We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Off-Season Delight”
Review of Congress Hall

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Congress Hall
Ranked #4 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
Pitman, NJ
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Off-Season Delight”
Reviewed 22 November 2013

Our second visit to Congress Hall coincided with the 2013 Exit 0 Cape May Jazz Festival, during the second weekend in November of 2013. Our first visit was for the 2011 Cape May Jazz Festival in April of 2011. Life’s too short to deal with subpar hotels, so our return visit confirmed our satisfaction with Congress Hall.

This is an OLD hotel (going back to 1816, the oldest on the Jersey Shore – the current building dates from 1880 or so), and Cape May is an OLD town (one of the first seaside resorts). If you like gleaming chrome and steel and a post-modern vibe, this is not your place.

If you like modern conveniences integrated into the historic fabric of an old building, this might be your place. Stairs and floors creak, floors are uneven, doors aren’t square in their openings, but you’ve got wifi, really nice bathrooms, and atmosphere by the boatload.

The hotel has two parts: The Annex and the main hotel. We’ve stayed in both, and prefer the main hotel. We were last in a corner room in the Annex, and while we had an ocean (and parking lot) view, we were also over the spot where smokers congregate. An onshore breeze and our room smelled like cigarettes.

Off-season, Cape May can be a very romantic place, with all the clichés: Walks on the beach; lingering dinners; cocktails in a dark hotel lounge; quiet.

Unless Congress Hall is hosting a wedding. It is a popular wedding venue, and if mom and dad are going all out for their daughter, you may be sharing your quiet romantic weekend with several dozen (or more) wedding guests, including a few who invariably leave their good sense and inhibitions at home.

If you want quiet, first see if the hotel is hosting any weddings during your stay.

The hotel has several restaurants/bars attached: The Blue Pig Tavern (reviewed separately), The Boiler Room Bar, and The Brown Room Bar. A very short walk to the other side of the parking lot is the Cape May institution of Uncle Bill’s Pancake House. If it is open, it is the best way to cure a hangover.

Our two visits were off-season – your experiences during a Cape May summer may be entirely different.

Room Tip: Rooms in The Annex may not be as desirable as rooms in the main hotel.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank gjmalcyon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

1,152 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    591
    343
    134
    42
    42
See reviews for
317
522
18
36
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (344)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Perrineville, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013

Congress Hall is a beautiful hotel outside and in the lobby, but the rooms are a disappointment!!

We have been coming to Cape May for 27 years and have seen the renovations to this beautiful hotel. But the renovations seem to have stopped on the first floor. While the room was clean and the bathroom big, the room floors are actually slanted and dip from room to room! The hallways dip down on each floor. Very disappointed with the furniture in the room. There isn't a chest of drawers for clothing, but just a closet. The bed was comfortable but the mattress was hard. That is why we give it only 3 stars.

However, the service is wonderful, the breakfasts were delicious, and the receptionists, hosts and valets were very friendly. Also the cleaning staff was very courteous, however, mini bars glasses were not replaced with clean ones and the carpet was not vacuumed during our stay.

Glad we were able to stay at Congress Hall once but would not stay there again!

Room Tip: If you want an ocean view, you must ask for a terraced room. Otherwise you only get a side view of t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank msprez_nj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cedar Knolls, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013

If you're looking for a place to stay in Cape May, you can't go wrong with Congress Hall. It is literally in the center of everything - right across from the beach and the center of town.

Stepping into the hotel, you can feel the history of the building. But for a building that's nearly 200 hundred years old (sort of - it was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 1800s), it's wonderfully maintained and contains all the conveniences you'd expect of a modern hotel. The rooms are a nice size with amazingly comfortable beds. And the restaurants and bars in the hotel are equally amazing.

The hotel is a little pricey. And it would be nice if they offered family suites to make staying with young children easier. But overall, you can't go wrong with a stay at Congress Hall.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Matthew R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2013 via mobile

I don't use the word "great" very often when discussing hotels, but Congress Hall fits the bill. Loved it! The property is old world and beautiful, and the staff couldn't have been nicer. Worth the price.

Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Il0vebaseball
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
209 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2013 via mobile

This hotel really hit a heart string in me from the moment we arrived. We had not made a reservation. (Had read reviews on TripAdvisor.) Worked fine being off season and were treated to an excellent, 4th floor king. Large bedroom, comfortable mattress, beautiful linens, nicely decorated with splendid bathroom. Aveda products were a bonus! Enjoyed a night cap fireside. The Blue Pig tavern provided us with a nice breakfast. What a gem in this beautiful seaside town! My gut feeling last night when we arrived held true. We made the right choice when we selected the Congress Hall!

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DK B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2013

I've just read this newest response posted for Congress Hall and I find it very troublesome. I too am a long time (very, very) long time patron of Congress Hall. My family and I have been staying in Cape May both on-and-off season since before Congress Hall was restored to it's current beautiful condition.

I also find the hotel very hit or miss. You'll have a fantastic stay followed up by another stay with rude and inexperienced staff.

Obviously, falling on hotel property, can be very serious and open the hotel up to liability. At the very least, this woman should have been handled with kid gloves and with an attitude that says we care about you (and BTW, care that you don't sue us!)

Where is the manager??

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mamawolf21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Milford, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2013

We stayed at Congress Hall mid-week in October, and the place was bustling. This hotel is charming and historic. It's Oceanside location is perfect, and with the right room, you have a fabulous view of the Atlantic and the promenade. The staff is friendly and courteous. The bar harkens back to the 1920's with warm colors and leather seats. We especially loved the little touches of this hotel - the line of rocking chairs on the front patio, the old-school room key, and the louvred doors to each room. This place was everything it says it is ... And more!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank twecht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Cape May hotels
1.2 mi away
La Mer Beachfront  Inn
La Mer Beachfront Inn
#17 of 37 in Cape May
678 reviews
0.9 mi away
The Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel
#13 of 37 in Cape May
1,297 reviews
0.9 mi away
Icona Cape May
Icona Cape May
#1 of 37 in Cape May
183 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.7 mi away
Montreal Beach Resort
Montreal Beach Resort
#7 of 37 in Cape May
692 reviews
0.1 mi away
Carroll Villa Hotel
Carroll Villa Hotel
#5 of 37 in Cape May
1,182 reviews
0.8 mi away
Ocean Club Hotel
Ocean Club Hotel
#18 of 37 in Cape May
542 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Congress Hall? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Priceline and Cancelon so you can book your Congress Hall reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Congress Hall Cape May, New Jersey

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing