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“Peaceful retreat” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mainstay Inn and Cottage

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Mainstay Inn and Cottage
635 Columbia Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 49 Cape May B&B and Inns
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, United States
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Peaceful retreat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

The Mainstay is a great B&B. There is a lot of interesting history with the property. The brunch is very good and the inn has one of the best porches to relax on. The grounds are beautiful as well. It is a short walk to the beach, and the inn provides you with chairs and towels, so even less thing to pack!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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89 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    63
    17
    4
    4
    1
See reviews for
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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
Boothwyn, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

Thanks to the Mainstay Inn not only was my 30th birthday amazing, but they also helped me resolve some issues with the City of Cape May in obtaining a marriage license. I can not thank everyone there enough for the help in making both of the important moments of 2012 possible! The afternoon tea was amazing as well as the DELICIOUS breakfast. I enjoyed every moment of my stay there and can not wait to go back for another visit.

Room Tip: I had the room on the front of the main house and it was AMAZING.
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  • Stayed April 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yokohama, Japan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

Ever since I saw the pictures of the Gibbons room of this Inn on the website a year ago in Japan, my strong determination has always been to visit Cape May and stay at this particular room, if I ever visit the US again in the future. I was deeply fascinated by the Inn, the room, and its atmosphere.

This June, there was a chance to meet with my American friends again on the East Coast, so I decided to have our reunion in this Inn and we stayed there for 2 nights…of course my room was the Cardinal Gibbons Room!

Climbing up the stairs and as soon as taking one step inside the room, I got chills… the room was austerely-furnished…all the antiques were museum class.. they were not ornate or flashy but more toned-down and this made the room even more late Victorian, which was exactly my taste and I had been longing for a long time to be in such atmosphere … I specially loved the wardrobes, the bed, the huge dresser…they were indeed exquisite!
I even loved the little creaky sound that a single point of the floor had…I thought I could even feel breathing of the people in the era by touching the wardrobes, walls, and out of such atmosphere..

I personally think that those makes the Inn or the rooms more valuable as an original Victorian building, especially for those of people who love and like to enjoy and taste an atmosphere of the real Victorian era…

The bath room was another charm point of the room... with the lovely tab and shower with white cotton (I believe it was cotton ) lace curtain on the outside… it was quite specious with deep chic colored walls, everything we need was there, the arm extendable miller on the wall was very useful, and there was even a life-sized wall miller in the bath room!

The breakfasts were fantastic and yummy! The afternoon tea which was served from 4pm every day was fantastic with lots of vegetables, fruits, cheese, and homemade cakes/cookies.
I did not see any staffs working there except the owner during my stay, but everything was fine and clean…the owner responded to us nicely whenever we need for help. Thanks Dian!

The only thing I wished for was that a coffee pot or maker (or even thermos bottle of hot water or so) in the room since there was no such beverage available in the night time in the dining room. I think it was available in the cottage house(?) across the main house, I don’t remember well but, then we had to go outside once even thought we were wearing the bathrobes at the time. I wish I could enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and could relax in the room after returning from the heavy dinner or after taking shower in the night.

The area around the Inn was very charming and lovely, just like the town of fairly tale, so that just taking a walk or go shopping or even just listening to the sound of a horse carriage going by is another fascination of the Inn and every place is walking distance!!

Oh…there was another regret…I wish I could stay much longer..

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Howell, New Jersey, United States
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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.
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  • 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.
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.
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  • 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.

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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 #23 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

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