We went to The Dormer House for a long weekend in summer 2011. Walking up the path, we were greeted by a screen door with the screen dangling off and flapping in the breeze. Once inside, the heat hit! The glassed in porch, which serves as the breakfast room, has no ventilation except the screen doors, and it's very HOT. One of the owners greeted us, and showed us to our room.
The room was the Jacoby Suite, which was on the first floor, right outside the kitchen. My first impression was that it had the overpowering stench of too-much carpet fresh. At least the room did have A/C...a bit noisy, but better than the sweltering heat of the parlor & breakfast areas. It also has the odd feature of a double door closet that opens into the tub/bathroom, but does not close tightly. If you want privacy in the bathroom, forget it. There's very little between you on the toilet, and your partner reading on the bed. The room was decorated with shabby pieces, and darkened by heavy drapes, which is a downer at the beach. There was a huge old, dusty, faded plastic flower arrangement, much like those that adorned the parlor and foyer area. It was just a really disappointing, depressing space that had a dusty, unclean vibe. We decided to just stay, since it was just a place to sleep and we had family staying in a home there where we'd be spending most of our time.
The breakfasts seemed as though they were chosen to make it easy on the kitchen, not necessarily to delight the guests. One day it was a square of some sort of slimy baked egg and cheese casserole, with bacon that had an odd, paper-like consistency. The other day was French toast made from thin, plain white bread, along with pork roll. The only good thing about the whole breakfast experience was sitting on the rockers out front drinking coffee while we waited, which was actually very good.
It’s a fairly long walk to the center of town and to the beach, which we didn’t really mind, but if you’re looking for something in the center of things, this place is not it. Kenny-G was the soundtrack of the weekend. It played morning, noon, and night. It got to the point that we actually got the giggles every time we'd step into the place. Kenny G, dusty plastic flowers everywhere, heat… It was just such a bizarre place. Oh, and one of the amenities we were told about was the outdoor shower and complimentary fresh towels. The towels were out back in a tote. It seemed like a collection of threadbare, stained leftover beach towels of previous guests. Hahaha...each time we'd make one of these discoveries, we'd just have to laugh. The only thing not so funny was that we'd spent quite a lot to stay in such a bad place. We never did see the owner again after the initial greeting.
I don’t understand all the glowing reviews. Maybe we hit a bad weekend? Maybe it’s nicer on one of the upper floors? My feeling was that the owners must have lost their love for inn keeping. It really is a beautiful old home, and it has such potential. Just seemed poorly cared for, and as though they were just getting by to get by, rather than enjoying it.
- Also Known As:
- The Dormer House Hotel Cape May
- The Dormer House Cape May, New Jersey