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“Hotel with class”
Review of Congress Hall

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Congress Hall
Ranked #5 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
Ramsey, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Hotel with class”
Reviewed 1 September 2014 via mobile

This is our second time here. Certainly not the cheapest hotel in Cape May, lol, but you get what you pay for. From the professionalism when you drive up when you first check in from the gentlemen at the valet, to all the hard young workers at the pool and the beach. Bedroom as are remarkably fresh and clean. I don't feel the nickel and diming. Overall, great place for the family!! If there is one small complaint, because I had the same complain in June when we stayed here are the hostesses at the Blue Pig. We realize you're buses but we are still guests at your hotel.

Stayed September 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Phil H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
NJ
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2014

There is a saying that you get what you pay for...with the Congress Hall, that's certainly not the case when prices were close to $600 a night. We are staying here for 4 nights/5 days and while I'm typing this in the hotel lobby because our room wasn't made (it's 3pm!), there are 2 irate families complaining at the front desk.

Pros:
Polite staff
Good food at reasonable prices
Nice layout with Adirondack chairs

Cons:
SERVICE
The service is extremely inconsistent. While we're staying for Labor Day, it doesn't take a hotel management degree to see the value of staffing up during busy periods. None of the staff is over 25 and none has much experience catering to the level of service one would expect.

- Ordered breakfast each morning and sometimes it took 15 minutes, sometimes it took 45 minutes.No explanations from the wait staff.
- Booked the cabana for $100 a day and despite my wife requesting the first available cabana closest to the hotel entrance that was available, we were put in the sister property location about 1/2 a mile. The location had discarded cigarette butts and ketchup packets around and no one had bothered to clean the area up.
- Received menus for lunch but took 1.5 hours for the hostess to return to take our order. One hostess for 14 cabanas + double duty at the pool.
- At the pool, 2 servers for 30+ chairs and waited between 25-45 minutes for order to be taken. Drinks from former guests left on the table for 3-4 hours.
- Tried dropping off the car at the valet and it took 20 minutes for them to collect the keys.
- For a "family" resort, extremely limited activities. There's a kid's club in the evenings ($45/child) which is nice. But that's it. When paying Four Seasons/Ritz-Carlton prices, there's no kids explorer club or daytime activities. There's 1 activity for kids once a week for 1 hour listed on the bulletin board.

Cape May itself is a wonderful town to stay in, very family friendly atmosphere...but the hotel may be billed as the best the town to offer...that insults the town.

Room Tip: If your room is too small, you can request a larger one if available in the same category.
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  • Stayed September 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank sshoboken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2014

I stayed here with my husband, parents, sister and several cousins in July 2014. (Dad's birthday weekend). I really fell in love with the design of this property! I'm a sucker for the old Victorian charm, and this place oozes it! The lobby with the kelly green walls, b&w floors, kooky florals and the large anchor made of shells pretty much kills it!!

Rooms are avg.- probably might expect a bit more for the price, but hey, the season is short in the Northeast, so prices tend to be a bit higher for oceanfront resorts!

Pool area is very nice with cute pink umbrellas, attentive service and two separate pools, one for adults only. Its definitely "kid friendly" and while we were just a group of adults, it didn't bother me. Although, I did notice some other adult couples who seemed bothered by the little train that they had circling the property during the afternoon one day. They did a Christmas in July celebration one day for all of the kids that was pretty adorable. Food at the pool/and in general the casual cuisine at the resort is pretty EH. Better off taking a quick walk to the "mall" outdoor area, or the Rusty Nail down the st for better options.

Have to say, the bar downstairs was really fun!! We loved the live music and super casual vibe, perfect for a night out after a laid back beach day!

The coffee shop had great coffee!

If you appreciate properties with historic charm, kind staff, and a VERY family friendly atmosphere, definitely check this place out!

Room Tip: Try to get a room with the Ocean/Pool view- beautiful!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Danielle P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2014

I have been going to Cape May since I was a child in many different capacities. We have enjoyed day trips, camping and a have a family house on the bay. But the is nothing like staying in town for a weekend and enjoy parking the car and walking every where. There was a time before Congress Hall was renovated that we paid for parking on the property. After the remodel we were excited to spend time at the historic hotel. We have stayed here before and had a great experience. Be prepared to wait on the phone while making reservations. They put us on hold for 15 minutes and lost our connection twice. Once we reserved our room all was fine. The valet parking is wonderful and our room was ready even though we were early. They offer a mini bar and room service. They have a lovely "farm to table" resturant on sight, a bar area and dance club in the basement. They also have a pool that serves drinks during the day. We love the chairs and umbrellas on the beach service only across the street from the hotel. We purchased season beach tags in January offered through the city. The grounds are beautiful and meticulously maintained. They offer children's activities and special events through the year. The Brown room has music in the evening, a lovely atmosphere for adults. Congress Hall has something for everyone!

Room Tip: We always ask for a balcony room so we can see the beach.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kate B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 August 2014

From the minute you come into the driveway at the beginning of your stay until you leave, the staff and all connected with Congress Hall go out of their way to be helpful. We have been going there for about 8 years and have never been disappointed. This past visit in August,
our daughters and granddaughter joined us and Marjorie and Nicole worked very hard to see that our rooms were next to each other which made our visit that much more fun. At the Blue Pig, John Day, food and beverage manager, accomodated our party of six with no problems.
He was easy to talk to and very friendly. Congress Hall is a family place--very comfortable-and even though there are many little ones having a great time-the whole atmosphere is quiet and serene. The gardens are beautiful and this all adds up to a great vacation!!!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Robert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2014

Very nice bar and lounge in the Congress Hall Hotel. We had drinks before dinner and enjoyed the atmosphere very much. The drinks were excellent, bartenders attentive and bar menu good to satisfy that craving before dinner. Would definitely return.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank mbeekerp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2014

Congress Hall is a very special place for my family. We have been coming many years and love the history of the hotel, the old slanted floors, and just how beautiful and charming the spot is. On our past stay this week we noticed a few things that could use improvements. If they are going to charge the rates that they charge, they need to provide a level of service to match it. 1) They are stingy with water. They give you 2 at check in and none for the rest of the week. Not even one little bottle with their advertised turn down service 2) You still have to buy beach tags even when staying at the hotel!! Come on!! They can't strike any kind of deal & build it into the already hefty rate?? 3) During the time that maids are cleaning, the floors have garbage piled sky high everywhere. I am talking a 6 hour stretch of time. The beach was the same way. Employees sat laughing in their chairs with heaps and heaps of balled up sandy towels in front of them.
The owners of Congress Hall should visit any Four Seasons and just take note on how they can step things up. Just because you have a gorgeous spot doesn't mean you should slack off!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank E4388
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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