Dream Weekends 2005: Congress Hall

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: $100 to $465 a night double occupancy.

This article first appeared in the April 2005 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.