Category Archives: Aruba

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)

Featured President’s Elite Member: Roseanne Lavalle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet our featured President’s Elite member for this issue, Roseanne Lavalle from Wilmington, North Carolina. During a vacation last April, Roseanne became a Member of the Divi Vacation Club, converting her traditional Divi vacation ownership weeks to Pure Points. She travels multiple times a year to Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort, most often bringing a group of friends along with her, so she was looking for more flexibility.

On one of Roseanne’s recent trips to the resort, we sat down with her to learn why she loves Divi Aruba Phoenix so much—and why the Divi Vacation Club fits her needs.

“Quite simply, I wanted more weeks and more flexibility,” Roseanne says. “ The points system lets me extend my vacation as long as I want. I can come back in different seasons as well as return for my home weeks.”

On this most recent trip, we found Roseanne traveling with her best friends, all hailing from the U.K. “With Pure Points, I can also adjust the size of my unit based on how many friends are joining me,” Roseanne says. “I usually travel with two or three friends, but this time I have eight people with me. I love showing them around!”

Roseanne first became a part of the Divi family after taking a presentation at Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort in 2014 with Francisco Tromp, one of the many professional membership executives at the resort. He continued to check in with her on each of her return trips to make sure she had everything she needed. “Listening and reviewing how Roseanne planned to use her ownership in the future helped me steer her towards a Divi Vacation Club membership,” explains Francisco. “The flexibility of traveling any time, mid-week or weekends, being able to add nights for a longer stay and varying the unit size she needed—as she likes to have guests—all fit in very well with her plans.”

Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort is Roseanne’s home away from home. “When I first came here about three years ago, it immediately felt like home. I can’t get enough of this place,” she says. “ The whole staff is so personable. They truly care about the owners, members and guests.” Whenever she’s on Aruba, she loves snorkeling, shopping and just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful ocean view at Divi Aruba Phoenix. “I can’t thank Francisco enough for helping me enjoy years of amazing vacation experiences.”

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.”

 

Meet featured President’s Elite Members, Brenda & Joseph Farmer

Meeting Brenda and Joseph Farmer, from Morningside, Maryland, you get the sense that they are devoted, not only to each other, but to their vacation time as well.  Seven years ago, while walking along Palm Beach, they came across Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort and took a tour.  The couple purchased one week in August on the spot, and then for the next six years kept adding to their ownership.  Last year, they decided to become Divi Vacation Club President’s Elite Members, owning Pure Points Prime, which gives them flexibility to enjoy both their fixed weeks or Pure Points, depending upon their travel plans.

“We come every August for multiple weeks,” explains Brenda. “It’s our anniversary and a special time for us. We sometimes have family join us, but the rest of the time is for the two of us to unwind.”

While they love their one-on-one time, the Farmers share the third week of their stay with friends and family, enjoying quality time together and discovering tourists spots around Aruba.  Last year, when their son got married, they gifted the lucky couple a honeymoon at Divi Aruba Phoenix using some of their Points.

During their visit last August, the two celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in a very special way.  On August 8th, the island of Aruba invited lovebirds to “Renew Their I Do’s” as the sun set on Eagle Beach.  Donning all-white attire, the Farmers joined in on the picturesque event.

“It was very romantic,” says Joseph. “We had pictures taken at Divi Aruba Phoenix, then we were taken to participate in this beautiful ceremony with hundreds of couples. Afterwards, they had plenty of food, drinks, and entertainment, and there were even photographers to capture the perfect moment. We were simply overwhelmed. We were even interviewed by Aruba Today and ended up in the local newspaper!”

The night came to a close with a surprise pampering from the wonderful staff at Divi Aruba Phoenix, including a turndown of rose petals, champagne, candles and anniversary cake at one of the restaurants. Coming up next year is the Farmer’s big family reunion.  They banked points from this year to use next year so that their two sons and in-laws could all be together.

“The flexibility of Points means that everyone can have their own unit and be comfortable,” says Brenda. “Coming back to Aruba is like coming home and we consider ourselves locals. The staff is always so welcoming and we love seeing them every year, they never change.  We also take buses everywhere, walk every day for miles, and have made great friends who we see every year.”

For Brenda and Joseph Farmer, being a part of the Club is the gift that keeps on giving.

A Day in the Life of a Divi GM – Gerrit Griffith

Phoenix Beach Resort, General Manager Gerrit Griffith is a true Divi veteran who has been a staple in our company for many years.  We recently got a chance to talk with Mr. Griffith about his experiences and why he loves his job as a Divi GM.

 

You are Divi’s longest tenured General Manager – how long have you held this role?

“I’ve been a Divi Resorts GM on Aruba for around 32 years!  I actually joined the company 41 years ago, in June of 1976, as Assistant GM.  During my many years with this company, I’ve managed all five Divi properties on the island.”

How does serving as GM of Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort differ from managing the other Divi properties?

“I’ve actually had similar experiences managing each property because fortunately, a lot of our owners and regular guests own or stay at multiple Divi Resorts on Aruba.  As a result, I’ve gotten to know many of these families over the years and have been lucky enough to serve them at each of the properties I’ve managed.  Divi owners and guests tend to have the same high expectations when they vacation with us, and I’m happy to play a role in delivering the signature ‘Divi style’ that they have come to know and love.”

What does the “Divi style” mean to you?

“The ‘Divi style’ means taking a hands-on approach to customer service.  I don’t spend my whole workday behind a desk; I believe it’s very important for me to be out and about on the property, meeting guests and making myself available when needed.  Everywhere I go around the resort, I hear guests greeting me with a friendly ‘Hello Mr. G!’  That sense of familiarity ensures that I am well known and easily accessible to our owners and guests. They know that I am there to listen and help if they ever have an issue during their stay.  The ‘Divi style’ also applies to my management style, the same management style I see across all Divi properties.  We greatly value our staff and always keep our doors open to them. And in return, our staff share this same level of value and service with our guests.”

What is the best part of your job as a Divi GM?

“First and foremost, the best part of my job is interacting with guests.  I love welcoming back owners I have known for years, as well as meeting first-time visitors.  I also enjoy the support system that has formed amongst our staff.  Here, we don’t simply know our team members as individuals; we also know their friends and families.  In this small island community, it’s incredibly important to feel supported by your team and know that you and your family are valued.  We definitely have that kind of relationship here at Divi Phoenix, and you can see the positive impact it has on our company culture.”

How is the culture at Divi Phoenix affected by your team’s involvement in our Divi Cares program?

“The staff at each of our Divi Resorts on Aruba work together to give back through the Divi Impact Initiative, which is part of Divi Cares.  I think this active involvement in community service helps foster caring, positive attitudes among our team.  Our staff loves calling Aruba home, and programs like Divi Cares make them feel good about helping make our community a better place to live and our resort a better place to work.”