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“Outstanding Customer and Concierge services”
Review of Congress Hall

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Congress Hall
Ranked #5 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Outstanding Customer and Concierge services”
Reviewed 25 July 2012

We travel a lot and we understand an excellent services. This was one of our best experience we had. We have a disable child who needed a beach chair. Every morning at 10 am the chair was at the front of the beach. The concierge service were accommodating from dinner theater, sight seeing, and dinner reservations. We highly recommend Congress Hall Hotel and definitely return when we are in Cape May.

Room Tip: We stayed at Annie Knight Parlor Suite. I recommend it if you can take the stairs. I would stay in...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank EvelynWilliam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Summit, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2012

CH was terrific in every way, except one. The room was spacious for a historic/older hotel and very comfortable, with great A/C, a spectacular bed, good wi-fi, reasonable TV options, etc (and clean). The restaurant is unique/tasty and the two bars offer something for everyone. The outdoor areas are airy, well maintained and attractive with an expansive yard and gardens. The pool is large (with a great 3-foot shallow area for kids and a small separate pool for adults), with attentive service for food, drink, etc. (and the waiters were incredibly sweet to kids (including my daughter), so families feel 100% welcome). The beach is directly across the street from the hotel and the area in front of Congress Hall and its related properties was much less crowded than the rest of the beach. And the beach service is out-of-this-world -- I felt like we had a private concierge on the beach, where the staff quickly (and with a great attitude) brought us food and drinks, chairs, umbrellas, towels, etc. The even have private cabanas for $75-100/day, so you can take a break from the heat.

I cannot emphasize the positives enough -- location, amenities and service are AAA+, particularly for a shore destination where you normally have to choose between location and amenities and service is a crapshoot.

So what's the only problem? NOISE. LOUD NOISE. The beach-view rooms face an area where guests congregate all day and the historic (old) windows and balcony doors are not the least bit sound-proofed. We could hear music from a wedding AND music from the different singer in the common area on Saturday night -- but that stopped by 11pm, so it wasn't a big problem (for us). Unfortunately, a number of hotel guests continued to hang outside making loud noise until nearly 2am. And we could hear every word of their conversation. We called the front desk several times after midnight, but they were unable to keep the guests' voices to a respectful level (the front desk clerk tried, but he was ignored). We faced similar issues Sunday night, although without the wedding and not quite as late.

So if you go to bed early and have trouble sleeping with loud noises, then you shouldn't have a beach-view room (hopefully the town-view rooms are more quiet, but I don't know). Ideally, for $600+/night, I think Congress Hall should be able to find ways to alleviate the noise (better windows/doors, although they may be constrained by Cape May's building rules). We are likely to return to CH on our next visit to Cape May, but we are considering other properties in light of the noise. It's an individual decision whether the immense positives outweigh this one very meaningful negative (for us, probably/maybe yes -- but it would have been a no-brainer for us to return if the noise had ceased at 10 or 11pm).

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank GGTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wyckoff, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2012

This glorious old hotel across form the beach makes you feel like you've stepped back in time. Ideally situated it was east access to the beach and shopping. Breakfast at the Blue Pig was a wondefull start to the day. Very clean and well kept. My only complaint was late night noise from the third floor. It sounded like a bowling alley over our room one weeknight, rolling noises at 1am! Other than that, I would still stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MichaelNYCNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barnegat, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2012

We stayed at the Congress Hall for Mothers Day weekend, and this was the second time I brought the family down to Cape May. My wife and I spent over $10,000 for the two trips. On this trip there were some issues with Loud Noise and foul language below our second floor windows (Most expensive rooms), and very weak knowledge on menu items in all the restaurants, including a $400. + dinner over at the Virginia. In addition at the Mothers Day Brunch (Food was good) I was presented a Bill for close to $200. No big deal, except I was told at reservation time (For the Hotel) that it was included in the room rate I was paying. I also verified this at check in. No one in the Restaurant had any idea of this package- and eventually blamed it on Management communication.

All that being said, I can live with issues as I am a business man, and I do know things can go wrong. This hotel is a Beautiful place in a very beautiful town.

What I cannot live with is an inept Management group who has no clue on how a good paying customer should be responded to. I originally sent a very detailed letter to one of the Managing Partners outlining my issues. It was done professionally and my intent was to keep it between me, the customer and the Management-No putting it in the public eye. But to my surprise, I did not recieve any response at all. Nothing, zero. If I treated my customers like that I would not have a great job, and probably would not be able to spend $10,000 at the Congress. My conclusion is that this leadership is focused on Profit (Which I understand), but could care less about the customer. Very sad how things are done these days-I can assure this Mgmt team that I stay in 60 70 nights a year in Hotels traveling on business. I have received better treatment from the Hilton Garden Inn Managers and Courtyards Managers.

My Best regards to all the good people that do work at the Congress-it is indeed a very nice place.

