Category Archives: Divi Southwinds

Summer Fun for Kids & Families

ARUBA

DIVI ARUBA PHOENIX BEACH RESORT
Weekly activities are fun for everyone at this stunning resort on Palm Beach. Choose from water aerobics, bingo, pool volleyball, arts & crafts, beach walks, ping pong and basketball competitions, movie nights and more!

DIVI DUTCH VILLAGE BEACH RESORT & DIVI VILLAGE GOLF & BEACH RESORT
Popular summer activities at both resorts include bingo every day with great prizes, water aerobics three times a week at the Seabreeze Pool, a kid’s scavenger hunt Monday mornings at the infinity pool, Fun in the Sun music and entertainment Monday evenings at the infinity pool, and a putting contest Tuesday mornings with polo shirts and prizes at The Links at Divi Aruba.

BARBADOS

DIVI SOUTHWINDS BEACH RESORT
On Barbados, guests can find an endless list of activities, including aquacise classes, beach volleyball, poolside bingo, pool volleyball, line dancing, nature walks, mini golf competitions, movie nights and more.

BONAIRE

DIVI FLAMINGO BEACH RESORT & CASINO
Bonaire is packed full of fun activities both above and below the water. Guests can enjoy sunset yoga, dive classes, live music, karaoke and of course, 24/7 diving and snorkeling right from our shore, at the Calabas house reef or from one of our dive boats.

ST. MAARTEN

DIVI LITTLE BAY BEACH RESORT
Situated on a picture-perfect peninsula, the resort abounds with entertaining activities. Selections include beach and pool Olympics, crab races, water balloon tosses, mixology demonstrations, bingo, trivia, live music and entertainment, water aerobics, scavenger hunts, movie night, sunrise yoga, kid’s tie-dye, arts & crafts, dance lessons and morning walks, to name a few.

DIVI CARES: Spring 2019

ARUBA

SPECIAL TREATS DONATED TO ELDERLY HOMES
The Divi Impact Foundation was honored to donate hams and turkeys to local elderly homes. Recipients were all smiles as volunteers delivered the special gifts to SABA San Nicolas, Stichting Thuiszorg and spots in Savaneta and Oranjestad.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS SPONSORED FOR KIDS
An advocate for education, especially amongst children, Divi Impact was thrilled to sponsor books for local children on Aruba, providing valuable learning resources and entertainment for students.

FUNDS RAISED IN THE FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER
Divi Impact joined in the fight against breast cancer by hosting a highly successful t-shirt sale, which raised $10,000 Aruban florins (nearly $6,000 USD) for the Mary Joan Foundation, an organization that supports breast cancer patients, survivors and their families. Staff members were pictured throughout the fundraiser sporting their blue “Support the Fight” t-shirts.

BARBADOS

DIVI SOUTHWINDS HOSTS PARTY FOR CHILDREN’S ORPHANAGE
Children from a local orphanage were overjoyed as they were treated to a festive day of fun at Divi Southwinds. The resort hosted a party for the kids complete with with snacks and lunch, face painting and a clown.

BONAIRE

DIVI FLAMINGO SUPPORTS KIWANIS CLUB
The resort supported the newly-formed Kiwanis Club of Kralendijk, Bonaire by donating the use of its Peter Hughes meeting room for their charter ceremony. Kiwanis International is a global organization dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time.

ST. MAARTEN

FOUR EMPLOYEES EARN HOSPITALITY CERTIFICATION
Divi Little Bay is proud to announce that four front office staff members recently received certificates for passing the American Hotel & Lodging Association course, which recognizes individuals who deliver exceptional service by engaging with their guests and creating memorable experiences. Recognized worldwide, this is the highest acknowledgment of awarding-winning guest service for employees in the hospitality and tourism industry.

DIVI LITTLE BAY DONATES MONEY FOR FOOD BASKETS
The resort recently donated $1,000 to the Filipino Community of Sint Maarten to provide food baskets for locals in need.

