America's Oldest Seaside Resort

In 2016, Congress Hall celebrated its Bicentennial, marking two hundred years as America's First Seaside Resort. Located in the heart of Victorian Cape May, it's the perfect place to spend your New Jersey beach vacation. 

Congress Hall was recently voted "Best Hotel in New Jersey" by Travel + Leisure and its readers.

Now in its third century, Congress Hall features the simple pleasures of the past with the modern luxuries we enjoy today. Whatever the season, you will be delighted by the array of choices that make it easy to fill your days and nights. Relax in a private beach tent, lounge by the pool, or sit on a rocking chair overlooking the Grand Lawn. Stay active with our exercise classes on the beach or go for an invigorating bike ride as you catch a glimpse of Cape May’s quaint Victorian architecture. Tour our very own 62-acre Beach Plum Farm, located just two miles away and full of fresh produce, live chickens and piglets.

Congress Hall offers 108 guestrooms including our newly renovated Junior Suites, each one individually named for the U.S. presidents or dignitaries who spent their summers here. The fresh blue and gray tones evoke the tranquility of a classic holiday by the seashore. From the floor to the ceiling, whimsical accents and splashes of color reflect a perfect day at the beach. 

Once known as "The Summer White House," Congress Hall has been a welcome retreat to many throughout the centuries. We look forward to welcoming you in Cape May soon. 

Introducing Congress Place Suites


Click here to learn more.

Recharge at Congress Hall - Introducing The Tesla Electric Car Charging Station

traveler-logoSince 2012, Congress Hall has been honored by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top US hotels in the Northeast, and most recently awarded the #9 spot on Condé Nast Traveler's 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards Top 20 Hotels in the Mid-Atlantic and New York. Congress Hall has also been awarded with Tripadvisor's 2017 Certificate of Excellence.

TL-WorldsBest-2016-112x92Voted New Jersey's Best Hotel by Travel + Leisure and its readers.

 

 

Winter Wonderland

At Congress Hall
Thursdays - Sundays
November 24 - December 31

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Congress Place Suites

Introducing Congress Hall's newest sister property.

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A resort as grand as its heritage

For almost two centuries this New Jersey hotel has offered hospitality to locals and visitors alike. It began life in 1816 as a simple boarding house for summer visitors to one of America's earliest seaside resorts. Its owner, Thomas H. Hughes, called his new boarding house “The Big House.” The local people had other ideas, though. Convinced the building was far too large to ever be a success they nicknamed it “Tommy’s Folly.”

In this first incarnation it was a quite different affair. Downstairs was a single room that served as the dining room for all the guests, who stayed in simply partitioned quarters on the two upper floors. The walls and woodwork were bare and supplies of provisions were at times unreliable.

Guests were undeterred by the Spartan conditions and summer after summer the new hotel was packed to bursting. In 1828 Hughes had been elected to Congress and in honor of his new status his hotel was renamed Congress Hall.

As Congress Hall’s reputation grew, so did Cape May's. By the middle of the 19th Century Cape May had become a booming holiday destination, rivaling Saratoga and Newport for popularity. Congress Hall had doubled in size and was welcoming guests from around the region, but in 1878 the building was destroyed when a huge fire swept through 38 acres of Cape May’s seafront.

Within a year, the owners rebuilt the hotel, this time in brick rather than wood, and business blossomed once again. The hotel and Cape May proved so popular that they gained renown as a summer retreat for the nation's presidents. Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan all chose to vacation here. President Benjamin Harrison made Congress Hall his "summer White House" and conducted the affairs of state from the hotel. Read more...

The famous 19th Century composer John Philip Sousa also loved Congress Hall. After conducting concerts on Congress Hall's lawn with his Marine Corps band throughout the season in 1882 he composed a march in honor of the hotel, the "Congress Hall March."

The hotel fell into disrepair and remained closed for more than a dozen years, sometime between 1905 and the early 20s, after a long and bitter dispute between owner Annie Knight and the city council. Finally, an agreement to repave the roads around Congress Hall was reached and the hotel reopened in the early 20s, with a stunning renovation. Congress Hall went on to open Cape May's first post-Prohibition cocktail bar (where the Brown Room sits now) in 1934.

From 1968 until 1995 Congress Hall operated as part of the Cape May Bible Conference led by the Reverend Carl McIntire of Collingswood, New Jersey. By providing an alternate use for the building Dr. McIntire in effect helped preserve it during a time when many of Cape May's landmarks were being demolished to make way for modern motels. The present owners purchased the building in 1995 with the goal of undertaking a complete renovation to return Congress Hall to its former glory.

The hotel underwent an extensive renovation in 2001, during which a stash of original china, creamers and sugar bowls were unearthed. Both the Buffalo Pottery Company and D.W. Haber and Sons, which produced the items, are still in business and were able to reproduce them for the hotel’s 2002 re-opening.

To learn more about the History of Congress Hall, pick up a copy of "Tommy's Folly," the story of Congress Hall through our online store.

Tommy's Folly

A collector's edition of Congress Hall's History

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all eventsdaily calendar

A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show

The Harrison Room
November 25-December 30

Written By David Alberts

With Cape May Stage in Congress Hall's Harrison Room

It’s Christmas Eve and with the actors snowed in and unable to make it

... READ MORE

Dinner With the Clauses

Congress Hall's Grand Ballroom
December 9th and 16th

Join Blue the Pig and other friends from Congress Hall as we prepare for Santa's arrival in Cape May! Sing along to your favorite Christmas Carols and

... READ MORE

Santa’s Workshop

November 24-December 31
Thursday - Sunday

Santa's elves work hard all year making toys in his magical workshop at the North Pole. Stop by and make special crafts before the big day!

