First - I've just read all the negative reviews. Perhaps I went to a different hotel. The Anthenaeum looks, pretty much, as it did when it was built. Sweeping veranda's facing the lake, antique furniture, and bell boys who still operate the elevator.
The hotel is so clean, that when I was coming down a central staircase for breakfast, someone was on their hands and knees cleaning the treads. The food service is meticulous and was the staff assistance. In one case, I had to go to a business meeting at the Golf Club outside the gates. On the way I saw an employee taking two colleagues to the destination on a hotel golf cart.
My room was in the annex. I had air conditioning, cable TV and a comfortable bathroom. My room was attended at least twice each day. I remember returning from a meeting on a humid day and washing my face AFTER maid service was completed. By that evening the towels were replaced and there was chocolate on my pillow. There were extra blankets and pillows in the closet, a writing desk, and a huge Craftsman-style dresser.
What was not to love? The prices in the gift shop were just right and comparable to those in the town's bookstore (i.e. not inflated and cheaper than I expected). Each evening the hotel booked entertainment to supplement the activities in the ampitheater (which is half a block up the hill). Opera singers to introduce the nights events, live music, guest lecturers etc.
Too much to say, except - yes - the hotel is expensive. (Probably too expensive if you are traveling with children.) Yes - they only operate Spring through Fall. And yes - there are a lot of college students (all polite) on the grounds. There is also an ATM in the lobby, wireless internet, and a Concierge desk.
For those who don't like the ambiance or the prices - I recommend looking at what it costs to stay elsewhere in the town. During the "Season" pricing for tiny efficiencies are just as high, don't include meals, and don't have the view. I know - I stayed at a smaller hotel my first year and grew sick from the mold. I stayed in a rented house the second year with the same problem - large space, musty interior, very old bathroom that I shared with other house guests.
So would I stay at the Antheneum again? Absolutely.
- 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