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“Adjust your expectations” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Chalfonte

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The Chalfonte
301 Howard St., Cape May, NJ 08204   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 42 Hotels in Cape May
Newark, DE
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Adjust your expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2006

Many reviewers on this site have wrongly slighted this charming B&B. I have stayed there several times and been more than pleased each time. I stayed for a week one summer, and three days into my trip I was already booking my return trip for the following year. The rate seems steep at first, $200 a night, until you realize that breakfast and dinner are included.


First off, the place is not falling apart as many have claimed. It is, however, a very old and beatufiul hotel. There is some chipping paint, some wear on the hardwood floors, etc. If you take the time to read the website, you'll know that the hotel does not have TVs or AC. The lack of TV's is actually quite nice, and most people take the chance to talk with their families or at least sit out on the porch and read. The lack of AC is a part of the hotel. I usually stay there in late August or early September because of this. The shared bathrooms maybe a bit of an adjustment, but the long soaks in a clawfoot tub overlooking the gardens is worthwhile. The whole point of this hotel, which many seem to have overloooked, is to SLOW DOWN and RELAX.

The dining in the Magnolia room is supurb. Breakfast is casual ware, you must be dressed for dinner. Something I always appericiated was that they have a seperate dining room for children. The kids get to play and be rowdy, and the adults get to enjoy fine dining without the screams of bratty children.

Breakfast is served buffet style with an assortment of hot and cold cereal, fresh fruit, cooked to order eggs, bacon, fried catfish, grits, spoonbread and the most adorable little freshly baked buttermilk biscuits. They alternate other things like french toast and real fried tomatoes as well. And REAL orange juice! It may not have eggs benidict, but it does stay true to the southern themed dining.

Dinner is always delicious. You are limited in your choices, but when they're choices like Prime Rib or Scallops, you can't go wrong. They also have vegetarian dining if you prefer. The Prime Rib here was melt in your mouth amazing. All dinners are four courses. They serve you just shy of stuffed. If you have an inkling to take a little extra dessert, don't, you will regret it. It will be the straw that broke the camel's back and you will be suddenly so stuffed you'll barely be able to move.

I suggest the hotel for early or late summer, when the weather is the most mild but the beaches are still warm. It's also nicer to be in town for off-peak season. The parking is limited to street, but it's easy to find a spot. It's a 100+ year old hotel, so there is no parking garage. There is also no business center, no free wifi, no indoor heated pool, no spa, no gym, no room service, no chilled champange waiting for you, no free mini shampoos and soaps, no flat screen TVs, no phones. It's fantastic.

  • Liked — Great food, antiques in the room, quietness.
  • Disliked — Leaving!
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay in the off peak season, better weather and fewer people.
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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127 reviews from our community

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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 (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
NJ, USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2006

I was very nervous after reading the reviews on tripadvisor, however, I did want to try The Chalfonte for myself. I'm so glad I did.
My husband and I spent a wonderful night at this graceful, old hotel which reminded us both of childhood vacations. Our corner room was clean, pretty and simple. The bathroom was clean, had plenty of towels and a big clawfoot tub. Our bed was comfortable and the ocean breezes kept the room cool.
The dinner and breakfast were excellent and the young lady who looked after us was efficient and pleasant.
We loved the fact that we could leave our car and walk to the beach and around the town. The porch with the rockers is wide and comfortable; we enjoyed sitting after dinner and watching the horse-drawn carriages go by.
A request to families with small children -- please make sure your kids do not run around the dining-room talking loudly to strangers and helping themselves from the buffet with their hands. The hotel feels very comfortable and friendly but it is still not your home!
We will stay at The Chalfonte whenever we are in Cape May, and we go there at least twice every year.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Philadelphia, PA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2006

My wife and I stayed at the Chalfonte Hotel and loved this place. We explored many B&B's in Cape May but selected this one for it's great character and charm.

The food was superb, our room was clean and filled with antiques..stunning! We selected a room with a shared bath and enjoyed the fun associated with this experience.

The Chalfonte offers visitors to Cape May a chance to experience historic charms, great services and quirks...you will never ENJOY at the Holiday Inn!

We love our visit and we'll be back many times!

Stayed September 2005
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2005

I have been a guest at the Chalfonte at least 25 times over a period of 15 years, and so I hasten to respond to the negative reviews with mine. It is on the registry as a landmark hotel. Therefore, not much air conditioning, no phone in the rooms, no television in the rooms, often no bathroom in the rooms...(and, not really necessary) The owner is proud to say it is because this gem has been very much "maintained" in its original state, rather than being restored. I have always found the rooms, corridors, dining room, etc. to be clean and well maintained. If this has not been the case with some persons who have written reviews, more than likely it was during a time when they had a loss of staff which happens at all resort B&Bs because the jobs at these establishments are for the most part seasonal. Staff comes and goes and the establishment has to make do until they find replacements - not easy to do. Cape May is the country's oldest seaside resort, and the Chalfonte is one of it's old landmarks hotels. It is truly an original. If you need deluxe private accommodations and mints on your pillow you aren't enjoying the ambience of this old Victorian community. If you stay at the Chalfonte, you are, and you are stepping back in time. It's a delicious treasure.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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:
#13 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 
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Also Known As:
The Chalfonte Hotel Cape May
Chalfonte Cape May
Chalfonte Hotel Cape May

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