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“Charming Hosts and Rooms” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Spencer Hotel and Spa

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The Spencer Hotel and Spa
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   25 Palestine Avenue, Chautauqua, NY 14722   |  
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Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Chautauqua
New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Charming Hosts and Rooms”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

I stayed here on a business trip with two colleagues towards the end of April. It was an absolutely delightful stay! The rooms are all themed after different authors and everything from the decor to the service feels so personal and unique. Every morning we were greeted by a terrific breakfast (and even asked what we would like for the following days meal! Literally anything we wanted!). The hosts were very accommodating, charming and knowledgable of the surrounding area. It was a pleasure to talk with them and to stay here. I'd highly recommend it to anyone coming to the area.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSpencer, General Manager at The Spencer Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Thank you for choosing the Spencer for your accomodations while visiting our area on business. We pride outselves in making guest stays as pleasant as possible and to assist individual and business guests to becoming familiar with Chautauqua and our surrounding community. Looking forward to your next stay with us.
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128 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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22
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Niagara Falls, Ny
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

I stayed with my wife last month. The property is located in an excellent spot inside the Chautaqua Institution. Really easy to find out.
Helen and Rick, the owners of the place they make us fell at home, they prepare the table for the breakfast and they make the breakfast!!.
We slept in the second floor, the hotel has soooo much history and the rooms are set up of different artists is such a good experience!!.
They make weddings and for those ones that need a perfect place for that, you should choose the Spencer Hotel.
I will be back some day for sure!.

Thanks the Spencer Hotel!
Regards,

Lucas and Ana.

Room Tip: The Clare Boothe Luce - Room 204 was perfect!!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSpencer, General Manager at The Spencer Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
We are glad your recent stay went so well. Next time you visit us the weather will be far more inviting. We greatly appreciate your positive comments.
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Niagara Falls, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

If you like the Chautauqua Institution experience, you'll love this hotel. Each room is decorated in the spirit of an author. We chose the Jules Verne room which was lovely and complete in small detail about the author's life.
This place is a perfect refuge to get away from the din of everyday life and relax and reflect on the quiet things. My wife and I found the beds comfy and the room very clean. Although it was too cold to spend time on the porch, it was easy to imagine how wonderful it would be to sit on the porch as it overlooks the main amphitheater on the campus. Met the owner, who designed the hotel and she made certain everything was perfect for us.
Would highly recommend it to people who like the quiet, restful pace of Chautauqua. BTW, this hotel is the only hotel open year 'round on the Institution grounds.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSpencer, General Manager at The Spencer Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
We are so glad you had a restful stay with us. We hope you will return when our "curtains" are down and you can take in the ambiance of Chautauqua from one of our porches. During the Chautauqua Season (June 22nd-August 25th) you can hear many of the Amphitheater programs right from our porches! Looking forward to your return and thank you for your feedback.
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Fort Erie, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

This winter has been a long one, but it's been a pleasant surprise to find such a great getaway so close to home. Easy trip from Fort Erie, charming historic property, wonderful hospitality, and who knew we could get on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution without a grounds fee or the busy traffic that the peak summer season presents. The rooms are lovely - I especially like the Charles Dickens and Colette - and the welcome and service that Helen, Chris, Dick and Hanna provide make you feel like you are an old friend coming home. Recommended this hotel to all my friends and family - so close yet you feel like you have been away to somewhere very special!

Room Tip: Check out their website for views of the all the themed rooms - you can take your pick by your favor...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSpencer, General Manager at The Spencer Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
We are delighted that you had an enjoyable stay with us. We take pride in our unique literary themed rooms and it is gratifying when our guests have a memorable visit to the Spencer and to historic Chautauqua Institution. Looking forward to seeing back with us in the near future.
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Toronto
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

After my first visit to Chautauqua Lake last year, I had raved about the area and the lovely Spencer Hotel to my good friend Janet. So this year when we were looking for somewhere to go for a couple days, within easy drive of Toronto with interesting shops and area to explore, Chautauqua and the Spencer was the obvious choice. The Spencer was much quieter this time since we were there in March instead of May and that was fine with us. Owners Helen and Dick and Manager Chris went out of their way to ensure we had a lovely relaxing visit. When we mentioned to Dick that we were going to look for some wine, he worried we might not get to the store before closing and went and got a bottle for us! Breakfasts were excellent both mornings. Our EF Benson themed room was lovely and well appointed; sadly the wintry weather did not allow for us to sit on the verandah outside our room. A wonderful quaint welcoming place to stay, highly recommended.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSpencer, General Manager at The Spencer Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Thank you for your comments. We enjoyed having you back again and look forward to your return again soon. The snow seems to be letting up now so we will soon be readying for our Spring guests. Hannah, Dick & Helen send their regards.

Chris Yates
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Buffalo, New York, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Went for a weekend getaway to relax and rest...the Spencer delivered! Chris, Helen, and Hanah were great hosts and we enjoyed the quiet atmosphere. The Spencer is an older hotel that has so much personality. It has its little quirks but those things add to its charm and truly make you appreciate the history and preservation the hotel and the institute have come to embody. I do wish the price difference between on and off season was more...simply so we could visit more often!
Chris was very helpful, at one point while in Jamestown we were trying to locate a place to eat, we just called Chris and he gave us several suggestions...talk about full service.
Wine tours, food, sleep, and a jacuzzi tub made our long weekend a much needed break! See you again soon!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSpencer, General Manager at The Spencer Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Thanks for your return stay with us. I grateful for the cell phone so we could find a nice place for your dinner. Looking forward to your next stay with us. Best regards.

