Category Archives: Divi Village

Restaurant’s Recipe for Success & A Blue Mountain Coffee Mousse Recipe

It’s fun winning awards.  And it’s doubly fun when you win twice.  That’s precisely what Windows on Aruba restaurant did this year.  First in May, for a Certificate of Excellence Award, honoring top hospitality establishments the world over; and then in October, with a 2013 Travelers’ Choice Restaurant Awards. Both awards are from TripAdvisor, which means the accolades come from our guests.  We couldn’t be more proud.

That last award, in particular, is a super biggie.  Windows on Aruba at Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort came in as one of the top five favorite restaurants in the Caribbean. The awards singled out 171 restaurants around the globe, based on millions of reviews posted to TripAdvisor. One of 171 restaurants In. The. World.  Wow!  And, we think Top Five in the Caribbean, well, that’s even better!

We knew we had a winner when Paul Zijlstra walked into the kitchen at Windows on Aruba in 2009. Zijlstra has become known for his seasonal dishes and creative specials with fresh market ingredients. He and his staff can do it all.  Those grand and delicious show stopping finales served up at the end of most meals at Windows have earned a following among Aruba visitors and island residents. The tranquil space, elegant décor, floor to ceiling windows looking out over the 9th hole of the Links at Divi to the Caribbean Sea beyond  – it all works together to create a memorable experience.

Zijlstra trained with Dutch masters in The Netherlands, then headed to Bonaire to hone his Caribbean cooking.  So, you’ll discover a dash of Meyers Rum in his brownies, fresh coconut inside the chocolate bonbons, mango and papaya sweetening the chutney served alongside scallops and Blue Mountain coffee beans in the chocolate mousse.

He’s sharing his mousse recipe with you.  It will make you a winner with your family and friends at home.  Invite 10. Or invite less and have seconds and thirds!

Blue Mountain Coffee Chocolate Mousse


  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. Blue Mountain Jamaican coffee beans
  • 1 tsp. gelatin powder
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites, 2 oz. sugar


Add milk and coffee beans in saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove beans and add gelatin to saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and mix in dark chocolate.  In bowl, whip heavy cream to medium peaks.  When mixture has cooled, add egg yolks and cream.  Whip egg whites until they peak, add sugar and whip again to peak.  Combine all ingredients well, spoon into bowls, cover, chill at least 2 hours.

Divi Owners: Lorna and Bob Pecora

I should get in touch with MasterCard and suggest that Lorna and Bob Pecora do a commercial for them.  When the Pecoras talk about their annual vacations in Aruba, they describe the people of the island and the friends they have made as “priceless.”

When Lorna married Bob, he was already an Aruba lover and a Divi owner.  He bought a two-bedroom pre-construction after one visit to the island.  It wasn’t hard for Lorna to fall under the same spell.  She adores the island and its people.  For two weeks every fall, now going on 27 years, they can’t remember anything, but wonderful vacations while in residence at Divi. The island is beautiful.  There is no language barrier to overcome.  It’s safe and the food is great. While there, it’s mostly about relaxation, some reading, and a little bike riding.  They also take advantage of the Links at Divi.

Aruba is their home away from home, which during the other fifty weeks of the year is in Illinois.  When they get to the island, they like to mix it up a bit.  The first week is always at Divi Village.  The second week, they spend at the Golf Villas, which overlook the manicured greens, the shimmering lagoons and the blue Caribbean Sea just beyond.  Other than that, they’re pretty committed to certain institutions on the island:  Jimmy’s for happy hour and Mulligan’s for dinner.

They have made countless friends with their fellow fall travelers and count the days until the meet up again at Divi. The Pecoras witnessed friends get engaged at sunset on the beach at Divi, which was a romantic moment for them just watching it happen.  (It’s not unusual to see such bliss while at Divi; Divi likes to make romance happen.) For their own private romance, the Pecoras dine on the beach under the stars at Flying Fishbones.

Aruba & Jazz; What Could Be Better?

Many of the songs made famous by George Benson seem like they were written for Aruba. “Breezin’,” his signature jazz guitar hit could be the national anthem. If you’re creating a playlist for your Aruba vacation, there’s plenty of George Benson to suit any vacation mood. No matter how good your headphones, seeing the master, the legend, the jazz icon in person – in Aruba is better.  Benson is headlining the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival there, October 4th and 5th.

Benson’s fluid guitar work, masterful arrangements and velvet voice have created a string of timeless hits and made him a jazz favorite for over forty years. “Breezin’,” released in 1976 and a multiple Grammy winner, soared to the top of the charts.  All three:  pop, jazz and R&B. It is a standard on smooth jazz radio still.

Come to think of all the George Benson songs, I can’t imagine a better soundtrack for an Aruba honeymoon.  “Give Me the Night,” “Turn Your Love Around,” “Kisses in the Moonlight,” “Lady Love Me (One More Time).” If the spirit and the songs move you, there are wedding and honeymoon specials on the Divi Resorts website.

Divi Dutch and Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort put you closest to the George Benson concert venue on Saturday, October 5th.  Then, you can easily get breezin’ on back to the resort.  Or keep breezin’ on down the road to the Phoenix.

If you want a little musical preview of the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival, you can listen to George.

