” she says.

More recipes to come.  Soon Tanisha will share with us what she will be instructing budding chefs during the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience children’s cooking classes.

For a complete schedule of the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience and to purchase tickets for any of the events, including the Taste of St. Croix, held on the beachfront of the Divi Carina Bay Resort, go to http://www.stcroixfoodandwine.com/events

And, for another treat:  Divi has One Sweet Deal (a free night with a five night stay, plus Cruzan Rum Sampler & coupon book — all valued at $1000.)

Vacation Like ABC’s The Bachelor

Want to vacation like the bachelor on ABC’s hit show, The Bachelor? Head to St. Croix, America’s Caribbean. This week’s episode showed Sean Lowe and the six remaining bachelorettes enjoying the island’s many splendored things. St. Croix is a good catch for a quick vacation getaway – romance, culture, history, fine dining and great beaches await.

Do what the bachelor did and take in sunrise at Point Udall, the easternmost point of the United States. The most convenient way to enjoy dawn there is with a stay at nearby Divi Carina Bay Resort, only a five-minute and very scenic drive away.

Every Sunday morning at 9:30, those seeking exercise and adventure meet in the hotel lobby for a hike through the hills to Point Udall National Park. The excursion lasts about two hours, stopping along the way at the exclusive Jacks and Isaacs Bay beaches for an optional swim. Hikers finish at the point to take in a breathtaking view.

Those jumpin’ and jivin’ masked dancers on this week’s episode of The Bachelor are mocko jumbies, a cultural fixture of St Croix. No worries about scheduling a vacation to catch the dancers at one of the island’s many festivals or parades. Every Thursday there is a mocko jumbie performance at the Caribbean Beach BBQ at Divi Carina Bay All Inclusive Beach Resort & Casino. Dinner on the beachfront is at 6:00pm, entertainment at 7:30pm. Children are welcome. Reservations required.

And, who doesn’t love a guy with good financial smarts? Divi Carina Bay All Inclusive Resort offers a free night in their One Sweet Deal promotion. Book five nights, get one free until April 15. The package includes meals and drinks, matchplay at the casino, island activity book and a sampler of Cruzan Rum, distilled and bottled on St. Croix. No doubt the bachelor and his bachelorettes sipped a little Cruzan rum while on in the island. When in St. Croix, do as the bachelor does.

To book their One Sweet Deal or for more information about the hike to Point Udall and Caribbean Beach BBQ, call Carina Bay at 877.773.9700.