MANAGEMENT & STAFF HOST CLEAN-UP SESSION
In an effort to keep St. Maarten’s beaches and the ocean free of trash, resort management and staff hosted a cleanup session to pick up and properly dispose of small trash and bottles that were blown onto the resort. The event was a huge success thanks to the help of staff volunteers who spent the day cleaning up and beautifying the resort.

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Charles Maynard

A Barbados native with plenty of experience on the island and in the hospitality industry, Divi Southwind Beach Resort’s new General Manager, Charles Maynard is the resort’s freshest face, having joined the team this May to take over the position formerly held by Alvin Jemmott for 12 years. We sat down with Maynard to welcome him to the team and see what he has in store for Divi Southwinds.

What brought you to Divi Southwinds?
I’ve worked on the island for many years, and in the hotel industry for over 30 years, so when I was presented with an opportunity to return to my native Barbados to be with my family, I welcomed the position with open arms. What drew me to Divi Resorts, and Divi Southwinds in particular, is its diversity and casual yet elegant offerings.

What are your duties as General Manager?
I oversee all aspects of the resort’s daily operations from managing staff to achieving targets, revenue management, cost control, human resources, training, public relations, maintenance and more. My favorite part of the job, besides achieving results, is to develop strong managers and most importantly to deliver outstanding customer service to our owners, members and guests.

What are your plans for the future of Divi Southwinds?
My immediate plan is to develop a strategy with clear objectives and tactics to ensure Divi Southwinds has the best customer service on the island. My work motto is, ‘We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit,’ and I want to make sure we work toward that goal every day.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my free time, I like to engage in physical activities that promote fitness, like going to the gym and practicing Shotokan Karate, when time permits. I also enjoy getting together with friends and family to indulge in traditional pudding and souse!

Could you tell us a little about your family?
I have a wife who works in finance and two daughters. My eldest daughter will be graduating later this year as a doctor and my younger daughter wants to be a chef.

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Diego Concha

From left to right: Paul Melskens, Divi Little Bay Food & Beverage Manager; Diego Concha, Senior Regional Director of Resort Operations; Jamaal Solomon, Divi Resorts Landscape Superintendent Operations

You might have seen him out and about on our islands working hard to keep our resorts in top-notch shape. With more than 25 years of hospitality management experience around the world, Divi’s newest Senior Regional Director of Resort Operations, Diego Concha, is bringing fresh and innovative ideas to the forefront to enhance and improve the Divi Resorts experience. We sat down with this globe-trotting Colombian native to learn more about his role at Divi.

What brought you to Divi Resorts?
I’m deeply attracted to the Caribbean’s multiplicity of cultures, and last year, Divi offered me the opportunity to expand my horizons by working closely with their exemplary teams, who are dedicated to delighting guests with their unique blend of style and authentic island culture. Destiny has its ways and I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to join Divi’s great journey.

What does your job entail?
I’m responsible for leading our resort operations teams, promoting positive guest-centric experiences, guiding staff to reach their full potential and creating a path to the smooth running of our properties. In a nutshell, myself and my team strive to implement authentic island experiences and create extraordinary memories for our guests that last a lifetime.

Where are you from and how does that influence you?
I was born in Colombia, the land of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a literary Nobel Prize winner. Because of him, the country learned about “magic realism,” which transformed us into dreamers. I have also been exposed to many different cultures from around the world including South America, the Caribbean, North America and South Asia because of the nature of my work.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I have always been passionate about sports and I love football (soccer), basketball, tennis, hiking, running, swimming. I’m now paying the price, but I still push through. I also like spending time with my wife, Cynara and my two children, Alex and Nadeska.

ISLAND ADVENTURES: 10 Reasons to Visit Barbados

Home to famed singer Rihanna and Mount Gay Rum (the rum that invented rum), this surprisingly large island with a British heritage offers endless amounts of fun and adventure both on land and below the water. Our corporate Communications Specialist, Alyssa Smith recently experienced the island for herself and we followed along to find out what makes Barbados so special.

