Cape May, New Jersey
Come down to the pool or cross the street to the beach, and attendants are waiting to put up your chaise and umbrella, hand you towels, and bring a drink or lunch. One of the last original hotels from Cape May's 1800s heyday, Congress Hall is the only place in town that will pamper you like this.
A renovation completed in 2002 kept the airy Victorian feel without going overboard. Guest rooms are simply done, with bold wall colors, white beach-cottage furniture, and pillowy beds.
The lobby, with marble floors and wicker furniture, opens to an inviting lounge with a fireplace, books, and an old-fashioned wooden bar. The Blue Pig Tavern serves all three meals.
Bottom line: Nostalgia and pampering at the beach.
Congress Hall, 888-944-1816; congresshall.com. Rooms: $120 to $405 a night double occupancy.