it hurts me to see bad reviews of this place. dear reader ... if you want absolute luxury on st croix, (sigh ...) pay for it. the divi is a fabulous value, particularly if you go all-inclusive. we were there for a week 1/8-2/4/12.
because i have a very few suggestions for improvement, i hesitated giving a 5-of-5 ... but that is how i feel about just about everything but the location (it's far from town which is good for us but not for everybody). we did love the divi and its employees.
make yourself shed the "first impression." while i must state immediately that the front desk staff was always kind, competent, accomodating, warm and welcoming - and the lobby is pretty and comfortable - it is also true that the check-in desk area itself is shabby... a front desk makeover and a welcome drink would go a long way in making a guest glad to have chosen the divi. management is determined to meet, exceed and respond to all guests' reasonable requirements, so i won't be at all surprised to see these things turned around the next time that nick and i visit. also, we were a bit apprehensive during the initial walk to our room (383 in the western-most building) as the outside hallways were being noiselessly refurbished (good for divi!) during our stay; by the time we left the hallways were painted and the obsolete vending machines removed. our room was beautiful, spacious, immaculate, and well-appointed. the view was stunning. we prefer tranquility and privacy, and an upper floor a bit of a walk away from the public areas made us feel as if we owned the place. there is a tiki umbrella and lounge chairs directly below "our" room, and it was our own piece of heaven a number of times. there are tiki umbrellas, lounges, tents and palm trees for shade all along the beach and pool areas, and plenty of them ... you won't have to "claim a spot" before breakfast. really.
room location notes: if you don't like people walking past you as you relax outside your room, skip the first floor. the ony first floor rooms i'd personally recommend are those in the most easterly and most westerly wings. most of the others in between the wings get foot traffic, or cafe or pool or watersports noise, visuals, and activity. most first floor rooms seemed to be occupied by families (also sometimes noisy). there were far more couples than family when we visited. nick and i love children, and i've invested a great many years of my life cultivating the next generations, but on vacation i want tranquility.
divi food was good! AND you CAN eat healthily here if you choose to. much of it is buffet (i know, i know ...) but breakfast always offers eggs you way as well as a breakfast special. lots of fresh fruit, yogurt, juices, cheeses - and there are also breakfast meats and pastries, teas etc. (the breakfast coffee was definitely drinkable - vacation rarity that's important to us). lunch had a fixed menu with several daily specials. salads - whether individual or buffet - were very fresh, varied and tasty. dinner changed daily and there were two opportunities for lobster - seriously the best carribean lobster we've ever had. hint: if the notices for specialty nights say "reservations required" do make a reservation. even if the hotel seems uncrowded, they are purchasing your food based on the number of reservations. if you don't reserve and you show up, they'll feed you, but it might well not be the nightly special. i think this is a good thing, as - unlike cruise ships - never did i see today's buffet a rehash of last night's dinner leftovers. buffets have their flaws, but there were always lovely surprises , i.e. italian night's antipasto ... and with one exception to my palate, the soups were delicious. drinks are plentiful, whether bottled water or booze. just ask. it is true that much of the liquor is not top shelf, but it's all at least respectable, and i started each morning with two mimosas! there are cute daily drinks also for all you fans out there ;-)
nightly entertainment at the resort - with the exception of "show night" - is easy mild musical stuff. pleasant, low-key danceable, but far from a rave. we never went to the casino at night so can't speak to that. for us it was a perfect vacation; i wouldn't think it good for singles.
with a single exception (a starlite nighttime server with a chip-?giant redwood? - on her shoulder), we found the entire administration and staff to be wonderful. if i started naming names it would read like the "begats" in genesis, so i will simply say that if you smile and greet folks, you will get that and more in return. these are people who want to please. excellence truly starts at the top; management models high expectations and staff more-than-wants to meet those expectations. there is also a high incidence of employees anticipating little things that make guests feel special (remembering your preferences, greeting you by name, etc). we were particularly appreciative of the manger's welcome party and of the assistant manager's impromptu and knowledgable tour of the landscaping with us ( - really, it would be lovely if divi could put little signs in front of the plantings to share all the info most of us would never know, and increase the uplighting at night).
you will find more beautiful and more expensive hotels in st croix. we visited several, including the carombola and the bucanneer, and yes, their amenities are more impressive and a lot more expensive. we spoke with couples staying at both the bucanneer and carombola - each couple was making the best of their stay but wouldn't book a return trip; they felt ripped off. divi is a value, and has all you need (except bling if that's your thing).
finally, a word about st croix itself. tho' it and bucks suffered the rages of hugo, there is still much lovely on-and-under water beauty to be exerienced. if you're looking for real estate, prices are buyers' market and will become more so because (sadly) hovensa oil, the main employer apart from tourism, is leaving the island and with it thousands of jobs.
lastly, please know if you go, that "love is in the air" is a pet rescue program for strays. you can do this! the island's rescue society asks no money, time, work or complications from you - just, on your way home, offer to become a "pet escort." the society will meet you at the christianstad airport with a spayed, innoculated, crated animal with all paperwork just before your flight home. when you land at your home airport, a representative from your local (or first leg) airport will meet you and pick up the pet to give it a second chance at adoption. you are finished. period. and you've done something good. the love is in the air representatives pair with sister shelters in the usa to give sweet little souls a chance for a good life. think about it, okay? it just takes a phone call during your vacation to give the society your flight and identifying info, and if the sister shelter where you land has room for the pet, you can be an escort. we did volunteer, and were disappointed when our sister shelter had to say no ... i'm sorry, i lost the contact info, but is by the sightseeing brochures in the divi (picture of a dog on the front). if that - and other things i've written - doesn't say that the divi has heart, i don't know what would!
enjoy your stay at the divi. remember "we're not in kansas anymore," adjust to island time, and appreciate how lucky you are to be able to travel to an unpretentious carribean resort that literally strives to be even better every day. we'll be back!
if you don't like people walking past you as you relax outside your room, skip the first floor...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC