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“Charming Hotel” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Congress Hall

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Congress Hall
Ranked #3 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Charming Hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2014

Congress Hall is a charming old hotel in the center of Cape May. The landscaping around the property is amazing, it reminded me of Longwood Gardens. We found the pool and beach service to be excellent. The staff was very friendly and attentive. It was great not having to bring all the beach stuff with us. We just walked down and the staff set up chairs, towels, and umbrellas. We didn't even have to leave the beach for lunch. Our room had all the charm of an historic hotel but felt clean and updated. The floors were a little slanted but that's part of the charm of an old building. The hotel bar was busy but was great for people watching. We had several meals at the Blue Pig and really enjoyed the outside dining. We really liked the farm to table concept and loved the Blue Pig Ale. I would highly recommend Congress Hall and will be returning soon.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BoydK0520
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (328)
Date | Rating
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English first
usa
Level Contributor
144 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

The Congress Hall and its sister properties provide great service in keeping with Cape may's historic character. Excellent pool and beach service is provided by an energetic, warm and friendly staff (Danny helped move my wife's umberella several times). Drinks on the veranda made a rainy day pass quickly. Tandem and surrey bike rentals were a blast. The sister hotel Virginia's beach service was a bit less crowded and their porch was great for an early dinner.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank skibeach19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greenwich, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

This hotel is definitely over-priced, but it does have a lot of amenities. In addition, the proprietor gets very defensive on tripadvisor. There are a few problems for the price. The keys are quaint, but they don't always work. There are rooms in very noisy areas. Getting stuck over the lobby/bar is a nightmare. Now here is the problem with the service: Everything is run by high school and college age kids. Even if there is not a problem, people will complain about this. Why? Because they're kids. We sat for hours at the pool. We did not see one manager. Just pool boys. They did a great job, but adults had them doing all kinds of weird things like trying to wedge umbrellas in between chairs where they did not fit. We also saw people try to sneak out without paying a food bill. The young waitress caught them. The beach is another problem. Big tippers try to get front spots closer to the water, and they will be pushy with the employees because they are kids. The only people I saw that looked like they had any real authority were the manger at the front desk, and a manager waltzed through The Blue Pig asking everyone if they were okay. The service at The Blue Pig was not so great, but this is not the fault of the kids who are running it. Whatever table sitting system that is in place is faulty!!! We ate there several times. Once our waitress was literally running to to other hotels to deliver coffee or something. She said she had to go to the Star across the street and to the Virginia, two blocks away. Really? Who asks that of wait staff while they are waiting tables? Another time we were told we could not sit outside, only to see six tables remain empty for 1 and 1/2 hours. I think this is because we only had two people in our party that evening and they were set for four. Another night we were told we would have to wait for porch tables to be cleaned while 5 of them were clean already. The worst part of this is the restaurant is always overstaffed BY KIDS! It appeared that these kids were spinning their wheels. We were told by a waitress that she would be right with us. Ten minutes passed. Nothing. Then, a hostess in a brown polka dotted dress walked over and provided us with glasses of water. She said somebody would be right with us. Another ten minutes passed. We watched many, many waitstaff walk all about. There were more of them than customers. Really. Twenty minutes. No service. We left. I also am an extensive traveler and find it very offensive that you ask people to use wipes to remove make up. If you were washing your towels correctly, you would not have to make this request. The maid service is just lovely, but the fact that there is no effort to do anything green on your premises. The maids turn on every light in your room when they turn down the bed. There are very few recycling containers. Rooms are nice and clean, Location is great. Pools are clean and warm. Valet is AWSOME! Nicest kids on the prop! Food is average to excellent. More effort to include organic options is a must. Hire some more managers to monitor your young, but very polite staff.

Room Tip: Across the street from beach. The hotel is a landmark. Historic area. There are restaurants all over...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Cal R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

Just returned from a 4 night stay at Congress Hall. The property itself is very charming, the room was large and clean. We especially loved the rocking chairs on the veranda. There were lots of activities for both adults and children. We also enjoyed the spa and the beach service. However, for the price we expected better service. Arrived on Friday evening to discover our room was not handicap accessible as there were 2 staircases involved to reach it. This was difficult for one in our party who was walking with a cane, and we really thought the bellman or front desk staff should have mentioned it before directing us to our room with roller bags in tow. Next we attempted to reach the Concierge to make a reservation at a restaurant down the street, only to discover there was no one on duty. Surprising for 7 pm on a Friday evening in prime season. We next asked the Front Desk staff about the need for a reservation and were told the restaurant didn't take them, so off we went down the block, only to reach the restaurant and be told we needed a reservation. Housekeeping was late to get to our room most days, and one day didn't get the room made up until after 5 pm, despite us making a phone call two hours earlier requesting the room be serviced right away. The one day we used the swimming pool we noticed the pool bathroom was in terrible condition (broken door knob and very dirty). Pool staff were sitting around when they could have been checking on the bathrooms and cleaning them or calling someone to get them serviced. On our final day we stopped by the coffee shop (Tommy's Folly) to get some breakfast items before leaving. A breakfast sandwich was served cold, and the gal at the counter forgot to give one of our party their sandwich, requiring a long walk back to the coffee shop just before we drove off. The biggest disappointment in service was the selection of the room location which was over the bar and noisy due entertainers playing late into the night. When the reservation was made several months earlier, I told them I wanted a quiet room and specifically requested NOT to be placed in a room over the bar. I could not have been clearer in that request and that request was simply ignored.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Carolyn P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoboken, New Jersey
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014

I know its a nice wedding venue. Hell I wanted to get married there. But in the summer there is a wedding every thursday, friday and saturday. So? Well the entire hotel gets monopolized by the wedding party. That means the nice quiet atmosphere in a retro shabby chic hotel is gone. The quiet cozy Brown Room hotel bar is overflowing with groomsmen and bridesmaids getting sloshed at 5pm. The Boiler room jazz bar in the basement is jam packed at night with drunken wedding goers at the end of the night...there's an occasional puddle of puke in the mens room. If your room is on the floor above the lobby...forget about sleep...the one man piano man performance is blasted to a deafening level volume in the bar so you cant hear yourself talk all the way in the lobby. I'm 33 by the way...I like to party. This is a bit much. And they kick you off the patio just when you wanted to sit in a rocking chair on a late afternoon and read your book in the shade after a day on the beach...so they can have the wedding procession and cocktail hour. They sold out. Plain and simple. Oh...and the 4 night minimum is absolutely ridiculous. Wifi never works.

Room Tip: Overpriced. Ask for a room with a big bathroom and shower. Some are huge and have a nice marble be...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank MogieEats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Freeport, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014

I stayed at Congress Hall the week of July 16, 2014 with my husband and son and we had an amazing time. The staff was very friendly, great service and place is clean. The food and drinks were amazing. I definitely want to go back next summer.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Carolina M
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 review, 24 July 2014
Dear Carolina M,

Why wait until next summer?... We’re here year-round! Thank you for letting us know how much you and your husband enjoyed your visit with us. We look forward to welcoming you back very soon.

Patrick Logue, VP of Operations, Cape Resorts
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Millstone, New Jersey
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014

Congress Hall the hotel , the staff, the atomoshere is just wonderful .
We just love the way we feel when we vacation at the Congress Hall. I always say , "it is like going home for us " We love the Brown Room and all the music. The pool , beach ,the shopping and the restaurants are just great. It is our favorite place. We do not drive , we walke everywhere . It is just so charming, we love it! .

Room Tip: All the rooms are so clean and beautiful
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank spa51
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 review, 24 July 2014
Dear spa51,

Thank you for sharing how much you enjoyed the amenities, dining and services of Congress Hall and our beautiful town of Cape May. We agree, it is the perfect town to explore by foot or bike. Many of our guests also enjoy renting Congress Hall bikes and peddling to our 62-acre Beach Plum Farm where they can explore our fields and meet our farm animals. We’re happy to hear you enjoyed part of our live entertainment program, featured in the Brown Room and Boiler Room at Congress Hall. Come back and see us soon!

Patrick Logue, VP of Operations, Cape Resorts
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
#2 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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