House Beautiful magazine puts out a list each year of the most beautiful small towns in the country. And it’s not the first time that one New Jersey town has the distinction of making the list — that’s Cape May.

Cape May often makes the list of beautiful small towns in America because of its seaside location, its beautiful Victoriana architecture and its downright quaintness. But did you also know that one of its hotels often makes the list of the 10 finest hotels in the world to book on your next trip?

Congress Hall is a legendary Cape May resort that literally stacks up against the finest hotels in the world. It's revered not just by House Beautiful, but by so many of the luminaries who’ve stayed there. Built in 1816, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Ulysses S. Grant are some of the presidents that the Congress Hall has hosted.

It’s even said that John Philip Sousa, a frequent guest, composed a famous march there in homage to the hotel, called the Congress Hall March. But it’s not one of those stodgy places that only revels in its former glory. It continues to serve an exacting and modern clientele because of its beautiful seafront location, full service spa and speakeasy bar.

Just in case you doubted the quality of hotels on the House Beautiful list, The Congress Hall is in good company: Also on the list of the finest hotels in the world? The Palazzo Aveeno on the Amalfi coast in Italy for $700 a night, and the Singita Ebony Lodge, Kruger National Park, South Africa, $1,300 a night. Comparatively speaking, Congress Hall is a bargain at a relatively paltry 180 a night. And no airport necessary.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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