4.0
Very Good 1318 Reviews
Jetsetter Verified
This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • The Jetsetter rate includes daily continental breakfast
  • The sprawling Great Lawn has a private pool and plentiful Adirondack chairs
  • A curated design that pairs antiques with chic beach style
  • The Brown Room, a lively Old Havana–style bar and lounge, encourages socializing
  • Free WiFi and valet parking

What To Know

  • The beach is across the street from the hotel, and badges ($7 per day) are required to use it
  • Cabana rentals cost $100 per day, but chairs and umbrellas are free
  • The historic hotel has thin walls; the quietest rooms are located in the spa wing, away from the lobby and bars
  • Popular for weddings and large gatherings

Amenities

  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Kids Club
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Room Service
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Fireplace Historic Lounge property living room home outdoor structure cottage porch backyard

Overview

Historic Cape May grande dame with stylish decor, a lively bar scene and ocean views

The Lowdown

Originally built in 1816, Congress Hall gets its name from its original owner, Congressman Thomas H. Hughes. Transformed in its early years from a boarding house to a summer White House for President Benjamin Harrison, the hotel has seen its share of history, which has been stylishly preserved through photographs and memorabilia that mix with Colleen Bashaw’s amusing and colorful design. Part rambling beach house, part chic retreat, the hotel has 108 unique rooms — complete with sloping floors — that are painted in beach colors accented by bright white trim. The beds are outfitted with plush Belgian linens, while the white tile bathrooms feature cotton robes and Aveda bath products. The Ebbitt Room is headed by executive chef Anthony Micari and serves farm-to-table fare such as roasted Amish chicken with marble potatoes, spring onions, wild mushrooms and natural jus. And with an underground nightclub in the hotel’s former boiler room, plus a lively Havana-inspired lobby bar, the property is geared to the social set. Yet guests can find solitude in the rocking chairs on the terrace, among the Adirondack chairs on the Great Lawn, or at the yellow-and-white-striped Sea Spa.

In the Area

Guests can stroll the Washington Street Mall, a pedestrian-friendly stretch of boutiques, cafés and ice cream shops. Step up to the bar inside Bath Time to mix a custom scent from the apothecary-style selection of oils. Wander Jackson Street to view meticulously maintained Victorians, such as the elegant Virginia Hotel, where you can sip a crafted cocktail on the porch before dinner at the romantic Ebbitt Room. Tiny Louisa’s Café is an elusive BYOB gem with a blackboard menu that usually includes local bluefish. Work up your pre-dinner appetite with a bike ride to Cape May’s historic lighthouse — it’s 199 steps to the top.

How to Get There

Congress Hall
200 Congress Place
Cape May, NJ 08204 United States

Reviews

4.0 Very Good 1318 Reviews
New Year's & Glitter Ball
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

There are no negatives about Congress Hall or the New Year's Glitter Ball package! Had a wonderful time and stay. Christmas time at Congress Hall is so magical inside and outside with the boutiques to the train rides around the pool. The new improved Boiler Room is a good hangout for the hotel guests...the best breakfast at the Blue Pig and the coffe shop for the early morning coffee. The staff and the accomdations are exceptional.

Delayed Cape May retreat at Congress Hall
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I originally tried to book a Cape May getaway for our 19th Anniversary for Memorial Day weekend in 2018. However my wife became very sick and we could not go. I called Congress Hall to let them know we could not make it. They indicated they had a policy to keep the down payment and a portion of the stay. Initially I was a little perturbed but it was spelled out in their cancellation policy. They said we could book for another time period within a year. I called at a later date to schedule the first weekend in November 2018. We spent two nights at Congress Hall over the weekend in the off season right after Halloween. It was coolish but not cold. Parking was a little tight unless you valet it. We chose not to. We had to park on the street behind the hotel- no biggie. The hotel had an unbelievable old time feel with a lot of history. We arrived with a 13 and an 11 year old and showed them the actually gave us physical keys to get in the hotel room. Congress Hall has numerous awards to its name including Conde Nast Traveler's 2018 Reader's Choice Awards Top 20 Hotels in the Mid-Atlantic and New York. We found a wonderful staff from the front desk to the kitchen staff at the Blue Pig where we ate breakfast. Let me tell you about a not so secret secret. A hotel's Concierge is THE best place to go for local information on where to go to eat and making reservations. I've been to World Class hotels in downtown Chicago to quaint hotels in Paris and Congress Hall's concierge was second to none. They were extremely helpful and patient with my wife and I's endless questions.
Great 19th Century Victorian hotel complete with beautiful Victorian residences within walking distance. Even though it wasn't without a few hiccups I would recommend to anyone with or without kids.

Always a favorite
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We had the opportunity to stay at Congress Hall for one night last week and really enjoyed our stay. The hotel's historic charm and decor are always on point and this time we happened to catch some of the holiday decor before it was removed. Housekeeping is always perfect. Bedding and linens are simply the best.

We did end up with a room over the bar on the 2nd fl which was disappointingly loud. Thankfully I read another TripAdvisor review to use the given earplugs (which I was unaware of) in the nightstand. That helped but I would certainly request a higher room in a quieter part of the hotel in the future.

We also ate at the hotel's restaurant, the Blue Pig Tavern, where food was delicious. Our server Josh was fantastic as well. Very patient with us as we were a larger party that was slow to order.

There was a small issue with kitchen smoke that set off the fire alarms one morning. The hotel offered guests complimentary gourmet coffee in their cafe which I thought was very gracious. Definitely 5-star service!

We really love this hotel. I just wish I could afford to stay here in the peak season!

A Very Merry Christmas at Congress Hall
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Christmas Eve at Congress Hall was so beautiful. Cape May is quiet at Christmas but there was a lot of things to do at this hotel. The Winter Wonderland set up outside, complete with train, carousel, and little mini shops were perfect for great photo opportunities. The on-site restaurant is excellent. The decorations all over the hotel were outstanding. The hotel is clean and classy and I’m so glad we spent Christmas there.

Quaint retreat
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Rooms after a little dated but maintained very well. Bathroom was large and king bed was very comfortable. Window seat had good view but drafty. If you are close to the stairwell on 2nd floor, extremely noisy from the Brown Room.