This review comes with a great deal of ambivalence and may actually sway you to stay here since the positives may out weigh the negatives depending upon your needs, likes, and price requirements for an east coast beach vacation. And, that is fine by us!
First off we must admit that we are big fans of the owners of this motel. Congress Hall is their crown jewel and their other sister properties (Starr Inn, etc.) are of top quality as well. They may have single handedly, over the past 15-years, been responsible for improving the quality of the Cape May room product and guest services.
For far too long absentee, inattentive, or just greedy (no AAA rates ever) hotel/motel owners have rested on selling circa '70s style rooms and poor service for top in season dollars! These poor owners do so because they can get away with it with such a beautiful town; well kept and safe beaches; historical landmarks; accessible wildlife; and excellent dining choices! While the Beach Shack owners have been putting their money and efforts into restoring Cape May into the jewel it once was.
So we salute the Beach Shack owners for the following - a retro beach theme; a beach location; clean and well put together, albeit small rooms; a well kept pool and property; free beach service (chairs, towels & umbrellas); and polite and attentive reservation specialists, pool (constantly cleaning up and changing towels), and outdoor wait staff, as well as the Rusty Nail restaurant and bar. The latter provides good food at reasonable prices and nightly music creating a island vibe!
On the down side - the rooms are small motel sized rooms with only one a/c unit for two rooms, despite the improvements and design; the pull out couch is not suitable for sleeping for adults or teens; the beach attendants were less than enthusiastic about their duties ("Do you really need four chairs and two umbrellas?"), while there are no phones or phone books in the rooms (Odd?). Most likely the latter was to cross sell their other restaurants and services; however it would be nice to explore other restaurants and call a doctor or pharmacist if necessary! We also found that we had no or limited cable/satellite tv service, which is not a huge factor unless you are traveling with small children then it becomes a deal breaker. (Unfortunately we had to hear from other guests that this was a temporary issue.)
The main question for you then dear reader is, "Does a motel room, even a well done motel room with a well thought out retro-concept with great service justify a $350/ night price tag?" Maybe the Beach Shack owners do!
, or as an economist would state, "On one hand the beach location; cleanliness by the staff; pool and beach service and newly designed beach theme
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Beach Shack is a fresh, new, fun alternative for beachfront vacations. You will feel comfortable wearing your flip flops all day long. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Beach Shack Hotel Cape May