More Room Types
More Room Types
Cape May is said to be the oldest seaside resort in America, and once upon a time, it was the summer retreat for city-weary New Yorkers. After being replaced by the considerably closer Hamptons and Atlantic City, this laid-back spot, with its rolling countryside, fruit orchards and stunning beaches, is making a comeback -- and "nothing better exemplifies the sultry new cool than Congress Hall", says The Guardian.
Dating back to 1816, the hotel has been named one of the top 10 Mid-Atlantic hotels by Condé Nast Traveler in 2013, and picked up recommendations from Travel + Leisure and New York Magazine. It looks fancy -- surrounded by lovely grounds and grand with columns, high ceilings and historic touches such as old-fashioned room keys -- but there is a casual grace epitomised by the rocking chairs on the patio and the regular family-friendly activities (including carnival booths on the lawn, movie nights and karaoke).
The rooms are charming, clean and spacious, with free Wi-Fi. The best have uninterrupted views of the ocean just past the lawn, and some have balconies with rocking chairs. There are bikes to borrow, and boot camp and yoga classes are held on the beach in the summer (charges apply). On site, there is a fully equipped fitness centre and a spa that uses sea-inspired products in its treatments.
Guests at the hotel get complimentary use of chairs, towels and umbrellas on the beach opposite, but there is a small charge to access it (imposed by the city). There are also striped cabanas to rent in the summer (charges apply), and waiters serve food and drinks to sunbathers throughout the day (although alcohol is not permitted). Surfing and bird watching are popular past times here, and there are plenty of wetlands and countryside for walkers to explore.
The Blue Pig Tavern serves American fare and promotes a farm-to-table philosophy, with a great deal of fresh produce sourced from its own 62-acre Beach Plum Farm two miles away (free self-guided tours are available Monday-Saturday, 8am-12pm). Expect pot roast and meatloaf favorites, and more exotic creations such as coriander-crusted Ahi tuna. After dark, the late night Boiler Room often has live music events, and The Brown Room is a stylish 1930s lounge.
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