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The Spencer Hotel and Spa
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Chautauqua
Reviewed September 14, 2012

I got married on September 2nd on the summerwind....we chose to stay the night at the Spencer hotel in the honeymoon sweet..I contacted the Spencer ahead of time and talked to them about it...right away they wanted to help plan things...we got a limo lined up for cheap...they planned a massage for me...they also arranged for me to get my hair an nails done....they did solo much for me! The day of my wedding I arrived early and got my massage...I was nervous because I didn't know how the day would run.....it ran sooooo smoothly...I had my massage, then they had lunch set up on the balcony for me, and it was amaaazzziinnnggg.....got my nails done after lunch...then they offered to drive me to my hair appt....the hair appt they set up for me....hair appt went very well..the girls who did my hair and makeup were amazing...then got back to the hotel an found champagne an choc covered strawberries waiting for me.....was able to get dressed and ready for my wedding.....everything was very very good! Staff tries very hard to please guests! The room was rustic, could use some upgrades...king bed was really 2 twins pushed together...but overall we would go back again....we r planning to go back for our 1 year anniversary.. We r gunna do the wine trail!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kristen B
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 reviewResponded April 24, 2013

We were honored that you chose the Spencer for your wedding preparations and honeymoon. We look forward to your return to celebrate you anniversary(s) for many years to come. Thank you for your complements and giving us an opportunity to serve you.

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119 - 125 of 197 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2012

We booked our stay based on the pictures on the website....very deceiving. Our room was pictured as a two twin beds, but upon arriving we discovered that the bed was actually a king bed with two headboards - one blanket, one top-sheet does not twin beds make. The room was freezing and we had to have staff come and turn on the heat. The temperature was set at 68 and went to 78 before we went to bed. There were holes in the plaster where "improvements" had been made - i.e. the thermostat - and holes in plaster everywhere. It didn't look like the room had been dusted in ages. There was dust all over the wine glass tray, the moldings and ceiling. The bed skirt was ripped. We were promised a view of the lake on the website. The only way we could see a tiny portion was to go outside. We didn't stay for breakfast because we were concerned that the kitchen would be as dirty as our room. The room was too small for both us and our luggage - barely 2 feet between the bed and window. We paid almost $200 for this wasted stay. While we appreciated their try at "ambiance" a stay at a "big box" hotel would have been a smarter move. Would never recommend this place. Would very much appreciate a refund.

Room Tip: Don't believe the pictures on their website.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank hmsband
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 reviewResponded September 6, 2012

The Spencer Hotel regrets that your stay did not meet your expectations. Had we known about your specific concerns while you were with us we would taken steps to immediately correct the items you found lacking. We had other rooms available that evening that would have been more acceptable to you. Earlier in the week of your stay our Chautauqua Summer Season housekeeping staff departed and we were transitioning to our Fall Spencer Season. As a result our housekeeping standard (which most guests have found to be of high quality) may have slipped a bit. We appreciate your comments and wish to assure you that we will redouble our effort to make each guests stay enjoyable.

Chris Yates, General Manager

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Reviewed August 27, 2012

We stayed for one night when we went to see Roger Hodgson. Had a main floor room and could hear the sound checks just 150 feet away! This is a hotel in an historic structure - beds were comfortable, rooms well looked after and are what we expected.
Staff did everything to ensure a pleasant stay. After the concert several of us guests got together and staff were there as well ensuring ice etc. and they were not necessarily on duty. Staff were even going to their own supplies to get extra refreshments.
This hotel has increased staff, and everyone there is truly committed to assisting the visitors and ensuring a great stay.
Special thanks to staff Franz (I hope the spelling is close) and Shawn for 'hosting' the after party! If we ever return to Chautauqua this is where we'll stay.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank G37Guy
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 reviewResponded April 24, 2013

The guest's comments are most appreciated. Our staff truly enjoy being at the Spencer find ways to provide a hospitable stay for our guests. Thank you especially for your kind remarks about Franz and Shawn!