Who’s Up For Some Beach Tennis?

It was so much fun, Divi decided to do it again!  This year, from November 12 through the 17th, there will be another big International beach tennis tournament in Aruba.  Called the Divi Resorts Aruba International Beach Tennis Event, it is already one of the most popular tournaments on the calendar of the ITF, the International Tennis Federation, which happens to be the same governing body of tennis, as most of us know it.  You might think beach tennis sounds a bit crazy, but this combination of tennis and volleyball is indeed an official sport and coming on strong all over the world.

There will be more than 1000 players serving, volleying, acing, spiking and diving in the sand of Eagle Beach come November.  The number of participants, a combination of professionals and amateurs, is an increase over last year’s event.  Players hail from Aruba, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Columbia, France, Germany, Italy, St. Martin, Martinique, Mexico, The Netherlands, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the US.  The prize money is $25,000, another indicator that the sport is growing.

Beach Tennis Aruba, the local organizer of the event, promises a festival of fun.  As the host, Divi Resorts promises lots of excitement and special rates at three different Divi hotels:  Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach, Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort and Divi Dutch Village. All resorts are within walking distance of the event venue.

Beach tennis combines the fun and social nature of volleyball with the fast pace of tennis, according to Beach Tennis USA.  Check out their website for more background on the sport. By the way, Beach Tennis USA is working closely with the ITF to get beach tennis into the Olympics.   So, you might say you saw it first in Aruba.

Divi Does More for Kids!

Divi Resorts is expanding its children’s activities at six of its Caribbean resorts starting July 22nd.  The weekly schedule of free family events, called Treasures of the Caribbean, includes a treasure hunt, sandcastle building and movie night.

Every Monday morning starting July 22nd, children and their parents will follow clues (and the resort’s activities staff) around the Divi Resort property to amass a stash of keepsakes.  The real treasure at the end is a T-shirt, one that does special things:  It turns every kid into a member of Divi’s Pirate Crew.  And those crewmembers enjoy free refreshments – beverages and ice cream – throughout their stay at Divi.  It also earns them a salute from Divi staff each and every time they wear the shirt.

On Wednesdays, the big event is sandcastle building; souvenir bucket, shovel and great sand and ocean are supplied.

To kick-off the new Treasures of the Caribbean program Divi is hosting a contest to decide who can build the best sandcastle this summer at a Divi resort.  Pictures of the sandcastles will be showcased on Divi’s Facebook page (Divi does the posting and all the picture taking) and Divi will invite its Facebook followers to decide the best one.  The winning family gets another vacation, but this time it’s a FREE one.  (The contest gives new meaning to the term “vacation home,” wouldn’t you say?)    The winner can select any of the participating resorts for their free stay.

So let the fun begin! Join Divi’s Pirate Crew.  Hunt for treasure.  Build a castle.  Enjoy a movie on Friday night.

Need a little inspiration for the sandcastle you’re going to build?  Redbook Magazine gives a step-by-step on the basics.

Want to step up your game a bit?  Check out these architecturally awesome sandcastles collected by the folks at Popular Mechanics.

Get more details about the Treasures of the Caribbean, including participating Divi resorts, complimentary family photos, contest deadline and more here!

The Aruba Nightlife

No wonder Aruba is such a happy island.  Day or night, there is no shortage of things to do while in Aruba.  So many travelers who return to Aruba again and again have a list of favorite things about Aruba, be it a pool to languish by, a beach for savoring a sunset or a certain shop.  And, yet, it’s always fun to discover something new.  If you haven’t yet had a night out at Fusion, make a note.  Since opening last season, this one-of-a-kind establishment has – in less than a year – become a go-to place for those on their Aruba vacation as well as locals out for a nice evening.

The full name is Fusion Wine & Piano Bar and it is situated in the newly revamped Alhambra Plaza.  And, to borrow from the vernacular of the day, it is what it is:  that is to say, a fusion, in just about every way.  It is restaurant and lounge, dinner and tapas, cocktails and wine, live music and cigar bar.  It’s also a mix of inside and outside, with a bright lights/big city circular bar plus table seating inside and a cozy living room-like arrangement out under the stars where you can sink into comfy couches and let the music gently waft over the summer breeze.

Fusion is a place for doing your own thing.  Got a favorite wine?  The wine selection is the most extensive on the island and continues to expand.  Fusion also has Aruba’s most extensive cigar collection.  Live entertainment is offered six nights a week, and has variety, too, ranging from jazz, pop, soul and a little R&B.  Sunday night, Angelo Koolman (Love the name.) sings and plays guitar, Monday night Angelo Kock tickles the ivories and Tuesday, Mister Martens plays sax.  Fusion Wine & Piano Bar’s Facebook page posts the upcoming schedule:

On the Facebook page, you will also find comments and reviews, like this one from Liliana Erasmus, writing for, “It’s here at Fusion, where laidback evenings are filled with the indulgence of the senses and where signature cocktails, a generous selection of global wines and premium cigars are complemented by French Executive chef Gerard Coste’s reinvented menu.

EJ Schanfarber, CEO of Divi Resorts, says that Fusion is a nice place to relax at the end of the day. “It is a new concept for the island, and we’re so pleased that it has struck the right chord with our guests and locals alike.

See you there!