I wanted to treat my mother to a special birthday getaway, and spent a fair amount of time looking for the right place. The Spencer Hotel appeared to offer all the things that two literary buffs would love. The website had great information about the rooms, amenities and specials. Other guests had commented on the fabulous breakfast, which really was a strong selling point for me. I selected the Brontes Room and it was all that it promised to be. Be aware though, the rooms are quite a bit smaller than they appear on the photos, but that was not a big draw-back for us.
We were met in the lobby by a nice young man who helped us with our luggage and showed us to our room. We confirmed that breakfast was at 9am the following morning and I was already looking forward to the promises of the website. Sadly, the morning brought us a reheated piece of quiche, two pieces of toast and a fresh fruit cup. The two young people waiting on us were very cheerful and willing to help, but the breakfast was a far cry from what the website was promising.
Upon return from a morning exploration of Chautauqua Institute we found our room had been tended to with new towels and shampoos, but the dishes in the sink had not been washed...more on this later....
Before heading out for the evening, we confirmed with the girl behind the desk that breakfast would be served at 9am the following morning. We did this because the night before we learned after much searching that there is no one attending to the hotel after 9pm and this fact had not been mentioned to us during check-in. This proved to be a problem on the second night as we found the central air had turned to heat and the temperature on our fourth floor room was intolerable. I tried to open the windows, but this was not possible so we sat up for a while trying to figure out how to get back to sleep in the suffocating room.
The next morning we arrived promptly to a non-existent breakfast. The cheerful young lady seemed surprised by our presence and scrambled to offer us something for breakfast, but with no bread in the kitchen, she headed to the store. She mentioned that there was coffee coming so we sat down to wait for it, until my impatience got the best of me and I went in to the kitchen to check on the progress of the brewing, only to find that she had flipped the heating pad on under a pot of yesterday's coffee and the pot was still completely cold. I also noticed that all the dishes from yesterday's breakfast sat dirty in the sink...KIDS!
None of this would have been a problem had we been duly notified that we are visiting during off-off season, with a very skeleton crew, not trained to brew coffee nor wash dishes, that breakfast would be nothing like what the website promises and that we would be on our own from 9pm-9am. Still the visit cost us top dollar: $185/per night. (the same rate was offered in June). I had a verbal promise (third-party) that I would receive a substantial discount, but this did not materialize on my credit card statement.
I will be happy to amend my review if the charges are an oversight, but I would strongly recommend that the Spencer Hotel rethink their prices during off-season and make sure that the cheerful kids are at least able to brew fresh coffee every day!
This could have been such a different experience!
- Also Known As:
- Spencer Hotel Chautauqua
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Spencer Hotel & Spa is best described as 'more captivating than opening your favorite story-book'. Amidst our enchanting literary themed rooms and the private sanctuary of our spa, find yourself transported to a bygone place and time. Time spent in our steam sauna, a soak in our whirlpool tubs, and a week of pampering services leaves every one feeling as though they have gathered new strength. Every room lovingly created as a literary fantasy. ... more less
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