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

America's First 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.

The History




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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While You're Here

A stay at Congress Hall is designed around the simple pleasures of a classic American seaside vacation. Here, we believe that hospitality means more than just a room for the night. It means complimentary chairs, towels and umbrellas waiting for you down on the beach; delicious on-property dining for you to treat yourself to; health and wellness classes like yoga every morning; and family activities from sunup to sundown—all to create new memories and traditions with the ones you love.

Packages & Special Offers

Classic American Summer

Available Summer 2022

Join us in Cape May for an American beach vacation at its best. Book our 'Classic American Summer' package and enjoy a two-day summer beach tent rental, and a daily Resort Credit—included in your stay.

Long summer days spent by the sea. Sun and crashing surf; the gentle chirp of gulls; the salty breeze gently rustling the pages of your bestseller. It's a beautiful scene in Cape May, where white-sand beaches and Victorian charm combine to create the perfect seaside escape. You'll love a luxurious day lingering in one of our striped Beach Tents, the ultimate summertime luxury.

Included in this package:

  • Deluxe Overnight Accommodations
  • 2-Day Beach Tent Rental, including two lounge chairs, plush beach towels, and a cooler filled with water and soft drinks
  • Daily $50 Resort Credit


Book Now

Congress Hall The Virginia The Sandpiper The Star The Beach Shack

Promo Code: TENT

*TENT: After booking your hotel stay, please contact the Concierge to reserve your Beach Tent: call (609) 884-6542 or email [email protected] Resort Credit is a $50 credit for use at Cape Resorts restaurants, shops and outlets: Beach Food and Beverage service, The Blue Pig Tavern, The Boiler Room, The Brown Room, Tommy's Folly Cafe, Tommy's Folly LOGO Shop, Tommy's Folly Boutique, Tommy's Folly KIDS, the Ebbitt Room, the Rusty Nail and the Sea Spa. Credit is offered for each reserved room night and must be signed to your guest room to be applied. No cash value. Hotel minimums may apply. Subject to availability and change. Packages and special offers not applicable to groups or existing reservations. Tax and gratuity not included.

Colors of Autumn

Available for Select Midweek Dates this Autumn

Explore the fine art of water color painting with master artist, Phil Courtney. Book our Colors of Autumn package and enjoy deluxe accommodations, a welcome cocktail reception and a full-day watercolor workshop.

Cape May's autumn palette is vibrant, with bright blue skies, golden dune grass, rust colored leaves, and beautiful September light. Join us for a weekday getaway filled with cocktails, art, and leisure. Your Colors of Autumn packages includes welcome cocktails with Phil Courtney and a full day watercolor workshop.

Included in this package:

  • Deluxe Overnight Accommodations
  • A Welcome Cocktail Reception with artist Phil Courtney*
  • A Full-Day Watercolor Workshop


Book Your Stay

    Congress Hall

    Available for stays from Tuesday, September 27th to Thursday, September 29th
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About the Artist

Phil Courtney is a graduate of The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Phila, PA. Following his education, he was employed as billboard artist for outdoor advertisers in the Philadelphia area for more than twenty-five years. Phil began showing his own work after moving to Cape May, NJ in 1995 with his wife and children. His work has been shown locally at the former Washington Street Gallery and the SOMA NewArt Gallery and at the FAN Gallery in Phila. Phil participated in the John Peto Museum International Juried Art Exhibitions. The Nature Center of Cape May featured Phil as their artist in residence for their annual fundraiser in 2019,“Catch of Cape May”. Phil’s painting in oil, “Magnolia Seed Pod” was featured in the 2021 July/August edition in the article, “Blooms for Us All”. Most recently, “Money Plant”, a watercolor by Phil was selected for the Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s 121st Anniversary International Exhibition of Works on Paper, October 24-November 23, 2021. His painting received the PWCS 121st Exhibition Award. Phil was invited to submit work for the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition, one of the largest and most active in the United States. This exhibition is widely recognized for its high standard of excellence in water-based media art. Phil paints a variety of subjects, indoors and out, using oils and watercolors, depending on the subject and location. He is proficient in both mediums and has developed techniques for capturing the unique atmospheric conditions of the seashore, and the play of sunlight and shadows cast by the intricate details of Cape May Victorian architecture.



ART: Subject to availability and change. Packages and special offers not applicable to groups or existing reservations. Tax and gratuity not included.

* Welcome Cocktail Credit is a $25 Cocktail Credit to be used at Congress Hall. Drink charges must be signed to your guest room to be applied. No cash value.

Rise, Shine & Relax with Daily Breakfast

Available Year Round

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

There's nothing like waking up in picturesque Cape May, especially when you have a delicious breakfast waiting for you! You'll love our Chef's selections this season like fluffy buttermilk pancakes, fresh omelets and breakfast sandwiches, all made using fresh ingredients from Beach Plum Farm.

