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“Perfect Place for our wedding!”
Review of Congress Hall

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Congress Hall
Ranked #4 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Perfect Place for our wedding!”
Reviewed December 31, 2007

We knew a yr. ago when we fell in love with Congress Hall this would be the perfect place for a wedding. Our family and friends had a wonderful time here. It's such a charming piece of history. The friendly staff and management was so helpful during our planning stages of our wedding and the on the day of the wedding. We will always keep congress hall as a special place in our hearts and we will definitely come back to visit!

Stayed December 2007
Helpful?
Thank Jessica M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (344)
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English first
new jersey
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2007

We have stayed at Congress Hall in 2005, and 2006. At $300 a night, our stays are not lengthy. A really nice old hotel. Rooms are large. When was the last time you had a bath in a claw tub?

Hotel is located right across from the Jersey Shore. Location is excellent. If you like the Equinox in Manchester, you'll like the Congress Hall. They are both "Cougars" of the hotel world.

The pool is nice but a little small for such a big hotel. The poolside bar could be better.

The staff is okay. Valet parking is unAmerican to me, but they have it if you want it.

The hotel Tavern is awesome.

  • Liked — The antique hotel
  • Disliked — The $300 room price!
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank quietmanNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Media, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2007

This place is a joke... all they have is a bunch of snobby kids running it...I'm sure they will run it strait into the ground. I felt like screaming " Hello... is there an adult I can speak with" It's such a shame that this beautiful place is being run down by a bunch of inexperienced kids. There are many other charming places to stay in Cape May that give paying customers respect.

  • Liked — The stately look of the hotel
  • Disliked — everything was a nightmare!
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank chikidar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2007

This beautiful seaside hotel was like being transported to another era. I felt instantly relaxed. We had a 4th floor room with an ocean view. There's nothing like seeing the sunrise over the ocean from your bed first thing in the morning. Air conditioning worked well and other upgrades kept you from knowing this hotel is almost 200 years old. Fun bar at night. We rented bikes and road 3-4 miles to the lighthouse. Lovely town. Cute shops. Cape May helped my quest to show my brother (airline pilot based in Newark) there are beautiful places in New Jersey worth seeing.

Stayed September 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank Jantastic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2007

My husband and I recently celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary at this lovely rambling hotel. We really loved the beachy but classy way the hotel was decorated and the low-key feel. It was great to get a cocktail at the bar and take it outside to drink on the rocking chairs that face the ocean (across a road). The Blue Pig restaurant was really top notch, and the concierge gave us a great recommendation on other restaurant. I think due to the lateness of the season, we got a pretty good deal, but for what we paid (around $200 a night) I would definitely return to Congress Hall!

  • Liked — Charming ambience, food and drink, location
  • Disliked — A bit expensive
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank EditJess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 287 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2007

We stayed at Congress Hall from 9/30-10/2/07. This was our third visit to the hotel.

We returned this time, only slightly reluctant, from some customer service issues we had during our last visit in April.

We paid additional money per night for an ocean-front room with a balcony. We did not get the room number we had requested, but we did get a room with a balcony and ocean view.

The hotel is quite spectacular. The grounds are beautiful, the view is very nice, the lobby and the Brown Bar and the Blue Pig and the shops and the spa are all there for you. It was decorated for Fall, and was lovely.

I will say that we noticed this time, much more than we did last time, that housekeeping could absolutely do a better job. There was dust on all of the tables and the tub had hair in it when we arrived.

Valet-parking and check-in were uneventful. We showered and dressed for our dinner reservation at The Washington Inn. We were going to have a glass of wine on the balcony, but there was a wedding going on right below us. When we returned from dinner, the wedding at the hotel was just about winding down, and people came out of the ballroom and spilled in to the courtyard area right under our room. They were in and out and very loud and kept us up until 2-3:00 a.m.

While the beds at Congress Hall are the most comfortable I can recall sleeping in, I woke up Monday morning exhausted. I went downtstairs for coffee to bring up and drink on the balcony.

When I opened the door to step out on the balcony, there was a man standing approximately 5 feet away, on a lift, and he was hanging the largest flag I've ever seen....so, back in to the hotel room I went.