1. ENDLESS ACTIVITIES
Whether you’re longing for leisurely days lounging beachside or seeking a thrilling new adventure, there’s something for everyone on Barbados. Delicious food, lush landscapes, friendly faces and striking landmarks you have to see to believe, are in abundance on this island. Fun for the whole family or romantic island bliss for two lovebirds, Barbados checks all the boxes for a perfect Caribbean paradise.

2. MONKEYS GALORE
They are everywhere, and they are adorable! Originally brought to the island 350 years ago from West Africa as pets, these quick-moving mammals are a joy to watch in their natural habitat. While you can see Green Monkeys anywhere on the island, the best place to catch a closer look is at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, where not only can you see hundreds of monkeys doing what they do best – monkeying around, but you can also watch as unique species of deer, tortoises, peacocks, caimans, iguanas and more roam freely throughout the 4-acre forest. Insider tip: arrive a little before 2 p.m. so you don’t miss feeding time, where all the animals gather to grub out. For details, visit www.barbadoswildlifereserve.com.

3. BEAUTIFUL BEACHES
Warm sand, turquoise water and sunny skies are always on the menu on Barbados! With more than 70 miles of both pink and white sand beaches, there’s a shore for every occasion. Check out Bathsheba for the coolest rock formations, Browne’s Beach for stellar snorkeling and Dover Beach for the ultimate in relaxation, located right on Divi Southwinds’ property.

4. FOODIE HEAVEN
If you’re a culinary connoisseur, a gastronomy guru or just a traveler who loves to chow down, Barbados is the island for you. Stop by Divi Southwind’s on-site restaurant, pureocean to savor award-winning Executive Chef Henderson Butcher’s perfectly fried flying fish and rich macaroni pie, both local delicacies you have to try. And if you want to experience the island’s best fusion of food, entertainment and culture, stop by Oistins Bay Gardens for the famed Oistins Fish Fry every Friday night. Oistins is open every night of the week, but the seafood market really comes alive Friday nights with sizzling seafood, energetic music and a bustling crowd of locals and tourists ready to devour the most authentic Barbadian dishes. The locals swear by Pat’s Place & Uncle George’s, but be sure to arrive early to avoid long lines.

5. STELLAR SURFING (FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS)
If you think surfing is not for you, think again! Barry’s Surf Shop will have you shredding waves like a pro in no time. Open to all skill levels, a beginner surfing lesson with Barry’s includes a quick beachside class to learn how to properly stand up on the board, and then you’re off. With a stand up success rate of 99%, you’re bound to discover why the sport is so addictive, and who knows, maybe you’ll find out you missed your true calling in life! To book your lesson, visit www.surfing-barbados.com.

6. SWIM WITH TURTLES
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. Back on the boat, enjoy a fully stocked bar, delicious snacks and a full lunch, all served up by an attentive, upbeat crew. To book your tour, visit tiamicatamarancruises.com.

7. HARBOUR LIGHTS BARBADOS
Think dinner and a movie, but a million times better! Harbour Lights Barbados’ Beach Extravaganza Dinner Show is a must while on the island, happening on Mondays and Wednesdays only. Enjoy a night full of lively entertainment from bands, dancers, stilt walkers, acrobats and even a fire performer. Add great music, an upbeat party environment with dancing and balloons, flowing drinks and a traditional Bajan style BBQ, and you’ve got an ideal night out on Barbados. For more details, visit
www.harbourlightsbarbados.com.

8. ST. NICHOLAS ABBEY
What do you get when you mix history with rum? The St. Nicholas Abbey! No, it’s not an actual abbey, but it is filled with 350 years of history and Barbados’ finest aged rum, just waiting to be sipped. Originally a sugarcane plantation, this now museum, working rum distillery and plantation home has a cafe, tropical birds, vibrant gardens, mahogany forests, tropical gullies, a steam mill, a courtyard and more, all on its 400-acre property. For more details, visit www.stnicholasabbey.com.

