Rhythm of the Sea

Of the many B&Bs in Cape May, Rhythm of the Sea sets itself apart because its decorations are a lot sparer than in the inns in the main part of town—with browns and blues dominating instead of Victorian reds and greens, and Stickley furniture throughout.

Rhythm of the Sea
Cape May
1123 Beach Avenue
(609-884-7788, 800-498-6888, rhythmofthesea.com)
Number of rooms: 9

Wolfgang Wendt says he wanted to live by the sea before he went toes up in the earth, so in 1995 he and his wife, Robyn, abandoned their beloved Colorado—where they had managed ski resorts for nearly 30 years—and bought the Rhythm of the Sea, just across Beach Avenue from the ocean in Victorian Cape May.

But as Robyn Wendt, a native New Zealander, notes, “We are outliers in the Victorian wonderland”—Rhythm of the Sea being a circa-1915 Arts & Crafts-style (if huge) bungalow. Decorations are a lot sparer than in the inns in the main part of town—with browns and blues dominating instead of Victorian reds and greens, and Stickley furniture throughout.

There used to be a grand piano in the front parlor, but the sea salt made it less grand, so when a customer offered an antique Stickleyesque pool table he couldn’t cart to a new home in San Francisco, the Wendts made it their new centerpiece.

All of the rooms in the main house are on the second floor, but there is also a suite above the carriage house out back. It has views of the sea (as do five main house rooms) and is where the Wendts encourage families with young children to stay, preserving the more adult atmosphere in the salons.

Miniature longhair dachshunds Otie and Lucy Luna (rising backwards in a splayfooted moonwalk) greet visitors cheerfully at the door. The season gets going during school spring breaks—not for students, but for teachers, whom Robyn says are attracted by the sea and the seafood. Try Louisa’s Cafe at 104 Jackson Street or the Mad Batter, with its front and back porches, a block closer to the ocean. Rooms range from $220 to $325 a night November to mid-May and $250 to $395 per night in season.

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