When Mary and I purchased our Roatan vacation rental home in 2012, we knew we were going to have to put some money into it. It was clear from the home inspection that the villa had been very heavily used over the previous few years and needed just a little TLC (and a lot of upgrades, updates and improvements). What follows are the steps we took to give Coral Vista 1 an Extreme Makeover.
1. Powerwash and Paint
The staple of any makeover is painting. It's relatively inexpensive and makes a big difference in how the property looks and feels. So we decided to completely repaint inside and out. From a color perspective, we left the outside the same so all five Coral Vista villas continued to present that same, classic look with white exterior and orange roof tiles. Between the new paint and the power washing to prep for the painting, we really cleaned up the exterior look and feel of the property.
From an interior point of view, we tried to do two things: brighten up the space and create more of a relaxing, spa-like feel. It is, after all, a vacation home. Besides color selection, one of the tricks we used to achieve that effect was to paint the ceiling in the downstairs living area the same color as the walls. This technique makes the space feel seamless instead of drawing attention to the ceiling and recessed lighting by setting it off from the rest of the room color.
You can find before and after photos of all the rooms on our Pinterest board: Extreme Makeover: Roatan Style
2. New, High-end Linens
In addition to brightening things up with color, we upgraded the window treatments, bath and beach towels and replaced the old, tired bed linens with very high-end, plush and elegant fabrics. On top of that, we initiated a program to replace the mattresses in all the bedrooms, starting with the master. All the higher end hotels recognized this fact long ago: one of the keys to guest satisfaction is the quality of the sleep they get and that has everything to do with the look and feel of the bed and bedding.
3. Replace All Indoor and Outdoor Living Furniture
The original indoor furniture was, in a word, tired. Dated floral prints on top of squeaky springs and uncomfortable cushions did not scream "luxury villa". So, it had to go (donated to local charities).
We replaced it with a simple, comfortable and locally-purchased living room set that fits in nicely with the spa-like vibe we were going for while allowing up to seven adults to sit comfortably around the new 50" LED-flat panel TV for a low-key movie night.
Outdoor, the patio furniture we "inherited" was also pretty beat and not remotely up to the expectations of our guests. So, that was replaced as well. In this case, we also went to a local Roatan business to find resort-quality exterior furniture that would withstand the elements while giving guests an outdoor lounging space that made the patio a true second living space for dining and for kicking back, listening to the Sonos music system on the outdoor speakers and watching dive boats come in and out of Half Moon Bay.
In addition to the new TV in the living room, we added wall-mounted flat-panel televisions in every bedroom. We also put in Apple TVs and a brand new iMac computer with a digital movie library so any room can access all the digital movies at any time. On the music side, we installed a Sonos wireless audio system that can access our local digital music library or any of a number of Internet audio sources such as SiriusXM, Spotify or Internet radio. With outdoor speakers on the patio and audiophile-caliber speakers throughout the house, you can literally listen to your favorite music wherever you want. And finally, we replaced the gas grill on the patio with a modern, stainless, high-end grill with infrared searing to complete the entertainment makeover.
5. Water: Pressure and Quality
The fifth and final step of the process was to upgrade the water system. We did this in two ways. First, we upgraded the water pump to make sure there was always an adequate supply of hot water to the large, walk-in showers. Studies show that the quality of the shower experience ranks right up there with bedding for most high-end hotel guests, and we felt that we could not afford to disappoint on this front.
The other thing we did was install a whole house water filtration system. This system uses micro filtration plus ultraviolet light to completely purify the water that runs to every tap in the house. That way, no one has to worry about whether or not they can brush their teeth with tap water, wash a head of lettuce in the sink or even get a glass of water from the fridge.
Experience The Roatan Vacation Rental Extreme Makeover
While we ended up doing a bit more and spending a bit more than we originally intended, we could not be more happy with the outcome. Coral Vista 1 is once again the flagship property in the Coral Vista Villas development, and guest feedback so far has been fantastic. We would love to have you come and join us.
And please feel free to share your thoughts about the makeover and any suggestions on what we can do to further improve our Roatan vacation rental home going forward.