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200 CONGRESS PLACE, CAPE MAY, NJ 08204(888) 944-1816

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. 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.

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.
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the history

historic image of congress hall in the 1800shistoric image of congress hall ballroom, man posed in front of American flagshistoric image of congress hall in the 1940s

A RESORT AS GRAND AS ITS HERITAGE

For more than 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.
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.
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Guest Rooms

at Congress Hall

Each guest room offers state-of-the-art amenities in an environment of timeless calm. Congress Hall’s L-shaped design, a tradition among Cape May hotels, affords many guest rooms uninterrupted views of the beach. A vibrant, uplifting atmosphere, calm colors, and tasteful, seashore inspired artwork are the hallmarks of our guest rooms, all of which have been lovingly renovated.
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Suites

at Congress Hall

Enjoy beautiful views overlooking the Great Lawn and the ocean, or a picturesque look at Cape May's Historic District. Our rooms and suites evoke all the charm of a classical seaside hotel with the modern-day comforts you want to ensure a completely comfortable stay.
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Room Amenities

at Congress Hall

Each Guest Room of Congress Hall has been expertly appointed with everything you'll need for a luxurious vacation by the sea. Enjoy 100% Belgian Cotton sheets, cotton terry robes, daily newspaper service, custom Beach Plum Farm bath products and more.
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Resort Fee Inclusions

As our guest, you will have an array of Cape Resorts amenities and services close at hand. From dining options to recreation, special events & programming to guided tours, we’re here to help create memories you’ll treasure forever.
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Vote for Congress Hall

in Travel+Leisure's 2020 World's Best Awards

Congress Hall is proud to be listed on the ballot of Travel+Leisure's 2020 World's Best Awards in the 'Hotels' category. Vote for your chance to win prizes like a 7-night Mediterranean cruise and more.

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While You're Here



HISTORY TOURS

at Congress Hall

Did you know that Congress Hall is the oldest seaside hotel in America? Or that four sitting presidents have stayed there? And that one of those presidents set up office in the hotel’s ground floor, establishing the first Summer White House? On a Congress Hall History Tour, you'll be guided through the grand hotel's storied past. Led by "Annie Knight" who owned the hotel from 1904-1931, our 60-minute History Tours are an interactive and engaging way to learn all about the Big House by the Sea.
View Tour Schedule

Congress Hall's annual

Winter Wonderland

No one does Christmastime quite like Congress Hall. Watch as our Grand Lawn transforms into a Winter Wonderland spectacular complete with a 30-foot Tannenbaum, a Carousel, Train Rides around the Veranda, and an enchanted Vendor Village with filled with local and specialty vendors. The Congress Hall Elves have been hard at work all season preparing special events like Breakfast with Santa, Gingerbread Decorating with Mrs. Claus, Dinner & Bingo with Blue the Pig & the Clauses and so much more.

Now Open!

View winter wonderland

packages

Breakfast with Santa at Congress Hall

Santa is coming to Congress Hall’s Grand Ballroom! Enjoy a delicious breakfast and visit with Jolly Old St. Nick. Breakfast with Santa can be booked as a Stay Enhancement with room reservations at Congress Hall, the Star Inn, the Sandpiper, the Congress Place Suites and the Beach Shack.

This breakfast buffet includes scrambled eggs with fresh herbs, bacon, fruit, buttermilk pancakes, sweet treats, and much more. Kids will get the chance to tell Father Christmas all of their Christmas wishes, while parents snap a pretty picture for the mantle. This is a Cape May holiday favorite that you won't want to miss!

    Now through December 22nd

    December 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st & 22nd

    9:00am - 2:00pm
    in the Congress Hall Ballroom

    Adults $28
    Children (ages 4-12) $16
    Children 3 and younger are complimentary

View Breakfast Menu

Stay Overnight

Book Breakfast with Santa as a Stay Enhancement along with your getaway. Our Reservations Agents will be happy to help with arrangements.

Call to book your
overnight stay: (855) 290-8467

Breakfast with Santa can be booked as a Stay Enhancement with room reservations at Congress Hall, the Star Inn, the Sandpiper, the Congress Place Suites and the Beach Shack.

Reserve Your Tickets

Please call the Concierge Desk to reserve your tickets to Breakfast With Santa. Due to the popularity of this event, reservations are highly recommended. Reservations are first-come, first-serve.

Call the Concierge Desk
to Reserve Tickets: (609) 884-6542

A credit card is required at the time of booking. Our cancelation policy states that the reservation must be cancelled at least 48 hours prior to the reservation to avoid a full charge to the card for each ticket reserved.

