Kent boutique hotel postpones launch and pivots to wedding venue

UK: The 13-bedroom luxury boutique hotel and restaurant, The Vines of Rochester, has postponed its launch until January 2021 and has adapted to cater to the wedding market.

Originally scheduled to open in mid-2020, The Vines of Rochester in Kent has undergone five years of renovation and restoration.

Owned by father and daughter Paul and Rebecca Collins of The Montgomery Group, they decided to diversify the property in a bid to survive the pandemic.

Rebecca Collins, MD of The Montgomery Group, explained: “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.”

Formerly Rochester’s old archdeaconry, eight of the hotel’s thirteen bedrooms are in the main house and have been restored following the original features. The remaining five new bedrooms are housed in the landscaped gardens and come with a patio area.

The Vines has two restaurants – one offering a la carte and the other a Brasserie – as well as a separate bar and outdoor kitchen. A Nordic-style tipi can be installed in the garden for wedding ceremonies.

Two types of weddings will be available at The Vines: a traditional of festival celebration. The traditional wedding will host up to 70 day-guests, whilst the festival wedding is an all-day celebration with food and drink stands and capacity for 120 guests.

The Vines is now available for wedding bookings for 2021.

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