Hawthorn Suites Livermore Review - A Special "Manager's Special"

Livermore Valley

I traveled with my husband to Livermore, California from Wilmette, lllinois to see the Livermore Shakespeare Company's performance of Mid-summer's Night Dream.  It is true that knowing someone (my grandaughter) in the cast could influence my opinion just a bit but even accounting for that, it was a wonderful performance.   In arranging our trip, my husband and I decided to take advantage of the "manager's special" at Hawthorn Suites Livermore Wine Country, Livermore, California. This is the first year that a package of this kind has been offered but we certainly hope that it won't be the last.  The package  increased our enjoyment of the play, itself, and provided extra features that made our stay a wonderful get away.

From the website: As the sun sets on your picnic in the vineyard, you will enjoy a magical perfomance of either Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream or Chekov's The Seagull at Livermore Shakespeare Festival, outdoors at the lush Concannon Vineyard. This package includes everything you need to have the perfect wine country experience. Get away - stay and play with us!

The Hawthorn Suites Hotel

What is included in this package? 
# One night stay in a king or double queen studio suite at Hawthorn Suites Livermore Wine Country
# 2 tickets to a Livermore Shakespeare Festival performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream or The Seagull – please visit their website at www.livermoreshakes.org for specific performance dates.  All performances are held at 7:30 pm at Concannon Vineyard
# One picnic dinner for 2
# One bottle of Concannon wine
# A complimentary wine tasting card for 2 people, for participating wineries
# Downtown Guest Pass with discounts to participating businesses
# Complimentary full hot buffet breakfast
# Access to the indoor whirlpool, outdoor heated pool, and fitness center
# Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night at $189 + tax

Taking advantage of the opportunities included in the package, it became clear that there was a high level of cooperation among the package contributors and I asked Catherine Cheda about how this package came into being. She said that she and Lisa Tromovich had been discussing this possibility for a few years but that:

Many choices of Concannon wine

“In these tough economic times, everyone in Livermore has been willing to work together, thinking outside the box, to help drive revenue.  This means that we are all working hard to promote Livermore and it’s beautiful wineries and exceptional arts.  Lisa Tromovich and Linda Milanese of the Livermore Shakespeare Festival were a real driving force in coordinating all of the package components with Catherine Cheda at the Hawthorn Suites Livermore Wine Country hotel.  The three of them have created a true Livermore experience with the Shakespeare Wine Getaway package.”

White Crane sells its excellent wines to local restaurants

We completely enjoyed all the offerings.  We have previously enjoyed time at the Hawthorne Suites, and especially enjoy the breakfast, the exercise facility and the business center.  However, we thought this Manager’s Special was well…special. We were presented with a cute basket that was filled with the Concannon wine we chose and instructions for ordering our picnic and a pass for 2 at local wineries.  Our play tickets were at “will call”.  The wine we chose was Cabernet Sauvignon and we enjoyed it so much we purchased an additional bottle as a hostess gift.  The picnic dinner was from Uncle Yu’s and was a delicious Chinese treat.  We thought our choice of Midsummer Night's Dream was a delightful production.  A few years ago we had the opportunity of seeing an authentic Shakespearean Troup perform this play in Cardiff, Wales on the grounds of Cardiff Castle.  The Midsummer Night’s Dream in Livermore was really well done in contrast, held its own.  Bottom (Matt Ballin) and Pucke (James Hiser) were especially captivating.  The dancers made an important contribution in wonderful costumes.  Costuming and staging were effective and the cast was strong.  Being able to hear every word was very enjoyable.  The weather cooperated and it was a great evening.

Tasting at Steven Kent Winery

The world-class wines of Livermore Valley Wine country are a hidden treasure.  Our passes allowed us to explore several wineries with the two of us admitted without charge.  Of course, we frequently were just compelled to purchase something.  We didn’t have to, but some items were irresistible.  One day we were only able to visit two wineries; White Crane which claims to be Northern California's best kept secret and Steven Kent Winery, an artisanal producer of world class Cabernet from the Livermore Valley.   We enjoyed the wines very much.  Some were truly outstanding.  The wines are generally available locally and via wine clubs and sadly, not in the Chicagoland area.

Tasting at LaRochelle Winery

We were really thrilled that the pass was good for a week because we had activities on several days following the play.  However, just before leaving the area it was possible to visit one more winery- La Rochelle. This winery is named for the town in France where the vineyard owners originated.  We were so glad we could do this because it was unusual and fun.  White tablecloths, plates and substantial nibbles characterized this experience.  It was lovely and crowded and we were so pleased to include this before heading home.

Taking a bow at the Concannon stage

This package is just a terrific offering and we hope it continues and also that it continues to support the Livermore Shakespeare Festival.

Hawthorn Suites Livermore Wine Country
1700 N, Livermore Avenue, Livermore

- www.ConcannonVineyard.com

White Crane Winery-925.455.8085, www.whitecranewinery.com

Steven Kent Winery-925.243.6440, stevenkent.com

La Rochelle-925.243.6442.www.LRwine.com

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