Cape May has been a beloved oceanfront vacation destination for generations, and when you get there you’ll see why. The rolling Atlantic breakers, raucous seabirds, seaside promenades with touristy things like saltwater taffy, and historic Victorian architecture all give this town an unshakable hold on your affections.
You could spend all your time on the beaches, plan a whale watching trip and a visit to the Cape May Bird Observatory, and climb 199 steps to the top of the 19th-century Cape May Lighthouse for a spectacular view of Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
When you’re looking for a place to stay, you’ll find a wide variety of mansions-turned-hotels, farm cottages and gorgeous boutique hotels. Here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Cape May, New Jersey (in no particular order)…
1. Congress Hall – a trendy, Instagrammable and hip hotel that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean
Located in the heart of Victorian Cape May, Congress Hall has been offering top-quality hospitality services to visitors and locals for more than 200 years.
The trendy award-winning hotel first opened its doors in 1816, and it went from being a simple boarding house for summer visitors to an iconic landmark that’s recognized as America’s first seaside resort.
It even became a popular summer getaway for U.S. presidents. Congress Hall is right across the street from the beach and the Washington Street Mall; and it’s near a number of other great sights and attractions.
The historic hotel’s 106 rooms, including suites, are furnished with pieces modeled after American heritage furniture–antique brass hardware, plush bedding and hand-dyed linen.
There is plenty to do at the hotel to keep guests busy during their stay–relaxing in a private cabana on the beach, biking, pampering themselves at the hotel’s Sea Spa and much more.
- To book, check prices or availability for Congress Hall
2. The Boarding House – a cool and unusual motel perfect for Millenials and Gen Zs
The Boarding House in Cape May is designed for travelers who are looking for a laid-back and unhurried getaway spot. The newly renovated hotel is inspired by Cape May’s classic seaside surf culture.
And what makes it so cool and unique is that it integrates the intimacy and coziness of a bed and breakfast with all of the amenities, attention and special features of a full-service hotel.
It’s located in the heart of Cape May and close to several well-known restaurants and shops.
The Boarding House’s 11 guest rooms are airy, bright and welcoming. They are adorned with beautiful artwork from local artists and designed by acclaimed Philadelphia architecture and interior design firm DAS.
Guests can relax on the spacious rooftop deck, go biking or grab a surfboard and hit the waves, among a slew of other groovy activities. And all of the rooms have free Wi-Fi.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Boarding House
3. Lokal Hotel Cape May – a unique and fun micro beach resort near local attractions
Lokal Hotel Cape May is the perfect retreat for travelers. The cool micro-beach resort is just a few minutes from the beach and near notable landmarks such as Cape May Convention Hall, Emlen Physick Estate and The Colonial House.
The resort’s unique interior blends modern beach house design with mid-century modern stylings. The colors are a pleasing mix of white with walnut, matte black and olive drab.
All eight of the cozy apartment-style rooms (half two beds and half studios) have a full kitchen, a dining area, island and a living room.
Guests can enjoy a private saltwater pool that’s heated most of the year. They are also free to use the outdoor grilling/cocktail station and outdoor lounge area. Other notable amenities include free Wi-Fi and concierge service.
- To book, check prices or availability for Lokal Hotel Cape May
4. Casablanca – a charming quirky-chic boutique B&B that offers great amenities
Casablanca in Cape May offers guests a lavish experience rarely found at your typical bed and breakfast. Visitors to Casablanca are greeted with its elegant interior as soon as they walk through the door.
The décor at this cool boutique hotel is a stunning mélange of different design styles that are brought together through harmonious colors, textures and natural pieces. Also, Casablanca is an ideal location for travelers.
It’s near notable sights and attractions such as Cape May Public Beach, Cape May Convention Hall and Emlen Physick Estate.
Casablanca’s recently renovated 10 rooms provide guests high-quality comfort and luxury. All of the rooms have a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a hairdryer, free toiletries and shower.
Some of the additional amenities include free Wi-Fi, a hot tub and non-smoking rooms.
- To book, check prices or availability for Casablanca
5. La Mer Beachfront Resort – a chic oceanfront hotel with a great location and a heated outdoor pool
La Mer Beachfront Resort has been providing guests topflight service and hospitality for more than 50 years. It’s the perfect getaway for travelers who are looking for a cozy, yet fun, upbeat and modern beachfront resort.
The recently expanded La Mer features a waterfront restaurant where guests can dine on seasonal cuisine near the ocean. And the resort is near notable attractions such as downtown Cape May and the Washington Street Mall.
Guests at the resort are ensured a cool and memorable experience like no other.
La Mer’s beautiful and spacious guest rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that offer guests a spectacular view of the ocean. The guest rooms’ soothing, tranquil colors are inspired by the resort’s coastal surroundings.
Also, all of the rooms have a flat-screen cable TV and a furnished balcony. Some of the notable amenities include a cardio gym, bicycle rentals, free Wi-Fi and beach services.
