The Harris family is very familiar with the British Virgin Islands, having enjoyed charter holidays in the territory for over 20 years. Cooper Island Beach Club is now their home-from-home where everyone is welcome.
The aim is to upgrade every aspect of the resort over the next ten years to improve its functionality, style and its environmental sustainability.
In July 2009 the restaurant was completely renovated, adding a traditional Caribbean hipped-roof and a modern commercial kitchen within the original footprint. ES Construction Ltd and Smith Arneborg Architects worked with a team of craftsmen to complete the project in record time. The restaurant re-opened on 20th Dec 2009 featuring recycled teak furniture a copper bar and coral-stone floors.
In January 2011 a state-of-the-art Solar power system was installed by Alternative Energy Systems in Tortola. Ninety solar panels on the kitchen roof generate 75% of the resort’s electricity requirements and we have avoided producing over 133,240 lbs (60,536kg) of CO2 Emissions to date.
The same team of local companies were contracted to renovate the resort’s guest cottages in 2010. The rooms were re-designed in line with the company’s eco-friendly ethos, using natural and recycled materials wherever possible.
The first four rooms were completed by February 2011 featuring spacious beachfront balconies, luxurious ‘wet-room’ showers and furniture made from recycled timber in driftwood tones.
The public bathrooms were also given a face-lift that summer and the public showers were re-opened for our yachting visitors. ES Construction started the South Beach rooms in May and all six were completed ready for the new 2011-12 winter season including a new boardwalk and Pavilion deck.
Phase 3 – completed Dec 2012
A new staff accommodation building behind the restaurant provides 10 new rooms for our staff, plus additional rainwater cisterns and a further 48-solar panel array on the roof.
The existing track to the two hilltop staff houses was paved to improve safety and rainwater drainage. Emphasis has also been given to improving the landscaping through composting and irrigation. The improved soil allows us to grow passion-fruit, papaya, bananas, plantain and herbs for the kitchen.
A ‘Submerged Membrane Bio-Reactor’ was installed in November 2013. This state-of-the-art system converts our grey/black waste water into ‘EU bathing standards’ water – suitable for landscaping irrigation and washing down boats etc.
Phase 4 – commences January 2013
The old wooden boutique building and existing dive shop is being replaced with a new joint retail building on the far end of the North Beach. It will include a fantastic new boutique, dive shop and coffee shop. Solar panels on the roof will be grid-tied to our existing system and waste water will be treated by the bio-reactor. Work is due for completion in Nov 2013.
The four guest rooms on the North Beach will be closed this season due to the proximity of the construction site and The SeaGrape Boutique has relocated to guest rooms 1&2. Sail Caribbean Divers continue to operate from their existing premises on the beachfront until they can move into their new home.