The island of St. Maarten/St. Martin has served as a tropical background for countless honeymoons, weddings and family vacations over the years. After suffering a major blow in 2017 when Hurricane Irma swept the island, both the French and Dutch side of the island worked together to rebuild. I arrived at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort in St. Maarten with my husband and 3-year old in tow ready to explore the most talked about luxury family resort on the island. Popular for its picturesque views and unlimited relaxation, the resort has been renewed following Hurricane Irma. As we pulled up to the resort, the panoramic view of turquoise waters filled our eyes with excitement as we planned a full day to explore the grounds. Located on a private peninsula between two bays, Divi Little Bay Beach Resort is positioned in the perfect spot to catch jaw-dropping sunset views in warm bath-like ocean water.
Following a speedy check-in and the best welcome rum punch I’ve had to date we were off to change into our swimming suits. Our oceanfront one bedroom suite mirrored our dream home away from home. Equipped with 2 balconies and an in-room jacuzzi that lights up with colors, the luxurious amenities at Divi Little Bay are unmatched. From the convenience of the washer and dryer to the brand new stainless steel kitchen, your time in your suite will be just as calming as the waters in the bay.
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The newly-refurbished resort was the first to rebuild after the devastating category 5 Hurricane that caused catastrophic damage to the island and threatened much of the northeastern Caribbean and the Florida Keys. Despite facing the aftermath of the storm, Divi and it’s staff worked nonstop to not only improve but embellish everything Divi already had to offer. The Source Magazine sat down with Joan Samson, the sales manager at Divi Little Bay, who has worked with the company for 6 years. Witnessing the recent rebirth of the resort, Joan gave us a warm reception as she updated on us all the new changes. “We have refurbished the entire resort after the storm. Every resort was badly damaged. If you compare Divi to some of the other resorts, ours was not as badly damaged. Some of them were totally wiped away. But we did have to refurbish each and every room and all of the venues. It gave us an opportunity to improve everything. All of the rooms are brand new.”.
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Samson continues, “We have in total 210 refurbished rooms. We’ve added 2 new restaurants and a new bar. One of our pools was enlarged into 3 separate sections and includes a new swim-up bar.” While the resort is now fully completed, she reveals the hotel took its time to get there. “We opened in sections. First we started with 85 rooms, 1 restaurant and a deli until we slowly opened all of the inventory. We are totally done. We are on a peninsula which really allows every room to have a beautiful ocean view.”
While most guests come for the views, one of Divi Little Bay’s shining moments are due to the dedication from the staff. Everyone from the front to the back goes out of their way to make sure you are more than satisfied during your stay. “Our staff is hugely important to us, it’s really what our resort is about.” Samson shares, “A lot of our guests are timeshare guests and come back to see how our staff is doing. It’s been heartwarming… all the people that came back for the first time to see who was still working and who was still on the property. It’s a small island so you get to know everyone and that’s the beauty of the island.”
When asked how Divi differs from other resorts, Joan credits the daily entertainment in addition to 5-star service.”We have entertainment just about every evening. It could be a one-piece band it could be a four-person band. Monday night we feature King Beau Beau, one of the most well-known entertainers on the island and he’s also a chameleon so he’s able to bring all of that together when he performs. You get a little soca, calypso and even some of the classics. On Thursday we have Control and they also play a huge range of music and they have a very big following so it becomes a big party.”
The hotel’s all-inclusive option served as an easy and affordable option for a family looking for tasty options in between snorkeling, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding. Pureocean, Pureocean Pool Bar, Pureroc, Gizmo’s Bar & Grill, Seabreeze Restaurant, The Shack and Fort Amsterdam Cafe all offer scrumptious dishes. We dined on the freshest shrimp and fish the island had to offer.
Our favorite part of Divi was the white sand beaches alongside calm waters perfect for toddlers learning to swim. As the sun set in the horizons, the sky lit up in tropical colors casting the most beautiful colors over the resort. We floated in the warm waters until the sun went down and even in the dark of the night various colors of blue shined as far as the eyes could see.We were entertained by King Beau Beau and his band who sang and played instruments to classics covering everything from soca to Barry Manilow.
Samson adds, “Our main objective is to improve what we have. To improve our food and beverage offering and every detail that we can that’s really our focus so now it’s improving the details.” Making memories on the most friendliest island in the Caribbean is a breeze when everyone greets you with a smile.
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