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.

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.
read more

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.
view rooms

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.
view suites

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.
view all room amenities

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.
view all resort fee inclusions

packages

The Summer White House

Available May 23rd through October 5th

Say hello to a sun-filled summer with a Congress Hall Beach Tent rental, dining credit, beach Sand Kits and more.

Who needs Camp David when you have Congress Hall? For more than 200 years, Congress Hall served as a welcome summer getaway for four Commanders in Chief. This package offers the ultimate summer recess for the whole family. Your private beach tent includes two beach loungers with covers, chairs, table, a cooler filled with bottled water and soda plus a beach attendant ready to serve you. Soaking up the sun has never been so comfortable!

Package Includes:

  • Deluxe Accommodations
  • A two Day Congress Hall Beach Tent Rental
    Private Beach Tent includes: two lounge chairs, plush beach towels, a cooler filled with water, soda, and iced tea.
  • Beach Dining Credit of $30 per day*
  • $5 worth of wooden nickels for each child to spend in Tommy's Folly (up to 2 children)
  • Two Beach Sand Kits for the Kids (or Kids at Heart)


book now

*Beach dining credit must be signed to your room to be applied. No cash value.

Endless Summer

Available August 25th through October 31st, 2019

Savor summer a little longer and save. Enjoy a resort credit, late check out and more. Plus, kids eat free!

Just because the pages have turned on the calendar doesn’t mean the summer has to end. The days are still beautiful for touring historic Cape May, taking a bike ride to Beach Plum Farm, or indulging in a good book on the beach.

As our guest you will enjoy:

  • Up to 15% off Room Accommodations
  • $25 Resort Credit, per night*
  • 1pm Late Checkout**
  • Plus: Kids eat free! (If you choose to bring them)***

Book Now

Congress Hall Sandpiper The Star

*All meals and activities must be signed to your room for the resort credit to apply. No cash value.
**Late Check out does not apply to Friday and Saturday departures.
***Kids Eat Free: For every adult entrée or sandwich purchased off the regular Blue Pig Tavern Menu, Rusty Nail or Congress Hall Beach Menu, up to two children, age 12 & under, may eat free off the children's menu. Valid during lunch and dinner.

The Cape May Whaler

Available through October 2019

Enjoy deluxe accommodations at Congress Hall, breakfast in the Blue Pig Tavern, and an exciting Cape May Whale Watch Excursion!

The Cape May Whaler

There’s lots of things that make Cape May unique. Summer nights playing mini golf and eating ice cream. Long beach days at the Cove. Hopping on a cruise and spotting whales and dolphins just ten miles off shore. Cape May is a sought after destination for serious marine biologists and casual porpoise enthusiasts alike. Just like visitor’s love the town for its award-winning cuisine, the Delaware Bay Estuary provides a nutrient rich habitat for whales, dolphins, and other marine life. A dolphin and whale-watching cruise is an exciting activity for adventurers of all ages. Join an experienced Naturalist at the Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center for a fully narrated afternoon tour discovering these breathtaking mammals in their beautiful natural habitat.

Your whale watching package includes:

  • Two Night Stay at Congress Hall
  • Cape May Whale Watch Excursion for Two*
  • Breakfast for Two in The Blue Pig Tavern, daily**
  • Use of binoculars to help spot the elusive Humpback whale!
BOOK NOW

*Additional Whale Watcher tickets can be added to package as a stay enhancement.

**Breakfast for two is a $30 dining credit each morning. Breakfast must be signed to the room for credit 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, Sweet Shop 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.

Fall Break Wilderness Adventures

Nov. 5th - 10th

Available November 5th - November 10th, 2019

Plan a fall getaway filled with Wilderness Adventures at Beach Plum Farm. Join the Cape Resorts Explorers Club and enjoy painting, archery, gardening and more!

Fall Break — Wilderness Adventures at Beach Plum Farm

Take a fall break with the kids and join the Cape Resorts Explorer’s Club, the ultimate Cape May getaway. Grab a trusty field guide to lead the way on your Wilderness Adventures. At Beach Plum Farm Explorers will get the chance to plant a garden, create nature-inspired art, learn about archery, farm life and more! For each task they complete, Explorers will earn a special pin to place on their Explorer Sash. At night, we will gather round the campfire to make s'mores, watch a movie and star gaze. Each day will be filled with creative learning and fun activities for explorers of all ages.

A Fall Break stay at the Beach Plum Farm Cottages includes:

  • Cottage or Barn Accommodations at Beach Plum Farm, perfect for your entire family or extended family
  • An Explorers Club drawstring backpack for the kids, filled with special items for your daily adventure
  • Daily Beach Plum Farm Wilderness Activities
  • Stocked refrigerator with all the makings for a farm fresh breakfast, plus other treats
  • Access to Beach Plum Farm golf carts and bicycles
  • Option to add premium activities with our package enhancements*

A Fall Break stay at Congress Hall, the Sandpiper Beach Club, the Star, or the Virginia Cottages includes:

  • Hotel Accommodations for your family
  • An Explorers Club drawstring backpack for the kids, filled with special items for your daily adventure
  • Daily Beach Plum Farm Wilderness Activities
  • $25 Dining Credit, per night**
  • Shuttle Service to Beach Plum Farm
  • Option to add premium activities with our package enhancements*

Book now

Call to book the farm cottages: (833) 327-6268 Congress Hall Sandpiper The Star call to book the Virginia Cottages: (800) 732-4236

*Package enhancements can be added when making your reservation.

**Hotel dining credit must be signed to your room to be applied. No cash value.

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**
  • Save 20% off a Sea Spa massage with purchase of 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.

While You're Here

Let's be social

resort life

congress hall sea spa

Sea Spa

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.

family swimming in congress hall pool

Pool Service

SUMMER

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.

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

server delivering food to guests on the congress hall beach

Beach Service

SUMMER

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.

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

congress hall fitness room treadmills and elliptical machine

Fitness Room

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.

Sandpiper Fitness Center

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.

historic photo of congress hall staff posed for picture

Congress Hall
History Tours

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.

History Tours are included in your stay as a Cape Resorts guest. For more information, please call our Concierge at (609) 884-6542 or email us at [email protected].

beach plum farm amish barn

Beach Plum Farm Tour

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. Learn More.

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 Excursions

A selection of Guided Excursions 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.

Shuttle Service is 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.

children having fun with magician at congress hall carnival

Children's Programming

From the excitement of our Summer Carnivals to the whimsy of our Winter Wonderland, Cape Resorts has magical events the young and young-at-heart can enjoy year-round. Check out our Events Calendar for a listing of upcoming events and activities.

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

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

SUMMER

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

SUMMER

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.

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.

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:

View Google Map & Enter Your Starting Point

From Specific Points

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