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Why did Sarah and Bryan Baeumler shut down 'Renovation Island' Bahamas resort?

The opening day excitement didn't last for too long for the Baeumlers as they had to shut down Caerula Mar Club shortly after opening it
'Renovation Island' stars Sarah and Bryan Baeumler (HGTV)
'Renovation Island' stars Sarah and Bryan Baeumler (HGTV)

For HGTV hosts Bryan and Sarah Baeumler life has been nothing short of a wild rollercoaster ride ever since they decided to leave their cozy life in Canada behind and moved to the sleepy island of San Andros in the Bahamas. The 'Renovation Island' hosts transplanted their entire family to the remote Caribbean Island with hopes of living an adventurous life and breaking away from the monotony. They got what they asked for, as every single day on the island has been a challenge. From battling termite infestation and leaky roofs and rusty surfaces to their ambitious project of converting an old, abandoned hotel into a luxury resort, the couple had their work cut out for them.

As fans tuned in to watch the Baumlers' attempts at renovating the old hotel, they began getting attached to it and many added a stay at the swanky Caerula Mar Club to their bucket list after watching it open its door to guests. But unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world and brought everybody's travel plans to a screeching halt. This led to Bryan and Sarah making the difficult decision of briefly shutting down their lovely resort in the best interests of their family, staff, and guests. But now that the lockdown has been lifted and travel restrictions are beginning to loosen up, so if you're wondering about Caerula Mar Club and planning a stay there, then we got you covered.


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Is Caerula Mar Club open?

After months of hard work and investing all their money into their dream project of Caerula Mar Club, Bryan and Sarah Baeumler finally opened their resort to guests in March 2020. As the couple was just beginning to enjoy the fruits of their labor, the pandemic took over the world, and six weeks later the Bahamas went into lockdown just like the rest of the world. The couple had no choice but to briefly shut down their luxury resort until October 2020. In an interview with The Toronto Sun, Sarah said, "Everybody thinks, ‘isn’t that nice being shut down in a place like this during a lockdown, just hang out on the beach.’ The place may have been closed but the work does not stop." 

The brief shutdown proved to be a very tough time for not just the Baeumlers but also their staff. In another interview with TRNTO, the couple explained, "First and foremost, we had to make a decision about where we wanted to be with our children, and that was to avoid crowded international travel back to Canada and remain at the hotel on South Andros. All our renovations that were underway were halted, existing reservations had to be cancelled, and travellers refunded. We had to lay off the majority of our staff, but kept a skeleton crew on for maintenance, landscaping and housekeeping in order to protect the infrastructure of the hotel. It was a very difficult time."


In an Instagram post, the resort announced its brief shutdown. "The well-being and safety of our guests, staff and community remain our highest priority. After careful assessment of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Caerula Mar Club is temporarily closed. We are closely following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization’s (WHO) as well as our local medical professionals and government agencies in the Bahamas regarding COVID-19 guidelines and best practices. At this time, our website remains open and we are accepting reservations for new arrivals from June 1, 2020. As we continue to monitor this evolving situation, this date may be adjusted." 


After a long wait the resort once again finally opened its doors in October 2020, with strict safety protocols in place. The couple shared, "The Bahamas reopened for international travel with strict health and safety protocols in place in the fall, so we decided to reopen Caerula Mar after hurricane season at the end of October. Welcoming guests back to the resort was a strange experience for everyone — it was great to have staff back at work and a little revenue coming in, but everyone was understandably a little nervous. Travellers are required to provide proof of a negative COVID test within five days of travelling, secure a travel health visa from the Bahamas, and take another COVID test within five days of arrival. Strict mask and distancing protocols remain in place in public areas."

We will get to watch all the adventures and hardships that the Baeumler family faced during the pandemic on Season 3 of 'Renovation Island'. 

'Renovation Island' Season 2 premieres on Sunday, June 20, at 8/7c only on HGTV.