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“Nice but overpriced” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Gallivant

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The Gallivant
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   New Lydd Road, Camber TN31 7RB, England   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Camber
London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Nice but overpriced”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

I stayed just one night and all in all it was very nice but I didn't feel the quality of the hotel lived up to the price.

I splashed out hoping for one night of luxury but the touches that make a hotel really special weren't there. There was chipped paint work and some general wear and tear in the room that I would expect from a £145 a night stay. I stayed in the Holiday Inn couple of days later and found the comfort level the same although less than half the price!

The staff and service in the restaurant was also not the best. Staff were a bit prickly and kept guests waiting without apology. The food in the restaurant was really good but again let down by slow and unfriendly service.

I was also surprised to learn that what we ordered for breakfast the next day wasn't included in the price. It's just the bread and jam that is offered as included although staff did waive the cost for me as it wasn't clear when we ordered that we would have to pay extra.

It's a shame because the area could use a great quality hotel and this could be it if they hired more staff. Generally I had a nice time but felt a bit ripped off.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
snagger, General Manager at The Gallivant, responded to this review, April 26, 2014
Dear Sarah B

Many thanks for your review following your recent stay at The Gallivant.

Although you have stated that your stay was "nice", I am sorry that we did not match your expectations overall.

Since Jamuary, there is been substantial investment in our guest bedrooms, with the purchase of new drawers, beds, hypnos mattresses and 300 thread count 100% cotton bed linen. these items have been purchased for all bedrooms. You have stated that there was chipped paint and signs of wear and tear. Following your review, I have inspected all bedrooms and have instructed decorators to tend to chipped paintwork and any other decorative and maintenance needs immediately.

It is my intention to create a relaxed and informal environment with friendly yet professional service. I am sorry you did not experience this and I can assure you this is not indicative of our usual standards of service.

Our room rates now include just the continental breakfast with cooked items available at a supplement. the inclusive breakfast includes fresh orange and apple juice, homemade granola bars, homemade granola and museli, homemade pastries, yoghurt pots and eggs of your choice on toast (toast and homemade preserves are also included). We do advise this at time of reservation and it is stated in the confirmation. I am sorry if there was some confusion regarding this and I am delighted that the team removed the breakfast charges from your account.

I do hope you would consider returning to The Gallivant in the future.

Kind regards

Mark
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722 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (118)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014

I don't usually review the places that we have stayed, but I was so disappointed with the Gallivant that I feel like I need to get it off my chest. Overall, I think the hotel is hugely overpriced for what it is. The location is the first issue. Although the hotel is very close to a lovely beach, there is a very busy road in between, which could be heard from the room at all hours. This was also the view from the bedroom window (via the carpark). The other thing that other reviews didn't mention, was that Camber itself is just a Pontins, with no personality, or prettiness at all. The rooms are not at all sound proofed and we could hear the people staying in the room next to us using the bathroom. The room itself looked very tired. With chipped paint, dirty grouting, a broken window blind and a worn out bed.
Having read other reviews I was expecting good things from the food. Unfortunately this wasn't the case. The restaurant was of reasonable quality, the lamb was overcooked, the service slow, sparse and forgetful. The desserts were completely disgusting; I had donuts that were like sugar covered pebbles, and chocolate 'crisp' that tasted like cardboard.
The free afternoon tea was another disappointment.
The final issue was that on our way home, my husband became extremely ill, with an upset stomach. It can only have been from the hotel, as he hadn't eaten food from anywhere else for more that 24 hours previously. I note that ours is not the only review that reports a gastric upset as a consequence of staying at this hotel.
Rye is a beautiful village, with lots of lovely places to stay. I recommend that anyone considering the Gallivant looks there first.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
snagger, General Manager at The Gallivant, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Dear CharlyRichards

Many thanks for taking the time to post a review following your stay at The Gallivant. I am sorry to hear of your disappointment.

We are located on a main road opposite the dunes of Camber Sands. the road does have traffic throughout the day but it is not constant and is even quieter during the evening. There is a Pontins resort in Camber and this is approximately 1.5 miles from the hotel. I believe this has not been mentioned in many previous reviews as it does not interfere with or detract from what we do at The Gallivant.

I will do all I can to see what room you stayed in and will have the issues you raised addressed immediately. The bed which you refer to as worn out is in fact a brand new bed with brand new Hypnos mattress. These were purchased and place in our rooms early in January.

