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“Great place to stay!”
Review of Congress Hall

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Congress Hall
Ranked #4 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great place to stay!”
Reviewed 1 September 2007

My two girls and I stayed at Congress Hall for 19 nights (yes, 19 - our kitchen was being renovated at home) and we had an above average/excellent stay. While I agree with some of the negative comments (their cancellation policy is a bit extreme and there are a fair number of toddlers during the busy season), the hotel is clean and upscale without being fussy. We've stayed twice before, once during the July 4th holiday and another time later in July, and we've always enjoyed good service, food, and beach amenities. The "Camp Congress Hall" was really fun for my kids & a good way for them to meet others at the hotel, too. This year we'll return in September & I hope to go back every year from now on!

  • Liked — Upscale, comfy, clean
  • Stayed June 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank SEKIY
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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (341)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Clark, New Jersey
Level Contributor
92 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2007

This was our third stay at Congress Hall and although it was enjoyable, we may not return.

There are many positives to mention. The pool is great. The location is unbeatable. The Blue Pig Restaurant never disappoints. The lobby and lounges are lovely.

However, at $450 per night, some things must be changed. The rooms are plain, nothing special. The furnishings are atrocious. The one dresser in the room was an antique, and not in a good way. We had to fight with the drawers every time we needed a piece of clothing. The sink in the bathroom was the right size for my 9 year old, but was a disaster for my 6'2 husband. Even I, at 5'2 , was hitting my head on the poorly placed shelf above it. And, the only mirror in the room was a strange deco-style, very tiny and placed so high above the dresser that only my husband could see his reflection. ( I have never before been in a hotel room without a full-length mirror.)
In addition, the place is not very clean. Wet towels left on doorknobs to dry, were never removed by housekeeping. The room was not vacuumed once during our stay. And the stairwell we used to go up and down was accumulating debris by the day. A pretzel on the steps when we arrived was still there when we departed, joined by gum wrappers, sand and other assorted crumbs.

That said, we had a very nice time, but the afore mentioned complaints should not be the case in a $450 a night hotel.

  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
8 Thank NJBrooklynborn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2007

I stayed at Congress Hall the third week in July. The hotel itself is restored from its former glory. Don't expect everything to be perfect as the restoration kept the original bones in tact. That said, I was weary of the reviews that I have read on this site as the reviewers stated that the place can be a little rowdy on weekends. I decided to take my chances. I arrived a little late (7:00pm) to check in and it took all of 4 minutes to do so. The car was valet parked and the luggage was offloaded without a hitch. So far things were good. The city view room on the 4th floor was a tad small but livable. The bathroom size was fine with enough room to move around. The sink appeared original but restored. The bathroom was clean as was the rest of the room. The city view was nice with a partial view of the ocean. The windows do not open more than a few inches from the bottom just in case you were interested. Congress Hall hosted at least 2 weddings during our stay. Their was much celebration in the hotel but I was never personally bothered by it. As for the Noise, the main floor and bar was better than lively but I tend to go with the flow...no problem. I would imagine that you could hear the noise in the second floor room (just a guess). On the fourth floor I never even heard a pin drop. It was probably the quietest room I have ever stayed in (probably just lucky). So, if you want a quiet room, get a room on the fourth floor and cross your fingers. The hotel exudes an era gone bye and that’s why I booked it. If you are looking for the utmost lap of luxury, you have come to the wrong hotel. This hotel does not have all the finest amenities of the best of the best. They do try to keep things just right. If you need towels, no problem. If you need directions or suggestions the staff was helpful. The pool was fine and clean with a nice bar and grill off to one side. Poolside service was good as well as the service on teh beach. The pool water was just the right temp. All said, I don't think the past reviewers are wrong about this hotel, but I tend to go with the cards that are dealt and make the best of things. That said I was prepared not to get much sleep...and that never happened. I believe that this place can be hit or miss as to what you will get. I really enjoyed my stay at Congress Hall. I would give it 4.2 out of 5 stars. A tad rough around some edges but overall a really nice place to stay. Recommended!

