First, our biggest complaint would be with the breakfast that was served. There were only six people staying at the hotel the weekend we were there, yet the breakfast was made the night before and we believe left out overnight. It was some sort of (lukewarm) egg strata without any flavor. None of the guests enjoyed it. We all thought it was a big of a "fluke" and looked forward to a nice, warm, perhaps hearty breakfast on Sunday. That wasn't to be. Because of a kitchen mixup (as we were told), we were served the same strata the next day, but this time without toast. Just plain on a plate, and again lukewarm. The barely-warm coffee was served in tiny teacups which meant we had to keep getting up to refill our cups. Breakfast both days was a huge disappointment, particularly because there were so few guests.
The manager, Chris, may be the highlight of this hotel. Because we went off-season, they weren't serving dinner in the hotel. So on our first night, we ordered food in from a nearby Italian restaurant. Chris set a very nice table for us in the dining area and really made us feel at home. On the second night, he made a wonderful recommendation for dinner at a nearby restaurant, the Scallion Bistro, and it was a fabulous dining experience!
As others have said in their reviews, the rooms are very small. The professional pictures on the website don't show an accurate picture of the exterior nor the size of the rooms. Our bathroom was so tiny you could hardly turn around in it, and the bedroom didn't leave enough room for one of us to pass the other. We were on the third floor and had porch access - which was wonderful! It also allowed us to keep our room cool because the A/C didn't seem to work too well. Good news: the room was clean and smelled fine, the towels were big, and the bed and pillows quite comfortable. And that's important!
The location of the hotel is perfect, very close to everything. Because of its age, it needs some updating and repairs made, as do many of the hotels and inns in this area. It could be a nice place to stay if you're aware of some of the room sizes and food served. Even though we were there off-season, we had expected much better.
- 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