Christmas Dinner in the Ballroom

Leave the Christmas cooking to the Chefs at Congress Hall this year and join us for a beautiful Dinner in the Ballroom. Christmas Dinner can be booked as a Stay Enhancement with room reservations at Congress Hall, the Star Inn, the Sandpiper and the Congress Place Suites.

Executive Chef Michael Greenstein has prepared a delicious buffet menu featuring Christmas ham, buttery mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and more. Join us in the Ballroom for the afternoon's feast, or choose to start a new holiday tradition this year and stay overnight in one of our beautiful Cape May hotels. When Santa takes his ride around the world, stay with us and wake up in Cape May on Christmas morning. Enjoy our Winter Wonderland, and sip on hot cocoa as you stroll along our Veranda. Walk around Cape May and discover the beautiful lights and charm of our Victorian town at this special time of year.

View Christmas Buffet Menu



    Wednesday, December 25th
    Served from 1:00pm - 5:00pm

    Adults: $50
    Children: (ages 4-12) $20
    Children 3 and younger are complimentary

Stay Overnight

Book Christmas Dinner in the Ballroom as a Stay Enhancement along with your getaway. Our Reservations Agents will be happy to help with arrangements.

Call to book your overnight stay: (855) 290-8467

Christmas Dinner in the Ballroom can be booked as a Stay Enhancement with room reservations at Congress Hall, the Star Inn, the Sandpiper and the Congress Place Suites.

Reserve Your Tickets

Please call the Concierge Desk to reserve your tickets to Christmas Dinner in the Ballroom. Due to the popularity of this event, reservations are highly recommended. Reservations are first-come, first-serve.

Call the Concierge Desk
to Reserve Tickets: (609) 884-6542

A credit card is required at the time of booking. Our cancelation policy states that the reservation must be cancelled at least 48 hours prior to the reservation to avoid a full charge to the card for each ticket reserved.

Glitter Ball Getaway

Available through January 1, 2020

Cheers to 2020 with family and friends in Congress Hall's Beautiful Grand Ballroom at America’s first seaside resort. Enjoy deluxe accommodations, two tickets to the Glitter Ball, a late checkout on New Year's Day and more.

Celebrate the evening with dinner and dancing to live music. You can dance the night away and head right up to your room, or keep the party going at the Boiler Room after-party. The only way to welcome 2020 is at Congress Hall's Glitter Ball!

As our guest you will enjoy:

  • Two Tickets to Congress Hall's Glitter Ball, which includes:
    — Open Bar
    — Passed hors d' oeuvres
    — A three-course plated dinner
    — Champagne Toast
  • $30 Blue Pig Breakfast Dining Credit, per room night**
  • 3pm Late Checkout
  • Complimentary Valet Parking

Celebrate New Year's Eve with friends! Additional tickets to the Glitter Ball can be purchased as a Stay Enhancement at the time of booking.*

Call now to book: (888) 944-1816

*Guests can purchase no more than two extra tickets per room.
**$30 Blue Pig dining credit must be signed to your room to be applied. No Cash Value.

Shop, Sip and Spa

Available September 9th through December 30th, 2019

Shop, Sip and Spa in Cape May with welcome cocktails, a shopping tote, discounts at Cape May's finest boutiques, a bakery dining credit and more.

Escape to Cape May with a few friends and indulge in a little retail therapy. Shop Cape May's unique boutiques while catching up with your crew. Pop in and out of the shops on Washington Street, and save a few hours for West End Garage. There's fifty stores under one roof — plus amazing coffee and pastries at the Beach Plum Farm Café and Bakery.

Your package includes:

  • Welcome Cocktails for Two
  • Breakfast for Two in the Blue Pig Tavern ($30 credit per night)*
  • A Shopping Tote
  • A shopping card providing 15% off your purchase at Tommy's Folly Boutique and several shops in Cape May, including Cash & Clive, Victorious, Galvanic, Queen May and more
  • $10 Credit for the Beach Plum Farm Bakery & Café at West End Garage or the Kitchen at Beach Plum Farm
  • Plus: Save on a $200 Sea Spa Credit when purchased for $170 as a stay enhancement at time of booking.

Book now

congress hall the star sandpiper

* All dining and cocktails must be signed to the room in order for the credit to be applied.

Winter Warm-up

Available November 1st, 2019 through March 31, 2020

The weather may be cold outside, but Cape Resorts has everything to keep you warmed up this winter. Enjoy hot chocolate by the fire, a dining and cocktail credit, and a late check out. Plus, Kids Eat Free!

