New HGTV Series 'Renovation Island' Takes Viewers on a Trip to a Tropical Island Paradise
Up for some armchair travel? Indulge in a virtual Caribbean adventure and follow HGTV renovation experts Bryan and Sarah Baeumler as they undertake the restoration of an entire island resort on a remote island in the Bahamas.
Fans of HGTV’s popular ‘beach programming’ like Caribbean Life, Beachfront Bargain Hunt, Mexico Life and Beach Hunters are in for a treat of a different sort as the network premieres a new and particularly ambitious renovation show set entirely on a remote island in The Bahamas. The new series Renovation Island makes its debut on HGTV on Sunday, June 7 at 8p|7c.
Here’s the backstory: Back in 2017, Canadian renovation pros (and husband-and-wife) Bryan and Sarah Baeumler spent a family vacation on in the Bahamas. While there, on a lark, they took a day trip to the small island of South Andros. And they positively fell in love with the place. So much in love, in fact, that they ultimately made the bold decision to pack up their family and move to the remote tropical island — with the dream of renovating an abandoned 1960s-era island resort they had seen there. Yes, renovate the entire resort. The core objective: turn their serendipitous island discovery into a world-class boutique hotel.
Now, reminiscent of a modern-day take on Swiss Family Robinson, the HGTV series follows the Baeumlers through their epic adventure in a wild, lush and exotic landscape. In this case, adventure consists of the actual restoration and revitalization the long-neglected beachfront resort, taking it from a sad and dilapidated property that had been on the market for 10 years to a luxury island getaway with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and on connecting people with nature and the ocean.
"Sustainability and environmental preservation are incredibly important to us,” Bryan told Travel Weekly, “not just in the construction phase but in everything we do — from sourcing ingredients for our restaurants to selecting our tour partners and establishing relationships with employees and suppliers." The project is also allied with the Reef Rescue Network, a nonprofit organization that guides the restoration and rehabilitation of coral reefs in The Bahamas.
Bryan, a licensed contractor, and Sarah, with her keen design aesthetics, come with right pedigree for the chance-of-a-lifetime undertaking. Together they set about to transform the abandoned 10-acre property into an island paradise complete with 18 luxurious hotel rooms, 22 ocean front villas and a host of breezy resort amenities. With an eye toward a grand re-opening for prime tourist season, Bryan and Sarah, along with their small staff, tackle a massive to-do list of construction and design projects that must be completed within a tight six-month timeline. Among them: renovation of a full-service restaurant, bar, club house, spa and in-ground pool.
In the premiere episode, the family bids farewell to their familiar and urban home and life. As the tremendous renovation begins, the island’s tropical weather, wildlife and remote location are just a few of the challenges the family must navigate as they adjust to a life in a radically different — albeit beautiful — geography and setting.
Throughout the show's first season, Bryan and Sarah go to extraordinary lengths to realize their dream despite the stress and emotions that come with a seemingly impossible timeline and a maxed-out budget — not to mention unanticipated discoveries like rusted out generators, termite damage in all of the buildings and the threat of a hurricane mid-reno. And all with four kids in tow. (The kids, in fact, are integral participants in the massive undertaking.)
“This is the biggest change our family has faced and the largest project we’ve ever taken on,” said Bryan. “What are we risking? Absolutely everything.”
Astute HGTV viewers will recall the Baeumlers as stars of the renovation/reality series House of Bryan which aired in the US on HGTV’s sister network, DIY. Bryan also hosted earlier DIY shows Leave It to Bryan and Disaster DIY. Fans may also see parallels in the recent DIY Network limited series, Renovation Realities: Dale Jr. and Amy — in which auto-racing legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife Amy renovated a historic but distressed beachfront home in Key West. And we’ve seen Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna save, restore and open their bed-and-breakfast, a breakfast diner and their bakery at Magnolia Silos. But Renovation Island marks the first time HGTV has documented the rescue and transformation of an entire resort hotel from the ground up.
“Everyone said we were crazy,” said Sarah Baeumler. “But our hearts said ‘yes’— this is the right thing to do.”
Fans can stay connected with Renovation Island on HGTV’s digital platforms. The new episodes will be available on HGTV GO the same day as the TV premieres -- Sundays beginning June 7. Fans can visit HGTV.com/RenovationIsland for special show extras, behind-the-scenes photos and exclusive videos with Bryan and Sarah. Viewers also can follow @HGTV and #RenovationIsland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for additional show content and updates.