Saint John’s Resort in Plymouth recently opened the latest jewel in the crown of its ongoing multimillion-dollar renovation. The Wine Grotto was designed to evoke the ambience of a European wine cellar, offering several intimate spaces where attendees can sample from a rotating wine list of 150-plus labels, enjoy craft cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks, and share in small plates and desserts.
Saint John’s Resort Director of Sales and Marketing Fadi Sibani says the new wine bar is housed in a previously underused area connecting to the resort’s Atrium ballroom. Its new incarnation complements other resort improvements—including renovations to the bathrooms of all 118 guest rooms and suites, most ballrooms, public bathrooms, its Five Steakhouse restaurant, and the pool. A new glass-enclosed Garden Pavilion that accommodates up to 500 people opened last June and overlooks the golf course.
Next year, the resort will debut an additional 50,000 square feet of meeting space along with a new 18-hole championship golf course; a seven-hole, par-3 course featuring replicas of some of the most famous greens around the world; a 2-acre natural bent-grass putting course; and a two-story casual Irish pub.
The 2,422-square-foot wine bar features three individually designed areas: Royal Cavern, with a King Arthur’s table seating up to 14 attendees; The Cellar space, where additional wines are displayed; and The Cove, which Sibani describes as “an intimate and cozy area—it’s like a little cave within a cave.”
While it’s open to the public with seating for about 55, The Wine Grotto also can be reserved for private events of up to 100 attendees. Sibani says corporate clients are booking it for activities adjacent to executive retreats and conferences.
One unusual feature at The Wine Grotto is the Coravin preservation system, which offers patrons a chance to sample even the priciest wines by the glass or half glass. The system inserts a tiny needle into the cork to extract the wine—so small that the cork immediately closes back up after the needle is removed and keeps the remainder of the wine intact. Sibani explains, “Mainly people are going to use the Coravin system for those expensive bottles—if [they] don’t want to spend $400 or $500 for a bottle tonight but really want a glass or two.”
Previously known as the Inn at St. John’s, the former seminary that became a Catholic retreat center-turned conference/hotel facility was purchased by Pulte Family Management in 2021. It operates under the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation’s “Humanitarian Hotels” strategy, which donates 100% of net profits to educational and humanitarian initiatives locally and around the world.