An iconic landmark hotel in historic Cape May

Overlooking the pristine beaches of beautiful Cape May, New Jersey, Congress Hall is a landmark of seaside elegance that has provided generations of beach goers with a beloved seaside escape to return to year after year.

Congress Hall is America’s oldest seaside resort providing hospitality since 1816 and offering a unique and profoundly authentic experience that you will quickly grow to love. Located in the heart of the historic district of Victorian Cape May, Congress Hall is famous for its beauty, relaxed sophistication and the warmth and sincerity of its staff.

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, by the pool or on a rocking chair overlooking the Grand Lawn or pursue something more active like an exercise class on the beach, an invigorating bike ride through Cape May or a tour of our very own 62-acre Beach Plum Farm. No matter how you spend your time, you’ll enjoy reliving your days over lunch at the Blue Pig Tavern or a cocktail at one of our nightspots.

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

Congress Hall is now proud to offer complimentary electric car charging for our guests. In an effort to support environmentally sound and sustainable lifestyle practices, our parking lot now features two Tesla car charging stations for the proud owners of Tesla Electric vehicles. As a guest,  you are welcome to charge your car overnight or while parked in our complimentary valet parking. In the morning, your will be ready to go for up to 265 miles of adventure in Cape May!

 

Congressional Retreat

Package includes a $30 Dining and Cocktail credit. Rates from $134.

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Rise, Shine and Relax

In Beautiful Cape May!

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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.

PLAYcation!

Perfect for Families. Plus, Kids Eat FREE!

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Spring Back to Cape May

Enjoy Springtime in Cape May. Available until June 30th.

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Mother’s Day Brunch

May 10, 2015
10:00am-3:00pm

There's no better way to treat your mom on her special day than to a delicious Mother's Day Brunch at Congress Hall. Leave the cooking to our chefs, and j

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PLAYcation!

Perfect for Families. Plus, Kids Eat FREE!

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Congress Hall Wedding Blog

Wedding tips, photos &
special announcements!

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contact us

General Manager:

Sam Ackrill
sackrill@congresshall.com

Concierge:

(609) 884 - 6542
concierge@caperesortsgroup.com

Group/Corporate Inquiries:

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

Wedding & Special Event Inquiries:

(609) 884-6553
kkennedy@caperesorts.com
Contact a Wedding Specialist

Press/Media Inquiries:

Jeanine Pepler (212) 334-4400
jeanine@aka-pr.com

Blue Pig Tavern:

(609) 884-8422
Reserve on OpenTable

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:

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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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