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
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
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
Another exceptional experience at Congress Hall. Large comfortable room, excellent bed and linens, large bathroom and shower, ac and tv works well, pleasant deck off room with chairs and table, all immaculately clean and well appointed.
The thing that separates a 5 star hotel from others is service, and the service staff at Congress Hall are uniformly well trained in the service trade, from valet parking to housekeeping, front desk, Brown Room bartenders, pool and beach service etc. if all you need is a bed, shower and air conditioning, there are many perfectly acceptable hotels in Cape May, however, if you want a true hotel experience, a 5 star experience, the obvious choice is Congress Hall.
Lacking so much for the $1200.00 per for the Presiedential suite. This hotel could use some major renovations. I understand there is historical value but certain upgrades can be done without loosing the historical appeal. Never understood why the adults, who are paying for their stay, are expected to be happy with a an Adult pool the size of small residential pool. The tiles are in need of repair as well as a good cleaning. The Kiddie pool is large and seem to be much cleaner. Very slow wait staff, no in room coffee makers, no coffee in the lobby for early risers. Stained carpets and furniture. Such a disappointment.
Terrible. A beautiful elegant hotel whose elegance is completely lost through their expansion,and mass marketing.
Beautiful rooms that are pricey and offer few amenities that other costly hotels offer to guests who really want to forge a reputation with hospitality.
We paid for an ocean view room with a balcony, and yes, that ocean view through the courtyard is quite a distance away. What we didn’t expect was that the restaurant expanded its dining area to the outside patio where in past stays one could have drinks in a rocking chair on the patio and have a quiet conversation. All this to accommodate more diners. So, the late night dining with loud music made it even impossible to hear a movie played in our room.
The lobby and restaurant are thronged with people, too many. The restaurant staff look harried and are abrupt.
After not having a restful beach vacation sleep, went to lobby and there is no coffee
In the lobby for their guests but rather bitter coffee in their shop.
Again, elegance and former hospitality is lost. When we called manager about not being able to hear our movie in room, because of music in courtyard they accommodated by playing softer for about 30 minutes and then tuned up the guitars again.
The rooms with their seaside pastel ice cream colors are still beautiful, and the air conditioning works well, but is somewhat noisy. The bathrooms are a modern update with subway tile and Carrera marble and the white towels are fluffy. But I would never return to stay here. I’d opt for a hotel really facing the ocean for a quiet beach stay.