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“Beautiful and relaxing oasis wirh a few caveats” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Congress Hall

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Congress Hall
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   200 Congress Place, Cape May, NJ 08204   |  
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Ranked #14 of 42 hotels in Cape May
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Beautiful and relaxing oasis wirh a few caveats”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012 via mobile

We come to Congress Hall every year. The location can't be beat and the amenities are excellent. Love the pool and beach service! The hotel is very expensive and hence the few quibbles. Front desk staff are not as helpful as could be. The hotel hosts a great number of weddings and while you might enjoy vicariously participating, you probably won't enjoy the drunk guests beneath your window at 2 am. The hotel should enforce it's quiet hours!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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628 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (188)
Date | Rating
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

Just returned from a three night midweek stay at Congress Hall, one of the oldest hotels in Cape May. But don't let its age fool you, this hotel is a professionally run establishment that has all the modern conveniences that one would expect from a four or five star rating.
Our room, while rather small, had a very comfortable double bed, large screen digital TV with great channel selection, spacious bathroom considering the room size and all the little extras one takes for granted these days, like Ipod compatible clock radio, complimetary single dose coffee maker and nightime bed turn down service, to name just a few.
The staff here is very friendly and anxious to help, its obvious they work hard and are well managed. Tipping is definately appreciated but it is not mandatory and you can expect the same level of service at the beach or pool regardless of whether or not you tip. Hotel location is perfect, two minutes to the beach where hotel beach staff will set you up with chairs, umbrella and towels in an area reserved for hotel guests. Food service is also available at the beach, so relaxing here is what you will do.
Hotel restaurant had reasonably good food, but it was pricey. Lots of nearby restaurants to choose from, but the good ones need reservations.
Glitch's during our midweek stay included the hotel wifi Internet, which was spotty at best and proved to be unreliable. Hotel staff were helpless as the 'IT Department' was in charge and either the service is contracted out or the 'IT Department' didn't know how to fix the problem.
We could have used a little more water pressure as well, but it really wasn't a big problem. Also, water leaked from the celing vents in both the room and the bathroom, but it was quickly repaired as soon as we brought it to the front desk's attention.
If you can book a standard non ocean view room at this hotel at between 175.00 to 200.00 per night for midweek stay, you can't go wrong. Rates certainly go up from Friday to Monday, we were quoted 389.00 for the same room for Friday night, at that price, the price/value ratio is too low.

Room Tip: Most ocean view rooms do not have a balcony. Hotel claims to be non smoking, but smokers are tolerat...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
new york or pa
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

I've stayed at this hotel several times, but after this last stay I can honestly say there a few problems that need to be addressed. For one, the wifi is so weak as to be non-existent. If I was lucky to even locate the hotel wifi on my devices, I would continually lose the signal. When I tried to log in using another device, my log-in would not work and when I called the front desk, was told I needed another username, which they provided. I was not informed about this upon check-in. We overheard one guest complaining to the front desk staff and the response was "come down to the lobby." Don't say you have wifi if it's only good in the lobby. I must also mention I've never found the front desk staff to be overfly friendly or helpful. They're not rude, but there's an element of arrogance and indifference with some of them.
Secondly, while I realize it's the end of a busy season and the hotel has been heavily booked, I still expect what I pay for. The couches and chair in the room were definitely in need of a steam clean. The couch had something stuck to the arm which made me reluctant to even sit near it. Gross.
So....for my next trip, I'll be checking out the Virginia or other comparable hotel.

Room Tip: Be aware that some rooms above the ground floor still require you lugging baggage up stairs to anoth...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Newtown, CT
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

My family has stayed at Congress Hall almost every summer for the last ten years. Our latest visit was in early August. The hotel has many wonderful features and that's what keeps us coming back. It's right across the street from the beach, and we love the fact that chairs, umbrellas, towels and more are available for our use. The pool, too, is a nice feature and has the same chair and towel service.

