Jet skis ply the waters visible from my third floor balcony. It’s a beautiful, sunny, late summer day at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, 10 Dunham Avenue, Celoron, New York. With temps in the mid-80s on that September afternoon, it was surprising to look down at the expansive lawn, and note that the outdoor pool had closed for the season (it closes Labor Day and opens again Memorial Day weekend). However there were plenty of guests playing miniature golf and corn hole, as well as just relaxing around one of the fire pits.
There’s plenty of place to be outdoors at Chautauqua Harbor Hotel: it’s on nine acres and has 1,100 feet of lake frontage. There was a wedding lakeside in progress (it was a Saturday afternoon), with guest chairs arranged for the best view across Chautauqua Lake.
The function rooms are in a one-story wing off to one side of the main part of the hotel. That way, when the band at the wedding reception fires up, there are no sleeping guests in rooms above to be disturbed.
There is an indoor pool and a hot tub as well as a fitness center. Even though the hotel seemed full, I spotted a total of 5 people in the pool during my two-night stay, and never saw a soul on the exercise machines.
Color scheme in the guest rooms is various shades of blue and gray. The bathroom has separate stalls for the toilet and the shower. Amenities are by Green Natura, which includes an intriguing notice that the packaging contains EcoPure organic plastic additives. The WiFi was free.
A nice touch –nightly turndown service. In addition to the requisite chocolates on the pillow, the housekeeping staff removed and stowed the decorative pillows and heavy bedspread.
Just two gripes: evidently a family of elephants checked into the room above mine. I guess the downside of the trendy laminate “wood” floor is its sound transmission (something wall-to-wall carpeting mutes). And the mini-fridge in my room — always a nice amenity — housed some sort of gremlin who, when it cycled on, growled and raged til the timer clicked off again.
The first floor restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating. The menu has no surprises (the usual: steaks, salmon, pork chops, chicken, and shrimp), but the service is prompt and cheerful. A bonus: with the bill comes a chocolate-covered cherry for each diner.
Until I arrived in Western New York State, I had no idea that Lucille Ball hailed from these parts. She was born in Jamestown and raised in neighboring Celoron. The area has capitalized on that connection with two-must visit sites, each of which is less than three miles from the Harbor Hotel: The National Comedy Center and the Lucy Desi Museum (one is enticed to see both by a combo-ticket).
Nature-lovers won’t want to miss the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, also in Jamestown. You probably have at least one of his field guides on your bookshelf (I know I do — mine’s North American birds).
Here’s a view down an interior hallway.
(Photos by Susan McKee, who was a guest of the Harbor Hotel)