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
The hotel is nice but parking is difficult. We were told to park in uncle bill's which we did. When we were getting our stuff out of the car to go to the beach an uncle bill's employee rudely told us we were parked in the wrong lot and made us move the car over two parking spaces. Literally two. It made no sense. They should have clear parking signs and should talk to uncle bill's to straighten out their bizarre parking arrangement so that future guest arent told they will be towed and yelled at by uncle bill's employees when the guests are just following the directions they were given by congress hall front desk.
My wife, 2 year old daughter and I just came back from congress hall. Our aunt who is a travel agen highly recommended and it did not disappoint. The historical presence of the hotel, the grounds, everything was so grand. The pool service (thank you James) as well as all the rest for everything. The beach service was amazing. The restaurants and bars were great. The kids activities were great, everything was so great we even stayed an extra night. We did have a hiccup with the second room however management took care of us. They do care about your experience at the hotel and want you to have a good vacation. Overall we will definitely be back. If you have small children it is a great place! Location is great, grounds are great, truly a great time! Thank you again!
Congress Hall is my children's favorite place to visit. We go every year and it is wonderful for kids. I have noticed over the years some areas that need improvement, however. The pool is lovely but the staff at the pool is anything but attentive. The people that set up the chairs are fine but the waitstaff is not good. The teens that work at the pool spend more time chatting than serving. I have approached the bar area multiple times and they would not allow me to put in an order there - telling me a server would be over. I then wait- standing with a menu in hand watching for 15 -20 minutes before I approach the station again. This is a common occurrence. The food at the pool is underwhelming as well and overpriced. I also feel that is it overcrowded probably due to the sister hotels sharing the pool. Other areas that need attention is the housekeeping. We never received fresh glasses throughout or 3 night stay and they were extremely stingy with the soaps/shampoos. The valet- wonderful. The front desk staff is friendlier than in previous years but are not all that professional. the desk should be representing the hotel better or acting more as a concierge. We are loyal customers to Congress Hall - there are many many wonderful things about this place but for the price it should run like a well oiled machine.
We just returned from an extended post 4th of July get-a-way to Congress Hall and we were incredibly disappointed. Stayed 3 nights and wish it was zero. We arrived on the 5th of July to not be greeted by cheerful valets. We were not greeted at all. Luxury hotel, I don't think so. We unloaded our car and were eventually recognized (after 30 minutes) asking if we needed parking, grumpy workers at best. We were informed multiple times they were incredibly busy, informed of this when trying to eat, get a drink, ask for assistance or really anything at all. This is a you're on your own kinda hotel. Too busy for guests but not too busy to take our money. Hotel grossly overcrowded and understaffed. Maybe not understaffed, just undertrained. The young man at the front desk both Saturday and Sunday morning could not have been less helpful when trying to get a pass to the beach (policy on that depends on whom you ask) he was just downright rude and should never interact with customers. Checked out this morning and was handed a copy of the bill, not a thank you, not a did you enjoy your stay, basically just move along. Rude, rude, rude!!!!!!
Cape May is lovely and Congress Hall looks beautiful from the outside looking in. Don't waste your money (and it's a pretty penny for what you don't get), please stay elsewhere where the establishment is happy to have you and makes you feel wanted.
Cape May is a beautiful historic beach town. We take overnight trips for golf and relaxation at least five or six times a year, avoiding the months of July and August.
September and October two of the best months. If you are beaching it for the day, trek out to The Cove, great spot for swimming and hanging out.
Congress Hall a great place to stay, we do avoid weekends. There are smaller motels along Beach Drive that are reasonably priced.
Foodies, lots of places in cape may. Blue Pig great for breakfast,The Boiler Room, good pizza and nibbles. Harry's happy hour Tisha's and a 20 minute drive to Harpoons on the Bay well worth it. Cape May Ferry hosts On the Rocks a hoppin outside venue with a happy hour or two.