Last year’s 50th Anniversary was very special to us and to commemorate the day, we asked bartenders at each of our resorts to create the perfect Caribbean cocktail for the celebration. Want to make the winning drinks at home? Visit bit.ly/38fR2Hw to view the recipes.
Here’s a look down memory lane from last year’s celebration!
Not only did we celebrate this milestone occasion, but we also said farewell to Mr. Gerrit Griffith, the beloved General Manager of Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort, who worked with the company for 43 remarkable years and retired on August 31, 2019.
Even now, we receive questions about how Gerrit’s doing, and we are very happy to report that he’s doing great! Since retiring, Gerrit has kept himself busy doing charity work and spending time with his beloved granddaughter as well as his lovely wife, two sons and daughter.
Foodies often call St. Maarten “the culinary capital of the Caribbean,” with French and Dutch influences merging to create a Caribbean cuisine like no other. Chefs and food-lovers alike flock to this small island to taste the unique food fusion.
When visiting the island, if you only have just a few hours to burn, or if you’re looking to add a bit of excitement to your leisurely vacation, we recommend taking a Culinary Road Tour with Flavors of St. Maarten Food Tours. You’ll experience a full range of foods St. Maarten has to offer as the signature 4-hour tour takes you to the French and Dutch sides of the island.
Bring your appetite and prepare to chow down at four different restaurants where you’ll enjoy appetizers, entrées, cocktails and desserts. The tour begins at Carousel Gelateria in Simpson Bay, and from there, you board an air-conditioned coach to head to four locations for local specialties served up by the best cooks, bakers and bartenders on both sides of the island. You’ll gain insight into the island’s fascinating history while you travel through cities, countryside, and beaches, finishing your tour on a sweet note.
While the tour does not cater to vegans, or anyone with allergies to onions, bell pepper or cilantro, they can accommodate vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten-free and dairy-free diets and nut allergies. However, they cannot not guarantee 100% free cross-contamination.
The tours consist of only small groups, and everyone is asked to wear a mask, wash hands frequently before and after stops, and maintain physical distancing at all times. Right now, you can book your tour for only $129.99 for adults and $99 for children. Private tours and a 2-hour walking tour are also offered. For more information or to book a tour, visit stmartinfoodtours.com.
Set sail for a small, uninhabited patch of land just off the coast of St. Croix. Beautiful Buck Island is a pristine national monument protected by the National Park Service, which sees nearly 50,000 visitors per year.
It’s no surprise why this tiny island is so popular. Sandy shores combined with colorful coral reefs and a lush landscape make this the perfect island for exploring, hiking, snorkeling, and relaxing.
There’s truly something for everyone on Buck Island. Turtle Beach, located on the west end of the island, was voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by National Geographic readers for its picture-perfect white sands and turquoise waters. Plus, there’s hiking right on the island, and the shores surrounding Buck Island are ideal for swimming. Snorkelers will love exploring the underwater trail, which is one of only three in the United States, where they’ll find coral reefs teeming with marine life.
If you want to discover everything Buck Island has to offer, you’ll have to book a tour as the island is only accessible by boat to preserve its vibrant marine life. If you’re staying at Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Beach Resort on St. Croix, this natural wonderland is just a short boat ride away, and family-owned and operated Buck Island Charters is your go-to for the best experience. They are the only chartered tour company on St. Croix that uses sail power alone, and they’ve been doing so since 1968!
It’ll be smooth sailing aboard the Teroro II or Dragonfly with Captain Carl or Captain Heinz at the helm. They’ll treat you to a personalized tour of Buck Island that includes sailing, snorkeling and hiking. The charter provides snorkel gear and excellent instruction with a guided tour through the underwater trail and time to do your own exploring.
Weather permitting, you’ll visit the underwater trail first where you’ll spend an hour or so snorkeling. You’ll then sail over to Turtle Beach where you’ll spend around an hour and a half enjoying a self-guided hike to the top of the island to a wooden overlook with spectacular views, laying on the beach, or snorkeling the blue waters surrounding the island.
All you need to bring is your bathing suit, beach towel, reef-safe sunscreen, hat or cover-up, water shoes and sneakers or hiking shoes, a camera, a water bottle and snacks or lunch.
Captain Heinz and Captain Carl are a father and son team that have been sailing St. Croix’s waters for more than 30 years, so you know you’re in good hands. They’re happy to share their local knowledge with visitors and would love to have you aboard on their next trip.
If you’re visiting Aruba in the next few months, you’ll want to check out Donald Ross ‘FeelGolf’ School’s new summer program. The school is conveniently located at Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort, right next to the driving range, so you’re never too far away.
When you meet Donald Ross for the first time, you’ll quickly find out why he’s never met a stranger! Donald, who hails from Scotland, is quite the character (just take a gander at those snazzy golf pants), and he possesses an enormous amount of knowledge and love for the sport. As he famously says, “I am still as passionate about golf today as I was when I turned professional in the 1960s. I can’t help it, it’s in my blood.”