  • Liked — Location and ambience.
  • Disliked — Valet parked the cars where?
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Giulianr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new jersey
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 June 2007

This is our third stay at Congress Hall and were very disappointed. We have stayed in the city view room and an ocean view room before and were very pleased. We were really looking forward to staying in an ocean front room with balcony. Upon arrival, our room was not available yet and were told we would be called when it was ready. We rode our bikes through the town and returned after 4:00 that afternoon. We never received a phone call telling us the room was ready. I was very disappointed in the room. The decoration in the room was minimal, with one crooked hung picture on the wall. The balcony was very dirty and not a private balcony but was shared with the room next door. There was no privacy at all and the seating was very close. There were no screens on the windows so if you opened the windows (I love to have fresh air and hear the ocean) there were alot of bugs that flew into the room. The linen on the bedding did not seem fresh at all.

We were very surprised at our stay, especially since this room was the most expensive of the rooms at $300 per night. It was definately not worth it at all. If it weren't for my previous stays at Congress Hall, I would never return again.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — room condition
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank scarlet801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2007

Congress Hall is a beautiful old hotel right on the beach in Cape May. The hotel has a gracious, causal yesteryear ambience. My husband and I were more than impressed with the building. Our room was charming, nicely furnished with a view of the old Victorians that line Cape May’s streets.

I used the hotel’s website to book a standard room for Saturday night at the rack rate of $165. We were looking for a quiet getaway to the New Jersey shore and had picked the Congress Hall and Cape May for our fist shore experience.

The day was perfect with sunny skies, wondering the shops and shore, and a great meal at Gecko’s. When we returned to our room after dinner things turned a bit sour. A jazz band was playing in the basement and we could hear the music, even feel the floor vibrate to the bass, two floors up. We called the front desk and were told that band would be done at 11pm. Since it was 10:30 pm we weren’t overly concerned. The music didn’t stop until well past midnight. My husband mentioned this the next morning when checking out. For $165 a night we do expect a relatively quiet room. The front desk had obviously heard this complaint before and immediately lowered our check to $70. So… if staying at Congress Hall on either Friday or Saturday night ask for a room in the main building, not a room in the addition (1930 or 1940’s?) over the Tavern.

I rated the Congress Hall 2 out of 5 because of the noisy room. I believe I would be giving it a glowing review if we had stayed in a quieter room.

  • Liked — Charm
  • Disliked — Noise!
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank Above_Alki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new jersey
Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2007

This is the second year we have stayed in Congress Hall and still love it! The rooms are beautifully restored and we found no problem with the cancellation policy. The website said 21 days but after explaining my fathers recent radiation they had no problem adjusting the policy to day of arrival for cancellation. You just need to ask. We were thrilled to get the exact rooms we requested and love the balconies.
The only disappointment for us is the Blue Pig, but maybe we just have bad luck there. This is the second year I chose not to eat my dinner, beef tips,. We will definately go again but not choose the meal plan option. Again we found them most accomodating in spite of the shock we had in discovering there was a wedding reception directly underneath us!

  • Liked — location location location!!!
  • Disliked — the blue pig restaurant dinners
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank stdominic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Great Falls, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2007

We went with two well traveled teenagers. Lets start with the food. Amazing crab cakes and the best eggs benedict. The sauce is made using white truffle oil. The Blue Pig Tavern down stairs provided a warm room with lots of wood and a fire place. Service was fine, but a little slow on getting the bill out to the table. But what's the hurry, we had our food and it is a vacation.

The room was spacious, the bathroom was enourmouse and the small balcony offered pleasant views of the beach and ocean. All were very clean and well appointed. Also available was cable TV with Movies on demand and wireless internet service which we couldn't figure out.

The valet service was quick and polite.

Nearby stores offered an eclectice collection from jewlery to junk.

Beach was deserted, but ist was late March and 50 degrees.

Off sight, was a fun seafood restuarant Lucky Bones Backwater Grill which we would also recommend.

  • Liked — Circa 1920 grand beach resort feel
  • Disliked — Weight room had a broken excercise machine
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Steve-GreatFalls
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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