I stayed at the Divi All Inclusive for a week in September with my significant other. We are now in our late 20s/early 30s. I consider myself a fairly seasoned traveler and take most of the reviews I read on here with a grain of salt. I hate to say it, but most of the opinions I don't really value. Who are these people?
We arrived at the airport and quickly found DePalm Tours, who brought us to the hotel. I recommend them to transport you back and forth unless you want to rely on a taxi. We were given bottles of water and welcomed at the check-in desk. Yes, there is a $2 per day fee for the safe.
We were transported to our room via shuttle after check in, around 3pm.
Room: We were in the Casita section on the end next to the shuttle path and Veranda pool. That was a plus and a minus. We could hear the shuttles driving by late and early. We could also hear rowdy people in the pool occasionally at night. This pool/jacuzzi is open "around the clock." That only happened once or twice. I mean seriously - yes you are on vacation, but your kids don't need to be in the pool at 11pm. It's very windy and the "Service please"/"Privacy please" sign kept blowing off our door.
The safe isn't very big, not large enough to fit our two iPads. Just keep that in mind if you're concerned. It fit our wallets, passports, and cell phones in the safe. The safe has an actual key with a lanyard. I just kept it in my beach bag.
The room is dated as many people have indicated but I knew that coming in. The king size bed was hard but didn't bother me. My boyfriend did get a backache. There is a sitting area with a table, two chairs and a couch. The patio has a small table and two chairs. There is a "safety bar" on the sliding glass door to keep someone from opening it from the outside. The bathroom is small but updated. I was skeptical on reading about the shower, but it really is poorly designed. The glass wall doesn't come out far enough and water gets all over the floor. I haven't mastered the art of a quick shower. The floor mat doesn't even come close to being sufficient for soaking up the water so plan on using at least one of your towels. We had enough towels and they were always replaced. There is hand soap and bar soap as well as two dispensers in the shower, one labeled shampoo and the other unlabeled. There is a clothes line in the shower to dry your wet garments.
Beach: The beach is amazing. It is huge and the pictures really don't even do it justice. The water is warm, crystal clear and beautiful Caribbean blue. Towards the end of the week, the water did get rough and a bit of seaweed got stirred up, perhaps due to the hurricane? It is windy, but if it wasn't windy, the heat would be unbearable. The sand rarely got blown with the wind. The water gets deep quickly. There are fish in the water, moreso down towards the Tam. There are very few rocks and little seaweed. I found it was rockier down in front of the Tam. Bring out some bread and the fish will surround you, if that sort of thing doesn't freak you out. There are barracudas and their babies. There are large birds, not sure if they're pelicans or what but they dive into the water to get the fish. There are plenty of chairs on the beach and we never had an issue finding a palapa near our room. People do reserve the chairs and palapas, but I think that's more of a problem at the pool where the space and chairs are limited.
There are several pools. The main pool at the Divi was surprisingly small and busy into the evening. We occasionally went to the Veranda pool because it was close to our room but typically spent our time at the beach. We have pools at home - we don't have an amazing beach at home! If those pools are busy, take a walk over to the Tamarijn. There are a few pools in the back that weren't very busy. The pool water is warm. Same temperature as the jacuzzi. There is no swim up bar, but there are bars very close to the main pools.
Food: Disclaimer: I love food. I am not picky. We eat out several times per week, from fast food to fancy restaurants and I love it all. I really liked the food here. I always found lots of food to eat. I'm not sure how some of these people were so horrified by the food. The breakfast buffet had an egg station, fresh fruit, cereal, pancakes, french toast, waffles, sausage, bacon, corned beef hash, bagels, English muffins... what do these critics eat for breakfast at home?
For lunch we either did the buffet, Coco Grill or Sandpiper Grill. Coco has pizza, sandwiches, paninis all made to order and the Sandpiper Grill has my favorite - ham, gouda and pineapple sandwich or burgers/hot dogs.
We ate at the Red Parrot. Had great food and excellent service. The second reservation we had was at Ginger - high anticipated. Unfortunately, this was the only negative point of our week. We were seated quickly in a fairly empty restaurant at 6:30. We waited 45 minutes, received two rounds of drinks but the waitress never came back to take our order. Tables around us were seated and got their appetizers but our waitress seemed to vanish. We got up and left. Discouraged, we ate at the buffet for the rest of the trip. If you really can't find anything you like at one buffet, try the other resort. There are differences in the menus each night. There are theme nights at the buffet - Mexican, Mediterranean, etc. There is always fish, carving station, soups, salads, etc. Although smaller than buffets at other resorts I have been to, I thought there was a good variety.
There is no room service, but you can get food at Pizza per Tutti at the Tam or Coco Grill at the Divi until 1am. There is a greater variety at Pizza per Tutti.
Entertainment: We went to bed pretty early so we didn't see a lot of the entertainment. There was music in the evenings on most nights - a saxophonist, female singer with a guitarist, a mariachi band. I don't really go to resorts expecting Broadway shows every night.
Bars: There are several bars. Make sure you check out the bar at the far end of the Tamarijn. It is like a tree house over the water with awesome views. We usually spent our evenings at the Tamarijn to take in the sunset. I think that's the best spot to take pictures and where the most "action" was.
We drank a few strawberry daiquaris before we figured out there was no alcohol in there. Maybe it depends on who makes it. We fixed that by asking for rum - if you want even more rum, ask for a float of rum. Also, in response to people who say they don't get premium liquor - ask for it! No, they don't have King Louis, but they have decent liquor there. I drink bourbon and wasn't expecting them to have it, but they did. The draft beers are Balashi, Miller Light, and Heineken.
Service: I don't remember encountering any rude employees. They definitely run on a different time than I'm use to in New York - just be a little patient. Transition to island time. Compared to other islands we've been to, while they are friendly and helpful, the workers aren't as eager to please. We did tip here and there but never felt like it was expected.
Grounds: I never saw any garbage on the beach. Maybe a random straw here or there. There is security that walks around. There are many birds and lizards. You would have thought they were 14 foot crocodiles to some people. The lizards aren't going to attack or hurt you, just leave them alone. They're more afraid of you than you are of them.
What else: If you want to leave the resort, head over towards the casino. We didn't gamble but did go in for a look. There are slot machines which are open all the time and tables that open at night. There are stores to buy sunscreen and other things you may have forgotten next to the casino. The prices are similar to the gift shop at the resort. There is a coffee shop, Dunkin Donuts, a wine/piano bar and an Asian restaurant, also called Ginger but with a different menu. Down the street a little farther towards the other resorts is a couple more restaurants. There is a pizza place that has live music in the evening. We also left the resort one night and visited several other places which I will review separately. The taxis have a set rate, at least per the Aruba magazine we received at the airport, but we were charged two separate rates.
We took a look at the high rise area, and our beach was infinitely better. Much more room.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at the Divi. Only downside was our visit to Ginger and the location of our room. The beach is FABULOUS. We would return to this resort.