East Sussex, United Kingdom

The Gallivant

Rates from (inc tax)$97.01

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21GBP), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


Summering on the south coast


Sand dunes and salty air

A casual and stylish stay by Camber Sands' dunes in East Sussex, the Gallivant hotel is awash in breezy whites, blues and driftwood furnishings. It’s a comfortable place to relax after a day enjoying the sea and sand. A Scandi-style restaurant serves up fresh fish and seafood.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A glass of Chapel Down sparkling wine each


Photos The Gallivant – East Sussex – United Kingdom

Need to know


20, including four Luxury Garden Rooms.


11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.


Double rooms from $97.01 (£79), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP95.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include a lavish Continental breakfast (including house-made muesli and granola, pastries and breads with home-made jams, yoghurt panna cotta, fruit, porridge, fresh juice and Matthew Algie filter coffee), and tea and home-made cake at 4pm.


The hotel's An Evening With dinners are prepared by renowned guest chefs or hosted by local vineyard owners. Tom Aikens and Fleur McCree have taken the reins in the past, so it's a must-try gastronomic fête. Home-made cake and tea are served every day from 4pm to 5pm too. If you've had enough sand between your toes, spend an afternoon in a deck chair in the coastal garden.

At the hotel

Coastal garden and shingle garden, spa, larder, library of books and DVDs, and free WiFi throughout. In rooms, flatscreen TV, DVD player, digital radio, coffee- and tea-making facilities with fresh milk, pantry and minibar, free bottled water and Bramley bath products. Luxury Garden Rooms and Garden Rooms have direct access to the coastal garden, and a small alfresco dining area outside their back door.

Our favourite rooms

Check into a Luxury Garden Room, for doors that open out onto a quiet leafy patch and a small private seating area. Generously sized, these rooms have oak floors, a rolltop bath tub big enough for two and a large selection of books and intriguing knick-knacks – we love the vintage swimsuits displayed on the walls. It also has one of the hotel's famously packed minibars. The Deck Rooms are Hamptons-esque spaces with a very private terrace and stylish, shore-inspired decor.


You’ll find the Beach Hut in the corner of the coastal garden; book in advance to indulge in treatments in this cosy pampering hideaway. Choose from a range of massage, facial and body scrub treatments, including the Karma De-Stress massage, Beach Bum Himalayan Salt Scrub, and the Skin Fuel facial; made-in-Britain ethical Wideye products are used in all treatments.

Packing tips

Blue, white and taupe to blend in with your coastal surrounds; beach-proof shoes suited to a hilly ramble.


A minimum stay of two nights is required for weekend stays.


Four-legged friends stay free in Deck Rooms, as long as the hotel has agreed the stay in advance. Dog bowls, baskets and biscuits are supplied. Pets are allowed in the bar (by day), but not the restaurant. See more pet-friendly hotels in East Sussex.


Under-12s can dine in the restaurant between 6pm and 6.30pm. The hotel has a list of reliable local babysitters for guests to contact independently.


Almost all (95 per cent) kitchen ingredients are sourced within 10 miles of the hotel, making its food miles pretty negligible. And some of the furniture was made by a local wood-recycling business.

Food and Drink

Photos The Gallivant – East Sussex – United Kingdom

Top Table

The beach may be obscured by grassy dunes, but by the window is best.

Dress Code

Breton stripes beneath your windbreaker.

Hotel restaurant

The dune-facing restaurant is kitted out in cool coastal style, tactile throws are draped over rustic wood chairs, and there's a healthy helping of Scandi design too. Chef Oliver Joyce heads up the kitchen of this renowned beachy outpost, where fresh catches are cooked to perfection, and 90 per cent of ingredients are sourced within 10 miles of the hotel. Try the Dover sole or – if you're staying from mid-May onwards – the Romney Salt Marsh lamb. Breakfast is a lavish affair, with home-made granola, decadent panna cotta, banana bread, compotes, and pastries, and Buford Brown eggs cooked to your taste. A 'recovery station' with perennial Bloody Mary trappings is a welcome sight for sore heads. When the sun's shining, tables spill out onto the terrace.

Hotel bar

The hotel's wine list is so abundant it has its own legend to help you navigate the selection of English cuvées, international reds and whites, and pudding and cheese pairings. In winter months you can sip your libations by a roaring fire. When the weather's fine, there are a handful of tables on the outdoor decking, or nab a deck chair in the shingle garden.

Last orders

Breakfast is served between 7am and 10am on weekdays (starting at a leisurely 8am on weekends); lunch is on offer from 12 noon to 2.30pm; and dinner starts at 6pm and runs until 9.30pm.

Room service

Room service for snacks and drinks only, but guests can raid the Larder of Guilty Pleasures – a grown-up tuck shop – if they feel peckish. Cuvée, wine, beer, home-made brownie bites, chocolate, crisps and nuts sit in this Aladdin's cave of snacks.


