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“For a Short Stay, It's Just OK”

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The Spencer Hotel and Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Chautauqua
Princeton, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“For a Short Stay, It's Just OK”
Reviewed 26 July 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, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank johnmac999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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186 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Allentown
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2012

We went to the Chautauqua Institute with another couple for session 2. The institute is an awesome experience and we cannot recommend it more highly.
Unfortunately, we can't say the same for the Spencer Hotel. The hotel is a Victorian beauty located just steps from the Amphitheater and close to all the other venues. The staff was pleasant and helpful.
Sadly, the accommodations were less than adequate. I am guessing that sometime in the past, the owners decided to divide the guest rooms in half to have more to rent. Our crowded room had very little closet space, was not especially clean and connected to a porch that sagged 10 degrees. The tiny bathroom had an almost useless claw-tub and strange hand sprayer. One could not use the hair dryer without banging your elbows onto the wall. We had no control of the cooling system in our room. That control was in another guestroom occupied by the other couple who traveled with us. They could never get their room above 63 and ours never was below 80.They had no closet space. Since they had no hallway entrance, they needed to climb over chairs on the sagging porch to enter and exit. We both found candy wrappers under the beds.
The alleged breakfast alternated between oatmeal one day and small wedges of fritata on the next. There was also coffee,tea and juice in the AM as well a miniscule cup of fruit. For the final breakfast, each guest was serves ONE mid sized muffin.
Except fo rthe convenience, the Spencer is not woth the premium price that they charge.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank RonaldAllentown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2012

typical creaky old B&B. Owners very accomodating, facilities old, but price too much for what you get. rooms have strange storm windows on the inside which makes opening the windows very difficult - odd choice for a lakeside location with plenty of fresh air.

Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Vron100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2012

I drove down to Chautauqua for a 2 day solo get away. The Spencer Hotel was the perfect spot. Christine was very helpful when I made my reservation, suggesting restaurants and making reservations and she kindly offered to get me a ticket to the Wine Festival. I chose the EB White room and it was very quaint and well appointed and I enjoyed having access to the porch. the breakfasts were excellent and beautifully prepared by the hotel's owner, Helen. One day we had Eggs Florentine and the 2nd day was a great asparagus potato quiche. Breakfast was served with juice, fresh fruit cup and a good strong coffee. Being situated within the Chautauqua Institution ensured a quiet and relaxing environment with ample areas to wander around the grounds or just sit by the beautiful lake. A lovely and memorable spot. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: Chose a room higher up and with access to the porch.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheSpencer, Manager at The Spencer Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, 27 May 2012
Thank you so much for the very high regards! We're all so very happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay so much! Please visit again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milford, Connecticut
2 reviews
Reviewed 15 May 2012

This is the first time I have filled out one of these reviews. The service and quality of the inn was too good not to let people know about the inn. We were there because of needing to be near an ill parent. They took excellent care of us and the food was the best I have had at an inn. The best Eggs Benedict we have ever had. The themed rooms are nice, the decor and anitques are nice, the service is exceptional!

Room Tip: Check out all the themed rooms. The painting on the ceilings and walls match the room along with th...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Suzanne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheSpencer, Manager at The Spencer Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, 18 May 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a lovely review! We really appreciate it and greatly enjoyed having you stay with us! We hope you will return soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westbury, New York
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2012

We spent 3 memorable days at The Spencer recently. The accomodations were charming, the service superb, and the welcome we received made our stay a very special experience. Breakfast was delicious and well-balanced. Nothing could surpass starting the day with an enthusiastic greeting from resident dog-hostess, Hannah. The atmosphere in the hotel is warm and comfortable, and we hope to return in the near future. Great location and a wonderful base for walks in an around the Institute.

Jeanie K., Westbury NY

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank budster1128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheSpencer, Manager at The Spencer Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, 14 May 2012
Thank you so much for your review Jeanie! We so enjoyed having you and your family stay with us! Best wishes always!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
Reviewed 7 May 2012

Went for a romantic weekend and enjoyed the serene, peaceful setting. Staff was very attentive and helpful with making plans in the area and were quite accommodating as far as services within the Inn. Location was great, massages were fantastic! It was a very relaxing, romantic weekend.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JenLN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheSpencer, Manager at The Spencer Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, 15 May 2012
Thanks again Jen! It was so nice to meet the two of you! I hope you were able to find that cheese you liked so much! Hope to see you again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Spencer Hotel and Spa

Property: The Spencer Hotel and Spa
Address: 25 Palestine Ave, Chautauqua, NY 14722-2536
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > Chautauqua County > Chautauqua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Kitchenette Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Chautauqua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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
The Spencer Hotel And Spa Chautauqua, New York

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