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Divi Little Bay Hurricane Irma Updates

Discussion in 'Caribbean Timesharing' started by RNCollins, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    From an email I received today from Divi Resorts:
    November 22, 2017

    “DIVI LITTLE BAY BEACH RESORT PROGRESS REPORT
    It’s been two months since Divi Little Bay Beach Resort and the island of St. Maarten were hit by devastating hurricanes and a tropical storm. Divi Little Bay has been hard at work since then repairing and restoring the resort, and we would like to take this time to update you on the following:

    Thank You:
    We have received, and continue to receive, an outpouring of support and heartfelt messages from guests, owners and members. The management and staff of Divi Little Bay Beach Resort want to once again express their deepest gratitude and appreciation during this difficult time. Your encouragement and positivity keeps staff members motivated in recovery efforts on the resort, at their homes and around the island. The staff also sends their heartfelt thanks to all who donated to the GoFundMe campaign. These funds have been distributed directly to employees to assist with home repairs and household needs.

    Next Steps:
    Over the last two months, the President and COO of Divi Resorts Group, has flown to St. Maarten several times to meet with insurance adjusters, work with Little Bay’s management team on the coordination and cleanup of the resort, and of course, check on Little Bay’s staff. He has spoken with many staff members individually to assess their needs and concerns regarding the reconstruction and reopening.

    The resort has established a goal of reopening in May 2018, and everyone is working diligently to meet that goal. Here’s some of the progress that Divi Little Bay has made to date:
    • Insurance Claim:
      • A full survey has been done on the damage by Little Bay’s insurance adjuster and the Divi construction team.
      • Divi Little Bay is working with its insurance company to finalize their claim as soon as possible.
    • Cleanup:
      • Little Bay’s staff worked hard on the cleanup of the resort, including emptying rooms to make them ready for construction subcontractors.
      • A subcontractor was hired to clean up all large items, including damaged trees, and remove the sand from rooms and buildings around the resort.
      • The ministry of TEATT (Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic, Telecommunications) is working on cleaning the beach.


    • Rebuild:
      • Divi Little Bay hired 4 subcontractors in September, to secure them as soon as possible, due to the need for everyone to rebuild on the island.
      • These crews are currently fixing roofs on the beach villas, casitas, main building, retail building, hotel section 12 & 22, buildings 1–12, and buildings A, B, D, E, F and G.
      • Interior repairs have begun on the beach villas, buildings 1–12, building A, B, D, E, F and G, casitas and the hotel rooms.


    • GoFundMe Fundraising Efforts:
      • Everyone at Divi Little Bay is very grateful for these generous donations, and the sentiments expressed by the owners, past guests and general public who contributed.
      • As of today, the GFM campaign has raised a total of $53,325. The Resort distributed donated funds on Tuesday, November 7, which at that time totaled $49,025. In accordance with Divi Little Bay’s management team, staff and the union’s wishes, funds were disbursed equally. The GFM campaign will remain open for anyone who still wishes to donate. All additional funds (beyond the $49,025 already dispersed) will be distributed to employees in the same manner. If you would like to donate, please click here.


    • Update on Gizmo:
      • Many of you have inquired about the health and well-being of our beloved Divi Diva, Gizmo. We are happy to report she is doing very well and hasn’t let the construction ruffle her feathers – she can do that all by herself! While she’s missing her Dutch Marines, and of course all of Divi Little Bay’s owners and guests, she certainly doesn’t seem to mind the beautification of her home.


    • Coming Up:
      • Our construction crews will continue structural repairs to prepare buildings for interior reconstruction.
      • Once building interiors are restored, we will begin the process of furnishing and redecorating throughout the resort.
      • Barring any construction delays, we hope to reopen the resort in May 2018.
    As always, keep watching on social media for more updates and thank you again for your continued support.”
     
  2. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    Below is from an article in the St Maarten newspaper The Daily Herald, released November 22, 2017:

    https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/71163-divi-workers-not-happy-about-2-day-workweek

    Divi workers not happy about 2-day workweek

    “PHILIPSBURG--Divi Little Bay Beach Resort workers are up in arms over management’s decision to further reduce their workweek to two days as the company moves into reconstruction phase to rebuild its facilities from the damage caused by Hurricane Irma in September.

