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“Everything Good!” 5 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
1 review
“Everything Good!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2010

Just got back from a two night stay at this hotel with my partner and dog. We had what the hotel calls a studio room (I think). Very spacious. The beds are extremely comfortable and the quilts very warm. Given one of the boilers broke down during the second night (which was not the fault of the hotel but caused by a larger issue with the main grid) this proved essential. The broken boiler episode was well managed by the staff who kept visitors informed of the situation and provided alternative hot water and showering facilities.
The staff are all helpful, cheerful and professionaly friendly, both on reception and in the restaurant. The food was of a very high quality and, as pescatarians, we were catered for very well, with fabulous alternatives provided when we explained we couldn't have the meat on the set menu (we opted for the fixed taster menu the first night - definitely to be recommended). Do have the stilton and walnut tart if it's on the menu when you go.
We intended to eat out in Rye the second night but booked again at the hotel restaurant as it was too good not to. The house wines was pretty good; I could understand the choices for the prices.
The breakfasts were a little disappointing but only because they ran out of some dishes (the smoked haddock the first morning and the kippers the second), and the bread. But the quality of the food was great. The jams were delicious as was the autumn fruits compote, the mushrooms, the poached eggs (just perfect) and the kippers (first morning). My only suggestion for improvement would be the bread. At dinner the bread was very good but at breakfast it was something like Mothers Pride (a strange thing to provide considering the excellence of everything else).
As for the location: the beach is just a few minutes across the road and over the dunes. And what fabulous dunes!
We will return! Oh, just one more suggestion to the owners/manager - how about stocking some pudding wines? If the restaurant can be improved upon that would do it!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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724 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 (120)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2010

We first went here last August and returned for a 2 night break over new year's eve 09/10. There's a new chef and the food was great - I had slow roasted pork belly followed by grilled plaice, my girlfriend had smoked haddock and spinach gratin then wild rabbit casserole, all really good. Washed down with a decent white from near Nimes, £19.95, which is mid-range on their wine list. Only minor gripe was the cheese board, which though delicious, was a bit on the small side but don't let that put you off - all the other portions were fine and we've had meals for 3 times the price that weren't nearly as good as this. NYE dinner was a six-course candlelit gourmet affair with the highlight being the Rye Bay scallops with onion squash puree, smoked olive oil - delicious!

Room was clean and pleasant, nicely decorated in a beachcomber style. All the staff were really friendly and the atmosphere relaxed and informal. The other big change since our last visit was the new sitting room at the back, where we had our pre-dinner NYE bubbly and chatted with fellow guests.

Journey from East London was straightforward in both directions, only about 30 mins from Ashford through increasingly pleasant countryside.

During our stay in the area we had a pint in front of the massive open fire at The Mermaid, a medieval pub in nearby Rye, a fun place to stroll through. A better place to eat in Rye is The Ship Inn, bottom of Mermaid Street. We also checked out the beautiful moated castle at Bodiam (see pic) the finest of it's kind in the UK, about a 20 min drive away. And of course not forgeting the obligatory walk on Camber beach, literally across the road from the hotel.

We really like The Place on the Beach and the surrounding area and will be returning when we can for a blast of sea air and good food.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2009

Great hotel all round - rooms are spacious and have the most comfortable beds in the world!

The location is great, only a stone’s throw from the beach and a short drive to Rye. Also took us under 2 hours to drive from London so perfect for a weekend break.

The food was fantastic – I recommend the fish which was delicious and sourced locally.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2009

Food was wonderful, service was perfect, relaxed yet everything served on time
giving us plenty of time to chat and chill -out in a modern stylish surround that had lots of "beach" character. A perfect retreat. On our list of favourite places, we'll be back.