I have passed your comments regarding your meal to my chef. I am sorry that you did not enjoy the meal experience.

In the bedrooms we advertise that we serve tea and cakes at 4pm. This is complimentary and has been very well received by our guests. Rather than increase our tariff following our refurbishment and purchase of new beds, we explored ways to offer further value to our guests and decided on the "Tea Time".

I am disappointed that you have insinuated that an upset stomach was a result of dining at The Gallivant. We take food preparation and hygiene very seriously. This is an allegation which I disagree with, and if I had been informed of this would have suggested you seek medical advice before posting such a statement.

Kind regards

Mark
General Manager
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Ashford, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014

We had the most wonderful day and The Gallivant Hotel was integral to this. Laid back, but very attentive, the staff focused on the details of everyone's needs without being intrusive. It is a lovely setting and the fact that most of us went in the beach was another highlight. Everyone praised the food and wine and we were stuffed silly! Thank you.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southend on sea
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

I'll make this the edited version,
We booked the Gallivant for our wedding after tirelessly searching for the perfect relaxed venue and after our first visit we were certain the Gallivant was it. Being huge foodies the venue was the obvious choice after our experience at the tasting day.
Leading up to the wedding communication was good and everything was going to plan, day before the wedding the venue was about 85% ready after a small refurb, not the best start. Sat down to (a quick) lunch, ordered some small snacks which took 2 hours to arrive (not so quick when you have a marquee to dress)! Not a good start again, they were painfully under staffed and not the happiest bunch, a polar opposite to what we'd experienced before.
The bridal party stayed at the venue the night before and had a meal at the Gallivant, they sat down at 8pm and didn't get served until 10 30pm. Grandmother in law became very ill during the night due to late arrival of the food so Mother of the bride spent the entire night nursing, so as you can imagine we were all becoming more and more frustrated with the general service at the venue.
The big day,
Hugely understaffed again which became apparent after the ceremony. Snacks were served to our waiting guests whilst we had our photos taken, not once were we offered any food during the photos by the venue, staff were hiding. Hungry bride and groom!
Wedding breakfast was late, and to say it was under portioned is the understatement of the century! 2 sharing platters for the top table, mother of the groom didn't even eat so we could! Food was sub standard and presentation was sloppy.
Evening guests were due to arrive at 7pm, desert wasn't served until 8pm, so we had 2 wedding parties! Very embarrassing!
All in all it was an amazing day due to the company not down to the Gallivant, they were completely dis-interested in us and we were left to our own devices. The hotel has obviously changed hands since we booked the wedding and since the amazing experience of the tasting day. We wont be returning as guests which is real shame, but we will be returning to Rye as my experience at a hotel there the night before with the grooms party was second to none!
To sum it up, poor service, poor food, understaffed and uninterested, a lot of money was spent to make the day as perfect as can be for my wife, but it seems the money which was spent had obviously gone elsewhere certainly not on food or staff!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
snagger, General Manager at The Gallivant, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Dear Edward H

Many thanks for taking the time to write a review following your wedding at The Gallivant. I am disappointed to read such feedback and am surprised that there has been no communication with me considering your dissatisfaction.

I was on duty the day before your wedding and on the day of the wedding and had communication with various different members of family organising your day. The lunch was served in what we felt an acceptable time and was certainly not the 2 hours as stated. There was no mention of slow service at this point. The Gallivant underwent a major refurbishment program in January and February and was complete prior to your wedding. As with all major projects, there is snagging and we undertook some smaller tasks in the early part of the year to help improve the guest experience.

Dinner was booked on Thursday 13th for a party of 15. We presented the A La Carte menu and orders were taken from this. I have noted from our restaurant diary that the party was seated at 7.45pm (reservation was for 8pm). The order was taken approximately 30 minutes after this. As all the food is prepared and cooked from fresh, there is inevitably going to be a wait of upto 20 minutes for starters to arrive.


I am lucky to work with a hard working and enthusiastic team and am sorry if you believe they are unhappy in their roles.

On the day of the wedding, the marquee was fully set prior to your ceremony. We were adequately staffed for the numbers in the party for the day, however admittedly, an extra pair of hands would have been preferred. Canapes were served as planned and I personally prepared a plate of canapés and brought to you. I believe these were placed on a table next to you.

