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“Perfect location for access to the beach, polite and friendly staff”
Review of The Gallivant

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The Gallivant
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Camber
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 29, 2009

One of my best friends held their wedding reception here a few weeks ago, and although I didn't actually stay at the hotel myself, I was very impressed with the level of service and warm welcome given by the staff from the moment we arrived to set up on the Friday to when we departed on the Sunday. The drinks reception held in the sand dunes was fantastic and so well run, that it felt effortless to all the guests who just kicked off their shoes and socks onto a blanket and enjoyed the champagne and canapes that the staff brought round. The reception food was equally as good, and the staff friendly at all times which definately helped the party atmosphere!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Service
Thank pd24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,306 - 1,312 of 1,383 reviews

Reviewed September 29, 2009

I only tried the restaurant once, in August, and I was completely disappointed. If you believe their website, you'd expect service and food fit for royalty but, unfortunately, only the prices match the category. The kitchen staff is probably the slowest I've ever met, it took them forever to get me some scollops and when they eventually arrived they were overdone, cold and a bit on the stale side. The wine was a complete disgrace - not only expensive, but also poor in quality. Below contempt, I'm afraid, it almost tasted as though it had been drunk once before. Did I mention that the floor staff was absolutely clueless? Most likely untrained agency casuals from some country I'd probably not dare visit. I tried to complain to the general manager, but the man seemed also very confused about the many issues he had to take care of in his position so we gave up. Same as we gave up on staying over, because I've only glanced at a room and realized it seriously needed some good refurbishing. I'd been given better accommodation in Bulgaria so I expected a lot more. Spend your money somewhere else!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Upsetosaurus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2009

We've been meaning to go to this hotel for a while. The set-up looked perfect. Location right opposite one of the best beaches on the South Coast; restaurant on site; and modern-looking rooms. Plus now we have a baby, it looked like it would work well - cots are available; and all rooms are within baby-monitor range of the brasserie, meaning mum and dad can go out and enjoy a lovely meal while baby slept soundly - perfect.

On the plus side: the room was on expectations - clean, fresh decor. And the welcome was very friendly. Unfortunately, on the occasion we were there, the whole experience was badly let down by the restaurant.

We fed our son early whilst we enjoyed a drink. Despite there being only one other table occupied, it took 30 mins for his fish and chips to arrive. The chips were undercooked, the fish over. Nevertheless, he was so hungry he devoured the lot.

We had told the waiting staff that we would be eating later once we'd put our son to bed and that we had a reservation made for 8pm. However, when we did return to the restaurant an hour later (baby safe and snug in bed), no-one seemed to notice us, or offer to get us a drink. We waited for a while then stood up to attract attention - still no-one attended to us until we asked. When we were finally seated, no menu was offered - but staff were conspicuously laying empty tables whilst we waited. And when we finally gave our order, it took a long while to deliver our wine and water - completely unnecessary given the number of staff milling around.

We were hoping the food itself would make up for the haphazard (but consistently polite)service. But unfortunately it was a huge disappointment. The kitchen was struggling to match the descriptions given on the menu (my summer berry eton mess contained no summer berries - just a mass of whipped cream and a bit of meringue; my rosemary flavoured lamb had no rosemary; the moules mariniere had no parsley). And to be honest, a few unseasoned lamb chops (no sauce) with some new potatoes (no butter) and a pile of frisee lettuce does not constitute good brasserie fayre in my book.

We do not wish to sound petty documenting all of the above - we simply wish to help this establishment become the best it can be - because it has so much potential and it frustrates us when this is not realised. We noted on the website that the hotel has just been taken over at the end of August with a new management running the show. What we experienced were, hopefully, classic teething troubles. The staff are sweet and well intending. They just need to get into a groove and focus more on getting service spot-on. The food also needs to really step up a good few notches if the place is to fulfil its ambitions to be a fine dining destination.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with family
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Thank Holidaysking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2009

We stayed at The Place for one night with our 3 month old son and whilst the facilities were a touch pricey for what we got ,the service provided by the staff was first class.
Having initially been advised that they would only allow us in the restaurant upto 19:00 with our son, they accomodated us at a much later time and then served the 2nd half of our meal in our room when he got a little upset! The food was of a good standard and reasonably priced.