    One worker told The Daily Herald that the company had called in workers individually over the course of the past week and told them that they can either accept two days per week pay or accept being paid out from the company, in which case they will no longer be employed at the establishment. The two-day workweek is until sometime in 2018, when the resort is expected to resume its operations. Workers believe they should have at least three days’ weekly pay, not two.

    While some of the workers signed on for the two days, some did not. Those who did not took their case to the Labour Department....”
     
  3. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    The workers may be eligible for partial unemployment because of a reduction in hours because of the hurricane. This would be a United States ruling for drawing unemployment compensation.. . However, I do not know if you have unemployment laws in your country for drawing unemployment compensation.

    I would not quit my employment and I would take the two (2) day’s pay and look for a part time job.

    These are only suggestions. I do not confess to know your labor laws and rights.

    Good luck.
     
  4. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    Posted from Divi Little Bay Facebook:
    Friday December 1, 2017

    “It’s your last chance to donate to the GoFundMe campaign to help our employees rebuild their lives. The campaign will be ending in one week on Friday, December 8th in order to distribute remaining funds to staff members before the holidays.

    We greatly appreciate the many generous contributions we’ve received over the past few months, and we look forward to reopening in 2018!”
    https://www.gofundme.com/send-love-to-divi-little-bay-staff
     
  5. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    Email received today from Divi:
    2/21/2018


    To view this email as a web page, go here.
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    DIVI LITTLE BAY UPDATE
    “Dear Owner,

    We hope your New Year is off to a great start and you are getting as excited as we are for the reopening of Divi Little Bay Beach Resort.

    We’ve been working diligently, not just cleaning up and restoring your “home away from home,” but planning, designing and implementing some amazing new facilities and amenities. As the President and COO of Divi Resorts, Marco Galaverna said back in November, “we are committed to rebuilding Divi Little Bay Beach Resort not just as good as it was before, but even better,” and we plan to deliver on that promise!

    Firstly, we’d like to announce that there will be a new General Manager of Little Bay Beach Resort, Anne-Marie Brooks. We’re thrilled to welcome Anne-Marie back to the team nearly 28 years after her first internship at Little Bay in 1990. Most recently, she spent 21 years working for Oyster Bay Beach Resort. Anne-Marie replaces Celine Van Meer, who recently moved to Bonaire with her family to take over the General Manager position at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino.

    Secondly, we know that you are anxious to return to St. Maarten as soon as possible, so we are happy to confirm that the resort will partially reopen on May 1st, and we anticipate completing renovations by early fall. While we’d love to have the entire resort restored by May, it’s just not possible given the changes we are making, safety and logistical reasons and the damage to the resort. As a result, please keep in mind that there may be ongoing construction during your stay. Rest assured, if your unit is not completed by your arrival, we will provide you with alternate accommodations based on unit type availability.

    Here’s what is scheduled to be completed by May 1st:

    Accommodations:
    Buildings 1-4, Buildings A & B, Hotel Rooms and Beachfront Villas will be completely renovated with some, if not all of the following: all new lighting, furniture, window treatments, water-saving toilets, interior paint, shower doors, faucets, crown molding, baseboards, 49" LED TVs, laptop safes, bluetooth alarm/clock/radio, interior doors and hardware, patio doors, appliances, HVAC, in-room Wi-Fi, electrical devices and panels, solar water heaters, exterior lighting, porcelain-tiled corridors, signage, exterior paint, signage lighting, landscaping and repaired roofs.

    Food & Beverage:
    We are updating the Seabreeze Restaurant, which will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and completely redesigning the newly named Fort Amsterdam Cafe (formerly Bayview Cafe), which will serve coffee, breakfast sandwiches, pastries and ice cream. In addition, we are refreshing menus for both eateries.

    Pool:
    The Seabreeze pool and its restrooms will be updated, and new pool furniture will be added.

    Beach:
    We’ve purchased a beach cleaner to groom and restore our beautiful Little Bay beach, and the sea and sand will be ready for guests.

    Lobby:
    New furniture will be added to the lobby, the restrooms in the building will be renovated and we’re adding new bellman carts.