Winter Warm-Up

Even when the weather is frightful, Cape May has cozy fireplaces, fine dining, quaint Victorian houses, and the most beautiful winter sunsets. Sit back and relax with a cocktail in the Ebbitt Room, or enjoy heart-warming food in the Blue Pig Tavern. Visit our Sea Spa and relax away the temperatures with one of our signature treatments.

Package includes:

  • Deluxe Accommodations
  • Dining and Cocktail Credit for all Cape Resorts restaurants and lounges ($40 per day)*
  • Hot chocolate with whipped cream for two from Tommy's Folly
  • 1pm late check out**
  • Get $200 Spa Credit for $170. Save 15% when you purchase a Spa Credit in advance as a Stay Enhancement.
  • Plus: Kids Eat Free! (should you decide to bring them)***

Book now

congress hall sandpiper the star Call to book the Congress Place Suites: (800) 732-4236

* All dining and cocktails must be signed to your room for the dining credit to apply. No cash value.
** Late checkout is based on availability and does not apply on Friday and Saturday departures
** Kids Eat Free: 1 complimentary meal off the children’s menu, for every adult entrée or sandwich purchased off the regular Blue Pig Tavern menu, maximum 2 children. Tax and gratuity not included. No cash value.

Rise, Shine And Relax

Available Year Round

Rise, Shine & Relax and leave the rest to us! Enjoy deluxe accommodations and a delicious farm-to-table breakfast in the Blue Pig Tavern each morning.

Rise, Shine And Relax

Whether it's a sunny summer morning or a brisk late sunrise in winter, there is nothing like waking up in picturesque Cape May. Start each morning with a hearty breakfast in the Blue Pig. Then, relax by the pool, or warm up by the fireplace and enjoy shopping along the historic streets. Any time of year is the perfect time of year to enjoy time on Cape Island.

Your package includes:

  • Deluxe Accommodations
  • Breakfast for Two in the Blue Pig Tavern ($30 per day)

book now

congress hall the star sandpiper

* Meals must be charged to the room for the credit to be applied.

The Big House by the Sea

Available Year Round

Learn about Congress Hall's rich history and enjoy a guided History Tour, a generous Resort Credit, and a hardcover copy of Tommy's Folly.

The Big House By the Sea

Explore the halls of this historic hotel, celebrating over 200 years of hospitality. Settle in by the fire to read your copy of Tommy's Folly and get a behind-the-scenes look at all of the characters that made Congress Hall the crowning jewel it is today. Take the Congress Hall History Tour and learn about all of the visitors - from heads of state to elusive rum runners. With a $100 Resort Credit, you will be able to experience all of the amenities that modern-day Congress Hall has to offer.

As our guest you will enjoy:

  • Deluxe Accommodations
  • Tommy's Folly, the book about Congress Hall's fascinating 200-year history
  • Two tickets to Congress Hall's History Tour*
  • $100 Resort Credit (per stay)**
book now

History Tour availability is subject to scheduled dates and times. Please call the Concierge Desk for a Tour schedule: .

**All restaurant, bar and spa charges must be signed to your room for Resort Credit to be applied. No Cash Value.

Date Night in Cape May

Available Year Round

Treat your special someone to a romantic getaway in Cape May, complete with an intimate evening of artisanal cocktails and cuisine at the Ebbitt Room.

Date Night in Cape May

Make every celebration or evening truly memorable with an epicurean experience. Expertly-crafted libations and farm-fresh classic American cuisine are accompanied by the sweet sounds of the piano. Whatever the milestone, we will provide the gracious touch and exceptional service that ensure indelible memories.

Your package includes:

  • Deluxe Accommodations
  • $100 Ebbitt Room Dining Credit (per stay)*

book now

congress hall the star sandpiper beach shack

*Meals must be charged to the room for the credit to be applied.

resort life

congress hall fitness room treadmills and elliptical machine

Fitness Room

OPEN YEAR-ROUND

Being on vacation doesn’t mean having to break your fitness regime. As our guest, you'll have access to Congress Hall's Fitness Room that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just sign in at the front desk.

Fitness Room access is included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest.

congress hall sea spa

Sea Spa

OPEN YEAR-ROUND

The Sea Spa at Congress Hall is a full-service spa that offers unique ocean-inspired treatments in a bright, uplifting atmosphere. You’ll love the fun yellow- and white-striped treatment rooms and the wonderful massages, facials and beauty treatments that feature all-natural products. Learn More.