This attentive service continued the following morning at breakfast and nothing was too much trouble. As long as the weather is good and you like sand this is a great spot for a short break.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Wood4dman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2009

Daughters wedding at Dungeness lighthouse, followed by reception and evening shindig in the hotel. Great location, the drinks reception on the beach was fantastic, huge thanks to all the staff for setting up and serving champers and nibbles on the beach, with rugs etc to ensure everyone was comfortable. Sit down meal served in marquee outside hotel worked really well, and again hotel catering was excellent. Everything went like a dream, seemingly without any effort from bride and groom, best man and parents, the hotel staff just did it! More than 100 guests all commented on what a great occasion and wonderful location and organisation.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with family
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Thank Arthur65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2009

Our order was taken at 2.00 p.m. in a restuarant not over run with covers...................1hr & 15mins later still no starters and the restuarant was nearly empty! After complaining we were told it was because a "lot" of people had ordered mussels (they specialise in fish and mussels cook in 5 mins!!!) our starters eventually arrived, they were very good which they needed to be. Our mains arrived 15 mins later, again quite good................but whilst eating our mains I noticed that the two waiting staff were asking about leaving (it was the end of their shift) and the "head waiter" was left pretty much on his own, until two untrained waiting staff arrived and were trained whilst we sat for nearly 20 mins with our dirty plates infront of us. After a lot of eye contact they were eventually cleared, and that was it....................NOTHING, no one asked if we would like desserts, coffee anything. So we asked for the bill, which arrived very promptly, there was an optional service charge (10%) on the bill, we asked for it to be removed. The bill came in at £25 per head, it should have been alot better for that kind of money, would not recommend it to anyone, the service is awful and if it doesn't improve the business will just disappear!!!! Just another little comment, I believe the owner/manger of The Place requested the head waiter to keep the side door closed due to the fact that someone was sawing wood (not the best amibance) he asked on four occassions..........................the door was never closed!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank RMD2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelManagercamber, Owner at The Gallivant, responded to this reviewResponded September 12, 2009

My name is Tudor and I am the new Manager and Co-Owner of the hotel and brasserie. I have just purchased the business (27th August 2009) and am now working around the clock to improve every aspect of the business.

Having worked in the hotel business for over 12 years I know the importance of customer feedback.

Spending most of my career in London I am used to people telling me exactly what they think and with an international mix of customers getting it ‘right’ is an ever-changing list of expectations that only the best hotels achieve.

I remember one guest who turned up drunk at the front door of the hotel having spent an evening out with friends. Unfortunately he fell out of the cab and cut his lip on the pavement arriving at the front desk bleeding and disorientated. My team attended to him and got him to bed safely. He checked out the following day and left without incident.

It was only weeks later that a review was posted online saying he had tripped in the hotel and that the staff did not help him.
In this instance I asked Tripadvisor to remove the review as it was not only untrue but upset my staff who bent over backwards to look after him.

Reading this review reminded of this incident. It is beyond reason to suggest that the first course took over 1 hour 15 mins to arrive.

Having said that there is some truth in this review, which is why I am not asking for it to be removed.

I am pleased to hear the food was good; our new Head Chef (recruited from a highly acclaimed restaurant down the coast) is beginning to transform the food offer, which is already getting great reviews from our customers. As you can imagine this process can’t happen overnight as the new team need to be trained on how to execute the new menu, but I am totally confident that in the next few weeks the transformation will be complete.

We have also recently employed a new Restaurant Manager from London who is fast improving things…..tonight we have had some fantastic comments about the improvements and like our food things will only get better.

Finally, I do remember closing the open side door on a number of occasions. In my haste to improve all aspects of the hotel since purchasing it a couple of weeks ago we have had people working around the clock on smartening the place up – and I regret that this was one occasion when I should have been more alert to the needs of my guests.

I very much hope you will come back in the near future so we can show you how much the Place has improved in the short time I have owned it. I can assure you things will only get better.

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Reviewed September 4, 2009

We had a fantastic weekend at the Place - but this was due to travelling with good friends and managing to laugh at the dreadful hotel we had picked! Firstly, the 'Place' isn't 'at' the beach - you have to go across the carpark, across the road, across another carpark and then through the dunes to arrive at the beach. The website photos are deceptive.

