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Review of Congress Hall

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Congress Hall
Ranked #6 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 June 2014

First let me say that I didn't stay at this hotel, but had a bad experience nonetheless. We had heard that Congress Hall has an Ice Cream Sundae event for kids Sunday nights. We were told it was at 5 PM, but when we discovered that the web site said 6 PM, we called to double check. The person at the front desk told us it was on their schedule for 5 PM.

Ok, so after playing mini-golf in the heat with a 6 and 8 year old set of girls we headed over just before 5 PM. We asked where to go and were sent to the right place. When two women showed up to set up we overheard them say that they didn't open until 6 PM. When we asked about this they were apologetic about the mistake and said they would correct it with the desk immediately.

We weren't willing to wait an hour with two tired young children and they didn't seem to care about that. While we did receive the apology for the poor communication, nothing else was offered. What would I have liked? Offer us a solution to two kids who want ice cream, even if it wasn't from the party, i would have paid.

So we left disappointed and we will likely not return to the hotel after this poor experience.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Service
1  Thank Scott L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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553 - 559 of 1,180 reviews

Reviewed 21 June 2014

We love this place! The rooms are clean and decorated beautifully. We were able to check-in at 8 am which was wonderful after driving all night with a child. You can't beat having your chairs, umbrellas and towels setup for you at the beach and pool! The pool was lovely and we enjoyed tie-dye Tuesday with our little girl. Breakfast at The Blue Pig Tavern was convenient and delicious. The outdoor seating was a nice way to start our day. I honestly believe the negative reviews about this place are either from competitors or from really hard to please guests. We will be back for years to come!!

  • Stayed: June 2014
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Thank Bluehydrangeas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014

We fell in love with Congress Hall many years ago and have been coming every year (without the kids) for a few days to celebrate our wedding anniversary. In the past when they knew it was our anniversary checking in, they would make a fuss. Sometimes a bottle of champagne was delivered on the house and one time they even upgraded us to the Bridal suite for free. This year they made us wait 2 1/2 hours to check in. We knew that 3:00 was check in time but arrived early hoping they would get our room ready. They didn't care and although we told them this was our 20th wedding anniversary and could they please try to let us check early...no reaction. It was obvious the whole flavor of this once upscale hotel had changed. The furniture and rugs in the lobby/reception area are worn and tattered as was the pool furniture and tables. The pool is in need of interior attention too. No extra special touches like we have experienced in the past. This hotel is not cheap...over $400 per night for a tiny queen/ocean view. Sadly, we will not be back.

Room Tip: Beach front are the best in my opinion but you pay for it.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Lisa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2014

A great hotel with upscale amenities but the little touches that remind you old-world class and cozy spaces! We visited right at the beginning of the season so it was still a bit chilly and not too crowded. This hotel is situated near all of the great shopping and restaurants.

The room was small and I liked that they keep it true to the time and era. The bathroom wasn't too updated, and the floor almost sloped downward, giving it that 1920's feel with a low ceiling. The door to each room have a real turn-key - NO SWIPING! There is also a wooden door on the outside of every door in case you want to "let the breeze in." :)
There is a TV with basic cable and a closet and mini-bar. There's also a windowseat :) LOVE!!!

The bed and sheets were cozy and comfy. I spilled makeup on the comforter and called cleaning. They came up within 10 minutes to change the duvet, no questions asked.

The property is also right on the beach, with plenty of beach to go around. There's also grass if you have children, or just want to lounge. We hung out on the white Kennedy-esque lawn chairs on the green grounds in our sweatshirts, after we had tanned on the beach, feeling very Hyannisport, while a very nice and friendly server came over to take our drink order. They even will bring you food if you so desire right there.

The breakfast at the hotel restaurant was fab! And the rest of the food there looked great as well. The gift shoppe here was adorable and had alot of great items to gift to friends that also love Cape May.

We only stayed one night but wish we could have stayed longer. We definitely will be back!

Room Tip: We were on the top floor which I did like, but the ice machine was on the floor below. It would have...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kristy Lee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2014

We spent three nights at the Congress Hall hotel and it was better than we could have imagined, we were treated special, we loved the room with our semi-private balcony and 2 rocking chairs, 2 pools (1 adults only) and the view of the ocean from the balcony was just what we love. The location of this hotel is across the street from all shops, theater & restaurants. We didn't want to leave. We can't wait to return.

Room Tip: We had a perfect quiet room above the shops so there was no evening noise from the bar or ballroom.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank HJSZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

I'm a year late writing this review, but had stayed there twice last year. Loved the one room we stayed in & it faced the courtyard & had a big bear claw tub. Bed very so comfortable & the room was beautiful that also came with robes & slippers. I did just visit their pool yesterday because I stayed at another one of their sister places in Cape May. If you want to go to the beach, they have lounge chairs with padding & towels provided with no charge & offer food & drink menus. This is the same for the pool area which has an adult only pool. It's a little small, but relaxing. You can still hear & see the kids at the regular pool, but the service is great. My favorite drink is the watermelon sunrise which is made from fresh watermelon. The grounds are beautiful & you have options to dine such as The Blue Pig Tavern. Great for breakfast or lunch. Eat outside. I LOVE The Brown Room for a cocktail. Bartenders know how to make a perfect dirty martini & the entertainment is wonderful. Especially Audrey Snow. Sorry for the long post, but I definitely recommend going there!

Room Tip: Price for courtyard is worth it! You can open your windows & get an ocean view
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank beachbunnysun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

I was pleased to be able to check in at 2 pm. Desk person did not seem to understand (or particularly care) where I was parked and provided unhelpful directions on the "self park" area. I voiced concerns over the band amplifiers lined up near the entryway and questioned where our room was in relation to the Wedding entertainment. I was informed that the facility was 100% full and there was no ability to adjust our room to another, I should have requested my preference earlier. Our room was spacious, the linens were first class and the room appeared clean. It was nice to have terry robes provided. There was peeling paint on the closet door in a few places, not a big deal. I took a shower and went to eat dinner, on my return my towels were refreshed...a very nice experience and I was feeling a lot more comfortable in this establishment. Check out was efficient.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 840BJB2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CHCapeMay, Vice President of Hotel Operations at Congress Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Dear 840BJB2013,

Thank you for sharing your experience at Congress Hall. We are happy to hear you were able to check in early, but I am very sorry you were not given proper directions to our self-parking lot, or even offered valet parking as an option. We are a resort town and realize parking comes at a premium so we want to be sure our guests are taken care of with our self-parking or valet. We have addressed this importance with our Front Desk. Our hotel does accommodate wedding and events and we understand not all guests are in attendance of these events. Whether it is prior to arrival or at check in we want to accommodate requests and concerns the best we can with what is available. I apologize you were not provided with more information at check in regarding the events of the hotel, and potential noise concern. If more appropriate accommodations were not available for your first night, we want to look into other options for the duration of your visit. We are glad you enjoyed the other accommodations of the hotel and please contact our Central Reservations Office for your future visit so we can best plan your stay.

Sincerely,

Patrick Logue, Vice President of Hotel Operations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Cape May
#11 Romantic Hotel in Cape May
#12 Family Hotel in Cape May
Price Range: £98 - £269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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