Frequently Asked Questions about Cape May Accommodations
- Minimum stays / cancellation policies / payment types
Most of Cape May's accommodations have minimum stay requirements (2 to 7 nights) and strict cancellation policies in-season. Most will retain all or part of your deposit in the event of a cancellation. Others may require the room to be rebooked in full before issuing a refund.
Call to reserve your accommodations ahead of time or book online. Specify if you will be a late arrival. You may surprised how many people neglect this process and end up disappointed.
Not all hotels in Cape May accept credit cards at check-in, so check payment types before you book.
- Is it possible to get a one-night stay in season?
One-night stays are uncommon between Memorial Day and Labor Day, unless you are in town for Coast Guard graduation. Expect to pay a higher per-night fee for a one-night stay if the accommodation is able to grant you one.
It is unlikely you will be able to book a one-night stay in advance. The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May has a hot line to call for last minute vacancies, which might allow you to snag one of these rarities!
- Where are things located? I want an ocean view!
The largest motor inns are along Beach Avenue (where the Atlantic Ocean touches the sand of Cape May). The other main streets that are parallel with the beach include Lafayette, Washington and Columbia. The higher numbers are nearest to the Coast Guard Training Center. The lower numbers are in the historic district.
If you must have an ocean view, look for hotels located on Beach Avenue, and ask when booking which room types have ocean views. They always come at a premium, so expect a higher price if you want to wake up to the waves.
- Can I stay right on the sand in Cape May?
The closest you can stay to the beach is across the street. There are no accommodations located directly on the beach in Cape May (or any of our neighboring towns).
- Are there major hotel chains, like Holiday Inn or Best Western, in Cape May?
No, there are not any major hotel chains in Cape May. The closest one (to our knowledge, at least) is up the road in Somers Point, 30-40 minutes north.
- Are there parking lots at every hotel and B&B?
Not all accommodations have on-site parking due to the historic nature of the town (it was built before cars existed!), so please check with yours before booking to find out about the parking situation. Some have off-site reserved parking available for you. Learn more about parking in Cape May
- I'm visiting last minute. Can I still find available accommodations?
If your stay in Cape May is more spontaneous than planned, we advise being flexible (and if you're being spontaneous, you're probably flexible). Even in the summer, you can often find a great place to stay at the last minute if you call around. The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May has a hot line to call for last minute vacancies.
- Is it acceptable and expected to tip at a B&B?
Linda of Sayreville, NJ writes,
We will be staying at a B&B in Cape May. My question is regarding gratuities at the B&B. Is it acceptable and expected, or is offensive to do as these places are run and opperated by the owners? If tipping is okay who do you tip.? This may sound crazy to ask, but this subject is quite personal to most and very different all over the world. We just want to do the right thing for all.
According to the innkeeper for Victorian Lace Inn, it is appreciated when tips are offered, but they are kindly declined. Basically, she says, if offered cash, she refuses, but adds, "You can show your appreciation simply by coming back to visit." If offered a tip in an envelope, she often reciprocates by sending the "tipster" a token of her appreciation – a small remembrance of some kind. Basically, however, she feels the innkeeper should not be tipped because that is his/her job to make the guest feel comfortable and welcome. She strongly, however, urges guests to remember their chambermaid.
We would agree - it is polite (and recommended) to tip your chambermaid, but better to repay a good innkeeper with a future stay.