Renovation Island: Paradise Regained

It's down to the wire for the opening of the restored Caerula Mar resort. Bryan and Sarah Baeumler take a breath and reflect on the months of hard work that have gone into this moment — and take a pause to admire some of the results of their hard-fought efforts.

August 16, 2020

It's All Been Leading to This

The entire crew rushes to meet their deadlines as Sarah and Bryan finish up some of their last projects and add some final touches. It's all part of the final preparations for Caerula Mar's grand opening and the welcoming of guests. "We're entering the revenue phase," adds Bryan, "so it really seems like this 'baby' that we've nurtured and cared for, and put a lot of work into, is now grown up."

Welcome to Caerula Mar

The front entrance has been repaired and restored, and now features the resort's newly designed logo.

The Core Corridor

The main hotel block, at the heart of the beachfront property, has presented some of the biggest challenges in the overall restoration, but the project is now close to complete.

I Know It's In There

According to Michelangelo, every block of stone has a statue inside it; It is the task of the sculptor to discover it. In this case, though, Bryan and Adam just break out the heavy demo tools and will be content to get this concrete column removed from the premises before guests arrive.

Level, Plumb and Square

Bryan and a Adam work together to level a post as work winds down on the main clubhouse.

Provisions in Port

Some of the final supplies for the grand opening arrive at the island. "The boat that we were waiting for has finally arrived," says Sarah, "so we have a ton of unpacking and organizing to do in a short amount of time. We just have to push through."

Lobby Prep

With just four days until the opening, the crew unpacks and distributes some of the newly arrived furnishings. "Even though we are down to the wire," says Sarah, "it feels really good to start getting furniture into the lobby."

The Beginning of the Next Phase

"Tomorrow is opening day," says Sarah just prior to the big day, "and it's the start of a whole new phase for us — the operations and the hospitality."

One More Walk-Through

Prior to the opening, Bryan and Sarah enter through the newly upgraded main hotel entrance as they take stock of the progress that's been made on key elements of the resort's facilities and grounds.

Main Hotel Block

Before. The central corridor and courtyard between the rows of units in the main hotel block were indicative of the resort's years of neglect.

Main Hotel Block

After. The courtyard has been visually streamlined and a gravel pad with step stones added. "Ah, this corridor has caused me the greatest and most expensive stress of my life," says Bryan, reflecting on some of the challenges presented over the months in the repair and restoration of this central portion of the resort. "A lot of work has gone into this, and a lot of money," adds Sarah. "Basically, everything except the exterior has been redone."

The Main Hotel Block

Before. Prior to the renovation, the concrete walkways and patios were discolored and exterior walls were deteriorated, weather-damaged and stained with rust.

The Main Hotel Block

After. Concrete planters holding lush vegetation, a new white building exterior, restored metal roof and new a/c units are among the physical improvements in the hotel portion of the resort.

Main Hotel Block

After. Rebuilt patios and elegant outdoor furniture transform the look and feel of the hotel exteriors.

Main Hotel Block

After. Other exterior enhancements include new exterior doors and hardware, new outdoor lighting, louvered privacy wall and new tile flooring.

Main Hotel Block

After. A seating area with plush sofa, low-profile coffee table and louvered panel create a sense of privacy and a relaxed feel for the patio area.

The Honeymoon Suite

"The honeymoon suite has always been my favorite villa," says Sarah. "I love its location on the property. I love its privacy. It feels the most lik e myself and Bryan."

The Honeymoon Suite

The honeymoon suite is a one-bedroom villa, similar in layout to the one that the Baeumler family has been living in during the renovation. But this one has undergone a dramatic upgrade and transformation.

The Honeymoon Suite

The Honeymoon Suite, Bedroom

One significant structural improvement to this villa was the addition of a new window in the seating nook, allowing more natural light into the main space.

The Honeymoon Suite, Bedroom

The "eyebrow" accent beam above the king-sized bed incorporates recessed halogen lighting as well as two feature pendant fixtures — one on either side of the bed providing reading light as well as illumination for the bedside tables. As a structural accent, in the context of the high vaulted ceilings, it also helps frame and define the space.

Honeymoon Suite Bedroom, Detail

Honeymoon Suite Bedroom, Detail

Honeymoon Suite Bedroom, Detail

Honeymoon Suite Bedroom, Detail

Honeymoon Suite, Reading Nook

Honeymoon Suite, Detail

Honeymoon Suite, Bath

The honeymoon suite was one of the first projects that Bryan and the crew undertook. A sunken soaker-style bathtub was removed to make room for a modern and elegant spa bath.

Honeymoon Suite, Bath

Honeymoon Suite Bathroom, Detail

Honeymoon Suite Bathroom, Detail

"The washroom feels enormous," says Sarah. "By having this beautiful tile, the lightness of the walls, all the layered lighting — it just feels expansive."

Honeymoon Suite Bathroom, Detail

The Story Does Not End Here

Keep checking back at 'Renovation Island Central' for more new galleries, articles, updates and video documenting this epic island adventure.

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