The Allison Inn and Spa: Willamette Valley wine country pick

Tucked into the green hillside just outside the quiet Portland bedroom community of Newberg, The Allison Inn and Spa somehow feels like both a destination and a detour. Turning up the long drive, you clearly feel as if you’ve arrived, but the location is just close enough to the bustle of downtown Portland that you feel only slightly away. When you’re looking to get away for a peaceful weekend, this is the perfect combination.

Allison Inn and Spa

Light, airy, and expansive, The Allison is harmonious with the nature surrounding it, from the span of vineyards curving over the hillside to the leafy trees and gardens. Warm wood and highly efficient and eco-friendly features (this is a LEED Gold certified property) combine with bubbling water features, open space, and locally-sourced building materials to create a visually impressive and calming property. I literally sighed with relaxation upon entering the high-ceilinged, bright lobby.

Allison Inn and Spa lobby

The Allison is very much a labor of love, with owners who believe in drawing in the natural world, leaving a small eco-footprint, and treating guests right. Room rates reflect the luxurious nature of The Allison, but include everything, including things you usually pay extra for, like organic and healthy mini-bar snacks and wifi.

Most guests are here to enjoy the area’s expansive wine tasting (over 200 of the state’s approximate 400 wineries are located in this region), but you could just as easily spend your time on-property, enjoying the Allison Spa (which was too fully booked for us to even tour, a great testament to its popularity), eating gourmet cuisine using locally-sourced ingredients at Jory Restaurant, swimming in the indoor pool, or relaxing with a book on one of the many terraces or heated decks, or walking the grounds.

Allison Inn and Spa

With kids, The Allison is within easy driving distance of McMinnville Oregon’s Air and Space Museum and adjacent Wings and Waves water park, and families could easily head to Portland for the day or even the Oregon coast. Jory has a full (and reasonable) kids’ menu, and the pool and grounds are kid-friendly.

Allison room amenities:

Hands down, the best room option for families is the double queen room, of which The Allison only has approximately a dozen (so book early). This room option is very spacious, with plenty of room for a rollaway and additionally includes a window seat/day bed perfect for toddlers or small children. The lovely bathroom includes a deep tub for fun baths, and every room has a balcony, fireplace, and the aforementioned free snacks.

Allison Inn and Spa double queen room

The Allison does have suite and junior suites, though for the much higher price point, families don’t get a great deal more than is already provided in their queen rooms. Suites include a limited mini-kitchenette (best for entertaining…not for cooking full meals), and a nice dining table, and additional privacy for parents with a separate bedroom. All rooms, suites and standard rooms alike, include local artwork on the walls which are rotated frequently and always stunning.

Jory Restaurant:

Our meal at Jory was possibly the best food I’ve ever had in Oregon (and I’ve had many excellent meals here). Kids enjoy seeing the open kitchen from much of the dining area, and the kids’ menu is healthy while still being very appealing for little ones. Jory chefs use local ingredients, including their meat, of which they use the whole animal for less waste and in-house, fresh options. In fact, The Allison produces so little waste in general that they are not on a regular waste removal pick-up; they call when they need one. Their breakfast options are as excellent as their dinners (try the signature eggs benedict), and even their compotes, syrups, and butters are made from scratch.

Allison Inn and Spa Jory

There is an impressive chef’s table at Jory should your party want to indulge; I’m certain the experience would be memorable.

Allison fitness center and spa:

The Allison Spa is beloved among guests and locals alike, but I appreciated that the pool, hot tub, and fitness center is for hotel guests only. The Allison pool is not extremely large, but it’s as lovely and peaceful as the rest of the property, with natural light saturating the water from the glass ceiling and wall (which can retract in warm weather). There’s a hot tub as well as the pool, plenty of lounge chairs, and an outdoor space where you can still keep an eye on kids for summer stays.

Allison Inn and Spa pool

The fitness center, adjacent to the pool, is also not large, but again, light and spacious and does not feel cramped as some smaller centers can feel.

Allison Inn and Spa staircase

Date last visited: March 2013

Distance from the interstate: 20 minutes from I-5.

Directions: The Allison is located at 2525 Allison Lane in Newberg Oregon.

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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