Mainstay Inn

635 Columbia , Cape May, NJ 08204 USA (Show map)

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About

'The jewel of them all has got to be the Mainstay,' according to the Washington Post. Built by a pair of wealth gamblers in 1872, this elegant, exclusive clubhouse is now one of the premier B and B inns in the country. Guests enjoy 12 antique filled rooms and suites, three parlors, spacious gardens and rocker filled verandahs. Breakfast and afternoon tea daily. Beautiful beaches, historic attractions, biking, birding, golf, and tennis.

Reviews

Overall
4.5

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  • Guest room4.7
  • Service4.7
  • Value4.3
  • Cleanliness4.8
  • Onsite Dining4.3

The Mainstay is the Best!

5 on August 28, 2018

This is the best place to vacation. The Inn is beautiful and well-maintained. The staff is friendly and more than competent. They know the history of Cape May and the Inn itself. It is the ideal place to relax, with a huge porch, wonderful ocean breezes, and perfect location. I cannot say enough for this wonderful treasure in Cape May.


Classy, nice B&B

4.6 on August 27, 2018

Great location, very nice accommodations, food excellent friendly staff and service.


Weekend away

4.0 on August 26, 2018

This was our first visit to a bed and breakfast in Cape May. The Mainstay Inn was a great choice for us. Walking distance to the beach, restaurants, and Washington Street. The innkeeper, Diane, offered to help us secure a reservation for dinner that we were unable to get on our own. Staff is friendly and helpful. We would not hesitate to return!!


Perfect Vacation

5 on August 11, 2018

The five days we spend in Cape May every August is my idea of a perfect vacation, and Mainstay Inn is a big part of that. We rent rooms in the cottage and find the atmosphere there very relaxing. The manager, Diane, and the owners are very friendly without being cloying; the breakfasts and afternoon teas are delicious and plentiful; and the rooms are spacious and clean. The inn has beach chairs and towels on site, so we don’t have to bring them from home, and the shower room (if we go to the beach after the checkout) is very convenient. I hope to be coming there for many years to come!


Wonderful location

4.8 on August 05, 2018

Great location right near the beach and also downtown shops. General Grant room was quiet and spacious. The bed was also very comfortable. The property was very nice and the breakfast was very good. Will return.


A trip back in time ...

3.8 on July 30, 2018

The lovely Mainstay shares all the comforts of home. Close proximity to shopping and beach, comfortable environment and pleasant staff makes for a delightful stay.


Lovely B&B

4.6 on July 08, 2018

Breakfast on the veranda was wonderful!


Great Get Away!!

3.6 on July 06, 2018

Mainstay is a beautifully restored and well maintained B&B with elegant charm--as are the surrounding grounds.. The staff if very personable, friendly & accommodating. We stayed in the cottage rather than the main house but could not have been any more please with our accomodations. The flat screen TV was tiny but quite honestly the B&B's we've stayed at don't provide any TV's at all. In the first floor sitting room was a mini fridge with a small freeze and a coffee station that always filled large jars of pretzels and wonderful freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. The location of Mainstay is perfect.. about 2 1/2 blocks from the beach with a lot of restaurants & shopping with in walking distance. Towels & beach chairs were provided. The afternoon 'tea' was more than we expected with not only freshly baked cookies but fresh fruits, veggies, cheese & crackers. We would definitely recommend the Maintain Inn ... you won't be disappointed!!


Visit to Cape May

5 on July 02, 2018

If you like interesting Victorian B & B's then visit the Mainstay in Cape May, NJ. Nice guests and very friendly accomadating staff.


Three times the charm

5 on June 26, 2018

Once again, we had yet another wonderful weekend at The Mainstay Inn. My fiancé and I got engaged there last summer, our second time there, and we are planning on returning every summer to celebrate the anniversary of our engagement. The history of the inn, the staff, and the front porch are three of our favorite things about the inn. Thank you for making our stays memorable.


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Rooms & Rates

President Harrison Room

The President Harrison Room is named for Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States (1889-1893) who spent several summers in Cape May both doing and after his presidency. He had a summer home in Cape May Point from 1890 to 1896 and made the Congress Hall Hotel his summer White House. The room features twelve-foot ceilings and is located on the second floor of the mansion. This room is decorated in shades of rust and green with a hand-made oriental rug and a queen-sized Renaissance style walnut bed. The large bathroom was the homes original bath, serving the entire house, and features the original wood framed tub and pedestal sink. The room has central air conditioning with individual controls, a 15-inch flat panel TV and wireless internet access. The room is on the second floor of the mansion. Parking is provided with this room.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Henry Sawyer Room

The Henry Sawyer Room is named for Cape May's Civil War hero who was captured by the Confederates. On the eve of his execution he was traded in a prisoner of war exchange for the son of Robert E. Lee. This is our largest room, with two double beds and three large windows overlooking Stockton Place and Columbia Avenue. It features twelve-foot ceilings and is located on the second floor at the front of the mansion. The wallpaper and border are hand silk-screened, and the carpet is by Karastan. The two double beds, each with matching marble topped dressers, were part of the original furnishings of the Clubhouse. The bath has a tub and shower, central air conditioning with individual control, a 15-inch flat panel TV and wireless internet access. Parking is provided with this room.

