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“luxurious and relaxing”
Review of Congress Hall

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Congress Hall
Ranked #4 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
Jersey City, New Jersey
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“luxurious and relaxing”
Reviewed March 30, 2014

We needed a weekend away and this place was fantastic! Luxurious but comfortable; the place was hopping even in the off-season and everything ran seamlessly. The staff is hard-working and friendly, the room was spotless clean, really nice bedding and furniture, and the grounds are charming. We also enjoyed our breakfasts at the blue pig and hope to come back soon.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank addie1979
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 (341)
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Philadelphia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2014 via mobile

I love that the hotel still has Victorian charm yet updated features. The rooms are elegant, and have hints of old character. You get what you pay for here- it buys you excellence! The staff is beyond courteous and accommodating. The bars on site are lively and fun, I recommend the brown room on piano night! The blue pig restaurant is very good, and room service is also provided by the restaurant. You'd never have to leave the hotel at all, although I do recommend walking through this quaint town. I was really looking forward to a nice, luxurious, care free weekend and I got exactly that. Valet car services, complimentary, coffee shop, great restaurant, bars, and did I mention the comfiest bed and linens Everrrr?!? They don't jip you with the room size either-- very spacious and so is the bathroom. I could've moved right in!!

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Maryann S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ravenna, Ohio
Level Contributor
52 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2014

A beautifully restored 19th century hotel with all the amenities of the 21st century. Architects did a bang up job, and resisted the temptation to go over the top with needless frufru. Wonderful spacious rooms and baths, decorated with just the right touch that makes them feel like authentic 19th cent spaces.We were here off season (March) so hard to comment on staff and service as the hotel had few guests and wasn't stressed at all, but everything we wanted or needed was quickly supplied. Food at the hotel was very good in a nice tavern room with a roaring fireplace. Our front facing 3rd floor room had a great ocean view. Room was quiet, bath had a wonderful old bathtub made for soaking, elegant hexagonal, marble tile floor. In short, a great experience.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jxstr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kennett Square, PA USA
Level Contributor
138 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2014

What a delightful, beautiful and luxurious hotel! We spent 2 nights here thanks to a TravelZoo promotion. Our room on the fourth floor was gorgeous with a view of the ocean (even from the bed)! The linens and mattress were luxurious and comfy! We really enjoyed relaxing on the large cushioned window seat overlooking the Atlantic! :) The bathroom had been recently renovated and was absolutely gorgeous! We understand that not all baths have been renovated, so be sure to ask for a room with one! The front desk staff and room caretakers were all very friendly and helpful.

We had a wonderful time tromping through Cape May during the big 9.1" snowstorm! This town is fabulous during every season of the year! If you haven't experienced a visit to the beach during a snowstorm, then this is a must for you!

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view room with a newly renovated bathroom.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank bouncingbunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
54 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

