The new building offers an open floor plan of more than 2,500 square feet, a full commercial catering kitchen, plus three deluxe accommodations, including a romantic bridal suite, on the second floor.
The classic barn structure was designed to compliment the Inn's present buildings and architecture, with design details that mimic the Inn's iconic 1890's Carriage House. The feel of the building is rustic yet refined.
"It was important to us that the new building not only offer all the features that wedding couples and event planners are looking for but that it also feel as though it belongs here, and may have always been here," said co-owner of the Inn at Manchester Frank Hanes. "The Celebration Barn has all the romance and charm of a rustic setting yet offers the modern convenience that today's wedding-goers desire such as handicap access and fully appointed indoor restrooms."
Named Vermont Innkeepers of the Year in 2012 and having just celebrated 10 years as innkeepers in 2013, Frank and Julie Hanes are not strangers to hosting weddings and events. The Inn has been home to countless weddings and private events either under tents on the inn's four-acre property or in the inn's common areas. Their goals in building the new Celebration Barn were to be able to provide a function space that offers more flexibility in the types of events that can be held, is fully climate controlled, and is available year-round.
While weddings are a large part of the expected uses of the Celebration Barn other events and functions, private parties, business meetings, and corporate retreats will each be at home in the new space.
"In our planning we tried to think about all the ways families, our guests, and the local community might want to use a space. We imagined all of the gatherings that could take place inside of it - contra dances, corporate retreats, business meetings and seminars, birthday celebrations, bar- and bat mitzvahs, and family reunions - and then built a structure around that," Julie Hanes said.
In addition to the interior space, the Celebration Barn also includes a covered outdoor terrace with fire pit where event guests can also gather, making it possible to comfortably enjoy the outdoors even in some of southern Vermont's crisper or mistier weather.
"We took what we've learned from 10 years of hosting so many beautiful tented weddings here at the Inn at Manchester and put all of the best ideas into this beautiful, versatile building," Frank Hanes said.
As innkeepers the Hanes make hospitality and service a priority. Their success in doing so has repeatedly placed The Inn at Manchester in the top positions on TripAdvisor.com, an industry-leading travel resource for several years running.
"We just like seeing people happy and comfortable." Frank Hanes said. "We love our guests and feel like we're all part of the same family that appreciates all the wonderful things Vermont has to share."
The Hanes see the new space as a natural extension of their successful inn.