"The Summer Whitehouse ~ Congress Hall "
On our last day trip to Cape May, I finally got to visit the recently restored "Congress Hall" hotel. Unlike any other hotel in Cape May, Congress Hall has no Victorian architectural features!! It is an expanisve L-shaped, 4-story building with porticoes the entire length of the building at the 3rd story level which makes it look something like Mount Vernon (George Washington's Virginia home) or the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. All this charm and it's facing the ocean --- the "porch" is a fantastic place to sit in one of the many rockers for guests and while away the hours in peaceful bliss. Lovely gardens surround the and pool, but the ocean is always the primary object for view.
Inside is just as fabulous. High ceilings accent the grandness of proportion in this historical hotel which has hosted past presidents such as Grant, Pierce and Buchanan. Benjamin Harrison made Congress Hall his "Summer Whitehouse"* from which he conducted affairs of state directly from this hotel.
Congress Hall has 108 rooms and 5 deluxe suites. All rooms have private bath, ac, color TV, DVD players Iron/Ironing Boards, hairdryers Aveda bath products and too many other features to mention here. Many, but not all, rooms face the ocean.
The hotel also "The Boiler Room" nightspot with live jazz, not to mention a Spa on the premises. What more can you ask for!
Unique Quality: One of the several features that I really liked about Congress Hall was the The Brown Room. This is the cozy bar on the main floor which connects the lobby with the dining wing of the hotel. With the walls painted a deep brown, a beautiful heavy wood and marble bar, bookcases, fireplace, plush furniture and striking faux-zebra stripped rug, this room is my idea of elegance and a great place for before dinner drinks or a nightcap. The Brown Room also has live music on some nights.
Let's not forget the Blue Pig Tavern. This is the hotel's restaurant featuring 2 sepate dining areas, each with its own decor, and one gorgeous little outside dining area.
Last but not least, room rates are almost always a concern. This can be an expensive place, but it is a memorable place. Rates start at $100 for midweek, off-season dates, probably with no view. Check the hotel's website for current rates, and specials if any. I am considering a fall weekend here, when the weather is still beautiful but the tourist season is over!!
NOTE: Don't buy anything from the gift shop at this hotel! The prices are exhorbitant. I forgot my camera on our most recent day trip and decided to buy a disposable one from Tommy's at Congress Hall. My $13.95 + tax got me the cheapest and worst disposable camera I've ever bought. The film must have been very old & the flash didn't work!! I only knew this after I had the film developed!