Chris Yates
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Buffalo, New York
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

I am the other half of "Marriedcouple0901" and would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few statements made to my lovely wife's review.

{"Upon arrival the guests were shown to their Room 201 (Jane Austin) they were asked if the accomodation was acceptable and were offered an opportunity look at alternative rooms. Had they made their concern known then, we would have immediately tried to resolve their concern."}

Chris did show us our room but at NO POINT were we offered an opportunity to look at alternative rooms.

{"There was a night manager on duty in the house the evening of their stay and when he was away from the front desk, his cell phone contact was prominently displayed at the desk should a guests need anything."}

Folks, when we came down to the front desk in the evening the entryway was dark as was the front desk. If there was a phone number displayed, we wouldn't have seen it without a flashlight. At no time did anyone make mention of a night manager or a cell phone number. I would have thought something like that may have been included in the three page long dissertation email regarding this establishment's cancellation policy.

{"During late Fall, when we do not have as many guests as we do other times of the year, our water can stand for a few days between guest occupancy. Accordingly, the rust colored water is present until a bath is run for a few minutes."}

Folks, we paid over $250 for one night in this room. Does anyone think it's unreasonable to assume the owner or caretaker might run the water a bit in the room before the guests arrive?

{"The condition of the room temperature was something that was addressed upon the guest's arrival and had the guest contacted us later when the temperature became too high, we would have made adjustments to cool the room to a more comfortable level. Again, there was a staffmember in residence that evening with a contact number available so guests could reach him for just such a situation."}

Yes, Chris said the temperature was a bit chilly so he turned the thermostat up. He said we were fortunate in that we had the thermostat in our room. We left, came back, and yes, it was now too hot. We found the thermostat and turned it down as far as it would go.

Guess what? It got worse! There is no fan in the bathroom. None of the windows open either (apart from the window to the inside corridor). The result was sweltering conditions after use of the Jacuzzi tub. Again, I have a three page letter stating in no uncertain terms that I can't cancel my room without penalty but no information was given to us with regard to a night manager or cell phone number.

{"I believe the guest was informed how to leave/return to the grounds of the Institution when access changes to the main gate only in the evening, but if this was overlooked, we apologize for the oversite."}

Yes, it was overlooked. Did I mention the three pages about the cancellation policy? You could maybe write something in there about there being only one usable gate and where to find it in this deserted maze.

Let me put it this way, we have paid a LOT less and received a LOT more. Left and right, I see comments from this establishment that state more or less "had we known, we would have made it better." But really, they DID know. They KNOW the water gets rusty but DON'T run the water in the rooms prior to guests arriving. Their WALLS are paper thin. Their ROOMS are tiny. There is NO VENTILATION so the rooms get very hot and there is no way to cool them down.

I am very disappointed in this establishment's response to my wife's review. I felt she was fair and honest. The establishment's response is that it was our fault we did not speak up at that time. They take little if any responsibility for any inadequacies.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSpencer, General Manager at The Spencer Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Again, we apologize that the guest's stay with us was not a pleasant experience and regret that the issues of rust colored water and heat could not be rectified when the problem occurred. We have updated our pre-arrival preparations to include run water in tubs, toilets and sinks. As we draw our water from a system that services the entire Institution, water mains may produce reddish water which may enter our facility. We will remain attentive to this condition and do everything we can to eliminate the problem. We do hope the guest will return at a future date so we can extend our best service and accommodation to them.
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Additional Information about The Spencer Hotel and Spa

Address: 25 Palestine Avenue, Chautauqua, NY 14722
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > Chautauqua County > Chautauqua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Kitchenette Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Chautauqua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Spencer Hotel and Spa 2.5*
Number of rooms: 24
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. Each of the 24 guest rooms and suites were hand-decorated by local artists to honor the lives and works of famous authors. Each room has a select library of thoughtfully-chosen books and musical selections to further convey the tone of each writer's life and times. All of the rooms have central air conditioning and heat, cable television, free Wi-Fi, monogrammed robes, hairdryers, irons and ironing boards, and Gilchriest and Soames bath amenities. Most of the rooms are outfitted with King beds and have brand new mattresses. Some of the rooms have desks, arm chairs, sofa beds, direct porch access and whirlpool/Jacuzzi tubs with European handheld showers. An elevator services all four floors. Steamboat Gothic porches grace the front of the hotel, and are appointed with Victorian sofas, chairs and rockers that overlook the famous Chautauqua Amphitheater. A gourmet savory or sweet breakfast is served each morning with fresh fruit in the Peacock Dining Room and luxurious massage services and a cedar sauna are available for guests to indulge in.The Spencer offers cozy areas that are perfect for playing a board game, curling up with a good book, or engaging in conversation. In the Monet Parlor a movie projector and screen are also available for use. Packages and specials are available for guests from Couples Renewal Weekends to Gourmet Dinners, Ladies Pampering and Wine Touring.The Spencer Hotel is the perfect place for small weddings, receptions, book-clubs, reunions, business retreats and more. Group packages can be custom built for your next event. During the 9 week Chautauqua Institution Season gate and parking passes are required for guests staying at The Spencer and need to be arranged through Chautauqua Institution. The Spencer Hotel rents by the week during these 9 weeks and provides guests with dinner Monday - Friday in addition to the gourmet breakfast that is offered year-round. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Spencer Hotel Chautauqua

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