    Public Spaces:
    Public spaces throughout the resort will be rebuilt and improved, including a new roof for the main building as well as new exterior paint and lighting and porcelain-tiled corridors. All retail buildings will receive new roofs, exterior paint and lighting. In addition, the parking area in front of the retail shops will be renovated, and will get new lighting. There will be a new parking area (where the tennis court once was) and new thatch roofs will be added to the taxi, car rental and bird cage areas.

    Resort Activities/Shops:
    All on-site shops, the gym, the Aqua Mania water sports center and the dock will be open. The Indulgence By The Sea Spa was rebuilt and reopened in December, and continues to serve locals and tourists alike.

    Construction on the remaining renovations will be completed by early fall and include the following:

    Units & Public Spaces:
    Buildings 5-12, Buildings D, E, F & G, Casitas and Public Spaces will be completely renovated.

    Pools:
    We will be completely transforming what was our “casitas pool” into the new Pureocean Pool & Bar. In addition to this expansive, modern pool area, our popular Infinity Pool will also undergo a complete renovation and will receive new, modern furniture.

    Food & Beverage:
    Pureocean Restaurant and terrace will be completely renovated with a new, modern look. In addition to the newly named Fort Amsterdam Cafe, and a new Pureocean Pool Bar, the resort will be adding a fun new eatery called The Shack. The Shack will have delicious roti, jerk, BBQ and many island favorites. Gizmo’s Bar & Grill will also reopen with a larger deck and a fresh look.

    Thirdly, we know many of you have questions and concerns about the island. The good news is much of our friendly island is coming back slowly and we’d like to share some good news:
    • Both airports (Princess Juliana & Grand Case International Airport) are operational and running about 60 flights a week from 12 different airlines.
    • Princess Juliana Airport has opened a temporary departure pavilion to improve passenger comfort.
    • Airlines have returned including: American (who is expected to add to the daily flight from Miami), Jet Blue (operating daily from JFK and resuming flights from Minneapolis through Boston), Delta (daily from Atlanta), West Jet (resumes April 28), KLM and Air France (from Paris).
    • Cruise ships have returned including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Disney, MSC, Viking Sea, Seadream and Marella.
    • Many restaurants and shops are back in business including: Toppers, Beirut, Lee’s Roadside, Bombay Bites, Sale and Pepe, Little Jerusulem, Holland House and Green House. Plus, fine dining restaurants like Spiga and Chef Dino Jagtiani at the Rockland Estate are also open.
    • Land-based activities including rain forest tours, ATV tours and Jeep safaris are 80% back in business.
    • Loterie Farm has reopened and is once again offering zipline tours.
    • Water-based activities including snorkeling trips and charters are running.
    • 90% of the shops along Front and Back Streets in downtown Phillipsburg have reopened.
    • St. Maarten’s Heineken Regatta, a popular island event, takes place March 1-4.
    • In April, the Island will celebrate Easter with the 5th Annual Underwater Easter Egg Hunt.
    • Carnival season also kicks off in April on the Dutch side of the island, with thrilling parades, colorful festivals, parties, pageants and more.
    • In May, locals and tourists alike can enjoy Fish Day; a quirky event that celebrates all things fish.
    • In June, one of the largest deep sea fishing tournaments in the Caribbean, the Billfish Tournament, returns to St. Maarten.
    Lastly, as we hope you can imagine, the reconstruction of Little Bay has been a massive undertaking and we appreciate your support and patience throughout this process. For all of us at Divi Little Bay it’s a labor of love, and we can’t wait to welcome you and your family back to our beautiful resort!

    As always, if your travel plans have changed, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via email at littlebayupdate@diviresorts.com. We ask for your patience as we work to accommodate everyone’s requests and answer everyone’s questions.

