We rolled into the experience from LA on a four-day road trip. The Allegretto Vineyard Resort quite literally makes you forget you’re in Paso Robles, California — this Italian villa style resort is more than a nice surprise, it’s remarkable.
“Oh wow,” Larry muttered as we turned onto Buena Vista Drive, practically arm’s length from the 101 freeway. The vineyard in front gently sloped up to a massive and NEW in appearance hotel. Not the valet type, we self-parked next to one of several electric vehicle charging stations, a first indication that this property was going to provide road warrior whiz bangs that I so appreciate (list of them later).
Could I begin to document ALL the stunning details without making the property sound pretentious or “out of my league?” You’ll have to have to trust me, yes you belong here.
In the lobby, I couldn’t help but “pet” the polished plaster walls, and noticed that the Italian marble floor was WISELY just rough enough for wine enthusiasts to not go flying on a slick, authentic floor. This is wine country, Paso Robles, remember.
The open courtyard had both solid walking pavers and traditional crushed granite for that GORGEOUS gravel sound under my feet. And then… You start to really see… art and antiquities in every nook and cranny. Cambodian sculptures next to native American art, Greek statuaries in the same covey as Roman Catholic STUFF. Oil paintings of nature. Indian doors. Nepalese buddas. Indescribable items you have to see to believe (a slice of redwood tree bigger than it’s own room, and older than the Great Wall of China, no photo I shot captured how it took our breath away).
Which brought the question to mind… did proprietor Doug Ayres (of the Ayres hotel family) build and THEN fill will his killer collection, or did he have a vision that his collection would eventually have such a resort built around it? In either case, they all seem to fit and you’d easily spend your entire weekend discovering the hundreds of pieces if local wineries nearby didn’t beckon.
In about two years, Allegretto will have the worn-in feel of a centuries-old Tuscan retreat, only because the hedges are just now enjoying their first spring growth spurt (the property has only been open 8 months). But if you’re any kind of California plant lover, you realize how much our own flora is Mediterranean – olive trees, cypress, grape vines, citrus. These plants will thrive at Allegretto.
As a hotel, it was thought-out for weary travelers! The whiz bangs I mentioned include plenty of parking, a peaceful pool with cabanas and hot tub, inside courtyard for noise buffering, dreamy bed linens, man-sized roomy shower with simple nozzle (how many hotel showers have we stepped into and caused bodily harm because the nozzle was too dang confusing?), lighted magnifying mirror, “makeup remover” black washcloth (so smart), ample bathroom amenities, my fav in-room coffee + fridge combo, plush robes and slippers in the closet, a room safe, lamp bases with USB ports, and — what’s this?? — “sanitized” television remote control (made of a sealed plastic so housekeeping can give it a real wash and not wreck the electronics).
As I lounged in our cozy bed while drafting this post, Larry gave the fitness center a test spin. He appreciates hotel gyms. (“How was it?” “Pretty good!” THAT, in other people’s vernacular means “Very good.”) The vineyard mural on the wall is enough for me to rate it highly, but the brand spanking new big-ass equipment is a fit traveler’s dream. If we had time, we would have also availed ourselves of the boutique SPA, but the pool and hot tub sufficed for this visit
Dinner at the property’s restaurant, Cello was a wise choice. After being on the road most of the day (drove Highway 1 coast route south from Carmel Valley, with a side tour of Justin winery), the thought of getting in the car so soon again was not appealing. The food and ambiance at Cello? TERRIFIC, and I’m not just sucking up to the place. The property grows its own herbs and some veggies, a great start to delightful dining.
The design of the restaurant and bar had the magical touch I wish all new places would capture – it seemed to absorb noise. I could hear the background music. I could hear Larry. I could hear the pickled patron at the next table boring his tablemates about his adventures driving too far on one charge of the electric vehicle. Oh well, kind of funny.
But where a large property like this will really make the grade is weddings! Picture an intimate stone chapel, plus the most ballroom space you can find in Paso Robles (35,000 square feet of event space, to be precise). Visit the location just for this reason and you’ll realize all the well-thought-out details for nuptials alone.
Can’t you just visualize photos of bride and groom happening in a romantic setting such as this?
DISCLAIMER: Our stay and meals were provided complimentary for the purpose of this review. All the opinions and photos are my own.
2700 Buena Vista Drive, Paso Robles, CA 93446; 805-369-2500
- 20 acre resort with European olive gardens and vineyards
- Cello Restaurant & Bar with Chef’s Garden
- Spa Allegretto Luxury Boutique Spa
- 171 Spacious Tuscan-style guest rooms and suites