Our stay at Congress Hall over Valentine's Day Weekend was a bit disappointing. We were booking two rooms and called on the phone to do so. My first surprise was their requiring a 50% of the stay as a deposit. I am accustomed to deposits equaling the first nights stay, but 50% of the whole stay I thought was a bit excessive. Surprise # 2 came as the clerk told me of their cancellation policy. From 21 days out to 4 days out, they charge a $75 cancellation fee, per room, and then give you a voucher for the balance of your deposit. So in effect, if you cancel you lose your deposit. Cancelling within 4 days? You lose the cost of the whole trip. The restaurant, The Blue Pig Tavern, has a similar customer unfriendly cancellation policy. When making a reservation, they ask for a credit card. If you do not show up they will charge the card $20 per person.
The day before our trip we received 18 inches of snow and I was really sweating whether we would be able to go. Luckily the roads were cleared and we didn't have to cancel.
Arriving in Cape May, which was 100 mile from home and snowless, we pulled up to the Congress Hall. The Valet service was friendly and quick, check in went smoothly, and we went to our rooms.
The hotel, built in the 1880s, had the look and feel of a trip back in time. The rooms, were sparsely furnished with a bed, desk and chair, easy chair, and minibar. The first thing we noticed was a definite and pronounced slope in the floor, going from the front to the middle of the building. The doors to our adjoining room was so warped and swollen that it was difficult to open, and then once opened, impossible to lock when closed. A real refrigerator and a coffeemaker would have been welcomed additions to the furnishings. We discovered a wonderful sitting area on the main staircase between the second and third floors. With large windows that faced the ocean, it was a delightful place to sit and chat with a cocktail.
We had dinner that night at the Blue Pig Tavern, the restaurant in the hotel, and it was good. The service was great, the food average, but a bit pricey. We also ate breakfast each day at the tavern. Our room package included a $20 voucher that almost covered the cost of two breakfasts. Most breakfast entree items were in the $10 - $12 range.
Our rooms were on the third floor at the top of the staircase. We found that the noise from the bar traveled up, and was easily heard in our rooms. If I ever went back, I would be sure to book rooms at the opposite end of the hallway.
When we went to bed that night the sloping floor was noticeable when we got into bed.
The bathrooms, had no hooks for clothes, which would have been an easy addition making guests a little more comfortable.
So in the end, in spite of a just average hotel, we had a great weekend in Cape May, shopping, taking a winery tour, and climbing the Cape May Lighthouse. The Congress Hall was just okay. If we were to go back, I don't think I would stay there again. I don't think the "historic" ambiance is worth the money they charge, especially when it comes to the sparseness of the rooms.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for rooms on the Spa end of the building away from the bar noise.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank bhicks1052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CHCapeMay, Manager at Congress Hall, responded to this review, March 20, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments, we value all feedback in order to improve our services. While our deposit and cancellation policy may be different from other hotel companies, most resort hotels will typically enforce a stricter advance deposit policy since they are a destination property. We do our best to make that clear when we have new bookings since we do want to accommodate our guests the best we can without costing them a deposit. Although we do not guarantee reservations due to weather conditions, if it were deemed necessary to cancel due to dangerous conditions or states of emergency we are more considerate of the cancellation policy under those circumstances and do our best to work with guests to make all parties happy. We hold similar standards in our restaurant, The Blue Pig Tavern, and typically require a credit card for holidays and large parties since we are preparing to serve a large crowd. We may require a credit card if the hotel is full and restaurant is busy, but would never charge a guest without stating our policy to them first.

We thank you for your feedback and will certainly take all points mentioned into consideration.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2014

My husband and I were invited to a wedding here over President's weekend. Since we live in New Jersey, trips to Cape May have always been to the beach and staying at friends. Congress Hall was a lovely place to stay. The restaurants were excellent, and the breakfast options at The Blue Pig were excellent (buttered croissant sandwich and fresh made green juice).

The hotel is shifting so it is pretty interesting to feel like you are walking sideways sometime, but honestly it just led a little more to the charm of the place. The prices were not cheap (even for a wedding block), but the rooms were very clean, the bathroom was spotless and had wonderful Aveda products. We stayed in an annex room and it was fine, nothing special, but we didn't' pay for anything special. The beds were very comfortable. The room however was quite small and definitely only big enough for one couple.

All in all we enjoyed our stay (and quick getaway from our 2 year old). My husband even said he would maybe like to go back another time and he was impressed. We would definitely recommend.

Room Tip: I would try to recommend an non-annex room that is a bit further away from the main bar area.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank ChristineFriedauer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haddon Heights, NJ
Level Contributor
41 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2014

Because of a late change in plans, my wife and I ended up staying at Congress Hall for Christmas vacation. It turned out to be a wonderful and very Christmasy experience! We spent four nights in a room overlooking the hotel's 35 foot Christmas Tree on the Great Lawn, with the colorful Shopping Village and the ocean as background. While the building is very old and a bit quirky, i.e. uneven wooden floors, we really enjoyed the Holiday adventure. All of our meals, including Christmas dinner, were eaten in "The Blue Pig Tavern" and added another great touch Christmas touch. We will definitely return to Congress Hall and Cape May for Christmas!

Room Tip: Second floor facing the Great Lawn and the ocean.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dondzi
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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