Thank-you to everyone.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2009

My partner and i booked The Place on the Beach as a last minute getaway last weekend. Needing a couple of days away from the craziness of London, but not wanting to spend a fortune, we opted for the POTB.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon, to be greeted by friendly reception staff who checked us in and showed us to our room.
Our room was a double, not huge but well appointed and freshly decorated in blue and white. The bed was unbelievably comfortable, and the room had lovely little extras like home made lavender shortbread - delicious!
The bathroom, too, was brand new, clean and well appointed with a great shower and lovely toiletries!
Early evening we had a drink in the bar, a small but comfortable area just off the restaurant with several comfy sofas and a pretty twinkly Christmas tree. We had a glass of wine each accompanied by some home made pork scratchings and local cockles.
Dinner that night wasalso good. The brasserie was busy and buzzy and the food great. They change their menu daliy and source all their ingredients locally which i really liked. We opted for haddock gratin and my partner had pork belly - both delicious. Main courses were partridge (a small portion but cooked to perfection) and fish pie.
desserts were poached pear and chocolate fondant. all washed down with a delicious (and reasonable) Gascony white and 2 glasses of dessert wine.
The hotel is a couple of minutes walk from the beach, and about a 45 minute walk from the pretty town of Rye. So, on a cold December morning, we put on our wellies and coats and headed out! Reception had recommended a walk which took us along the beach, then along the river and up into Rye - perfect for blowing away the cobwebs and walking off our full English breakfasts (great sausages btw!).
Rys is really worth a visit if you are in that part of the world - really olde worldey, full of cute shops, a couple of epic pubs and a church that dates back to the 1300's.
We decided to walk back to the hotel and have lunch before heading back to London.
We both had roast beef with all the trimmings - melt in the mouth beef, massive yorkie puds, extra gravy and loads of veg - again washed down with a rather good Malbec.
Driving back up to London was a bit of a struggle after this as you can imagine, all we really wanted to do was sink into a sofa, read the papers and nod off, but Monday morong and work beckoned sadly.
We will definitely be back soom though, only 1.5 hours from London yet it felt like a million miles away. Thanks to everyone for making our stay so enjoyable.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2009

So many friends had told us that they had heard good reviews of The Place that we couldn't wait to go - what a disappointment. We arrived and walked into the guest corridor to be greeted by a sign saying 'no food or drink in the bedrooms'. I think it is a shame when the first welcome into the accommodation is a 'don't do'.
We were given a room which could have been used as a freezer it was so cold. One of the housekeeping staff said she had reported it but rushed off to sort it out. This was done rapidly however the warmth brought out the overwhelming smell of paint so we asked to move. Luckily there was another room for us to go to. The radiator had switched itself off and we complained again. This time we were told that the heating was temperamental. This is not good enough on a winters day when the rain is lashing down. I want a warm room. We were provided with an electric heater which gave off enough light to power the Oxford Street Christmas lights so this wouldn’t work over night. The ‘superb’ location meant that we could lie on our bed and look into the housing estate!
We decided to go for a walk and the beach was magnificent. Having cleared our heads we came back to the hotel and there wasn’t anywhere to take off our wet and sandy boots so we went back to our room depositing the sand and water through the hotels cream carpets – how will they manage when there are numerous children rushing back and forth from the beach in the summer?

The room was warmer now and the heater was no longer needed as the radiator had kicked back into life. We read the welcome letter and noticed their theme was ‘Marthas vineyard meets south coast chic’. The owners had 15 years experience of top London hotels and the chef was trained in equally prestigious establishments. The lounge was warm and relaxing however due to it’s popularity was full – not a problem. We took our glasses of flat prosecco to a table and enjoyed watching the gardening staff fixing the planting.
We looked forward to dinner despite the flat prosecco. The menu looked interesting and I was looking forward to the locally sourced food –most less than 30 miles from the hotel. Little did we realise that this was Tesco (more later).

In view of the ‘Marthas vineyard meets south coast chic’ I thought I’d go for the prawn cocktail – expecting a retro combination of the best prawns with a creamy dressing. Unfortunately I got more of an Iceland version – dull. My partner ordered the smoked salmon with pickled beetroot. The salmon was delicious if you could separate it from the dull salad and overpowering chunks of red onion. Our mains were equally disappointing. My partner had the fish pie which contained one variety of fish and large chunks of potato and carrot topped with mashed potato! This was served with a ramekin dish of wilting watercress. I ordered the special catch of the day which was squid (nicely cooked) but with a sweet chilli sauce which tasted as though it came from Tesco and was served with the same salad as the smoked salmon minus the beetroot. Again overpowering onion! We were asked if we wanted ketchup with each course – well that’s never been done in a high class London restaurant! Yes, we could have chosen badly but 5 out of the 6 dishes we had were substandard and certainly did not reflect the quality ingredients which can be found locally, nor did it particularly reflect the winter which was an obvious omission. Wilted watercress (the quality of which I would have thrown away if it was in my fridge) served with fish pie is a cop out in my view.

