251 Beach Avenue, Cape May, New Jersey, 08204, United States
"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!
Directions: Less than 1 block from Washington Street Mall, and facing the Atlantic Ocean.
Historic hotel by the Ocean
Cape May at Christmas time is a festive sight! The Victorian homes are all decked out in their holiday finest and off season prices become a reality. We spent part of our Christmas holiday at Congress Hall a couple of years ago and as recently as a few days ago.
The historic hotel was built in 1816 first as a boarding house. By 1878 it had doubled in size, but a fire destroyed it. A year later it was rebuilt and continued serving as a hotel. There was a renovation in 1920 but after time it declined in use and appearance. It was eventually used as part of Cape May Bible Conference from 1968-1995. Then it was bought by the present owner and renovated once again.
Congress Hall overlooks a wide, sandy beach. It's within walking distance to The Washington Mall, a shopping area opened only to pedestrians. The rooms are pretty and simply furnished. There is an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness room and full service spa.
The Blue Pig Tavern is located off the lobby and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are also several upscale shops on the ground level.
Unique Quality: Proximity to Washington Mall and other Cape May sights--a historic hotel
Directions: Garden St. Pkway. turns into Lafayette; go thru 2 lts. to end. At Jackson turn left and immed.rt. onto Mansion St. Go to stop sign, left at Perry, rt. to Congress Place.
Worth the stay
Stayed here at the start of the Christmas season last year. Comfy, peaceful rooms full of charm. You get the feeling you are staying in the guestroom of a large oceanfront private home. Not lots of furniture in the room, but that's part of the charm of it. Carpeting reminiscent of old fashioned rag rugs and large windows that open out onto a private balcony. Uncompromised ocean views. The bed was one of the most comfortable I have slept in. The bathroom featured an old-fashioned claw-foot type tub, rescued and restored from the building when it was being refurbished. It was super-deep and roomy and made for one relaxing bath. The front desk staff was friendly and helpful. We ate at the Blue Pig, and while the restaurant was a little too dark for my taste, the food was good.
Unique Quality: The restoration of this beautiful, big hotel was right on the money. They didn't try to modernize the features, but instead brought it back to its historical roots. There are several shops located on the ground level, and a day spa. It's right off Washington Street with it's touristy shopping mall, and a short walk across the front lawn takes you to the small boardwalk and the ocean beyond. Because of the time we stayed, (December - mid-week) there were not a lot of rooms taken. However, the building has a solid feel to it and feels like the rooms would be fairly quiet even if the hotel was booked.
More about Congress Hall
Great holiday in Congress Hall
Stayed in Congress Hall from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th of June, and had a really lovely time. We had our 2 young kids with us (3 and 1) and were a bit nervous about whether the hotel would be suitable for them, but the staff were always very friendly to the children and the pool and closeness to the beach made it a perfect location. Breakfast outdoors feeding the birds was also a daily treat for the kids.
We only had one glitch during our stay - we asked for a crib for the baby when checking in on the first day at 5pm and it still hadn't arrived by 8.30 when we were trying to put her down. Took a couple of phone calls and another hour to get it set up. After that, though, it was plain sailing.
The hotel looks fabulous - shows its age but not in a shabby way - and the rooms are really well finished. Service throughout is very good, and we would definitely like to visit again.
Bed and breakfasts ..
Most bed and breakfasts and hotels are found listed with pictures on capemay. com if you are interested in seeing and picking from the Internet. We have always been pleased staying at different locations each time we travel there.
~ CAPE MAY ~ has so Many Nice...
~ CAPE MAY ~ has so Many Nice Bed & Breakfast & Hotels so it's hard to know wich one to chose. Many are located in Restored Victorian houses.
New Jersey's best conference ground
Hotel is one of about seven well furnished hotels in the Secauccus conference arena.
Very good place for conferences and seminars. Noticeable facilities include three-floor parking area, swimming pool, Work-out rooms and high speed internet facility
Land of the chain Hotel
New Jersey on the whole is not known for it's charming accomodations. By and large, acommodations are geared toward the business traveler who is looking for a clean room in a recognizable chain hotel. Particularly inland we've got scads of them, and they've not an ounce of personality.
However, in some areas there are some great opportunities to stay in historic homes that inns and bed and breakfasts. Typically you will find quaint accomodations tourist destinations along the shore and the Delaware River like Cape May, Ocean City and Lambertville where the pace is slower and geared toward adults in search of peace and/or romance.
In other more fast paced tourist destinations such as Atlantic City and Wildwood and other destinations along the shore, the types of accomodations run the gammut from first class hotels, to seedy motels, to entire homes for rent.
Throughout the state there are also many state campgrounds, replete with showers, beaches and cabins, if you wish, in addition to privately run campgrounds (no thanks.)
We Really Enjoyed Ourselves
We just returned from a week-end at Congress Hall. The staff was very nice and helpful.
Although there was construction taking place in the lobby, the only real problem was the rudeness of one of the bartenders - a heavy set crude man with a nasty sense of humor and unpleasant ways with certain customers.
The food at the Blue Pig Restaurant was delicious and served well. The room was large, clean, and comfortable. We had a partial ocean view. The bathroom was very large with a soaking tub. The beds are fantastically comfortable. Down comforters and cozy cotton sheets are just what guests need on a cold winter's night at the shore.
Minor things arose with the heating system. But, everything was addressed promptly and professionally by a caring staff. From the roaring fireplace in the lobby to the crab cakes made with fresh lump crab meat, we had a great time. If you're looking for a week-end escape from the city or just a nice getaway, Congress Hall is the place. (Note: in the winter Congress Hall may be open only friday thru sunday)
Congress Hall bistro
A View Of Two Upscale Hotels
Does anybody know a good, but cheap hotel near Princeton, New Jersey? Our son is getting married in February, and we have to stay there for 4 nights.
Thanks in advance.
Jolande van Kampen
Nothing's cheap in Princeton. Good luck.
Popular Hotels in Cape May
View all Cape May hotels
View all Cape May hotels
Latest Cape May hotel reviews
- Periwinkle Inn
- 198 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 13, 2013
- Palace Hotel Cape May
- 88 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 30, 2013
- Congress Hall
- 572 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 22, 2013
- Montreal Inn
- 371 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 24, 2013
- La Mer Beachfront Inn Cape May
- 333 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 6, 2013
- Beach Shack Cape May
- 188 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 2, 2013
- Wilbraham Mansion and Inn
- 201 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 1, 2013
- The Star Inn
- 120 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 4, 2013
- Inn of Cape May
- 120 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 2, 2013
- The Chalfonte Cape May
- 113 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 11, 2013
- Lake Laurie Campground
- 27 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 27, 2013
- Albert Stevens Inn
- 424 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 20, 2013
- Camelot Motel
- 165 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 30, 2013
- Sea Crest Motor Inn
- 351 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 10, 2013
- Victorian Motel
- 316 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 25, 2013
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Congress Hall Cape May
- Congress Hall Hotel
Address: 251 Beach Avenue, Cape May, New Jersey, 08204, United States