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.
- 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