Don, as he likes to be called, has taught more than 100,000 players of all abilities from around the world. Kids as young as four can take a lesson and beginners will love the “Learn to Play in Just Three Days” package. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn while having the time of your life playing this beloved sport.
SUMMER PRICING Kid’s Lessons Ages 7-18 – Only $10 per hour Saturday 10 a.m. & Monday 5 p.m. Ages 4-6 – Only $5 per hour Saturday 10:30 a.m. & Monday 4:30 p.m.
We hope you’re missing us as much as we’re missing you! We can’t wait to welcome you back to our beautiful islands soon but in the meantime, we’ve gathered up quotes from some of our favorite blogs and articles about our islands and resorts to get you in the spirit and inspire you for future vacations in 2020. Don’t forget to tell us why you #wishyouwerehere on Instagram!
ST. MAARTEN “If you’re looking for a slice of heaven on earth, look no further than Divi Little Bay Beach Resort in St. Maarten. Divi Resort is located on a small, private peninsula on the Dutch side of the island, on St. Maarten’s Little Bay. Here, you will find beautiful 360 views, where the turquoise sea blends into lush green hills.” – Jill Deconti, The Luxe Travelers
ARUBA – Windows on Aruba“We had a very memorable and beautiful dining experience both at dinner and at brunch. The staff is welcoming, warm and kind. They, in fact, go all out to make this the best dining experience you will have on the island and its heavenly. Scenery, coupled with a brilliant menu truly creates the quintessential brunch visit on the island.” – Dana Vento
ST. MAARTEN “If you need a little adventure in your life, the world’s steepest zip line is here on St Maarten just for a thrill! It is pure adrenaline at 56 miles per hour in a drop! It is located at an eco-adventure park called Rockland Estate and the park is known as Rainforest Adventures. And honestly, it may be high up on the mountain, but it really was a fun ride down.” – Dr. Cacinda Maloney, Points & Travel
BARBADOS Dive into an underwater world where turtles, fish and colorful sea creatures abound. Climb aboard Tiami’s 60-ft catamaran to spend the day snorkeling and swimming side-by-side with turtles and a variety of exotic fish, a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. – Divi Resorts Blog
ARUBA “Idyllic Aruba lures more than a million sunseekers to its sandy shores each year, who come for the pristine beaches, fantastic weather, world-class kiteboarding spots, lively nightlife scene, and even a chance to get up close and personal with pink flamingos.” – Tamara Elliot, Globe Guide
ST. MAARTEN “The Dutch side is known for their stunning turquoise beaches and one of the best is Mullet Bay. Located close to Maho Beach, it is the quieter and bigger of the two. There are a couple local bars on the beach offering cold drinks and typical island cuisine.” – Tara, Luxe Tourista
Barbados is the land of lush landscapes, sandy beaches and flavorful rum, with a strong British influence from its many years of British occupation beginning in the 1600s. In 1966, Barbados gained its independence from the United Kingdom, and even though more than 50 years have passed, the country’s impact on the island is still seen in Barbados’ culture, architecture and traditions.
So how do you enjoy “old blighty” in the Caribbean you ask?
Catch a Sporting Event on Barbados First, start with a spot of tea, then dress in your best whites to watch a game of cricket with refreshing gin of tonics included, of course. If cricket isn’t your thing, enjoy a chukka of polo plus stomping divots or a thrilling horse race at the Barbados Turf Club located within the Garrison Historic area just outside Bridgetown.
Watch the Changing of the Guard Show A time-honored British tradition, every Thursday at noon, the Barbados Defense Force hosts a Changing of the Sentry ceremony at the main guard of the Barbados Garrison in Bridgetown. Donning the colorful Zouave uniform chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858, this unique display of British culture lasts about fifteen minutes. Be sure to get there early to snag a great viewing spot and snap a cheeky photo! While in Bridgetown, you’ll also want to stop by the Parliament Buildings to capture a few pictures. Built in 1870, these buildings have been the seat of government on Barbados since 1874 and were formerly the site of Colonial administration.
Visit Historical Museums & Buildings For even more history, visit the Arlington House Museum, a restored 18th century building in Speightstown with an interactive 3-story museum, or stop by the Barbados Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to learn more about the island’s unique culture.
Stop by the Bridgetown Jewish Synagogue Built in 1654, this historic synagogue was destroyed by a hurricane in 1831 but has since been restored to its original beauty. Right next door is the Nidhe Israel Museum, a museum that traces Jewish history in Barbados and highlights their contribution to Barbadian society
Take a Trip to the St. James & St. John Parish Church These churches are amongst the four oldest surviving churches in Barbados. St. James is located near the site of the first settlement in Holetown and its church features a bell with the inscription, “God bless King William 1696.” The bell predates the American Liberty Bell by 56 years.
Enjoy High Tea with Bajan Fish & Chips Yummy scones and tea are still a part of Bajan culture, and dishes similar to the UK’s famous fish and chips made with an island twist are local delicacies on the island. One of Barbados’s most popular meals is fried flying fish served with rich macaroni pie. Stop by Divi Southwind’s pureocean Restaurant to sample this delicious fish dish, and try it with a splash of malt vinegar for an extra kick of flavor!