The Allison Inn and Spa sits on a hillside surrounded by vineyards in Oregon's Willamette Valley. About 25 miles from downtown Portland, it offers an unforgettable escape into the heart of Oregon's wine culture.
I visited The Allison on a chilly February day. I had flown into Oregon to visit with my sister, and she and I eagerly drove to the Inn, looking forward to a place to relax, enjoy great food and wine, and catch up. We found that and so much more awaiting us. The Allison opened in 2009 in the small town of Newberg and has quickly gained a reputation as one of Oregon's star properties. It's obvious from the moment you arrive.
The property is built into the hillside, so the entry is actually on the third floor. The front is flanked by mossy rock, metal, glass, and water. Inside, the lobby, as throughout the entire inn, is decorated to embrace the colors and heritage of Oregon — mocha, gold, cayenne, chestnut, amber, umbria.
After a quick overview of the main level — and getting the schedule for the evening's complimentary wine tasting led by one of the area's vintners — we made our way to our room. All of the rooms in The Allison are large and feature a balcony or patio, large window seat, gas fireplace, and over-sized soaking tub. The colors are soothing and the large windows blend indoors and outdoors, giving you a feel for Oregon's rich agricultural heritage and beauty. The bedroom was a lively mix of textures — wood tables made from Oregon Walnut, chenille throws, velvets, soft cotton.
Even with the chill outside, my sister and I sat on our balcony and took in the scenery before changing for dinner and the wine tasting. We were joined by an interesting collection of people, many of whom were locals dropping by the restaurant for an evening of great food and wine. Everyone enjoyed sampling the wine and asking questions about the winemaker. We ambled into the beautiful dining room, with its open kitchen and windows looking out over the valley, ready to experience the food that our fellow wine tasters had raved about.
As beautiful as the inn is, the highlight of our trip was our dinner at JORY Restaurant. Dining at JORY is not simply eating a meal. It is experiencing local cuisine and wines through the vision of Executive Chef Sunny Jin. The menu changes constantly as local products change. There is an entire half acre on the Inn's grounds used for the Chef's Garden. Even a simple salad was transformed into something special with the fresh greens and vegetables and a crisp dressing. The cheese offerings were perhaps my favorite course of the evening. An amazing array of local cheese were available, including one of the best goat cheeses I've ever sampled.
The wines are the shining stars of Oregon's Willamette Valley and The Allison offers an impressive list of wines at JORY. The Oregon wines are even listed by region. Unlike many fine dining restaurants, JORY offers a wide selection of wines by the glass and also features a selection of wine flights.
My sister and I spent a couple of hours at dinner that night, a perfect way to start our week together. The next morning, we hated to say goodbye to “our” Inn. I would have loved to have stayed long enough to enjoy the spa, which looked relaxing and welcoming with its muted natural tones and glorious spa fragrances. I could have spent a couple of hours reading on the large window seat and there were several more dishes I would have enjoyed trying at the restaurant.
The Allison Inn is ideal, whether for a girlfriend getaway, a romantic escape, or a weekend of wine tasting and enjoying great food.
The Allison Inn
2525 Allison Lane
Newberg, OR 97132