Photos The Gallivant – East Sussex – United Kingdom
The Gallivant
New Lydd Road, Camber
TN31 7RB
United Kingdom


The closest major airport is London Gatwick, an hour and a half away by car. There’s also the smaller Lydd, which is five miles away. Private planes can land at Lydd.


Rye station is three miles away. From here, Southeastern (www.southeasternrailway.co.uk) trains go to Ashford, where you can pick up either the high-speed service to London or the Eurostar (www.eurostar.com).


You need a car to be able to get into Rye easily. From Ashford, it’s a half-hour drive along the A2070; from London, the M20 should come in handy. There’s free parking.

Worth getting out of bed for

Strand Quay has plenty of antique shops to keep bargain-browsers busy. Across the street from the Gallivant is Camber Sands beach, a dune-studded shore with long grass and golden sand. Learn to kite-surf, windsurf, horse ride and fish; the hotel can help with equipment hire. Ramblers can ramble along the High Weald Landscape Trail and 1066 walk (www.highweald.org), which both start at Rye. Take a brisk walk through Romney Marsh (around an hour's drive away) and Dungeness Nature Reserve, which has bird-watching shelters and leads to a pebbly beach. Rye is a great spot to pick up antiques, tuck into fine Sussex dining and down a pint of local ale. 

Local restaurants

A good gastropub is never far away in these parts: try pot-roast pheasant at The Globe Inn (+44 (0)1797 223381) on Military Road, or rack of Romney Marsh lamb at Ypres Castle Inn (+44 (0)1797 223248) on Gun Gardens. Head up to the restaurant at The George In Rye (+44 (0)1797 222114) for a cosy afternoon tea by the fire or Mediterranean-inspired dishes in the brasserie. The Linen Fold at the Mermaid Inn (+44 (0)1797 223065) dates from the 12th century, and is where to go for some olde-world charm. Further afield, but worth the half-hour or so drive, The Curlew (+44 (0)1580 861394) in Bodiam serves fine-dining fare, such as mallard with beetroot, black cabbage and blood orange, and pork with fennel gratin.

Local cafés

Calorie-packed cream cakes and great coffee await at Fletchers House (+44 (0)1797 222227) on Lion Street and Apothecary (+44 (0)1797 229157) on East Street.


Photos The Gallivant – East Sussex – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

Mr & Mrs Smith have just returned from a stay at this East Sussex boutique hotel, and as soon as they've unpacked their wellies and watercolours, a full account of their UK luxury beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from the Gallivant in Camber Sands…

Ever dreamed of waking up with the beach as your doorstep? At the Gallivant, it practically comes true (if you don’t count the concrete patch of road you’ve got to cross first). And it’s not just any beach, it’s Camber Sands, a glorious golden stretch with knee-high grass and bumpy dunes. The bountiful bay brings in a daily catch of oysters, mussels and more, all of which can be sampled fresh as a daisy in the sea-inspired bistro, where there’s recycled driftwood for furniture and shells for artworks.

This is budget boutique at its best. The Gallivant doesn’t try to be something it isn’t; rooms are small and simple, but it’s the extra touches that make it special (book-lined shelves, jars of treats and trays of teapots and teacups). And they’ve got their priorities right, splashing out on top-dog linens and mattresses, wholesome, hearty breakfasts, and delicious dinners. It’s homage to all that’s great and good about the British seaside, with glimpses into the modestly dressed past captured in the old postcards on the wall. Where’s the bucket and spade?

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Gallivant’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The food and walks on the beach. Camber Sands is literally seconds away.

Don’t expect

 ...the biggest of rooms.


Stayed on 25 Sep 2016

We loved

The excellent customer service, the food in the restaurant, that we were opposite the beach

Don’t expect

Party nights, taxis to take you in to Rye when you want them to


Stayed on 3 Aug 2016

We loved

Everything! Brilliant welcome, staff were totally 'on the ball' and restaurant was superb

Don’t expect

Lively nights


Stayed on 23 Jul 2016

We loved

Great location and fantastic value tasting menu. Recommend Rye for some shopping and walking routes around Camber are fabulous


Stayed on 28 Mar 2016

We loved

The food was excellent as was the service. We loved it, and will be back.

Don’t expect

To be able to walk to Rye.


Stayed on 23 Jan 2016

We loved

Simple, pretty and well thought out rooms; dinner in the restaurant; walk two minutes over the dune for fantastic beach.

Don’t expect

Cooked breakfast; a good continental style buffet is included, but anything cooked is extra.


Stayed on 24 Nov 2015

We loved

Reception staff, general ambience, the tea. 

Don’t expect

Luxury bathroom, great breakfast, friendly service (except reception staff. They were great.)


Stayed on 30 Oct 2015

We loved

The friendly atmosphere, good food and service in the restaurant. And how close it was to the amazing Camber Sands.

Don’t expect

Luxurious rooms. Though ours was clean, well decorated and appointed, it was much more functional than high end. Also the "complimentary" breakfast was a bit of a misnomer, but what we had was tasty in any case.


Stayed on 5 Dec 2014