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“Best in Cape May”
Review of Congress Hall

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Congress Hall
Ranked #6 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best in Cape May”
Reviewed October 13, 2010

I have frequented this hotel several times a year since 2003 and decided it was time to finally give it a review. My wife and I recently celebrated our anniversary here during the 1st weekend in October and, as always, had an excellent stay.

The staff will do anything to make your stay enjoyable and are some of the best I have encountered. We usually stay on the second floor in a room with an ocean view and balcony. It's great to eat breakfast out there or to have a cocktail before dinner. The Blue Pig is perfect for a casual dinner and since they changed thier menu the food is even better than before (the pork shank is amazing). The Brown Room is a great place to grab a cocktail. It can get crowed, but I think that makes it more fun and I can't recall ever having a bad time there. The Boiler Room is a night club downstairs. We find it hit or miss depending on the band that is performing.

I've read several negative reviews of this hotel. Yes the floors are not level. But the hotel is almost 200 years old. The main pool can get a little crazy with all the kids. And the amount of pool toys allowed is a little ridiculous but that's why they have an adult pool. I can't relate to any of the other bad experiences. I'm sure I have had to wait 5 or 10 minutes for a towel or to check in or out. Maybe the air conditioner wasn't working properly and took a couple of hours to fix. But I'm in Cape May and out of the city so I could really care less. I'm sure if you are on the second floor and trying to go to sleep before 11pm you may here some noise. But this is not a small bed and breakfast.

With all that said, I had my wedding reception at this hotel in 2007. When I see friends and family at other weddings and events they are still talking about what a great time they had at my wedding. I would and have recommended this hotel to friends and family. There is nothing else like it.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ejmarist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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No. Va.
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2010

This was a great choice for a relaxing weekend on the beach in Cape May. The hotel's location is perfect, right across the street from the beach with complimentary beach lounge chairs and towels provided. The concierge guided us to great restaurants for dinner. The nightclub in the basement had good live music. The room was very nice, colorful and quite large, beds were comfortable with good linens, Aveda products in the bathroom. No coffemaker was provided in the room, but we were given coupons for 2 free coffees for each day from the coffeeshop on the first floor. Outdoor brunch at The Blue Pig was very good.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank OnthegoGram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, NC
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2010

Congress Hall has a wonderful location, but the drawbacks of the hotel outweigh any positives. We paid for an ocean view room, but our view was mostly of roof and other windows at the hotel. The other wing has a straight-on ocean view; ours did not. The room was decent-sized but it had no seating other than the beds and a wooden desk chair--nothing comfortable to sit in. Very hard for anyone but youngsters.
Considering the age of the hotel I didn't expect a modern room, but our room's floor was so crooked that items on the desk or the bathroom countertop would fall over or roll off. At the price we paid I couldn't believe we had only over-the-air tv.stations, no cable at all. I can't recall the last time we stayed in a hotel/motel without at least some basic cable! We rented a mini-fridge to hold our soda and water--what we got was something that needed to be trashed. It had ants on it and nothing to hold bottles/cans on the door, so everytime we opened the fridge, our beverages fell out (also because of the slanting floor).
Staff was a mixed bag. Housekeeping staff was excellent. Front desk and parking valet staff was hit and miss--some were great, some bordered on rude. There was a wedding the weekend we were there and our son's family were in the wing where the noise traveled right into their room--they said it was terrible. At least we didn't hear that.
Overall, this hotel is overpriced for what is offered. Location is A+, but the conditions don't warrant the high rates.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank purselady1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
somewhere deep in Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2010

Picked this place based on TripAdvisor ratings. Our experience was mixed. Had 2nd Fl room with balcony so we could see the sea. The room was sufficiently large for two people to occupy comfortably. Natural light was wonderful as was the sea breeze. WiFi and NYTimes at door in morning was very good. On the downside, the room was not real clean and looked pretty beat up. Visible stains on carpet and chairs. Bathroom was satisfactory. Housekeeping was uneven.Very limited selection of TV channels: no Stewart or Colbert. Radio a piece of crap and no NPR. One afternoon newly arriving couple unlocked our door with their key. Called front desk and asked to speak to manager. Unbelievably, an assistant manager showed up and asked me what I wanted done. I told her I wanted the situation resolved. The lock was replaced within a couple of hours. Had the distinct feeling that she thought I was being unreasonable in asking for some sort of resolution. For the most part the staff was friendly and helpful. Grounds are very well kept and entry to beach is right across street - a big plus. Blue Pig tavern in hotel is mediocre, at best. Thought we paid for much more than we got.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank JaneRussel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cmsvc, Manager at Congress Hall, responded to this review, October 13, 2010
You'll be glad to know that we have resolved our cable television issues, and now offer all the TV stations, including Stewart and Colbert. It was a long process, and we apologize that it was not completed during your visit. We had a terrible time converting to digital cable, but I'm happy to say the conversion is complete, and we now offer all the stations our guests love.

Thank you for your feedback. We sincerely hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to Congress Hall in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2010

Unknown to us, there was a wedding at the hotel the evening of our stay. The rooms are not soundproofed and are near the entertainment area. Excruciatingly loud amplified band music thumped and squealed on into the night. After the wedding, guests gathered outside near our room with loud talking, shouting, cursing and carousing until 2:15 in the AM. Guestroom doors automatically slam shut unless held carefully, and wedding and our guests allowed this to happen frequently at least until 2:15AM. In short, this isn't a place to stay if you want a full night's sleep.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank marigold60763
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hillsborough,nj
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2010

We stayed here for a long weekend. I loved the old world charm of the hotel. I'll start with the rooms. They are painted in beach colors and are so charming. The bedding & bed were really nice. we had a view of the ocean from our bed.

The staff is very friendly & helpful.We were able to get help in making a reservation in 410 Bank Street restaurant. What a treat. It was wonderful & thanks to the concierge in the hotel.
I love the stores within the hotel. We were able to get coffee at 7am.

We went to the beach & had chairs& towels brought to us. you could order food or drinks from the beach. Everything is made easy for you.

The restaurants in the hotel are very good.

All in all I would highly recommend this hotel. we will come again next year. I would not stay anywhere else. I like this blend of hotel and B&B. This is how I would describe it.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank boro47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delaware
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2010

My husband & I stayed at Congress Hall for three nights. Overall the stay was very nice. I was please with the Ocean Front room we had and everything seemed very clean. The hotel seemed well maintained and they did a good job preserving the history of the hotel.

I was disappointed by some of the staff. They seemed a bit too curt for the type of establishment. I would have expected a more helpful and gracious staff. Also, the cable selection was lacking. They did have HBO but only had the basic cable packaged.

I would probably stay at the hotel again but feel like there are probably other friendlier places in Cape May.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alilogo
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
#4 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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