We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Southern Quarters” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Chalfonte

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Save
You added The Chalfonte to your Saves list
The Chalfonte
301 Howard St., Cape May, NJ 08204   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 42 Hotels in Cape May
latrobe,pa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Southern Quarters”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

We typically stay in a B&B but when our usual place was booked we decided on the Chalfonte's Southern Quarters, which is a separate building, located next door to the main hotel. We picked room 4 specifically for the large, private 2nd floor porch, private bath and AC. The room was a nice size with a full and twin size bed. The Southern quarters is located on the ocean side of the property and the ocean breeze was so nice that we only needed the AC at night. We did not eat in the restaurant, however the King Edward bar is very nice and allowed us to take drinks back to our room to enjoy on the porch. The location is great and we had no problem finding parking. Would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

130 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    38
    34
    17
    16
    25
See reviews for
41
49
7
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wildwood, New Jersey
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

Amazing great Southern-style food. Located within the porch of this Historic Hotel. Tried their Sunday evening buffet and couldn't get enough. The fried chicken was the best but everything in the buffet was outstanding, from the salads to dessert. Will definitely return with friends!!!

Room Tip: After dinner we toured the Lobby, Lounge & Grounds. Beautiful, welcoming & quaint. I didn...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Airy, NC
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

I turned fifty last May and my husband surprised me by arranging a week in Cape May at the Chalfonte. I can’t think of a better way to have spent that milestone birthday and hope to repeat it again this year.

The Chalfonte Hotel has been part of my life for 30 years. It was part of my early adulthood and our courtship. It's where we spent our first married winter as caretakers of the hotel. I’ve spent countless birthday weekends there, innumerable hours in the kitchen or rocking on a porch with a good book or better companionship. I am predisposed to love the Chalfonte.

Do not, however, mistake my love of this Grand Dame for baseless sentimentality. The Chalfonte is an experience that, for many...for those of us lucky enough to find her in this way, becomes a part of the fabric of life. She allows for moments that stand out forever in our memories.

I’ve traveled for fun and business from New Orleans to Baltimore to Providence and stayed at a range of hotels from dives to $300 a night rooms, bed and breakfasts, kitchy motels and hostels. Each has their place in society and meets different travel needs. I do not mean to denigrate any. Well, ok, there was that Best Western in High Point, NC a few years ago, but that was an isolated incident and was nearly entirely an issue with the General Manager.

By and large, one hotel is much like the next. Most stays, interchangeable. Staff rise to set this hotel apart from that but little else is truly different.

The Chalfonte, however, is unique.

As others who’ve written on this site have advised, do not come to the Chalfonte expecting a Holiday Inn, or a Radisson, or a Courtyard. If the homogonous, modern, mostly-isolated-in-your-room experience is what you want, there are many such choices in Cape May.

Do not come to the Chalfonte expecting a small intimate B&B with six rooms and only a few other guests, either.

The folks at the front desk do a great job of telling folks about the lack of AC, or an elevator or private baths and other points deemed by many to be negatives.

The Chalfonte is a glorious sprawling hotel with wooden floors, plaster walls, shared baths on the hallways in many cases and where generations of families have returned year after year. Come open to finding something different. To stepping out of your comfort zone and back to a time when guests met new folks on vacation, had new experiences, read a book and, once the car was parked, never moved it till it was time to head home.

As with any place, there will be the occasional less-than-perfect moment of loud music, distracted employee or impolite guests. For me, and for many others, however, those few, rare moments have been greatly overshadowed by innumerable, irreplaceable memories … sitting at dinner with strangers to leave as fast friends, meeting folks on the porches … an admiral and his wife who were stationed at Pearl Harbor when the bombs started falling, a couple who run a hostel near the a state woman’s prison, a children’s author, a lawyer from Egypt, a museum curator from Berlin …

Falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing two short blocks away … waking to the sound of gulls and bird song and the scent of the sea breezes in a hotel with windows that actually open. Watching a storm rage over the distant horizon from the cupola.

And sometimes, in a quiet moment in the middle of the day or of an evening as the fog rolls in off the ocean enveloping her ginger-breading in a fine mist shimmering with the flickering gaslight and the steady clopping of horse-drawn carriages echoing around, sometimes one can imagine the year is something quite different than what the calendar reads.

And that, my friends, is not a moment to be found in any modern hotel. No matter the price.

