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The Southern Mansion 4.0

Cape May, Jersey Shore, New Jersey

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Review Summary

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  • Within walking distance to Washington Street Mall
  • Uniquely decorated Victorian-style guest rooms with antique furniture
  • Gourmet breakfast included
  • Free Wi-Fi in public areas
  • Beach chairs and umbrellas for guests' use
  • On-site parking
  • Free Tazo tea in the lobby


  • Some guests may find the hotel's celebrated haunted history and nude artwork off-putting
  • There are cheaper hotels closer to the beach
  • No fitness center or swimming pool
  • The master suite is located near the reception desk

Bottom Line

The Southern Mansion is a four-pearl property in Cape May that gets high points for its style and ambience. The interior decor combines Southern charm (such as a wrap-around porch with wooden rocking chairs) and eccentric flourishes (such as a leopard-print carpet). Its free breakfast, which includes a continental spread plus made-to-order hot dishes, is also another major perk. Travelers looking for closer access to the beach will be disappointed with The Southern Mansion's location closer to Washington Street Mall and should consider looking into Mission Inn. And note: Only children over the age of 10 are allowed on the property.

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A quiet bed and breakfast where no kids under 10 are allowed

As you pull up to The Southern Mansion you may have to remind yourself you're in New Jersey and not Georgia. The property was built as a private mansion by a southern gentleman in 1863. Today, the hotel has been lovingly restored to its former glory with the addition of some fun details and loads of original antiques. The South wing holds 10 guest suites, a ballroom, and two spiral staircases. The communal living room provides a comfortable spot to relax on upholstered white sofas in front of a working fireplace. Breakfast is served on a romantic wrap-around porch with potted ferns hanging overhead. Some details seem a little odd, like lime green walls and a painting of a naked woman on all fours in the lobby (also, the painting of a jester leering at a naked woman). Ghost stories are provided from staff on request.


On a quiet residential block 10 minutes from the beach

For many guests, The Southern Mansion's location on a quiet block is exactly what they're looking for in a bed and breakfast, for others it's a bit far from the beach. It takes about 10 minutes to walk there, carrying chairs and umbrellas from the hotel. The hugely popular Washington Street Mall, a three block pedestrian concourse of local restaurants, chain shops and art galleries, is just a six-minute walk away. Nearby Cape May Day Spa is a relaxing highlight.


Four-poster beds, fireplaces, deep soaking bathtubs, plus views of manicured grounds

There are eight types of rooms and suites at The Southern Mansion, and each is uniquely decorated with antique furnishings and original art. Modern amenities include flat-screen TVs, air conditioning, and private bathrooms -- some with soaking bathtubs and each with hand painted tiles in the shower. Walls are boldly painted with citrus colors or deep red and blue. The artwork is more traditional than what is found in the common spaces, and some of it is Asian-influenced (such as the giant fan behind a bed in one room). Cleanliness and noise aren't issues, though note that the Master Suite is located near the reception desk on the first floor.


Gourmet breakfast, free Wi-Fi in the public areas, and beach chairs

Bed and breakfasts are widely available in Cape May but the free breakfast at The Southern Mansion is spectacular. A continental meal of pastries and coffee is complemented with made-to-order hot entrees. The front porch setting is distinctive and romantic. Free Wi-Fi is available in the public areas and guests are given use of beach chairs and umbrellas to take to the beach.

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720 Washington St, Cape May 08204-2331, United States

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