- To book, check prices or availability for La Mer Beachfront Resort
6. ICONA Cape May – a stylish and cozy hotel where guests can admire breathtaking sea views
ICONA Cape May is one of Cape May’s most stylish and welcoming oceanfront hotels.
The newly renovated cool hotel can accommodate the needs of travel groups of any size–couples, wedding parties, family reunion, large business groups, etc.
One of the things that makes Icona Cape May so unique is that it offers the warmth and coziness of a bed and breakfast, but with all of the modern features and amenities one could ask for. And it’s just a short walk from dozens of shops and restaurants.
The hotel’s 56 luxurious guest rooms are elegantly adorned with classy chic décor. And each room has a balcony, custom furniture pieces, Carrara marble-style bathrooms, a microwave, compact refrigerator and a Keurig coffee maker.
Some of the other notable amenities include free Wi-Fi, swimming pool and a meeting room.
- To book, check prices or availability for ICONA Cape May
7. The Hugh Boutique Bed & Breakfast – a quirky boutique design B&B close to sandy beaches
Located on a cool stretch of Washington Street in Cape May, The Hugh Boutique Bed & Breakfast offers guests a unique and unforgettable experience.
The Hugh is decorated in luxurious modern-Victorian style. And its eight elegant, spacious guest rooms are individually designed to make guests feel as special and comfortable as possible during their stay.
The Hugh is near notable points of interest such as Cape May Convention Hall, Emlen Physick Estate and The Colonial House. And it’s just a 10-minute walk from beaches and steps away from the historic shopping district.
Some of the notable amenities include free high-speed Internet (Wi-Fi), free parking and nonsmoking rooms. Guests can enjoy the delectable everchanging daily breakfast in The Hugh’s sun-dappled dining room.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Hugh Boutique Bed & Breakfast
8. The Star Inn – a one-of-a-kind creative boutique inn popular amongst couples
Located in the heart of Cape May’s historic district, the Star Inn provides travelers the perfect getaway destination. One of things that makes the freshly renovated beach inn and motel so unique is its versatility.
It offers a wide range of accommodations to meet the needs of travelers of all kinds. And it’s just a few steps from Steger’s Beach and a 10-minute walk to The Cove.
All of the Star Inn’s 21 rooms are awash in bright colors with nautical accents and feature artwork and period furnishings. The guest rooms have a quaint, old-fashioned charm that’s ideal for couples–from millennials to boomers–looking for a romantic hideaway.
And the rooms are also great for single travelers. The spacious Star Suites are well-suited for young families, and the deluxe Carriage House Suite is designed for guests who are looking for a bit of upscale luxury during their stay.
Notable amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, outdoor pool, and a flat-screen TV with remote.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Star Inn
9. The Virginia and Cottages – a quirky-chic restored hotel set in the historic district of Cape May
The esteemed Virginia Hotel boasts five charming cottages along Jackson Street in Cape May’s historic district. The Victorian cottages offer cozy lodgings for visitors to the Garden State as well as locals.
They are available for rental by the full house or as separate apartments. These quaint cottages are perfect for families or groups of friends in search of a weekly rental. Also, they are just a half a block from the beach.
All five cottages have their own distinctive style and rich history. And each one is designed to make guests feel as comfortable as possible during their stay.
Additionally, all of the cottages offer amazing ocean views, and a complimentary continental breakfast is served to guests daily. Notable amenities include a mini bar, an exclusive area for hotel guests on the beach and free Wi-Fi.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Virginia and Cottages
10. The Angel of the Sea Bed and Breakfast – a historic 19th century B&B that offers complimentary breakfast
Visitors to New Jersey in search of a great romantic hideaway need to look no further than the Angel of the Sea Bed and Breakfast in Victorian Cape May.
The Angel of the Sea offers top-quality service and comfort in a romantic setting. Returning guests have praised it as the most romantic bed and breakfast in Cape May.
The stylish B&B boasts a cool wraparound porch that provides guests a spectacular ocean view. The Angel of the Sea is also known for its unique architecture, which includes gingerbread detailing. It’s located in the quiet East section of town, just one-half block from the beach.
The Angel of the Sea was a 27-room Victorian mansion before it was converted into a bed and breakfast in 1989. The Victorian décor creates an elegant and romantic atmosphere for guests.
All of the rooms include private bathrooms, flat-screen TVs with cable, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Some of the other amenities include a full gourmet breakfast and a romantic evening of wine and cheese with antipasto.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Angel of the Sea Bed and Breakfast
The Shore House – a cool and modern apartment that provides free bikes, beach chairs and umbrella
Located in North Wildwood (in Cape May County), the Shore House offers guests a relaxed, worry-free environment. The beachside getaway was a mid-century motel that was converted into a dozen comfortable pet-friendly apartments.
The Shore House’s 1960s retro-chic aesthetic enhances its laid-back beachside atmosphere. One of the things that makes it so unique is that its accommodations integrate the best of home rental and hotel, giving guests the best of both worlds. It’s ideal for couples, groups, families and pets.