    Thank you,
    Divi Little Bay Beach Resort Management”

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    This email was sent by: Divi Resorts Group
    6320 Quadrangle Drive, Suite 210 Chapel Hill, NC 27517 USA


    We respect your right to privacy - view our policy

    Manage Subscriptions | Update Profile | One-Click Unsubscribe
    [​IMG]
     
    pedro47 likes this.
  6. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    That is an outstanding report by the Divi Resort Grup IMHO.:thumbup:
     
  7. Gaozhen

    Gaozhen TUG Member

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    That's awesome, thank you! We're waiting for our purchase in building H to be done, so aren't getting the updates yet! :)
     
  8. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    From an email received from Divi Hotels Marketing:


    DIVI LITTLE BAY BEACH RESORT UPDATE

    We’re getting ready and gearing up for a great May reopening! As you can see, the beauty of our beloved St. Maarten hasn’t changed, but instead of telling you all about our hard work, let’s show you! Click here to watch a video of our progress.


    2D0905E6-BB7D-4986-B896-636749962F9D.jpeg
     
  9. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    Post from Divi Little Bay’s Facebook Page:
    March 29, 2018

    “Divi Little Bay Beach Resort Donates Furniture to Forever Blessed Foundation

    Divi Resorts' Divi Little Bay Beach Resort on St. Maarten recently donated its remaining furniture and beds left over from Hurricane Irma to the Forever Blessed Giving Back Charity Foundation to help those in need.

    "When our resort was hit by Hurricane Irma, we were able to salvage many appliances and furniture, some of which went to our Little Bay staff members in need," said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO. "So when we heard that Forever Blessed Foundation was searching for furniture donations, we gladly stepped up to the plate, donating all remaining items that were no longer needed on the resort."

    Among the items donated to the foundation were beds, dressers, chairs and more. Organizers and recipients were all smiles as the items were loaded up and delivered to their new homes.

    Started back in 2003 with the goal of giving back to those in need, the Forever Blessed Giving Back Charity Foundation was officially notarized last year. Organizers are in need of volunteers and such as clothing, non-perishable foods, school supplies, household items and furniture. Those interested in donating items locally or volunteering can reach the organization by calling (712) 523-8792.”

    3A760FA6-E1A9-4155-819E-3CB383DBF05E.jpeg
     
  10. turkel

    turkel TUG Member

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    Resort is open. I can see multiple dates and units available through II
     
  11. Gaozhen

    Gaozhen TUG Member

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    We had to move our March week to Aruba this year as it wasn't open yet, but have reserved our week for 2019! Very excited!
     
  12. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Looks like this resort is headed in the right directions. Wishing the Resort smooth sailing and Happy Day’s.
     
  13. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    April 24, 2018
    This is an email received today from Divi Marketing:

    URGENT: Limited Release of Additional Weeks Available at Divi Little Bay

    To view this email as a web page, go here.
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    DIVI LITTLE BAY SPECIAL DROP DAY
    STARTS TOMORROW!

    Dear Owner,

    Due to last year's hurricane and ongoing construction at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, we were unable to provide options for booking additional weeks during your scheduled window. We’re thrilled to announce we're finally able to release a limited amount of studio and 1-bedroom inventory tomorrow, Wednesday, April 25th, on a first-come, first-served basis for the following weeks in 2018 at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort:
    To make your reservation, contact us at 1-800-367-3484 (Toll-free US) or 1-919-419-3484 (International).

    Moving forward, all additional weeks will be released on the scheduled drop date.

    Thank you,
    Divi Little Bay Beach Resort Management
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    Terms & Conditions: Reservations can be made by calling Divi Reservations at 1-800-367-3484 or 1-919-419-3484(Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., ET). Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. Your Divi account must be in good standing to schedule a reservation. Reservation type and cost dependent on the Divi contract used to make the reservation. Maintenance fees and applicable upgrade fees apply. Specific unit numbers may not be requested and are not guaranteed. Payment is required at the time of reservation. All reservations are non-refundable, cannot be cancelled and can only be changed for a fee.

    This email was sent by: Divi Resorts Group
    6320 Quadrangle Drive, Suite 210 Chapel Hill, NC 27517 USA

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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  14. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Wishing this resort happiness and much success this year and years to come.
     
  15. buzzytoes

    buzzytoes Guest

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    Hoping to make our reservations through RCI Exchange in the next couple days for the week of August 25th. Looks like they are working hard!
     