The timing of the wedding breakfast is can change due to factors beyond our control and we attempted to seat your guests on schedule. I must also mention that we found it difficult to ask your guests to be seated for the wedding breakfast and had to close the bar to ensure they would be seated. We did all we could to get back on schedule. Your guests did appear to be enjoying themselves and it is no surprise that there has never been a busier bar.

The portions served were exactly as served at the tasting. A member of the top table was not aware that the boards were to share and when this was brought to our attention we happily provided additional starters. Again, main courses were served as organised and additional dishes were served. I am sorry you felt this was not adequate. I did speak with your father regarding this during the course of the day and he appeared satisfied with the additional servings.

We do over 30 weddings a year at The Gallivant and this is the first feedback of this nature I have received from a wedding. I was on hand the day before your wedding and on the day of your wedding and was in constant contact with your father and other members of the bridal party. In addition to me, both my restaurant manager and events manager were also busy dealing with numerous requests. The Gallivant has not changed hands and has remained under the same ownership for over 4 years now.

I truly am sorry that you feel that I and my team were not interested in making this day a success for you and I am sorry for your disappointment I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you in person and should you wish to do so, please do feel free to contact me at the hotel.

Kind regards

Mark
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

Helping our daugter to find a quirky, non pretencious, very private wedding venue we found The Gallivant. After visiting for lunch, they decided this was the venue. Not quite perhaps what we imagined for her, but we got our wish for a beach wedding.!!!! Which will take place later in the year. As we are now on their mailing list, we saw the Henry Harris evening, decided to stay over 3rd April. Excellent, delicious, relaxed but so organised evening, good wine, food and athmosphere. The rooms are simple,but comfortable, in need of some TLC, but like all hotels, updating is on going, and already we can see a vast improvement from our 1st visit back in February.. The Gallivant, is a very friendly, easy going place to eat, sleep and relax. With the beach on it's door step for plenty of long walks. We are visiting again later in the week for a birthday lunch, so our grandchildren can see where their Aunt will be tying the knot. From the owners, Mark the GM, although extremley busy assisting Henry still found the time to help me with my phone!!! Amelia, restaurant, back room staff with their kindness and attitude The Gallivant is going places.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

We got married at The Gallivant this weekend, we were blessed with the weather and had the most amazing time. The staff were so attentive and helpful in the run up to our day, and I couldn't fault them during our event. Calm, professional and polite. All of our guests reflected on how wonderful the team had been. The food was also exquisite, we are real foodies, so it was very important our guests be well fed. Even catering for so many people we couldn't have been more pleased (and they cooked us extra bacon sarnies come the end of the night). We stayed in the beach hut room, and it was very comfortable and well stocked and woke up to a brilliant breakfast made better by the bloody Mary's and Barocca. We had a truly wonderful time and can't recommend this venue highly enough.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

Booked a weekend trip (via Voyage Prive) at this hotel by the sea. For a weekend in March it could have been snow, rain, sun, .. but was mostly sunny and windy! But the brightness was also reflected in the hotel. Nice "seaside room", comfy bed, quiet room (facing back garden). The hotel also has tea and cake for residents in late afternoon which was great after bracing walk on the sands (literally a couple of minutes walk). Hotel also has selection of DVDs you can borrow to use with DVD player in the room. Nice touch.
The food was good (both dinner and breakfast) although on both occasions the service was slow. Not sure if this was just because they were busy, but also a bit disorganised. Restaurant nicely set up, with log burner but plenty of windows to let in the great light that is present in this par of the world.
Just a few minutes drive into Rye which was well worth the trip. The other direction takes you to a kite surfing beach .. and with that wind they must be successful!
Anyhow, would happily return.

Room Tip: A few of the rooms at the front are close to the road. Rooms at back facing garden quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Gallivant

Address: New Lydd Road, Camber TN31 7RB, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Camber
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Camber
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Gallivant 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to our restaurant with rooms across the road the the beach. Inspired by the coastal motels you might find in California, we're a bit shabby chic, but above all relaxed and welcoming. Almost all of our food is sourced within 15 miles of us, most of it only hours old. Our beds are the most comfortable we could find (we tried a lot). Our beach is extraordinary. In 2014 we were included in The Sunday Times 'Top 100 UK Hotels - for foodies'. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Place At Beach
Place At The Beach Rye

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