Our historic address — 501 Beach Avenue — is the site of the original Lafayette Hotel built in 1885 by Messrs. James and Steffner. It began our tradition of welcoming visitors to share in the splendor of the Jersey Cape and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Lafayette Hotel stood at our historic address until the 1960s at which time it gave way to its present embodiment to carry on its sprirt of charm and hostipality, the Marquis de Lafayette Hotel. It's rebirth was completed to provide visitors a more modern choice of accomodations to enjoy while visiting our historic destination.
Of course, Cape May's history stretches back even further than the days of the Lafayette Hotel, to the days when nearby Philadelphia was the capital of the colonial states and Cape May, NJ and its beaches were a popular retreat for many looking to escape the heat of the ever growing city. Visitors would flock to bathe in the cool and often times considered to be "rejuvenating to the sprirt" waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This tradition continued into the modern age where bathing suits became more revealing and bathing turned from a quick and spirited hop in the water that more closely resembled bouncing, to swiming, surfing and knee boarding.
Visitors today take a step back in time to admire the beauty of historic Cape May and enjoy its casual pace of life. Perhaps it’s the proximity to the beach that encourages the easy-going warmth of the locals, or the pride that comes from having your town designated a National Historic Landmark, but whatever the cause, you’ll fit right in strolling the streets, shops, and oceanfront of Cape May, New Jersey. We look forward to sharing the historic legacy of hosiptality that began with the Hotel Lafayette with you and your family and hope to become a part of your families history and traditions.