9. COOL CAVES
Prepare for a journey far below the ground into mystical caverns to explore the island’s most popular attraction, Harrison’s Cave. This natural wonder features fascinating grottos, dripping stalactite formations that look like glistening chandeliers, huge echoing caverns and underground waterfalls. Marvel at the formations as you wind through the caves by tram or book the Eco-Adventure Tour where you get down and dirty to discover the caves by foot, and sometimes by hand and knee, for even more excitement. For more details, visit www.harrisonscave.com. Another sweet spot to visit is the Animal Flower Cave, the island’s only accessible sea cave, located on the north side of Barbados. Named for its many sea anemones, this is a popular destination for locals and tourists thanks to its spectacular views, a natural swimming pool inside the cave and a restaurant overlooking the crashing waves.

10. LUSH LANDSCAPES
No matter where you look, you’re bound to find abundant greenery, majestic towering trees and vibrant flowers, and there’s no shortage of sanctuaries dedicated to preserving the island’s flora and fauna. Bask in the natural beauty with a scenic drive up Cherry Tree Hill or a stop at the ever-popular Flower Forest, Hunte’s Garden or Andromeda Botanic Gardens. For more details, visit flowerforestbarbados.com, huntesgardensbarbados.com and andromedabarbados.com. You can also book a full-day island excursion with Glory Tours to uncover even more of the island’s remarkable sights. For tour details, visit www.glorytours.org.

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Jan ten Have

When he’s not jumping from one of our five Caribbean islands to the next, Regional Operations Director, Jan ten Have uses his multifaceted experience and talents to work closely with our operations teams on many areas of day-to-day resort management. We caught up with this very busy man to learn more about his past experience and what it’s like to be an island-hopping Director with Divi Resorts.

Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from the Netherlands, and up until 1987, I lived, studied and worked around “The Hague.” It’s a beautiful city that’s well-known because the Dutch government, the Royal family, most foreign embassies and the International Peace Court are all located there. The city has so much to explore, from forests to parks, lakes, canals, beaches and more. It’s also very modern, with wonderful shopping centers, boutiques, open-air markets, a vibrant nightlife and a tiny, but authentic Chinatown.

What’s your past experience in the travel industry?
I’ve had many years of experience at various resorts and also in the airline and cruise industry.

As a Regional Operations Director, you travel a lot, so where do you call home base?
Aruba is where I live and call home. I moved here from Holland in 1987 on a one-year contract to assist with the reopening of the Aruba Caribbean Hotel, now called the Hilton. That contract was extended for another year and then I moved on to a new position setting up an airline catering plant at the Aruba airport. After five years working in that industry, I got in contact with Divi Resorts, and here I am 23 years later.

What role did you start with at Divi Resorts and how did you progress over the years?
In 1995, I started as the Food & Beverage Manager, then moved on to property management at the Alhambra Casino & Shops. After that, I was asked to help out on various assignments at the resorts on Barbados, Bonaire and St. Maarten, and in 2001, I assisted with the opening of Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Beach Resort & Casino on St. Croix. My latest role has me focusing on elevating our staff, systems and services to the next level and training employees to meet and exceed our guests’ expectations. We have a strong leadership team, so my goal is to bring those resources together to ensure we work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

What is your favorite part of the job?
Seeing the smiling faces of our staff when they accomplish difficult tasks and seeing our guests enjoying their vacations to the fullest. I also appreciate that there’s always a new challenge, and all of the islands are different, so I’ve learned to adapt to better assist each resort team.

What are your favorite activities on your days off?
It used to be scuba diving, snorkeling, running and going out, but nowadays, a perfect day off starts with a morning swim in the ocean, followed by a relaxing breakfast on the beach. I leave the rest of my day open for anything exciting that comes along.

What are your hobbies and interests?
I love to travel to different countries with my lovely partner, Irma, and although we’ve been to many places around the world, there’s still so much to explore.

What is a fun fact about you that would surprise people?
I took a break from Divi Resorts on my 50th birthday to work on cruise ships again. I hadn’t done that since I was 22 years old, and it was great. After four years, I decided to rejoin Divi Resorts, and I am so happy I did!