Vineyard Retreat is managed by Lisa, interior architect.
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Vineyard Retreat
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Church lounge
— Lisa: “The property is perfect for someone looking for a low-key, fun summer experience, but also having some of the amenities you’d find in a nicer hotel.”
Interview By: Welcome Beyond
— What was your inspiration to buy and renovate the church and the adjoining house?
Lisa: “The church was a Methodist church built in the 1840s. About five years before we purchased it, it had gone out of commission.

I bought the property with another person who’s a historic preservationist. The whole thing was kind of an obsession for us. We were trying to resurrect the property from an exterior perspective of preservation but at the same time we wanted to make it contemporary and livable.”
http://www.welcomebeyond.com/
— Church lounge
— What was your approach in terms of the renovation?
Lisa: “We tried to keep as many original elements as possible which involved a lot of research and meticulous work. For example, a lot of the original tin ceiling in the church was damaged, so we had molds made and replaced the panels. We also retained the original flooring and made sure the replacement windows were historically accurate.

At the same time, we also put an amazing stereo system into the church because the acoustics are pretty great in there. We have large TVs and surround sound, so the whole property is a combination of modern pieces and historical elements.”
http://www.welcomebeyond.com/
— Master bedroom
— Tell us a bit about the layout of the property please.
Lisa: “The church is one space. It has a dining table and living area and bed, but it’s all one room. It has a wet bar, a kitchenette, and a bathroom with a large tub and shower.

The house has two bedrooms and two full baths. One bedroom and bath is on the first floor, and the upstairs piece of the house is one space. The first floor is open with the living and dining room space and an open kitchen. The other bedroom is off the kitchen.”

— What are some of the services you offer to your guests?
Lisa: “In some ways this property is nicer than a lot of rentals here. A lot of those are pretty rustic, so I think we’re offering guests a little bit more of a high-end experience. Most people end up cooking or going out a lot but we can offer chef services for catered or cooked meals. If daily or weekly cleaning is needed, we can arrange for that as well.

Generally, though, most people come here for the low-key aspect of the island. The idea of Martha’s Vineyard is really a nice community experience.”
http://www.welcomebeyond.com/
— Church lounge
— What’s it like to sleep in the church?
Lisa: “Both buildings are almost identical in square footage. The rooms in the house are really cozy and small, whereas the church is a totally different experience. It almost feels like a New York loft inside because the ceilings are so high and everything is open.”
http://www.welcomebeyond.com/
— Kitchen
— What’s so special about the experience of staying there?
Lisa: “The church is really amazing, but I think people really appreciate the different experience in both buildings. I used to spend Thanksgiving in the church because there’s a huge dining table that seats 10, and it’s a fun space to hang out and entertain friends.

I like that you can be completely self-contained, cook every night onsite, or get in the car and do all the touring on the island. In a way, you have the ability to do two kinds of vacation experiences here.”