  16. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    Received an email from Divi on May 16, 2018:

    Divi Little Bay at St. Maarten is now open!
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    Saturday, May 12, was a very exciting day at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort when General Manager, Anne-Marie Brooks and her staff welcome back our owners, members and guests to St. Maarten and our beautiful resort.


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    “For the past eight months, the Little Bay team has poured their hearts and souls into the rebuilding the resort” said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO, “this labor of love is well on its way towards completion, and we hope all our loyal customers will return and visit our stunning property and beautiful island.”

    For more photos of opening weekend check out Divi Little Bay's Facebook page.
     
  17. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    This was from an email update I received from Divi on Thursday, September 6, 2018:


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    “One Year Later:
    Divi Little Bay Beach Resort is Thriving Once Again


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    Exactly one year after Hurricane Irma hit our beloved Divi Little Bay Beach Resort and St. Maarten, the island and its resilient people are well on their way to recovery and eager to welcome back travelers to enjoy the island’s stunning beaches, duty-free shopping, mouthwatering restaurants, exhilarating excursions and fabulous accommodations!

    The newly renovated Divi Little Bay features completely refreshed units, updated Seabreeze and Infinity Pools, Fort Amsterdam Cafe (formerly Bayview Café) with gourmet coffee and a new menu, new chairs and areas to relax at the pools and beach, new furniture for Gizmo’s Bar & Grill, a restored dock where boat trips have resumed, brand new restaurant menus and upgraded landscaping and lighting throughout the resort.

    Updates still to come in 2018 include a stunning new main pool called the pureocean pool (formerly the Casitas pool), which will be enlarged with waterfalls, a new pureocean pool bar and an expansive seating area, a new eatery, The Shack, serving Caribbean BBQ, Jerk Chicken, Roti and more, a pureocean Restaurant expansion with new terrace furniture and lighting and a new kid’s space and game room.

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    Island Activities

    Travelers seeking unique island experiences are in luck! Our Concierge Desk offers special discounts on many of these exciting experiences, and we're more than happy to help you book excursions and plan the trip of a lifetime!

    Aqua Mania Adventures offers daytime boat tours, romantic sunset sails, unbelievable scuba diving and snorkeling, exhilarating jet ski tours, day trips to surrounding islands and so much more!

    Rainforest Adventures is ideal for adrenaline junkies, offering the world’s steepest zip line, The Flying Dutchman. You can also enjoy a leisurely ride on the Sky Explorer chairlift with breathtaking 360° views of the island and beyond, take a thrilling tube ride down the mountain on The Schooner or fly through the sky on the popular Sentry Hill Zip Line.

    Loterie Farm is a secret hideaway nestled in the hillside of Pic Paradis on the French side of the island, where you can wine, dine and relax in a blissful oasis.

    Tijon Parfumerie is the perfect place to treat yourself to a world of delightful smells as you create your own custom perfume. Your nose knows best, so grab a lab coat and mix up your favorite fragrance.

    Topper's Rhum Distillery will quench your thirst for award-winning Caribbean rhum. Get your taste buds ready for this delicious experience, where you'll learn how rhum is made on the island.

    Guavaberry Emporium is the mecca for all things Guavaberry. Enjoy St. Maarten's national liqueur, the famous Guavaberry Rum and pick out your favorite flavor to enjoy at home.

    Downtown Philipsburg is filled with history and beauty. Take a guided tour of Front Street, shop till you drop at the many duty-free stores, or snap a pic at the iconic courthouse, which is adorned with a wooden pineapple, the international symbol of welcome.

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    Flight Deals

    Spirit Airlines
    $231 from FLL – September 15-22
    $428 from ORD – September
    $333 from BOS – September
    $385 from DFW – November, January & February

    Delta
    $335 from BOS – February
    $406 from MIA – October
    $370 from JFK – December-April

    Air France
    $464 from CDG – November-June

    COPA Airlines
    $327 from BOS – December

    American Airlines
    $330 from BOS – January

    JetBlue
    $356 from JFK – September-October

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    Score 30% off room only and all-inclusive stays at Divi Little Bay for travel between now and December 20, 2019. With rates as low as $169 per night (room only) and $195 per person, per night (all-inclusive), now is the perfect time to book fall and winter travel.

    Hurry, sale ends September 30th, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET

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