The hotel location is excellent, in the middle of downtown Cape May and within walking or biking distance to all the sights and attractions. We walked through Congress Hall years ago before its renovation, and I still marvel each time I visit at what was accomplished. We love the lobby, the Brown Room, and the verandah with rocking chairs. (We aren't crazy about the smoking allowed in that area - cigars and pipes polluted the air on a few occasions during this visit). During the summer Congress Hall is extremely busy with weddings and other guest activities but we don't mind, it's part of what makes the hotel interesting.

The guest rooms have a charm that goes along with the Victorian structure. Rooms and bathrooms vary in size and shape, and we've liked some rooms better than others. The hotel gets very heavy use and it shows, with carpets and paint wearing in some spots and some marks and stains on the furniture. Given the very high rates, I think these things should be taken care of more promptly. Everything is very clean, however, and the beds are comfortable.

A few things have changed over the years. We were sad to learn that the hotel no longer offers free coffee in the morning. And the bottles of toiletries have gotten smaller. There are some changes that we like - the verandah was expanded to include a seating area with small tables and chairs, and the concierge has been moved to a quiet spot where it's easier to meet. We have high praise for the concierge who helped us while we were there this year.

One big complaint about this year's visit was that it coincided with the annual U.S. Lifesaving Association's National Lifeguard Championships, which were held in Cape May. During this three-day competition, large portions of the PUBLIC beach were roped off and unavailable to beach goers. And for some reason most of the events were held at the beach right in front of Congress Hall, where we and many other hotel guests found ourselves blocked from the water and that part of the beach closest to shore. In order to swim (or dig in the sand or sit close to the waves) we had to move far down the beach, which involved a long walk and put us out of range of the hotel's highly desirable chair and towel service. This was a HUGE inconvenience for three full days. Visitors who stay at Congress Hall pay steep rates for the use of the hotel facilities and access to the beach is one of the prime attractions. I don't mean to suggest that Congress Hall was responsible for this event; by all accounts, the hotel staff as well as the local lifeguards were just as unhappy about the disruption as we were. But I would have appreciated a heads-up from the hotel about the impact of this competition, and in the future we will definitely avoid visiting Cape May while this event is taking place.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Overall, this is a beautiful hotel.

High points were well appointed and larger than average rooms, very comfortable beds, exceptionally helpful concierge, some great activities for the kids, terrific beach service, great location by Washington Street Mall, and awesome breakfast at the Blue Pig.

Low points - Hawaii level room prices, some inflexibiity on the part of the staff (it took what seemed to be an act of god to get a one hour late check out - how dare I expect that for only $500 per night room charge), prices for lunch at pool (the $13 burger - oh you wanted fries too - thats another $7 - but we'll cut you a break on the kids burger, thats only $12).

In general, had a great time - just need to cash in a few CDs before I come back.

Room Tip: An oceanview room can mean you need a giraffe neck to actually see the ocean....
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 5 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.
New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Cape May is a wonderful spot by the sea. What a delight to have a charming old hotel tthis o enjoy this town. While some of the mechanicals are not state of the art, it all fits with the feel of this grand old place. The grounds are lovely and the staff is attentive. Very courteous and willing to pitch in with that extra effort. Rooms are on the small side as that is the original configuration of the hotel. Restoration and decorating are delightful since it adds the modern necessities while preserving the old. The "Boiler Room" in the basement is a jazz club that adds alot to a beach town. We will l be back next year.

Room Tip: It's worth it to upgrade for a room with oceanside view.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manahawkin, NJ
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We spent our anniversary here. Our room was spacious. The Bathroom too. It lacked counter space. The shower was hard to turn on. We got a person to fix it. A complimentry tray of cheese& wine arrived.It was nice to have a concierge. Congress Hall is in the heart of town, shops, restaurants, play houses a walking distance. It is a bit noisy because you are situated in the middle of things. We liked that. Their restaurants are good food.....

  • Stayed October 2011, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Congress Hall

Address: 200 Congress Place, Cape May, NJ 08204
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Jersey > Jersey Shore > Cape May
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Cape May
#10 Romantic Hotel in Cape May
#13 Family Hotel in Cape May
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Congress Hall 4*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Congress Hall Cape May

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