We have seen plenty of renovation-themed shows on HGTV, but what sets ‘Renovation Island’ apart from the others is the sheer magnitude of the project. While other renovation shows focus on the renovation of a house or a business property like a hotel, the Baeumlers have taken on the massive project of renovating an entire resort on an island. For Bryan and Sarah Baeumler, this renovation project is very important and very close to their heart and wallet, considering they own the resort and spent over $10 million in buying and restoring the property.
When the Baeumlers decided to pick up and move their life from Canada to the Bahamas, they were mentally prepared for all the adventures and the work that lay ahead for them. As soon as they set foot in the resort that they had purchased with the intention of turning it into a tourist hotspot, they realized the magnitude of work that lay ahead of them.
The resort named Caerula Mar, which was earlier called Emerald Palms, had been lying non-operational for a little over eight years in the South Andros island of the Bahamas. Although the resort was located in a very picturesque environment, the lack of maintenance due to it being non-operational left the property in very bad shape.
Severe termite infestation to leaky roofs and rust on not just surfaces but also appliances like air conditioners meant that Sarah and Bryan had to meticulously renovate every single aspect of the resort. The couple initially set a deadline of six months to complete the renovation of the entire oceanfront property, spread over 10 acres. The property comprised of 22 one- and two-bedroom guest villas, and one main hotel block with 18 hotel rooms, aside from a clubhouse, indoor pool, and the lounge areas.
Bryan and Sarah worked tirelessly to convert the Emerald Palms resort into their dreamy Caerula Mar Club. From some major structural changes to unique and stunning interior design, the couple did everything they could to make the resort as luxurious as possible. While Bryan focused on the operational aspects of the renovation, Sarah focused on the designing and interiors, alongside hospitality. As they began the work, they realized that six months was too short a time, and pushed the opening to a year and a half. During this time, these are some of the many changes that the couple made to the resort.
They started off with handling the termite issue on the property. Then went on to deal with the damages caused by the humid weather, rust, and decay to the property. Since the property was close to the ocean, the salt wreaked havoc on the surfaces, causing wood rot and decay, throughout the resort building. So, they had to work on that. They used materials that could withstand the salt attack, and resist rust.
Since it’s a tropical paradise, the weather is hot and humid, so an A/C is non-negotiable. But unfortunately, the existing outdoor A/C units were spoilt due to rust and not being used for years. So, they had to change that and decided to go with one central unit. The tiles and floors on the property were badly stained and looked very unappealing. So they worked on re-tiling the place and fixing the floor while keeping in mind the theme of whites and blues for the resort.
There was also an in-ground pool on the property that hadn’t been touched in years. As a result, it was infested by moss and fungus and looked very ugly. So, the crew worked on cleaning it up, and filling it with clean water and adding some fancy features to upgrade it.
Finally, they dealt with the main clubhouse area. They upgraded the lounge area, changed the wallpapers, added some new fixtures, and lighting, to change the ambiance of the area. They also upgraded the kitchen area with state-of-the-art equipment, making it ready to serve the guests.
‘Renovation Island’ special behind the scenes episode airs on Sunday, August 23, at 8/7c on HGTV.