The hotel went into administration recently and had only been taken over two days previously so no one seemed to have been there more than 48 hours except the new owner and receptionist. The rooms are TINY and more like an out of date Travel Lodge than a boutique hotel. Very, very overpriced.

The food was not good and very expensive. The 'Catch of the Day' was sole at £19.99 - vegetables sold separtely to add to the cost. Everything came with chips and was very mediocre.

The manager was helpful and apologetic but even with a new chef and a new team, the rooms are still tiny, the bathrooms terrible and the hotel vastly overpriced.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank LJHLondon_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelManagercamber, Manager/ owner at The Gallivant, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2009

First of all thank you for your feedback. I remember we talked for almost an hour when you came to stay at the hotel. I am happy that despite your issues you still managed to have a good time – the feedback we are getting from other customers is most of them do.

As the name of the hotel states, we are the hotel ‘at’ the beach not ‘on’ the beach. Our guests, young and old alike, appear to have no problem walking the 2 minutes to the sand dunes directly opposite the hotel and then onto the beach – but yes as you state you do have to cross a minor B road and then walk about 60 metres across a sandy field (that doubles as a car park on busy weekends/ho;idays) to get there. By the way the dunes are protected and of Special Scientific Interest due to their size and the flora and fauna that live in them. They also help shield the hotel from some of the strong onshore breezes we experience – all in all we love them!

I am very excited about developing a really great food offer at the hotel over the next few weeks and months, and as you mention we have already found a great head chef from a highly rated restaurant further down the coast. He is already improving every aspect of the menu and expect that within the next couple of weeks it will be a much better expression of the fantastic local seafood and salt marsh lamb and beef that surround us. He is as passionate and excited as we are at serving really great local food. Incidentally the Lemon Sole you ate was probably only hours old and served with local boiled new potatoes and not chips, unless of course you ordered these separately which I can’t recall.

As you mention we purchased the hotel literally 2 days before you stayed, immediately prior to the busiest weekend of the year – not the best time I admit to you to take over a new enterprise, but we had already taken drastic steps to improve the service levels by hiring talented bar, restaurant and kitchen staff, primarily from London who are passionate about giving guests a great experience. This has already started to happen and will always be our primary focus.

Finally rooms. I am afraid I do disagree with your comments about the size of the rooms. They range from doubles to studio rooms. We could have sold out rooms 3 or 4 times over the weekend you stayed such was the demand but didn’t raise prices as perhaps we could have done. The deluxe and Studio rooms are all big enough to accommodate a small sofa (that doubles as an extra bed) and we have z beds that fit in all rooms if you are coming with the family. All our rooms are due for a refurbishment over the next few months to be more in keeping with our location – Martha’s Vineyard meets English seaside…incidentally for the rest of the year you can stay mid week for under £100/night.


It would be a pleasure to welcome you back to the hotel at some point in the near future where you will see continued evidence of our work to improve every aspect of the hotel and restaurant. The road will still be there but so will the 7 miles of golden white sands and amazing dunes – deserted for most of the year, and only a hop and a skip away.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Gallivant

Address: New Lydd Road | Rye, Camber, Rye TN31 7RB, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Rye > 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: $141 - $241 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Gallivant 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to our coastal restaurant with rooms, across the road from the dunes of Camber Sands and beautiful sandy beach beyond. Inspired by the coastal motels you might find in California, we're a calm and relaxing hideaway from the stresses and strains of modern life. We have 20 amazing bedrooms all decorated with an eye to the Hamptons and serve great food using almost exclusively locally sourced fresh ingredients. In 2016 we were included in The Times 'Coolest Beach Hotels - No. 4', The Mirror's 'Top 10 Seaside Hotels in the UK' and Squaremeal's 'UK's Best 100 Restaurants'. The private coastal garden incorporates mini secluded decks behind all the Garden and Luxury Garden rooms and is also home to The Beach Hut, where guests can enjoy relaxing massages and lovely facials after a day on the beach using ethical and natural health and beauty products that are exclusively blended in the UK. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Place At Beach
Place At The Beach Rye

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