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“An Inauspicious Start with a Great Ending”
Review of Congress Hall

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Congress Hall
Ranked #4 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
NJ
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“An Inauspicious Start with a Great Ending”
Reviewed March 18, 2013

The Congress Hall is many things; yes the floors are crooked and the fixtures are quirky. We booked this property expecting these elements. Considering this hotel is over 150 years old, that's part of the charm. We just returned from a two-night stay in an ocean view queen room with daily breakfast vouchers. Check in was smooth, but we were most unhappy with our third floor annex-building room--yes, the ocean was visible, as was the back side of a pancake house, dumpsters, and a parking lot. The room was small, and the bathroom was uneventful. After viewing the selection of room photos offered online, I was extremely, extremely disappointed--no old fashioned tub or graceful window view. I refused to unpack, phoned the front desk and then made an in-person visit. I was told that no other rooms were available, but they did offer a "better room" for us to be switched to for our second night. This is not at all what I wanted, and there was a bit of a standoff (mostly on my part). The manager spoke with us, and he said he could not offer us a different room until the following day, but did offer us a rate adjustment for the night (which was truly not was I was after) --but it seemed the only compromise if the hotel was indeed full. We were promised the room change for the following day by 12 noon.

Next morning, we were told to pack up our belongings and they would be moved to our "better" room. And BETTER it was. Large, sunny room with a king bed, fabulous tile and marble bathroom with soaking tub and separate glass shower, and best of all, a full sea view through a large double window. Exactly what I had anticipated for our getaway. We loved the room and location so much, we hated leaving the Congress. We'll be back, but will be very specific about the accommodations when we book.

Room Tip: We preferred the rooms located in the main building.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank teepe54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (344)
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English first
Westmont, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013

I was very pleased with my stay at Congress Hall... the hotel is right on Beach and has excellent views of the ocean and right at Washington Street Mall. The staff was friendly and helpful! I must say I was impressed with my room. This hotel was built in the 1800's and since I did not see pictures of the rooms on the website I expected mediocre but found the room very nice and clean. W had breakfast at The Blue Pig and although it was very busy the service we had was very good. I would definitely stay here again. .

Room Tip: Go for the ocean view although the city view is nice
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JandJSmith237
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here one night and being that this was our first time in Cape May this was a good choice. The location is great, there are bicycle rentals right outside and so is the beach. The beach across the property was wonderful. Our only issues were the room and the price. Our room didn't really have a view and the furniture was just a bit too dated for my taste. Also for what we paid (nearly $400 for the night in the summer) there were no perks, no breakfast or happy hours at the hotel bar (if there was one I didn't see it). Would come back only if we could stay with a discount or breakfast package.

  • Stayed August 2012
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BD83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farmingdale, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Every year we visit Congress Hall in February / March. I would highly recommend staying. The Blue pig has the most professional staff that makes your dining experience relaxing.

The only thing i recommed is do not prepay. I had an emergency where i had to change the date 7 days in advanced and it appeared i hassled the rep that i spoke to. Although after a bit they did accomedate the change.

No matter what we love visiting Congress Hall and much appreciate the staff that takes excellent care of their occupents.

Room Tip: Ocean View rooms with the Balcony is worth the trip and money
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MICHELLE H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2013

My wife and I stayed in Congress Hall in March 2013. We've been to the hotel's Blue Pig bar several times in the past, but this was our first stay overnight. Our impression of the hotel has always been positive, and this stay was no exception. Congress Hall has an authentic feel, somewhat old-fashioned (in a good way). Luxurious, yet its employees make it an extremely welcoming place to stay.

INSIDE: it's an old hotel but it's been kept up nicely. Ocean or Town view, you can't go wrong with any room. Hotel has all the modern amenities. Our room was large, the bed was very comfortable, nice shower. We ordered room service that was delivered with no additional surcharge!

LOCATION: can't be beat! Steps from the beach, and a short walk to everywhere within Cape May, a block from the Washington Street Mall, etc.

Negatives: there is really only one. The fridge was pre-stocked with expensive items so there was no room to keep our own drinks.

Unquestionably one of the best NJ shore hotels, with a lot of character and history. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank akory99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2013 via mobile

Congress Hall is perfectly situated on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. The old fashioned hotel has been renovated, but was not overdone. The kept the old dark wood in the first floor bar, and this handy stop opens to a walkout veranda that is lined with rocking chairs for enjoyment while you sip your drink. The expansive lawn that separated you from the ocean is beautifully tended, and the lawn is the canvas for a wonderful garden of hydrangeas and roses. There is croquet available, too!

See? A step back in time! The rooms are charming. The are individually decorated in old fashioned colors. The floors creak and seem a bit uneven as you walk through the halls, but this just rinds you that you are in an old hotel!

The hotel restaurant features a great breakfast for an additional ( but reasonable) charge. Meals are available all day, and there is a choice of indoor or outside dining. Bike rentals are available on site. Try the Congress Hall Inn on your next visit to Victorian Cape May!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank dartmouthmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2013

We arrived very early and the front desk personnel were very accommodating. The room (407) was very clean but I was surprised to see how small it was and that it had a low ceiling. We had stayed here once before and were on the second floor. A very different experience, Much bigger with high ceilings. Disappointed that there is not complimentary coffee and tea. Something so simple could change the entire experience of a guest. Seems odd they can't figure this out. Nice stay but some of the little things were missing to make it a great experience.

Room Tip: Rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors have high ceilings and are nicer than the 4th floor.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jane G
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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