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.

“Excellent place to stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mainstay Inn and Cottage

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Cape May
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Mainstay Inn and Cottage
635 Columbia Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 49 Cape May B&B and Inns
Howell, New Jersey, United States
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent place to stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Stayed on Dec 1st, 2012 in the Grant room. Loved the high doors, windows, etc. Once we got into the room we couldn't believe the size. Staff was very friendly. Warning: Dallas cowboys fan. Location was perfect. Short walk to many restaurants and shopping. Very clean. Definately the place to stay.

Room Tip: Go for the third floor. Steep stairway but very quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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

89 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    63
    17
    4
    4
    1
See reviews for
8
59
2
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Jersey City, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

Stayed in the President Harrison Room 2 summers ago on my 1st trip to a Cape May B & B with a girlfriend. Room was great, bathroom was great, food was great and porch was amazing.

I think this place is in that book 1,000 places to visit before you die. And it actually has some hostory to it....look it up.

Loved the huge wrap-around porch and location for ease of walking distance and people-watching.

Breakfast was great as well and you could eat inside or on the porch.

I expected phenomenal service as it was my 1st time(half-kidding). Not much in terms of service or even interaction from the innkeeper at the time. However we actually liked that and really wanted to just be left alone.

Believe it or not when I go back to Cape May, that's where I'll stay: Definitely not for the service, but because of the anononomynity (did I spell that right), the location, view and that lovely porch.

I'll upgrade the room to one where parking is on premises, instead of on the street, though.
I'm easy to please.

Room Tip: Pick a room that has on-premises parking.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Pine Bush, New York, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

My husband and I stayed in the main house in the Henry Clay room which was absolutely gorgeous and meticulously clean. The room was decorated with beautiful furniture and had tall windows with lace curtains blowing in the breeze on a stormy day when we arrived. Definitely not a beach day so we headed to the Mall (shopping district) which was a very short walk away (took us 3 minutes). Lots of stores and restaurants were there and we returned to the wrap around veranda which was great for sitting and watching the storm roll in. The porch is also great for relaxing with a book (or a nook), watching the horse and carriages go by or just lounging on the hammock. Four o'clock tea was elegantly served in the dining room and it was delicious - we had to put off dinner for quite a few hours. Inside there was plenty of reading material and a puzzle for me to finish the evening along with a few homemade chocolate chip cookies which are always available. Breakfast was fantastic the next morning - fresh fruit, homemade breads and then a fritatta with tomatoes and scallions and bacon on the side - very yummy! This day was definitely a beach day and it is only a block to the beach. They also have chairs for you to use at the beach. The third day we went bike riding with rentals only a very short walk away. The Mainstay is in a perfect location for the best of Cape May on a tree lined street full of beautiful Victorian homes. The innkeeper, Diane, is extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgeable and after 20 years of inn keeping she knows the best things to do while in Cape May. We loved our stay and will definitely go back again.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Cranford, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

Very nice getaway. We stayed here for our anniversary. It was great that the room came with a parking spot. Very close to town and the beach. The restaurants were in walking distance although we did use our car 1x to go to cape may winery. Very lovely rooms, nice amenities, very relaxing. Fresh cookies are placed in jars throughout the house- every time I turned around my husband had his hand in the cookie jar with a guilty just caught look smile on his face (the cookies were very yummy). Breakfast was good. I'm a vegetarian and there was plenty for me to eat for breakfast and for the 4pm tea. We have stayed at other B&B by Jersey Shore and those included beach tags. Those would have been nice instead of having to pay for that along with the chest for gratuities. We are paying enough for the room that those 2 items along with plusher towels should be included.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

We spent two nights in the Brett Harte room which is in the cottage next door to the main inn and facing Columbia Avenue. We were very pleased with the accommodations. The inn's description (balcony) does not do justice to the fabulous private wrap around veranda that comes with this room. It is enormous! (like 8x64, solely ours to use and featured 4 rockers, a fabulous hammock for 2 and tons of space). We spent lots of time out there just sipping wine and watching the world go by.