Room Tip: Stay away from the expensive balconey rooms-really no balconey, and people from the bar sit right b...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank Tjdevineusmc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2012

I came down from NYC for a week during July 4th for my first time stay at Congress Hall. I arrived earlier than the 3 PM check-in and left my bags with the desk as I looked around and had lunch. A wedding was taking place that evening and the hotel seemed full and busy, and perhaps because of that my bags never were brought up - I had to come down and take them up myself. My room was clean, pretty and comfortable, but they need better alarm clocks - two that I tried out didn't work and seemed old-fashioned and not up to snuff. The four pillows on the bed are way too soft - I wonder if any other guests found this to be so? They collapse into nothing. I also bought my own soap at the local soap shop on the Mall as the Aveda soap wasn't too effective. Air conditioning worked well and went on and off periodically.

I love the hotel's look and the story of its renovation - I felt as if I was staying at a piece of New Jersey shore history. The accommodations are lovely, luxurious even, and there is a restaurant, a coffee shop, a bar, shops, colonnades with rocking chairs and outside areas to hang out in. It's also very close to the mall area for shopping, touristy stuff or other places to eat. Next time I might check out one of the cute "Painted Ladies" and stay there.

I recommend this hotel for its proximity to the beach and related amenities. They provide chairs, chaises, tables, towels and umbrellas, and you can order food and drink - the staff are polite and hardworking. I sent 4 days lounging on the beach and it was heaven. The restaurant, the Blue Pig, was not special, and as a single person, leaving only one tip, found the service to be sloppy and won't dine there again, but other guests seemed to enjoy it. The bar was comfortable and I enjoyed the singer and pianist.

The most serious issue was the non-working wi-fi in my room. When I complained multiple times I received vague answers such as "their tech person would look into it" and "doesn't work well with Macs." Dear Congress Hall, the whole world is on a Mac. The wi-fi worked perfectly in the lobby, the bar and on the terrace, so that's where I was when checking in, but the minimum requirement is to use my computer in my beach view room, for which I paid a premium. I also had spotty cell phone service on my Android phone in my room, so if you absolutely MUST be wired from your room at all times, keep this in mind. When I complained, I was given a $20 breakfast voucher at the Blue Pig on my last morning, with its slow service.

I tried out the $20 picnic for July 4th, which was OK, but next time I will eat elsewhere and simply go down to the beach on my own to watch the fireworks, but I appreciate that the hotel offers this as a community get-together. I was a singleton and the hotel is very family and couples-oriented. I tried out the spa but perhaps I'm a bit spoiled by living in NYC - the mani/pedi was rather tepid, and the reflexology guy needs to bone up on what this and that point relates to; 25 minutes is also too brief for an effective treatment. He should visit ANGEL FEET in NYC for a quasi-religious reflexology experience.

The concierge, Amanda, is fantastic and she helped me arrange a dolphin watch trip and confirmed my transport home. She deserves a better spot in which to work!

I would visit the Congress Hall Hotel again and adjust my expectations in some areas. The location can't be beat for beach-going and seeing the town without a car.

Room Tip: Rooms with a beach view are lovely but very expensive. If there's a wedding going on, there will...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OperaGirlNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
zgoldi
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2012

We needed a break. Cape May's Congress Hall fit the bill. Even when the air conditioner broke."Izzy" fixed it. Fast. Room was ready.Beach service was great! Those boys work really hard. The fireworks were just lovely. Shopping was nearby and the tours we took were guided by folks who truly love the town. The concierge was manned by Amanda, she answered every question with infinite patience. However,one ice machine for this building is just a nightmare.There didn't seem to be a room service breakfast menu that I could hang on the door the night before. The housekeepers didn't have one either.The door lock seemed to stick to the point of whimsical frustration.And ,I happen to find the "Mini-bar Nazis" more annoying than housekeepers when I am trying to have a nap. More coat hooks would have been helpful.The mattress did not feel supportive....I missed my mattress from home....The Fourth of July Lobster Bake seemed a little ill coordinated...I almost felt that Basil Fawlty was running it.... But, still, this is a very pleasant place. A little expensive but very pleasant. I'll go back.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the third floor...the ones with the soaking tub...they are lovely!
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katherine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stone Harbor, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2012

Great All American Family BBQ!! beautiful Hotel, Lawn and too much food for $20/10 pp.. Great kids activities and games, wonderful fireworks

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chalea8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Congress Hall

Property: Congress Hall
Address: 200 Congress Place, Cape May, NJ 08204-5306
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New Jersey > Jersey Shore > Cape May County > Cape May
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Cape May
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Cape May
#11 Romantic Hotel in Cape May
#12 Family Hotel in Cape May
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Congress Hall 4*
Number of rooms: 106
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Congress Hall in Cape May is America's First and Oldest Seaside Resort Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Congress Hall Cape May, New Jersey

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