From its inception in 1816, Congress Hall has had star power: President Benjamin Harrison made it his summer White House, and John Philip Sousa conducted the Congress Hall March on the lawn. Today the white-colonnade, Tuscan-yellow hotel is all breezy chic—sky-high ceilings, titan-size Victorian mirrors, glossy black wicker, and potted palms with attitude. Carpets have vibrant stripes, beds are dressed in white linens, and baths are sybaritic—some with 1920s, big-enough-for-two
tubs—stocked with Aveda soaps and lotions. A C. H.-crest terry-cloth robe awaits so you can open the door and retrieve the New York Times without incident. Morning also brings breakfast in the spacious garden of the hotel's Blue Pig Tavern, while later in the day the staff will kindly set up cabanas for you at the beach and host evening activities for the little ones. Cocktails and music at the on-site Boiler Room bar close out the night.