  • Maximum Capacity: 4

Henry Clay Room

The Henry Clay Room overlooks Columbia Avenue with six eight-foot windows and commemorates the visit of statesman Henry Clay to Cape May. It is said he was so popular ladies often pursued him on the beach seeking a lock of his hair. The spectacular queen-sized Victorian bed was here in the 1870's, as was the matching marble topped dressers. The room features twelve-foot ceilings and is located on the second floor at the front of the Mansion. It believed to be the original master bedroom. The bath has a tub and shower, central air conditioning with individual control, a 15-inch flat panel TV, and wireless internet access. Parking is provided with this room.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Cardinal Gibbons Room

The Cardinal Gibbons Room is named for James Gibbons, the Roman Catholic Archbishop who was elevated to the cardinalate in 1886, and the second American to receive that distinction. He used the Mansion as a Catholic retreat for several summers in the late 1890's at the turn of the century. This spacious room has twelve-foot ceilings and is furnished with a stunning, museum quality matching double bed and dresser, which have been in the building since 1872. The rooms matching Greek revival wardrobes predate the house to the 1820's. The bedroom also has one of two original chamber pots on a leather covered "slider" under the bed for decorative function only please. The wallpaper is hand silk-screened by Bradbury and Bradbury, and the carpet is a fine hand woven oriental. This room is on the second floor of the mansion and has a bath with tub and shower, central air conditioning with individual control, a 15-inch flat panel TV, and wireless internet access. Parking is provided with this room.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Stonewall Jackson Suite

The Stonewall Jackson Suite salutes the famous Confederate General who visited Cape May many years before the Civil War. This large suite has a king-sized bed with a comfortable traditional loveseat and chair. The loveseat is a twin-sized sleep sofa making this room available for a third person. There are nine windows on three sides on the Inn, which make this room especially light and breezy, a large bath with tub and shower, air conditioning with individual control, a 15-inch flat panel TV, and wireless internet access. This second floor suite is at the rear of the mansion and was expanded as part of an early 1900's addition which extended the second floor over a back porch that was behind the first floor kitchen. Parking is provided with this room.

  • Maximum Capacity: 3

General Grant Suite

The General Grant Suite commemorates President Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States (1869?1877), who visited Cape May after the Civil War. This spacious suite has a bedroom with a king-sized brass bed and a separate sitting room with high quality period antiques. The room is light and airy featuring eight windows on three sides of Inn, a bath with tub and shower, air conditioning with individual control, a 15-inch flat panel TV, and wireless internet access. This third floor suite is the most private room in the mansion and was part of an addition in the early 1900's which added this third floor space at the back of the house. Access to the suite is by a separate stairway which is steep and not recommended for guests with any mobility issues. The room can be matched with the Cardinal Gibbons rooms via a separate door in the Gibbon's bathroom for a nice two room reservation that would bypass the steep stairs. Parking is provided with this room.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Windsor Room

The Windsor Room honors Wallis Warfield, the Duchess of Windsor whose family vacationed in Cape May. This room is located on the first floor of the cottage and is our most easily accessible room. This is a large room as it was once the dining room of the original house with twelve-foot ceilings and a lovely bay window overlooking the garden and fountain. The three-piece birds-eye-maple bedroom suite with queen-sized bed is of museum quality. The wallpaper is by Scalamandre and the carpet is a Karastan. The tiled bathroom has a tub and shower with a fabulous oversized pedestal sink. The room also has air conditioning with individual control, a 15-inch flat panel TV, and wireless internet access. Parking is provided in the main house parking lot with this room

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Bret Harte Room

The Bret Harte Room is named for the famous writer of western novels who visited Cape May for a journalist's convention. This is one of our most popular rooms because of its access to a large private veranda that wraps around the entire front on the cottage with vintage wicker furniture and a private hammock. The bed is a queen-sized "Shakespeare" carved headboard and matching dresser. The room features ten-foot ceilings, four large windows facing the ocean breezes, bath with tub and shower, air conditioning with individual control, a 15-inch flat panel TV, and wireless internet access. It is located on the second floor front of the Cottage. Parking is provided with this room.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Clara Barton Room