Our plan for the day was: breakfast, 1-hour bike ride, to browse a few shops, and to spend the afternoon on the balcony reading a book.

As we went down for breakfast and the morning progressed, we realized something huge was going on.

It was.

Rudy Giuliani was going to be giving a speech with a fund-raiser following.

We went to speak with the people at the front desk who stared blankly back at us. We called management and received a call back from an assistant who spent quite a bit of time on the phone with my husband.

When asked why we weren't informed, we were told it was last minute. They offered to move us (12:00 in the afternoon) to another property (none with ocean view and balcony). However, we were leaving the next morning. Overall, consensus seemed to be, "We just found out about it not long ago."

We really would have appreciated a phone call to let us know or, if nothing else, a note under our door when we arrived giving us an option to change rooms.

We had friends meeting us for drinks in the bar that evening. Roads were blocked off - and there was no parking to be found anywhere.

I had also scheduled a spa appointment for that afternoon at Congress Hall. The relaxation of the massage lasted only the four minutes it took me to walk past CIA, secret service, police, dogs, etc., and back to my room. There were hundreds of people on the lawn, media, security, etc.

The moral of that story is - we never had the opportunity to enjoy our balcony, read a book, have a glass of wine, listen to the ocean.

We did receive another call back from the assistant offering us breakfast.

We felt a credit ONLY for the upgrade we paid for an ocean-front room with a balcony would be fair. They felt that breakfast was fair. No apologies...only excuses. It truly is a shame.

We did go down to the Brown Room for drinks with friends. The bar was horribly packed due to the events of the day. While we've always enjoyed the vibe of the atmosphere, we were discouraged that my drink order came out wrong three times.

Everything was quiet on Monday evening and we both slept very well. We were able to have the windows open and we could hear the ocean - and, as I've mentioned, these beds are SO comfortable.

We did go for our complimentary breakfast early Tuesday morning. The service was slow, the coffee was cold and muddy, they did not bring out my husband's oatmeal, my eggs were undercooked - for $26.00 before tip.

We left the hotel realizing that we would not return. And, it's truly a shame - as we REALLY did want to love this hotel. We recommend it often. We stop by for one reason or another every time we're in Cape May. It sincerely has everything - and more - to be a spectacular hotel and an unforgettable vacation destination.

Unfortunately, the customer service and lack of attention to detail does not allow that to be the case.

If you plan on going to Congress Hall, and if you plan on an upgrade to ocean front with a balcony - be sure to ask, when making your reservations, if there are any events going on at the hotel during your stay. If so, downgrade to a less expensive room on the other side of the property.

Be sure to ask, though. Because, otherwise, they won't tell.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — The customer service
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank shamrock0421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucker, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2007

We spent 4 nights in a cheery bright green and white room on the 4th floor and wished we could have spent at least 10. The hotel is beachfront, with FREE towels, chairs, and umbrellas dragged by staff to the water's edge for you; you can order lunch and have it served to you there. There are 2 pools- one adults only! with a poolside grill and bar, outside showers and bathroom at the pool. Parking attendant/bellhop, front desk people, housekeepers were fantastic. Rooms were clean, linens are luxurious, towels were changed twice a day. Inhouse restaurant has good food and outdoor dining option. Renovations to hotel are fantastic- lots of nooks to sit (inside and out), bar, shops, and hall of history. The floors are bowed in the bedrooms and baths, and our bath was small but we were fine in it; reminders that this IS an old hotel. I hope they go for Historic Hotel status. If you love this type of hotel, don't miss it! We will be back, a lot, I hope. Also lots of shops nearby, great restuarants in the area, a great town for walking everywhere. CS, Atlanta

  • Liked — Beach access, blend of outdoors and indoors
  • Disliked — Bar and ballroom very noisy at night
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank BornTraveller51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Congress Hall

Property: Congress Hall
Address: 200 Congress Place, Cape May, NJ 08204-5306
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Jersey > Jersey Shore > Cape May County > 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:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Cape May
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Cape May
#11 Romantic Hotel in Cape May
#12 Family Hotel in Cape May
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Congress Hall 4*
Number of rooms: 106
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Congress Hall in Cape May is America's First and Oldest Seaside Resort Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Congress Hall Cape May

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