One of few options within the Chautauqua Institution gates, this Victorian hotel faces Chautauqua Lake and is steps from the amphitheater. Opened in 1881, the Athenaeum frequently hosted Thomas Edison and was one of the first electrified hotels in the country. These days, however, modern advances (like central air-conditioning) are lacking, furnishings are threadbare, and the building is in dire need of restoration. It's pricey for the quality of rooms, though three meals
a day are included. We've included the hotel in this book not because we strongly recommend it but because it is one of only two hotels on the grounds of the institute, and for some, location trumps quality and cost. Dinner (for those not staying at the hotel) is a five-course prix-fixe affair.