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.
In August we attended the Spencer Hotel for the first time on our visit to the Chautauqua Institute. What a treat. The Spencer is located in the heart of Chautauqua within walking distance from all the event venues. The rooms are homey and the service is old style elegance. What a wonderful experience.
This hotel has gone down in service. The meals are not as advertised. Breakfast was so simple we had to ask for toast, consisted of scrambled egg, porridge, small muffin; dinner had very small servings. Room cleaning was minimal, no change of sheets for a week, we had to keep requesting clean towels. Staff were quite discontent with management. Location is the only benefit.
Firstly, I will say that my bad experience at this hotel fit in with the way that the Chautaqua Institution is run overall. Every aspect of our visit was confusing as we were given the run around, bad directions, and just felt like everything was made far more complicated than it needed to be. We came for a concert and stayed at the Spencer afterward. We had VIP tickets and arrived early, but then had to wait because the photographer was late, and then had to wait again in a line outside of the backstage area for over 20 minutes for our photos to be taken. We waited so long that by the time we got to our seats, it was 15 minutes after the concert was supposed to begin. At intermission for the concert, we went to a nearby cafe that had one person working at the counter while literally hundreds of people swarmed it because there was only water available for purchase at the amphitheater. I felt embarrassed and outraged that they were so unprepared during the event. What a shame and missed opportunity it was that they could not provide excellent service (or any service) to all of the customers there. Anyway, I'll just go on to talk about my disappointments with the hotel starting now. Two days before our arrival, I received an email about our stay and realized that the room they had us in was different from the one I had booked. Unlike most hotels, this one is themed and every room is unique, so it mattered to me which one I stayed in. When I checked in and asked why the room had been changed, the woman at the counter said "oh, the guests who were there haven't checked out yet" WHAT!? I've never heard of such a thing. The point of making the reservation is to claim the room first, especially when there is no other room like it available. Anyway, we went to our new room to find that it was muggy and too hot and there was no way to adjust the temperature. Also, our windows were sealed shut, so we resorted to propping our door open that led out to the shared balcony. I had to shower and realized then that our room did not have a shower, but a bathtub instead, when the room that I had booked had both. I'm not supposed to take baths because I have body modifications that can't be submerged under water, so this was a deal breaker for me. One of our bathroom lights was out, something that can be easily fixed and should be before any new guests are shown to a room. I went to shut the bathroom door and noticed that not only wasn't it able to close all the way, but there was a notch shaved out of the side so that it would not hit the toilet in front of it. The sink was clogged, looked like someone shaved over it and the hair was in the drain. My mom, who was with me, convinced me not to complain, but I was furious. As someone who has been professionally trained in hospitality, I believe these accommodations to be unacceptable and no one should be subject to pay a premium rate for them. The fact that they gave away my room alone should have been cause for compensation, but upon reading the fine print in the six page email I was sent, I saw that the hotel can apparently change or cancel any reservation without notice. We explored some of the rooms that had the doors open and while the hotel has its charms, there is no attention to detail. A broken window, crooked lampshades and lopsided chandeliers, siding and roof shingles that need to be replaced, darkened high traffic areas on the carpet. I understand that the building is old, but it can still be upkept. We had complimentary breakfast and saw that one of the guests had eggs. None of the staff acknowledged us or said good morning, so we asked the guest how to order eggs. She told us that the concierge offered to make eggs and she obliged, so we waited until someone returned to the front desk and requested some scrambled eggs. A few minutes later, she dropped them off for us and walked away. We then realized that there were no forks available and no one came around for several minutes, so we ate our eggs with the spoons we used to stir our coffees. I think that it would be beneficial for this building to get a makeover and much needed renovations, and either clean house or properly train the staff that it does have. This could become a truly lovely retreat in a prime location in an otherwise poorly run Institution. It should not be difficult to afford, considering the way that we got ripped off as I'm sure many guests do. Anyway, I will not be returning next year, as the Chatauqua saying goes. I can't think of any good reason to go back to that place. I mainly came for a concert and I would have traveled somewhere else for that tour if I knew what the venue and accommodations were like. …
This hotel is in a great location. The Amphitheater and Bestor Plaza are a short walk away. You can sit on the shared balcony and listen to the events going on at the Amphitheater. However, you'd expect more attention to detail, cleanliness, and better service for the $336/night price tag. No fresh coffee in the afternoon even when we asked for it. A low level of service and a general lack of urgency by the management trickle down to the staff to make this an overpriced and less than enjoyable stay.
The only reason to stay at this small hotel is for the location. Otherwise, don't stay here. It is old and needs a major update. The bathroom in my room still had individual faucets for hot and cold water. The shower curtain didn't go the full way around the tub and water leaked all over the floor. I had to insist on getting another curtain. The rooms are small and not very clean. The coffee urn wasn't emptied from the previous night. So, when I went downstairs at 7:30 am for a cup of coffee I drank cold, stale coffee until they informed me that it wasn't fresh.