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Reviewed August 20, 2012

We come to Chautauqua every year for two weeks and rent the same house. This year, my 20 year old daughter and I needed to stay one more night after our two week rental was over. We stayed that night at the Spencer. The room was fine, the bathroom was clean but it took quite a while for the hot water to reach us on the 3rd floor. The location is amazing and we enjoyed sitting on the balcony and listening from there to the Symphony in the Amp. The breakfast was fine and good for Chautauqua, where the restaurants are definitely not a strong point. I would recommend the Spencer for short stays because of the location.

Room Tip: The EB White room has direct access to the 3rd floor porch overlooking the Amp.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank RecentTravel
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 reviewResponded April 24, 2013

Thank you for your comments about our location and your stay with us. We appreciate your comment about hot water and have looked into the hot water system to ensure it deliver sufficient "hot" water when guests require it. Your comments about the "view" from our porches is one we often hear. As we are only 200 feet from the Amphitheater we can listen to many of the morning lectures and evening performances.

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Reviewed August 17, 2012

I'm sorry to have to agree with the last few reviews posted. The facilities and amenities were nowhere near worth the $1,000 we paid for a three-night stay. Our room (Clare Booth Luce) was not quite big enough for the two of us and our luggage. The bathroom was ok, though, apparently unlike some other rooms. But we were incredulous to discover that the windows were sealed shut and that the controls to the a/c were in the guest room next door, a huge problem our last night when we returned from a concert to find arctic temperatures in our room. As best we could tell, there were three electrical outlets in the entire room and we had to plug our electronic devices into already overloaded extension cords. We were very glad to see that the halls were sprinklered.

Breakfast consisted of a fruit "cup" that held at most a couple of tablespoons; a tiny serving of a hot egg-based entree that my husband, who has celiac disease and must be gluten-free (which we told them ahead of time and which they said they could accommodate), could not eat because they all contained some kind of bread or pasta; some tiny, dry, near-inedible muffins, and a minuscule selection of cereals set out with a pitcher of milk so small that it was constantly running out. The final touch: each place was set with a single COCKTAIL napkin. The whole setup said "we're cheaping out on food." Not a good plan when you're charging that much for a room.

The staff were pleasant enough but the operation just seemed spacy. When I called to make the reservation, I gave a credit card that, about a week later, had to be canceled because the number had been stolen and was being used for fraudulent purchases in Canada. When my husband called some weeks later to inquire about logistics, the desk staff said, "Oh, we don't have your room reserved because your credit card did not go through." You would have thought they'd call when that happened, but no.

In addition to its ideal location a half block from the amphitheater, the Spencer is one of the few lodgings on the Chautauqua grounds that allows you to stay for less than a full week so in that sense has a captive clientele. But judging from the fact that it looked to be less than half full for most of our mid-August stay, even that advantage may not be able to overcome its many deficiencies and extravagant price.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank NJPM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2012

Old but clean and charming. No control over air condioner--must ask staff to change it. Porches are nice but, fouth floor porch can be very dangerous. Food was okay, not great. Very expensive for what you get.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Pittsburgh_PAAnn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

It was our first trip to Chautauqua Institution, and we loved this magical place, and we stayed at the Spencer Hotel for 4 nights. Since we only could stay for 4 nights, our choices were limited to the Spencer and a few other hotels.

Pluses: The Spencer is in a good location, has a nice porch, and our room (Robert Burns) had a nice large bathroom.

Minuses: for $300+/night the room was really small, the windows don't open, and the breakfast is very weak - quiche 4 days in a row and I don't eat eggs so out of luck.

If I could only stay a few days, I would go to the Atheneum and take a small room, then relax on their huge, sweeping porch overlooking the lake. The best plan, however is to stay for a week and book a 1 or 2 BR/with kitchen and porch at one of charming B&B's or small homes located all over the place. This is our plan for next year.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank johnmac999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Spencer Hotel and Spa

Address: 25 Palestine Ave, Chautauqua, NY 14722-2536
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > Chautauqua County > Chautauqua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Kitchenette Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Chautauqua
Price Range: $234 - $351 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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