Although the Shore House has a retro theme, its rooms have all the modern amenities one could ask for, including luxury beds, a full stainless kitchen, complimentary craft coffee, cable flat-screen TV, free WiFi and keyless entry.
And each room is adorned with beautiful mid-century modern décor. The Shore House is just a three-minute walk to Wildwood Beach.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Shore House
The Bedford Inn – a rustic-chic restored Victorian B&B close to major restaurants, shopping and other activities
If you’re visiting Cape May and looking for a bed and breakfast that possesses the elegance and charm of a bygone era, the Bedford Inn is the place for you. Located in the heart of historic Cape May, the Bedford Inn offers guests topflight service and stellar accommodations.
The celebrated Inn–built in 1883 in Victorian Italianate style–was voted one of Cape May’s top five bed and breakfasts. And it’s within steps of beautiful beaches, famous restaurants and boutique shops.
The Bedford Inn’s 10 newly renovated guest rooms and suites ensure that guests have an unforgettable experience during their stay. The luxurious rooms are adorned with Victorian-style décor and furnished with period antiques, plush mattresses and crisp white linens.
Each room has a flat-screen cable TV and streaming capabilities, complimentary Wi-Fi, private bathroom, and an in-room coffee maker, among many other great amenities. The Bedford Inn’s flawless fusion of modern and Victorian is what makes it so unique and special.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Bedford Inn
The Wilbraham Mansion – a remarkable Victorian mansion where guests will have the ultimate upscale experience
Travel back in time to a bygone era of grandeur and elegance at the Wilbraham Mansion in Victorian Cape May. The 4-star bed and breakfast offers guests a memorable stay in its luxurious guest rooms and suites.
The Wilbraham is a high Victorian mansion that was built in the 1840s and expanded in the 1890s. Its Insta-worthy interior boasts ornate plaster moldings and the original 8-foot-high French doors with 19th-century beveled glass.
The Wilbraham is within walking distance of notable attractions like Cape May Beach, the Washington Street Mall and Cape May City Hall.
All of the Wibraham’s 20-plus guest rooms and suites are adorned with magnificent Victorian décor. Each guest room has a private bathroom, flat-screen TV and a DVD player.
And the suites have special amenities such as a two-person private jacuzzi and a gas fireplace. The Wilbraham is the only Cape May bed and breakfast with an indoor heated swimming pool, which all guests are welcome to.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Wilbraham Mansion
Elaine’s Cape May Boutique Hotel – a comfy boutique hotel perfect for a romantic escape
Located in the heart of Cape May, Elaine’s Cape May Boutique Hotel offers travelers the perfect getaway destination. The hotel is renowned for its topflight hospitality and service.
It’s packed with in-house facilities to ensure that guests have a thoroughly enjoyable experience during their stay. And Elaine’s is just a mere five-minute walk to the beach, and it’s right across the street from the Washington Street Mall.
All of Elaine’s spacious guest rooms are equipped with a flat-screen cable TV and a private bathroom fitted with a bath or shower; and all have free Wi-Fi. Additionally, each room has its own unique décor, which is always bright, elegant and tasteful. Elaine’s Boutique is directly next door to the hotel and restaurant.
The boutique offers a large selection of high-quality fashion for men and women. And if guests get hungry while shopping at the boutique, they can drop by Elaine’s restaurant, The Porch, which specializes in American cuisine.
- To book, check prices or availability for Elaine’s Cape May Boutique Hotel
The Southern Mansion – one of the best B&Bs that features antique furniture and great facilities
Sitting grandly in Cape May’s historic district, the Southern Mansion offers guests high-quality service and heaps of Southern hospitality and charm. It’s the largest and most luxurious bed and breakfast–featuring the largest guest rooms and suites–Cape May has to offer.
The Southern Mansion was built in 1863 for affluent Philadelphia industrialist George Allen and remained in his family for 83 years. It was sold in 1946 and converted into a boarding house, which soon fell into severe disrepair.
It was painstakingly restored to its former glory in 1996 and reopened. The award-winning bed and breakfast is now one of Cape May’s most distinguished landmarks.
The Southern Mansion features 24 opulent guest rooms. Each room is uniquely decorated in quirky-chic Victorian-style design with soothing accents and colors–creating a romantic and elegant atmosphere.
This stately setting is further enhanced by original antique furniture. All of the rooms feature a flat-screen cable TV, free Wi-Fi and private bathroom. Other amenities include hairdryers, full maid service and a daily continental breakfast.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Southern Mansion
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Born and raised in Brazil, Gaby has always had a taste for the intriguing, the off-beat and the far flung. After travelling around most of South America, living in Spain and Italy and then moving to England, her feet have stayed continually twitchy. Studying for a degree in Spanish translation and then learning five more languages only poured more fuel onto her travelling ardor.
Gaby likes nothing better than discovering new destinations and meeting the locals, tasting the cuisine and hearing about the local stories. Her other indulgences include French cinema, boxing, photography, colourful manicures and soaking up the rays on a sun-infused beach. She counts Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon and Cornwall as her most favourite places in the world.