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“Lovely Hotel - Guests, not so much!”
Review of Congress Hall

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Congress Hall
Ranked #5 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 8, 2009

We stayed at this hotel for a few nights to get away and enjoy Cape May. The hotel is lovely, lots of charm, wonderful staff, housekeeping great. We enjoyed the old style feel of the hotel for sure and found the amenities to be very nice - including the newly renovated spa which is top notch.

Two big negatives - huge groups of very loud hotel goers. It seemed everywhere we went - the pool, the lobby, lounge, there were really loud and obnoxious groups and loads of screaming, ill-behaved kids. Don't know if this is normal, but I would certainly not call it relaxing - especially if you are trying to get a few days away or have a romantic stay. Even the "adult only pool" which is tiny by the way, had kids all around it - toes in.

The beach staff was great and the beach (across the street) was very pretty, but, again - loud as could be and crammed with people. Yelling, carrying on. Relaxing it was not except first thing in the morning and late afternoon.

All and all a pretty, well-staffed hotel, but in high-season, not so great in the relaxing, resort feel that usually comes with the $. And the "fitness center" had 3 or so machines in what amounted to a large "closet." Better off taking a walk on the beach.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank BeautifulNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,052 - 1,058 of 1,167 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2009

We took a trip to South Jersey and spent 2 nights in Atlantic City and then 2 nights in Cape May at the Congress Hall.
The Congress Hall is a very elegant hotel that is well-maintained and exceeded my expectations. We chose this hotel because we like luxury and usually prefer to stay in places like The Fairmont or Ritz Carlton, but those types of places do not exist on the Jersey Shore. We wanted to avoid the B&B or "Inn" type places and are glad we paid a little more to stay at Congress Hall.
We were in a regular King bed room with an oceanview. It felt cozy and almost like staying at a friend's home. I loved the Aveda bath products in the room and our bathroom had a separate shower and large tub.

PROS: Nice linens & pillows, friendly staff, full-service pool & beach included (chairs, towels, umbrellas, food), charming/elegant, walking distance to plenty of great shops & restaurants, valet parking included, separate adult & kids pools

CONS: Bathroom sink was old-fashioned pedestal style so there wasn't a lot of counter space for make-up, toiletries, etc., nightly rates are high for the Jersey Shore, service was slow at their on-site Restaurant (Blue Pig Tavern)

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lizzie_in_New_Canaan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2009

We're just back from a family vacation..myself, husband and our 4 year old twin girls. We all had a fantastic time and loved the Congress Hall. It completely lives up to its reputation as a classy hotel. The grounds were ultra clean and expansive and in such close proximity to the mall and the beach. Their restaurant the Blue Pig is great for lunch. The staff was courteous and helpful, from the pool attendants, the housekeeping service and wait staff. One gentleman of the front desk staff, Stephen, was particularly helpful as he recovered my wallet which I had accidently left behind on a chair in the lobby in our hasty scamper to make our reservation for dinner. More than a lifesaver, he was overly warm and genuinely friendly and my girls took a great liking to him.
In terms of local cuisine, we loved Tishas on Beach for dinner (awesome food and amazing, quick service) and the Mad Batter for breakfast. We do not recommend Martini Beach as we went there for dinner and the food was mediocre at best and the service was horrendous. Overall, we LOVED the Congress and hopefully we've started a family tradition of vacations in Cape May at CH.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank Sharlati
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2009

We drove into Cape May with no plans, even a bit unsure if we would stay the night.
Congress Hall jumps out at you. It is a large yellow hotel on the waterfront. It was hard to tell if was going to have charm or be overkill. It is lovely. They have retained the wonderful old beach hotel feeling in the rooms. Big old bathtub. Double hung windows. But have updated with good AC and TV and realy comfortable beds. Simple and just right.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank SewellNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2009

Congress Hall is a very old hotel. There are pictures in the lobby of John Phillips Souza playing there in 1866. The current incarnation is perfect for how we live today. Charming window seats in the room coexist with flat screen TV's, WiFi and Aveda toiletries. Big fluffy duvets & 6 down pillows on the bed. Ocean views and floors on a slant. I wish I was there now.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled on business
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Thank roslynpines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2009

My husband and I stayed here overnight for a wedding. We were impressed by how quickly the valet got us out of our car and whisked it away-also checking to see if our room was ready (and it was!) The lobby was quaint; I took the time to stop and gaze at the old fashioned elevators and the staircase, wondering to myself what this old dame of a seashore resort must have been like in the 1800's. Just as beautiful as it is now, I bet!

Our room was a town view with two queen beds...we had booked it back in September for an unheard of rate of $152 (AAA discount). Many rooms were blocked for the June 14th wedding and in the $300 range.....we didnt see the need to pay that even though we knew Cape May is pricey to begin with. The bed was very comfy with high-end linens and duvets compared to the many hotels and inns that we have stayed at across the country. The furnishings themselves were plain but seashore-ish...sort of like what you'd see at Cape Cod. The stuffed chair could have used some new upholstery....it had a big brown stain in it...not sure if it was a burn mark or what. The bathroom was nice......I did not expect over-the-top elegance or extreme modernization because I prefer that a historic hotel still maintain its old world charm. All in all, we were pleased with the room and its new flat screen TV. It also looked like the room had just been painted recently...a soothing sky blue.

The room was quiet and we had a great night's sleep. The next morning we ordered room service for breakfast and it was pretty decent; we just didnt feel like getting up and going out to breakfast after a night of partying at a wedding downstairs.

As for the wedding, fabulous! The bride and groom had their wedding at Congress Hall and the cocktail hour on the veranda was very nice; the grounds were beautifully landscaped ..ballroom reminded me of "Old Hollywood" and the food was great. For all of you brides and grooms-to-be out there....look into Congress Hall to host your wedding. The ceremony was on the beach and they did a nice job!

For a nice momento, we did go into the gift shop the next morning and bought a Christmas ornament of the Congress Hall for about $30....it's pretty; very colonial-looking, and something I will use every year rather than a tshirt. As with many gift shops, things can get pricey but I decided that a keepsake momento was worth it rather than buying some mass-produced junk that you see in many touristy places.

Would I stay here again? Absolutely. I dont think I would pay full rack rate; but I would certainly stay if I got a great rate again. It is one of the nicer properties in Cape May and lovingly preserved with attractive room amenities that people have come to expect.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DiamondGirl419
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2009

We have stayed at Congress Hall several times. The location is great! It is located across from the beach & the Washington Square Mall. The hotel offers beach service to guests. Attendants are on the beach to set up chairs and provide towels. A nice amenity. We ate breakfast at the Blue Pig Tavern and were not impressed. I would recommend Uncle Bill's Pancake house instead. It is located behind Congress Hall. We did not choose to stay in a B & B since we have young children. The hotel offers charm while still accomodating children. There is a pool and some activites for the kids. We have stayed at Congress Hall during the summer and winter. Congress Hall hosts a barbeque and fireworks for the fourth of July. I would recommend Congress Hall for the fourth of July. We also stayed there just prior to Christmas for the Candlelight house tours. We have never been disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank Toma09
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 08204-5306
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: $146 - $375 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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