We ordered the cheese and a nicely presented slate came with three cheeses according to the menu from Kent and Sussex. We asked what they were and the waitress went to the kitchen to check. She came back with ‘a blue cheese from susses, an old cheddar from Sussex and a cheese from Kent which she could name. The poached raspberry and blueberry eton mess which had been freshly made contained 5 tiny blueberries and no sign of the raspberries – in total a bowl of cream! As you can see we were still looking for the ‘Marthas vineyard meets south coast chic’. We had our coffee in the lounge area which was very pleasant.
Breakfast was marginally better although portions were not great. I also hate queuing for the toaster and the coffee took ages to arrive. We noticed that they were refilling the orange juice jugs with cartons of Tesco orange juice so we then realised that there must have been one within 30 miles of the restaurant! Well, they rather set themselves up there!
They asked for feedback and we gave it. The staff were cheerful throughout and particularly Sylvia who seemed to be holding it all together particularly when the power failed. The decor is seaside chic and the location is great – away from the Warners camp and close to the beach. However we really didn’t see the 5 star London qualities they are so keen to boast about. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the food had been up to standard. I wish them luck but they have some way to go if the standard of the food has slipped so much so quickly.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelManagercamber, Owner at The Gallivant, responded to this review, December 12, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to give some feedback on your recent stay with us and I am sorry things were not as good as they could have been.

The sign you were referring to was of course inherited from previous owners and has haunted me ever since. The only reason it has remained so long is that we were waiting to paint this area of the hotel otherwise it would leave a horrible mark on the door.

However after reading your comment on it tipped me over the edge and is now no more!

I am also sorry about your bedroom smelling of paint, we have been upgrading the rooms for the past few months and this one took a little longer then expected to completely be rid of the smell of paint, my oversight I am afraid.

Arriving to a cold room in the middle of winter is also not acceptable and I have taken to time reiterate to the housekeeping staff that all arrival rooms must be checked to ensure that the heating it fully on and not turned off on the wall.

The view out of your room might not be much to write home about however the good news (as you discovered) is that the beach is minutes away and as far as views go don’t get much better! I should also add that White Sands (the estate you mention) is at least in keeping with the area with white weather boards and a nice seaside aspect.

Boot lockers are en route and will be positioned just outside the front door, and will, as you mention, help keep the rest of the hotel clear of mud and sand!

One area we have been working really hard on is the food and service in the restaurant and we have been getting great feedback and, as your saw from the night you were there, we are fully booked on weekends.

The fish pie has at least 3 kinds of fish depending on what is caught from the rye boats on the day.

Prawn cocktail is out top seller, not to sure what we could do to imporve this more, will speak to chef about this.

Sweet chilli sauce made from scratch for sure!

As I mentioned before the rooms are being done up and today the dining room was finished. However with all these upgrades we are making we are never going to be a 4*deluxe hotel, this is not our intention.

We want our guest to look at this hotel at an extension of their own home, a place where they can come with family and friends and enjoy a great plate of food and a good nights sleep without breaking the bank which a lot of the boutique hotels seems to do these days.

i think we have come a long way in the 3 months since we took over however the proof is in the comments and feedback we get which shows we are getting it right 90% of the time......however as your stay has showed we are not there yet!

I only hope that you will no fully give up on us and come and give us another try in the near future, I am sure you will not be disappointed.
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Herts, UK
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2009

Fantastic food and staff were very friendly and attentive. Lovely restaurant with sofa area for lounging. We had a double room - with a double bed - so cosy but clean and comfortable. Impovements are being made and general re-decoration is under-way which will only add to this return-to venue.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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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
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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