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“Mixed.”
Review of Athenaeum Hotel

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Athenaeum Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Chautauqua
Reviewed 12 September 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
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4  Thank Marjact
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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88 - 94 of 111 reviews

Reviewed 12 September 2011

We went for a wedding - reception was at the Hotel. It was the first weekend after the "end" of the Chautauqua season. It was very quiet and peaceful. The hotel is an old beauty. If you are expecting the latest and greatest in design and furnishings, you will be sorely disappointed. The interior lobby has a relaxed elegance that is carried out onto the veranda overlooking Lake Chautauqua. This was my first visit to the area...and I plan on coming back!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rasaknits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2011

Chautauqua Institute is a unique place on it's own with hundreds of cultural programs throughout the season. Add to that experience a stay at the beautiful Athenaeum Hotel with it's comfortable rocking chairs and a view to die for, it makes for a wonderful vacation. Also, the service is fabulous. with two refreshes of towels and straightening of room throughout the day. The morning Chautauqua paper is a nice touch as well.

Room Tip: We were in the annex. All rooms have air conditioning I believe which is necessary in the summer. Th...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Beebs10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2011

It is true, the only reason you go to this hotel is for the total Chautauqua experience. I grew up near the institute, and the hotel is a trip into the past. It has not been modernized, and it would be a shame to do so. I spent many summers going there, visiting friends at the summer music programs, and truly enjoying the atmosphere. I've stayed many places in and near Chautauqua, but the Atheneaum--for all of its iidiosyncrasies--is the most memorable place to stay.

One of my friends took his family to to stay there for a couple of days. One of his daughters asked why they were staying there and why was it so special. Then they were seated with Art Garfunkel for breakfast. After that, she understood.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank jmk5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2011

Our stay was with a conference before the "Chautauqua Season" so our dining experience, which was amazingly good for buffet service, may not reflect service at other times. First, an update on the antique elevator. It has been replaced by a new modern elevator, but the old one is still visible. We requested a room near the stairs to the lobby, which is a small room with a tiny bathroom. Since there is great variation in room sizes and degree of updating you might want to discuss room selection by phone prior to the stay. It is indeed a unique experience if you don't mind uneven floors, etc. If you're into nostalgic elegance you'll love it. If you expect modern you'll probably be disappointed.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled on business
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4  Thank MarilynBrien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2011

As part of our visit to the area from NYC we always stay at least a couple nights at the Athenaeum (have been coming for over 30 years now). First off, you have to understand what the hotel is (and the hotel needs to accept what it is). It was truly a boarding house when it first opened, you were meant to sleep there, eat, and then spend the day outside taking in different lectures or events, not locked up in a building (this was one of the main reasons Chautauqua is where it is today, in a sylvan setting rather than a sunbaked city building) the reason there are so many photos from the water is because the "wealthy" and majority of the Institutions patroons stayed at Point Chautauqua across the lake, where the "Grand Hotel" was located which was built as a high class hotel (it's long gone now). If you are looking for a "brand new" cookie-cut hotel, the Athenaeum, let alone Chautauqua Institution is not for you. But if you are looking for an experience not just a stay at a historic building, dripping of hospitality tradition, absolutely beautifully decorated, grounds perfectly manicured, in the center of the Institution, and a staff that will know you on a first name basis year after year, the Athenaeum is the perfect choice.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Salka861
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2011

We spent a wonderful evening watching "Chautauqua" on PBS from Spokane WA. this past Sunday. My wife and I both stated when next in Western New York we will have to again stay at the beautiful old Athenaeum for a few days to recapture the fun we had last time.
We've enjoyed all our visits to the Institute and also the Athenaeum and found the staff friendly, the food superb and the surrounds beautiful. The fact that one can live within history by staying in a building built just after the Civil War is to us an experience not easily duplicated. If we wanted to stay in new hotels we could do that anywhere but to stay in an authentic historic building is a true treat for us old history buffs. Just being able to stay and walk the grounds and to be able to relate with all the artistic and educational events is hard to describe. The rooms were quaint but clean, the service was exemplary, and the experience one needing repeating.
The decorations and pictures within the hotel are art treasures in themselves and all the antiques throughout the interior are to us the crowning glory of the hotel.
The location of the hotel within the community, allows for cars to be parked and forgotten and actually encourages making walking a daily enjoyable occurrence.
Being within a short walk of the amphitheater makes taking in the lectures and evening entertainment something both very enjoyable and very easy to do.
I don't believe we've ever had a more enjoyable and relaxing hotel stay in our lives. The niche shopping experience was enjoyable for my wife and myself.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with friends
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3  Thank PossumPogo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Athenaeum Hotel

Address: 3 S Lake Dr, Chautauqua, NY 14722-2547
Region: 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 #1 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, New York

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