Room Tip: Take a room on the Ocean side if possible.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Jersey
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

My wife and I were treated to a wonderful stay at the Chalfonte..Neither she nor I had ever stayed in an old 19th century hotel but we were impressed. Our accommodations were extremely well appointed, spacious and very comfortable.. Granted given the buildings age there are of course some anomalies in terms of noise etc. but it was all part of a grand experience..I can only imagine how it must have been to guests over 100 years ago..
If you elect to stay be advised that some things we expect in modern hotels ie. elevators may not be the case.. The coolest thing about staying here was a feeling that one could step back into and gain an appreciation of yesteryear.. The staff was very helpful and we have nothing but positive comments to make on the Chalfonte..

Room Tip: Porch access rooms are a treat..
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Absecon, NJ
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

My husband book a two night stay (minmum) for our 15th Wedding Anniversay for $200 a night!!
We arrived to a wedding that consumed the whole hotel (couldn't sit on the porch & restaurant/bar was closed). Because of the wedding we couldn't find parking. The wedding was suppose to be done at 10 and some of the wedding party (not staying at the hotel) stayed on the porch until midnight - drunk & using foul lanuage.
The woman at the front desk was rude and very poor customer service.

Not exactly a romantic weekend listening to drunks from the wedding.

The room was nothing more than a supposed queen size bed, a night stand and a single window with broken glass and dirty old curtains that were too heavy for the rod and were drooping down. No mini-fridge. When my husband booked he was told it had a mini kitchen. The front desk had no explanation for the mix up. The only positive was the bathroom was newer but they glued one shower door shut and to turn on the bath you had to climb in the end of the tub!!! Hot water took forever. Our bedroom at home was 3x the size and cleaner!
The "A/C" never came on the first night & it was awful humid (no breeze from window).
The 2nd night it was so cold, I slept with my fleece jacket on!!
There was a wedding the 2nd night too - but they were done by 10. Again no bar or sitting on the porch.

When we checked out and told them about the air conditioning, all they said was "sorry".

For $200 a night, a free breakfast should have been included and a mini-fridge and cleaner! Never again!
The Chalfonte is nothing more than a overpriced boarding house! Don't waste your $$$

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

We spent a night in August. The room was a queen with a bath (shower actually) on the top floor. The place is over 100 years old with creaky floors and guests. Our room had central A/C it was small by contempoary standards. We opted for the meal plan $30 a head which was dinner and breakfast. Dinner was great, go with the crab cake and the sea food bisque, drinks and desert are extra. Breakfast was a buffet with the usually scrambled eggs and freshfruit, bacon etc. We enjoyed chillin' on the porch in the rockers watching the horse drawn carriage and bicyclists pass by. My main complaint is that the bill is unreadable, I asked the front desk what mt evening in the hotel cost me and she circled a number on the bill that is $50 less then my math. I hope my Am Ex bill agrees with her.

Room Tip: European bath has a toilet and shower in suite, shared baths are in the hall.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

Just recently returned from a three day stay in Cape May.
First the good..... The hotel itself is charming and is in a wonderful location (near the beach and in a very lovely part of Cape May). The bed was comfortable and the food in the restaurant was pretty good. Also, some renovations took place and I really liked the shower stall. The porch rocking chairs are fun.
The bad..... You are not able to individually control the temperature in the room. It is great that the hotel now has air condtioning, but it was a little too cold for me. I did not spend much time in the room, but it was cold once out from under the covers.
Also...remember that it is not a bed and breakfast, so food is not included with the room rates.
T.V's are not in the rooms, but there is a communal tv on the main floor.
Wanted to give a higher rating..........but I was quite bothered by how cold my room was.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to The Chalfonte? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Chalfonte

Address: 301 Howard St., Cape May, NJ 08204
Location: United States > New Jersey > Jersey Shore > Cape May
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Cape May
#14 Family Hotel in Cape May
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Established in 1876, The Historic Chalfonte Hotel is recognized as the oldest continuously operating hotel in Cape May, America's Original Seaside Resort. Situated just two blocks from the beach, The Chalfonte offers a unique seashore experience defined by warm, Southern-style hospitality and simplistic traditions. We cater to every budget with spacious suites, guest rooms with premium and European style baths, and traditional rooms with shared baths down the hall. Guest rooms feature crisp linens and cool seaside colors, and are free of televisions, telephones, and clock radios. Our nationally acclaimed Magnolia Room restaurant serves Southern-style fare with lovingly prepared family recipes and our King Edward Bar is famous for its classic cocktails and casual ambiance. Our guests continuously return from around the world to enjoy this very special destination. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia and Travelocity so you can book your The Chalfonte reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Chalfonte Hotel Cape May
Chalfonte Cape May
Chalfonte Hotel Cape May

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage The Chalfonte, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.