Your package includes:

  • Deluxe Accommodations
  • Breakfast in the Blue Pig Tavern*

BOOK NOW

Congress Hall The Star The Sandpiper

*RELAX: Breakfast is a $40 dining credit per day. Tax and gratuity not included. No cash value. Meals must be charged to the room for the credit to be applied.



in the heart of

Historic Cape May

As our guest, you'll be right in the middle of Cape May's historic downtown. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976, the Cape May Historic District comprises one of the country's largest collections of free-standing 19th century architecture. The 600 buildings that form the District feature stunning examples of Late Victorian, Eclectic, Queen Anne, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Colonial and French Second Empire style.

Cape May celebrates its living history through the preservation— and the clever adaptive reuse—of these grand old buildings. Today, you'll find cutting-edge restaurants in the parlors and terraces of former summer homes, as well as trendy boutiques and shops lining the wooden storefronts of Washington Street.

Come get to know our beautiful town by the sea. Plan your trip with our online guides of restaurant recommendations and local points of interest. Once you're here, our Concierge is a great resource on all things Cape May.



Blue's Clubhouse

A structured & interactive kids' club

Kids age 4-12 will love Blue's Clubhouse, our structured sitting service that's chock-full of awesome activities, games and arts & crafts. Run by Guardian Angels Sitting Service, Blue's Clubhouse includes a delicious dinner and dessert from the Blue Pig Tavern as well as hours of creativity and fun!
Learn More Call the Concierge: (609) 884-6542
bride and groom with flowers at Congress Hall

Congress Hall
Weddings

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chairs arranged at a table with a projector screen in the background

Meetings
& Retreats

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Resort Amenities

congress hall sea spa

The Sea Spa

The Sea Spa at Congress Hall is a full-service spa that offers unique ocean-inspired treatments in a bright, uplifting atmosphere.

hat and wine glasses sitting by a pool

Pool Service

SEASONAL

Enjoy complimentary chairs and towels at Congress Hall's Pool, as well as food and drink service from our Pool Bar and Grill. Learn More

Pool Service is included in your stay as a Congress Hall guest.

server delivering food to guests on the congress hall beach

Beach Service

SEASONAL

We'll set you up with complimentary chairs, towels and umbrellas on the beach in front of Congress Hall. Enjoy food and drink service from our Beach Menu. Learn More

Beach Service is included in your stay as a Congress Hall guest.

vehicle using an electric charger

EV Charging Stations

We're proud to feature on-property EV Charging Stations. Complimentary for hotel guest use, our Charging Stations are suitable for all electric vehicles.

tennis racquet and ball

Tennis Lessons

Tennis, anyone? We're proud to partner with tennis pro Zee Vlahovic and the Cape May Tennis Club to offer Private Lessons for our guests. Click here to learn more.

Private Tennis Sessions can be reserved for a fee.

congress hall bike shop

Congress Hall
Bike Shop

SEASONAL

The Congress Hall Bike Shop offers singles, doubles, children’s bikes, surreys and helmets.
View Bike Shop Hours

bed at congress hall

Daily Housekeeping Services

Our Housekeeping Team will refresh your room daily and provide nightly turndown service, using enhanced cleaning protocols to ensure your space is spotless.

Housekeeping Service is included in your stay as a Congress Hall guest.

man using a tablet

Complimentary Wifi

Stay connected with complimentary high-speed WiFi, available in your guest room or anywhere on our beautiful grounds.

Complimentary WiFi is included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest.

congress hall fitness room treadmills and elliptical machine

Fitness Room

As our guest, you'll have access to Congress Hall's Fitness Room that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Fitness Room access is included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest. The Fitness Room is reserved for one guest at a time and is sanitized between sessions. Sessions are first-come, first-serve. Please visit the Congress Hall Front Desk for access.

newspaper pages

Daily Newspaper Service

We'll deliver a complimentary newspaper to your guest room each morning if you'd like. Choose from the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, or the New York Times.

Daily Newspaper Service is included in your stay as a Congress Hall guest.

room service from the blue pig tavern

Room Service

There's nothing quite like the simple pleasure of room service during your vacation. Order breakfast, lunch and dinner off a delicious menu from the Blue Pig Tavern and have your meal delivered right to your guest room.

people dining outside

On-Property Dining

Enjoy a varied selection of cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner—all without having to leave the grounds of our hotel.
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Sandpiper Fitness Center

As our guest, you'll have access to the fully-equipped Fitness Center and Sauna at the nearby Sandpiper Beach Club.

Fitness Center access is included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest. Fitness Center reservations can be made for 45 minutes at a time by calling the Sandpiper Front Desk at (609) 884-6620.

family holding binoculars

Family Activities

SEASONAL

Our seasonal Activities & Events will keep the whole family smiling all vacation long. View Activities Calendar

Amenities are subject to change based on state and local guidelines.

Our updated COVID-19 policies: click here

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 a spot on Condé Nast Traveler's Reader’s Choice Awards Top 20 Hotels in the Mid-Atlantic and New York. Congress Hall is also awarded with Tripadvisor's Certificate of Excellence. Most recently, Congress Hall was named to the 2021 Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards.

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