Sandpiper Fitness Center

OPEN YEAR-ROUND

Need a more advanced workout? As our guest, you'll have access to the fully-equipped fitness center and sauna at the nearby Sandpiper Beach Club. The Sandpiper Fitness Center features state-of-the-art strength training and cardio equipment and is available for use at any point during your stay.

Fitness Center access is included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest.

woman doing yoga

Yoga Sessions

DAILY

Head to the nearby Sandpiper Beach Club to connect mind, body and soul with an hour-long Yoga session, led by expert local instructor Kelsy Wise. Yoga sessions are held in the Piper Lounge daily at 9:00am.

Yoga Sessions are included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest. Non-guests can purchase tickets for $15 from the instructor on the morning of the session.

historic photo of congress hall staff posed for picture

Congress Hall
History Tours

AVAILABLE YEAR-ROUND

Explore Congress Hall and learn more about its remarkable story on our 60-minute interactive tours led by "Annie Knight" who owned the hotel from 1904-1931.
View Tour Schedule

History Tours are included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest.

beach plum farm amish barn

Beach Plum Farm Tour

SEASONAL

Set out on a guided or self-guided tour and explore the old and open spaces of Beach Plum Farm, our very own 62-acre working farm in West Cape May.
View All Excursions

Guided Beach Plum Farm Tours are included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest.

man and woman with tour guide searching for cape may diamonds on the beach

Guided Excursions

SEASONAL

Embark on a tour of some of Cape May's hidden gems. Our Guides will lead you out for a tour of Davey's Lake or to Sunset Beach, where you can search for Cape May Diamonds.
View All Excursions

A selection of Guided Excursions is included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest. Learn More

young girl laughing

Children's Programming

SEASONAL

There's always fun to be had in Cape May. From the magic of our Summer Carnivals to the enchantment of Winter Wonderland, our Programming Team is busy at work creating events and activities the whole family will love, no matter the season.
View Seasonal Activities

A selection of Seasonal Children's Programming is included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest. Learn More

congress hall shuttle bus

Shuttle Service

SEASONAL

Travel Cape Island with ease on our new Cape Resorts Shuttle. The Shuttle stops at all Cape Resorts outlets and hotels, including Beach Plum Farm and West End Garage.
View Shuttle Schedule

Shuttle Service is included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest.

congress hall bike shop

Congress Hall
Bike Shop

SEASONAL

There’s no better way to get around Cape May than by bike. The city is flat as a pancake and very pretty, the perfect ingredients for a lovely bike ride! Our Congress Hall Bike Shop offers singles, doubles, children’s bikes, surreys and helmets.
View Bike Shop Hours

beach boot camp instructor in front of the ocean

Beach Boot Camp

SEASONAL

Feeling inspired to exercise in the beautiful beach-side setting? Our Beach Boot Camp sessions provides structured exercise in beautiful oceanside surroundings.

Beach Boot Camp Sessions are included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest.

three woman posing at yoga class held on the beach

Yoga

SEASONAL

There’s nothing better than starting your day with a yoga class. Whether on Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn or down on the beach, the combination of an expert instructor and the beautiful setting create one of the best yoga experiences you’ll find anywhere.

Yoga Sessions are included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest.

man and woman walking on beach

Running, Biking, Walking

Being on vacation at the New Jersey shore means being outside as much as you can and there are lots of options to enjoy your workout in the fresh air while staying with us. Ask the Concierge Desk for recommendations for nearby hikes, nature walks and bike paths.

close up of bird on branch

Bird Watching

Cape May is one of the world’s most famous bird watching destinations and enthusiasts travel here from across the country to experience the wide variety of species that inhabit the area and pass through during migration. Check with Congress Hall's Concierge for tips on the best places to spot rare birds.
View All Excursions

family swimming in congress hall pool

Pool Service

SEASONAL

Relax on a lounger at Congress Hall's Pool. Order a delicious cocktail and bite from the Pool Bar and Grill and soak up the sun as your enjoy this season's bestseller. Learn More

Pool Service is included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest.

server delivering food to guests on the congress hall beach

Beach Service

SEASONAL

Our Beach Attendants guarantee the perfect beach day by setting you up with chairs, towels and umbrellas when you arrive. Order a refreshment off of our Beach Menu and settle in to the sounds of the surf. Learn More

Beach Service is included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest.

Let's be social

follow us on instagram: @congresshall

Since 2012, Congress Hall has been honored by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top US hotels in the Northeast and was recently awarded the #13 spot on Condé Nast Traveler's 2018 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.
Voted New Jersey's Best Hotel by Travel + Leisure and its readers.

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 | From The Cape May Lewes Ferry | From New York | From Washington/Baltimore | From Philadelphia