The inn's location is great. If you get a room that has a dedicated parking space you will never have to move your vehicle. There also some other nice touches in the common room. like a fridge for leftovers and chilling wine, cards, delicious cookies and pretzels always available. It was wonderful to have beach chairs and towels available for use. We would have liked to use the bikes but every time we looked they were already being used. The afternoon tea was also a highlight. Iced tea and lemonade were perfect on a hot summer afternoon. They also make these delicious lemon coconut bars and pecan bars that I could be craving far into the future!.

The innkeeper we dealt with (I think Donna) was very courteous and efficient. Not over the top engaging but pleasant, which was fine with us because we don't always feel like chatting. :)

A few notes about Cape May....but not necessarily related to the Mainstay. Prepare yourself for the room taxes. I was a little shocked to find at checkout that my $360 per night room also had $50 per night in tax charges tacked on top. The shops have declined in quality after the recession. It's rare I go to a quaint town like this and don't find anything I want to buy. It was also surprising to me how many establishments (including the main liquor store) have a no credit card policy, so bring plenty of cash. I do love that many of the restaurants are BYOB!

My only negative (and the only reason I rated 4 vs 5) about the inn itself, is that the breakfast was disappointing. It was a buffet featuring items like lenders bagels, english muffins, fruit and yogurt, a coffee cake and one baked egg dish. Not exactly what I have come to expect from a b&b at this price point, We didn't even eat there on day 2.

That being said, we will still absolutely return and request that specific room and recommend the Mainstay to others.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Mystic
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

The Mainstay used to be the very best inn in southern Jersey. It remains very good looking --people still gasp as they pass by --and has one of the best locations (and porch) in town. Yet the days of Sue and Tom Carroll's gracious enthusiasm are long gone, it seems. In fact, the inn is up for sale and has had to post a price reduction over the past months. The baton will pass, but until that happens the M is best characterized as lovely as an architecture and tired as an establishment. You can see the fatigue in the breakfasts. My husband and I stayed for nearly a week and faced exactly the same basic breakfast set out buffet style every morning. It consisted of one hot dish: a good but quite obviously thawed and reheated egg casserole. There was also fresh fruit, breads, cheese, sandwich meat, and juice. There's nothing wrong with this but it's not exactly innovative or lip smacking for a town that specializes in breakfasts. The 4-5:00 pm daily tea compensates for the lackluster morning fare, but relatively few guests are around on a summer day at that time. The too-sharp contrast between the main building and the drab, even depressing, colors and over-wickered feel of the cottage next door also needs attention. The Mainstay is still the rare beauty it has been since its extensive renovation in the late 1970s. Right now, though, it really needs a new owner to fire up its engines again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

I recently stayed at the Mainstay, as soon as I walked in it literally left me speechless. The Inn and the Cottage are Beautiful inside and out. It was one of the most wonderful Inn's I have ever visited. The staff was VERY warm and Welcoming, you know the type of people you could sit and talk with while you enjoy the most inviting porch ever. I can honestly say there is not one thing I did not like about my stay. Oh wait I am lying..I hated leaving! The rooms were the most Beautifully decorated, very clean, spacious, extremely comfortable rooms ever. And I love the unique "Stuffed Kitty's" you put outside your room when you don't want to be disturbed. It was my first visit and I brought my Aunt, I am planning on going back in September with my Boyfriend this time. It is so convenient to everything, you just can't help but have a WONDERFUL time. Oh and the food ....OMG WONDERFUL

Room Tip: They have one room the "Sawyer" with 2 Double beds which was perfect since my 1st time the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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 Mainstay Inn and Cottage? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Mainstay Inn and Cottage

Address: 635 Columbia Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Jersey > Jersey Shore > Cape May
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 49 B&Bs / Inns in Cape May
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A charming guest house that was built in 1872. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mainstay Inn And Cottage Hotel Cape May

Owners: What's your side of the story?

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

Bookmark for later
Save Saved
You added Mainstay Inn and Cottage to your Saves list