New boutique hotel, The Vines of Rochester has postponed its launch date and adapted its offering to cater exclusively for the weddings market, due to the pandemic.
Originally scheduled to open this year after a five-year renovation project, the new 13-bedroom hotel is now pivoting the business to cater for weddings only, in a bid for survival and delaying the hotel opening date back to January 2021.
The Vines is owned by The Montgomery Group, father and daughter duo, Paul and Rebecca Collins, who have experience with other hospitality ventures including Cooling Castle Barn and The Fire Station Brasserie.
The Montgomery Group managing director Rebecca Collins explains: “We have been working tirelessly to design, plan and restore the exceptional building into a notable restaurant with rooms. As a small family-run business, we cannot be more upset and disheartened to have our imminent opening thwarted, but we are not the only ones to have suffered. During the lockdown, wonderful couples from our sister wedding venue, Cooling Castle Barn have had to cancel their special occasions and look to make new plans. For this reason and for a short period of time, we will be offering The Vines as an exclusive wedding venue to support couples that have had their wedding day ruined.”
The Vines has been transformed from Rochester’s old archdeaconry, with eight of the 12 bedrooms situated in the main house and five new rooms housed in the landscaped gardens.
The property also has two restaurants, a separate bar and outdoor kitchen and seating area.
A new feature is the Nordic-style tipi, installed to provide a backdrop for wedding ceremonies.
Two types of weddings will be available at The Vines, a ‘traditional’ or ‘festival’ celebration.
The venue will then look to officially launch as a boutique hotel, restaurant and bar in early 2021.