Apr 21, 2013

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The Allison Inn & Spa – Luxury Lodging in the Heart of Oregon Wine Country


The Allison Inn & Spa

A drive through the picturesque small town of Newberg, Oregon (population roughly 22,000), offers sights of craftsmen era and Victorian homes with wrap around porches transformed into inviting restaurants, small classy boutiques with floor to ceiling windows in turn of the century brick buildings and quaint tasting rooms filled with wines from some of the 200 nearby world-class wineries.  Lush, rolling hills dotted with farms and vineyards outline the center of town, and on 35 acres of beautiful town-side land, a lodge like non-other sits gracefully among rows of vines and immaculate landscaping.

The Allison Inn & Spa is, without a doubt, the ultimate place to stay while experiencing Oregon’s beautiful wine country.  The elegance that exudes from this pristine property is perfectly matched with the elegance of the region’s highly acclaimed Pinot Noirs.  From beautifully appointed guestrooms and a world renowned spa to ecologically sound policies and on-going ‘green’ initiatives, the Allison is as committed to the guests as it is to the environment.


Lobby, restaurant and spa entrances, as seen here, are graced with water, rocks and flowers

When Amber Fries of Duck Pond Cellars (located just outside of Newberg, in Dundee), contacted me a few months ago about joining the Duck Pond Cellars family to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their family business, I was filled with excitement as I read the email from Amber.  Stellar wine, food, scenery and company are the reasons why I love what I do, and I immediately marked my calendar – this was a trip not to be missed.

“We’ll begin the day by meeting at the beautiful Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg. From there, we’ll tour two of our vineyards, taste some library wines, current releases and barrel samples from the 2012 vintage, and unveil our new label look. The day’s events will conclude with a four-course dinner by JORY chef Sunny Jin and an overnight stay at the Allison.”

IMG_5927Our day with the Duck Pond Cellars family was absolutely incredible.  We toured their vineyards, had an incredible lunch inside a greenhouse with outstanding gourmet wood-fired pizza and Duck Pond wine, we toured their winery and sampled ’92, ’93 and ’94 Pinot Noirs; as well as, four 2012 barrel samples.  We had a pre-dinner reception of Desert Wind wines (their second winery out of Washington) with cheese and fresh bread and then ended the day with an ambrosial dinner provided by the famed chef of the JORY Restaurant at Allison Inn & Spa, Sunny Jin; along with, select Duck Pond wines of varying vintages and varietals.  Truly, the entire day was a day to remember, and I’m looking forward to sharing all of the details about what we experienced.  This piece, however, is all about the Allison Inn.

The lobby is inviting and comfortable with a seating area focused on a fireplace and windows that look out on to a patio with a view of the estate gardens.  The lobby is open to the bar and the JORY restaurant.  Built on a slight slope, the lobby, bar and restaurant are on the third floor, although they are level with the front of the property.  The view from the windows along the back side of the building (the lobby, patio, bar and restaurant) all have a panoramic view of the 34 acres that the Inn sits on.  Outside of the entryway, water features, rocks and flowers emit a feeling of relaxation.


Guestrooms are gorgeous, inviting and relaxing

In fact, it’s hard not to relax at the Allison.  The spa, which was rated the #1 spa in the Continental U.S. by Travel + Leisure Magazine in 2012, is comforting and soothing – even when just getting a tour of the facilities.  The guestrooms are incredibly large, yet cozy, and relaxation is inevitable.  There’s a desk with two office chairs on either side, a closet with posh robes and slippers and a wet-bar with complimentary snacks, two wine glasses, a wine bottle opener and a mini-fridge.  A chair with an ottoman and a bay window with pillows and a throw are on either side of a gas fireplace, which turns on at the touch of a button.  Also at the touch of a button, the choice of privacy or black-out shades covers the large bay window. The bed is laden with a down comforter and pillows, and a Bose stereo and alarm clock sits on one of the granite-topped night stands.  There’s even a slider window on the wall from the bathroom into the bedroom/living room that offers an unobstructed view of the fireplace from the bath tub.  The decor is streamlined and clean, beautiful local art is throughout, even in the bathroom, and I loved that the water glasses provided were made from recycled wine bottles.  A patio (or balcony, depending on which side of the hotel the guestroom is on), looks out over the estate gardens and vineyards. There’s not a single amenity left un-thought of – the guestrooms are simply a slice of heaven on earth.  I even had breakfast in bed.


Breakfast in bed

Before departing, we walked around the gorgeous grounds of the property – there wasn’t a single area of this entire resort that wasn’t completely and utterly relaxing.  I couldn’t help but envision myself lounging on the patio with a glass of wine in one hand and a book in the other come summertime.  Without a doubt, I’ll be back, and I’ll be anxiously awaiting my return.

In October, The Allison will be debuting their very own wine produced in collaboration with famed Willamette Valley winemaker, David Adelsheim: 2012 Austin Knoll Pinot Noir. This vintage is sourced directly from the Allison’s seven acre on-property vineyard, which is in the Chehalem Mountains AVA of Oregon’s wine country. The Allison is the first resort property to produce wine in the region. More on the debut and wine to follow.

Visit the Allison Inn & Spa at  2525 Allison Lane, Newberg, OR, 97132.  The Allison is independently owned.


Thank you to the Fries and Jenkins families for an incredible day and stay at the Allison.  Congratulations to 20 years of success, cheers!

Explorer’s Guide Oregon Wine Country: A Great Destination (second Edition) (Explorer’s Great Destinations)