The Room commemorates the visit of the famous Civil War nurse and founder of the American Red Cross to Cape May. This is a large room with ten-foot ceilings and a bay window overlooking the garden and fountain. There is a queen-sized Victorian bed with matching marble-topped dresser and other fine antique pieces. The bath is small but popular because of its large two-person shower with dual showerheads. Other features include quiet air conditioning with individual control, a 15-inch flat panel TV, and wireless internet access. This room is on the second floor of the Cottage. Parking is on the street.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Henry Ford Room

The Henry Ford Room celebrates America's famous industrialist who once raced automobiles on our beaches against Louis Chevrolet. This room is a bit smaller than our other rooms but it is popular because it has a private back porch overlooking the garden and fountain. The room also features a large bathroom with tub and shower. It is furnished with a beautiful queen-sized Renaissance Revival bed and other quality Victorian antiques. This room is located on the second floor rear of the Cottage. Features include a bath tub and shower, air conditioning with individual control, a 15-inch flat panel TV and wireless internet access. Parking is on the street.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Lillie Langtry Room

The Lillie Langtry Room honors the famous British actress and mistress of the Prince of Wales who shortened her visit to Cape May when her presence was discovered by too many adoring fans. This sunny room has five large windows overlooking Columbia Avenue. There is a king-size bed and beautiful seating area facing the beach just a block away. The room features a bath with shower only, air conditioning with individual room control, a 15-inch flat panel TV, and wireless internet access. The room is located on the third floor of the Cottage and parking is on the street.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Stephen Decatur Suite

The Commodore Stephen Decatur Suite is named for the famous naval hero who visited our city many times even before the American Revolution. This suite has an impressive Victorian queen-sized bed with matching dresser and a separate sitting room with lovely furnishings. The wallpaper is a beautiful blue and the carpets are by Karastan. The room features a bathroom with shower only, air conditioning with individual room control, a 15-inch flat panel TV, and wireless internet access. This room is light and airy with six windows on all four sides of the third floor of the Cottage. Parking is provided with this room.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

The Beach Apartment

Recently renovated modern accommodation for up to four people with a queen-size bed and a new queen-sized sofa bed in the living room. The first floor features a living area with gas fireplace, the sofa bed, a small kitchen with stove, microwave and refrigerator, dining area, large LCD flat screen TV and private deck. The second floor bedroom and bath include a second TV and is accessed via a spiral staircase. The space is air conditioned and heated. New items include a queen sofa bed, occasional chairs, dining table & chairs, high definition TV w/BluRay player, dressers, bed, headboard and private patio area. Parking is provided with this room.

  • Maximum Capacity: 4

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Location

Location Type

Airport, Oceanfront, Oceanview, Small town

Area Attractions

Antique Shopping, Aquarium, Art Galleries, Beach, Concert venue, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Historical interests, Live Music, Movie Theater, Museum, National/State parks, Nature area, Night life, Ocean, lighthouse, horse and carriage, Performing Theater, Picnic area, Religious Services, Vineyard, Winery, Zoo

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Inn Details

Establishment type

Bed and Breakfast, Country Inn, Historic Inn

On-site amenities

BBQ grill, Board games, Conference Rooms, Copier, Desk, Fax Machine, Fireplace, Library, Outdoor grilling, Telephone, Wedding Facilities , afternoon tea, locker at golf club, Robes in Rooms, beach chairs and towels, day spa discounts

Room amenities

Air conditioning, Alarm clock, Amenities Basket, Bath robes, Ceiling fans, Coffee/Tea facilities, Hairdryer, Internet Service, Ironing Board, Radio, Satellite/Cable TV, TV, Wi-Fi, Wired internet

On-site activities

Bicycle rental, Bird watching, Boating, Canoeing, Fishing, Golfing, Hiking trails, Horseback riding, Kayaking, Sailing, Shopping, Sight-seeing, Swimming, Tennis courts, Tennis racket rental, Water sports

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Policies

  • Check In:: 2pm
  • Check Out:: 11am
  • Open All Year Round: Yes
  • Smoking Allowed: Outside only
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Alcohol Provided No
  • Suitable For Children: Limited over 12 yrs
  • Childcare Provided: No
  • Guest Pets Allowed: No
  • Disabled Access Limited

Terms and Conditions

  • Minimum Stay: Full weekends in summer
  • Accepted payments VISA, Mastercard, Personal checks, Travelers checks, Cash
  • Deposit Amount Required: One nights fee or 50% (whichever is greater)
  • Cancellations: Return of deposit, less $35.00 upon rebooking of room.
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Innkeepers

Name(s)

Owners Pete and Esther Scalone, Innkeeper, Diane Clark

Languages spoken

English

Resident Pets

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Meals

Breakfast

Full

  • Serving Location: Breakfast/dining room, Breakfast/dining area

Special meal options

Low fat , Restrictive , Vegetarian


Recipes

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