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“Worst Service Ever”
Review of Athenaeum Hotel

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Athenaeum Hotel
Ranked #5 of 6 Hotels in Chautauqua
Buffalo, NY
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Worst Service Ever”
Reviewed July 16, 2012

My family & I had dinner there on July 9, 2012. The service was absolutely horrible - which is to be expected since the tip & taxes are already included in the cost of all meals. If the server actually has to work to get a 15 or 20% tip, then he or she would be available to fill your water glass or bring the bottle of wine we ordered (never got it).

The food was OK - but nothing to rave about, very small portions and was served lukewarm (again - bad service!). For a 4-course, $70 meal at a hotel/restaurant that has a dress code (which was not enforced, as the people at the table next to us were dressed in shorts and t-shirts), I expected much better. Also, the tables on the patio are just flimsy, cheap plastic with a linen tablecloth thrown over it. The chairs are the same - cheap, stackable white plastic chairs.

We will not be returning!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mary Ellen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vanessa W, Public Relations Manager at Athenaeum Hotel, responded to this review, December 18, 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you for giving us feedback about your stay. We take all reviews and responses into account before we begin our next season.

I'm sorry to hear about the service that you had while staying at the Athenaeum Hotel. We hope to provide quality 5-star food and service to each of our guests. Our chef, who just cooked at the James Beard House in NYC, is gaining a reputation for amazing cuisine and we hope that you make it back to the Athenaeum Hotel for a stay or special event and try his wonderful food again.

We truly hope that you enjoyed Chautauqua Institution's programming and will visit the grounds again. Please contact me at vweinert@ciweb.org if you have any further questions or feedback.

Sincerely,

Vanessa Weinert
Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Williamsville
Level 6 Contributor
302 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2012

The building is old. It is not inexpensive. The room was a bit small. The hallway floors are clearly not level. Still, all things considered, it was a wonderful experience, and I would happily do it again. There is so much history at this place that I could not stop wondering during our week long stay about all of the famous and powerful folks who have spent time here. Yes, the room was small, but it was clean, the bed was very comfortable, and we had everything we needed. The rate is not inepensive, but it is on the American plan and, as such, three meals per day were included (see my other rating regarding the great experience for dinner in the hotel's restaurant). The biggest plus for the Athenaeum is the staff - everybody - the bellmen/valets, the front desk, housekeeping, and the dining room. Everybody went way above and beyond. Our reason for staying here was to immerse ourselves in the whole Chautauqua Institution experience for a week, and the Atenaeum is a huge part of that experience. It was a great week, and when we do it again, we will definitely reserve the Athenaeum. It is mere steps away from the Institution's amphiteather where their famous morning lectures take place. It is also convenient to most other venues on the grounds, just a short walk away from the Hall of Philosophy, Bestor Plaza, Bratton Theater and Norton Hall. I highly recommend it!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pasbuffalo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland Heights, Ohio, United States
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2012

We just returned from a wonderful weekend in Chautauqua, NY at the Athenaeum Hotel. We were there for there Farm to Table weekend where we were treated to a wonderful educational experience that was only surpassed by the amazing cuisine that was prepared by three CIA Trained Chefs. Do yourself a real favor and sign up for the fall event as soon as your see it advertised. Well worth the money!!!

Room Tip: Stay in the main building with a view of the lake
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pittsburgh
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2012

For $109 a night, we got a lake view room with peeling wallpaper, a hole in the ceiling, dusty furniture and an ac unit from 1975. unfortunately, it is evident that this hotel was at one point stunning, but now is just tired. it's a shame. it would be lovely, but needs a ton of tlc to handle the years of disrepair that have damaged it. the lovely location and history would make it a worthy investment.
service was barely present, as we were in the offseason.
beautiful grounds at the institution.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tartantravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2012

When you look for a resort and wish that it was Utopia, you are almost always disappointed. But when you find Chautauqua Institute in Upstate Western New York, you have found "Utopia". A National Historic Shrine, this Victorian Village houses the finest artists, musicians, literary masters, theologians, philosophers and hundreds of classes to suit any whim. Year round residents support the summer season activities for lovers of, and students of the arts, all disciplines, in the most magnificent wooded and manicured garden surroundings. Jitneys drive a large senior population to all venues: theater, 6,000 seat amphitheater, opera house and schoolrooms. The 17 mile Lake Chautauqua sports wondrous fishing and boating, golf and tennis, lakeside walking lanes - endless things to do and see and not enough hours in the day. Alcohol is not served outside the home, evenings are quiet, people are civilized. It can be pricey but well worth saving for . Weather is never a factor, inside and out and boredom is unheard of. Young master students color the grounds and a Boys & Girls camp is available for the younger sets. Try to schedule your first visit for the summer program.

Room Tip: Reservations can be made a year in advance at any of the hotels; The Athenaeum is the choice, histor...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Lindazo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hesskr4
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2011

we stayed at the athenaeum for a small family reunion. i grew up near chautauqua and think it is a lovely place to visit especially the chautauqua institution, however i very much regret choosing to stay at the anthenaeum rather than just renting a place. the rooms are of the quality you would get at a cheap hotel but they charge a 4star hotel price. you get a tiny little square box television with about 5 channels. the mattresses and beds are extremely old, thin and the most uncomfortable i've ever slept on. i thought it was going to be a beautiful, elegant place to stay but in reality the rooms are old, danky and ugly and the place reminds me more of a nursing home rather than a hotel. the majority of the guests are elderly so its not really a place for children or younger couples. the food at the restaurant is very overpriced and very small portions, but it is good. unfortunately they hire high school kids as the cooks and wait staff who have no clue what they are doing. our orders would come out wrong every night and would take an hour to come out. since its upstate new york the hospitality is pretty much non existent.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank hesskr4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2011

We came for wedding. Even came a night early. Some others had nicer rooms but ours was the size of a postage stamp and not updated. Mattress and pillow both hard. We only paid $99/night. If it had been during the season and I gad paid more I might have been ticked off.
Also very strange was the woman manager who shooed us all off the porches and out of the lobby because someone else's wedding reception was about to happen---like I was so clueless I'd try to crash. Made me feel like a second class guest.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Marjact
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Athenaeum Hotel

Property: Athenaeum Hotel
Address: 3 S Lake Dr, Chautauqua, NY 14722-2547
Location: United States > New York > Chautauqua County > Chautauqua
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 Hotels in Chautauqua
Number of rooms: 153
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Throughout Chautauqua Institution's summer season, Athenaeum Hotel guests are inspired by a variety of learning, recreational and entertainment programs that are all part of the unique Chautauqua experience. For 140 summers, people have come to Chautauqua's 750-acre community to experience arts, education, concerts, lectures and lively discussions. During the spring and fall months, the Athenaeum Hotel acts as a host to well-organized conferences, beautiful weddings, and special events. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Athenaeum Hotel Chautauqua

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