Take a break

... READ MORE

Breakfast with Santa

Select Dates Available
9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Santa is coming to Congress Hall's Grand Ball Room! Every Saturday and Sunday of Winter Wonderland, enjoy a delicious breakfast and visit with Jolly Old

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Gingerbread Decorating with Mrs. Claus

Sundays November 26- December 17th
Reservations Times Available from 1:00pm-3:30PM

Turn ordinary gingerbread houses into culinary works of art. Make your very own sweet creations in Congress Hall's Grand Ballroom with the help of Mrs.

... READ MORE

Merry Mixer

Congress Hall's Grand Ballroom
Thursday, December 14th

Join us in celebrating the Holidays. Small businesses and groups are planning their annual end of the year parties.  Celebrate with others in Cape May

... READ MORE

Christmas Dinner 2017

Congress Hall, Blue Pig Tavern, Ebbitt Room
Monday, December 25th

Gather with family and friends in Cape May this Christmas. The fire places are lit, and our chefs are preparing classic holiday favorites along with some

... READ MORE

New Year’s Eve in Cape May

Sunday, December 31st

Ring in 2018 in Cape May this New Year’s Eve.

The Ebbitt Room

Dress up and head to the Ebbitt Room for the New Year’s Eve Gala, with live piano music and a champagne toast.

Call (609) 884-5700 to

... READ MORE

contact us

Reservations & General Inquiries:

(888) 944-1816 or (609) 884-8421
webreservations@congresshall.com

General Manager:

Thomas F. List II
tlist@congresshall.com

Concierge:

(609) 884-6542
concierge@caperesorts.com

Blue Pig Tavern:

(609) 884-8422
Reserve on OpenTable

Group/Corporate Inquiries:

Jill Heim (609) 846-4988
jheim@caperesorts.com

Wedding & Special Event Inquiries:

(609) 884-6553
kkennedy@caperesorts.com

Press/Media Inquiries:

Lisa Johnson (609) 788-8548
lisa@lisajohnsoncommunications.com

reach us by phone:

(888) 944-1816 or (609) 884-8421

Directions

Congress Hall

200 Congress Place

Cape May, New Jersey 08204

(609) 884-8421

It's easy to find us

Cape May is easily accessible from the Garden State Parkway and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. The hotel is located in the heart of the Historic District, right across the street from the beach and the Washington Street Mall.

Valet Parking is provided. Please pull up in front of the hotel and an attendant will assist you with your luggage and car.

from google maps:

View Google Map & Enter Your Starting Point

from specific points

From the Garden State Parkway
approx. 10 minutes

Take the Parkway to the end, Exit "0", to 109 South, Follow Route 109 over a large then a small bridge. This becomes Lafayette Street. Follow Lafayette Street through two traffic lights to the end. Lafayette will end at Jackson Street where there is a green liquor store called "Colliers". Turn left onto Jackson Street and immediately turn right onto Mansion Street. Continue to stop sign and turn left onto Perry Street. Make first right onto Congress Place and turn left into hotel reception area.

From the Cape May Lewes Ferry
approx. 15 minutes

From the Ferry Terminal in North Cape May, follow the signs for Route 109 South and the Garden State Parkway. Take Route 109 South over the Cape May bridge onto Lafayette Street. Follow Lafayette Street approximately 1.5 miles until you dead end at Jackson Street. Turn left onto Jackson Street and immediately turn right onto Mansion Street. Continue to stop sign and turn left onto Perry Street. Make first right onto Congress Place and turn left into hotel reception area.

From New York
approx. 3 hours

Exit Manhattan to New Jersey Turnpike. Take the N.J. Turnpike South to Exit 11 for the Garden State Parkway. Take the G.S. Parkway to end, Exit "0", to 109 South, Follow Route 109 over the Cape May bridge onto Lafayette Street. Follow Lafayette Street approximately 1.5 miles until you dead end at Jackson Street. Turn left onto Jackson Street and immediately turn right onto Mansion Street. Continue to stop sign and turn left onto Perry Street. Make first right onto Congress Place and turn left into hotel reception area.

From Washington/Baltimore
approx. 3 hours

95 North to Delaware Memorial Bridge, take bridge to Route 40 East. Follow Route 40 to Route 55 South to end (at Route 47 South). Route 47 South to Garden State Parkway South. G.S. Parkway to end, Exit "0", to 109 South, Follow Route 109 over the Cape May bridge onto Lafayette Street. Follow Lafayette Street approximately 1.5 miles until you dead end at Jackson Street. Turn left onto Jackson Street and immediately turn right onto Mansion Street. Continue to stop sign and turn left onto Perry Street. Make first right onto Congress Place and turn left into hotel reception area.

From Philadelphia
approx. 1 hour 45 minutes

Walt Whitman Bridge to 42 South, to Atlantic City Expressway East. Take the A.C. Expressway to the Garden State Parkway south. G.S. Parkway to end, Exit "0", to 109 South, Follow Route 109 over the Cape May bridge onto Lafayette Street. Follow Lafayette Street approximately 1.5 miles until you dead end at Jackson Street. Turn left onto Jackson Street and immediately turn right onto Mansion Street. Continue to stop sign and turn left onto Perry Street. Make first right onto Congress Place and turn left into hotel reception area.

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