East Sussex, United Kingdom

The George in Rye

Rates per night from$107.01

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 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP83.33), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Quirky-smart Regency inn

Setting

Cobbled Cinque Ports streets

A truly impressive transformation of an old East Sussex coaching inn, the George in Rye hotel feels like it was always meant to be this elegant blend of historic and contemporary on a classic cobbled street. The lounge is all traditional wood panelling and oil-on-canvas portraiture, and the bar blends original features (such as an exposed wood ceiling) with modern decor (Florence Broadhurst textiles, slick hanging lights). Each of the rooms has been decorated differently with a range of styles from sleek mod to quirky Regency.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A seasonal pre-dinner cocktail each in the bar or restaurant

Facilities

Photos The George in Rye facilities

Need to know

Rooms

34, including five junior suites.

Check–Out

11.30am (but flexible on request). Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $107.01 (£83), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast. One-night bookings for Saturdays incur a £50 supplement.

Also

Let the George organise you tickets to one of the world-class gardens nearby, or book some in-room pampering treatments with one of the therapists from the nearby Aveda spa.

At the hotel

Courtyard garden, DVD library, private dining and screening room, in‑room spa treatments, free WiFi, bike hire. In rooms, flatscreen TV, Vi‑Spring bed, Frette linens, marble‑edged (or roll-top) bath, rain shower head and Ren toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Each room is unique, so you’re bound to have your own preference, but we like cosy, pretty room 3; room 10 in the eaves with a roll‑top bath; and peaceful room 9. Room 6 has a gorgeous shower stall made from a wig cupboard. For a special weekend, book suite 1 for its double‑headed walk‑in shower. There's no lift, so some rooms (for example, room 25) aren't ideal for guests who have trouble climbing stairs.

Packing tips

A bucket and shade for the glorious beach at Camber Sands, plus an eye for an antiques bargain – Rye is renowned for its one-off outlets.

Also

Lavender‑filled pillows and luxurious bottles of wild fig oil imported from Florence make evenings-in even more relaxing.

Children

Welcome. An extra bed (£20 a night) can be added to some Superior rooms, Luxury rooms and some Junior suites (one has a sleeping pod for two tots). Cots (£10 a night) can be added to all room types and babysitting can be arranged with advance notice.

Best for

Babies and up - children of all ages welcomed.

Recommended rooms

Deluxe and Junior Suites are best for families because most can fit a cot or Z-bed (for an extra £10). Ask about rooms that share the same door onto the main corridor.

Crèche

There isn't a creche, but babysitting can be provided during the day given prior notice.

Activities

The best beach for children is at Camber Sands, a long stretch of golden sands a short drive (or cycle ride) from the hotel. Ask staff to point you in the direction of family friendly activities, such as riding, crazy golf and sailing.

Meals

Children are allowed in the restaurant at all times. There's a dedicated children's menu, and staff are happy to heat up milk and food and organise packed lunches. There are light snacks available via room service available around the clock.

Babysitting

Staff are happy to arrange a registered nanny or babysitter. Please give as much notice as possible.

No need to pack

There are high chairs in the restaurant, as well as a baby-changing room nearby.

Also

Every room has a TV, and there are DVD players available on request, plus a selection of child-friendly DVDs. Baby massage lessons for parents are available on request.

Food and Drink

Photos The George in Rye food and drink

Top Table

Nestle in a corner at either end of the long banquette, or outside in the Garden Courtyard on balmy evenings.

Dress Code

Laid‑back layers; something a little smarter for dinner.

Hotel restaurant

The brasserie‑style Dining Room has been expanded with Paul Gordon (who won acclaim at Qualia in Australia) the head chef responsible for the hotel’s traditional English cuisine using local and seasonal ingredients.

Hotel bar

Sip on a Rye Smile whiskey cocktail or glass of Sussex wine amid the George Tap’s attractive mish‑mash of wooden tables, benches and chairs; it stays open until the last guest leaves.

Last orders

The George Tap bar stays open until the last guest goes to bed.

Room service

Light snacks available 24 hours; from 7am to 10pm, you can order from the restaurant’s menu.

Location

Photos The George in Rye location
Address
The George in Rye
98 High Street
Rye
TN31 7JT
United Kingdom

Planes

The nearest airport is London Gatwick, an hour and a half from the hotel.

Trains

Rye station is closest, a tiny two-minute drive away. From here, you'll be able to reach Ashford International and the Eurostar (www.eurostar.com) in 20 minutes.

Automobiles

From Gatwick, you'll need the A23, M25 and A21. The drive from London should take just under two hours, escaping the city on the M25 and picking up the M20. There's no parking at the hotel, unless you're lucky enough to nab a street spot outside, but there's a handful of car parks within walking distance (drop off your luggage at the hotel first). The hotel recommends the Cattle Market (closed Wednesday night and Thursday) or Railway car park; the 24-hour charge for which is £1.50 and £2 respectively. Parking on the High Street is free overnight; during the day, a one-hour limit applies.

Worth getting out of bed for

Browse the antiques shops along the Strand Quay, or stroll down to gorgeous Camber Sands with a bulging picnic hamper packed for you by the George in Rye. Ramblers will enjoy the High Weald Landscape Trail and 1066 Walk, both of which start at Rye.

Local restaurants

Have a meal at The Ship Inn (+44 (0)1797 222233) at the bottom of Mermaid Street. The menu champions local, seasonal ingredients, with dishes ranging from the traditional (potted shrimp with potato and thyme bread) to the unexpected (grilled sea trout with sushi rice, pickled vegetables and avocado). Rye might seem an unusual spot to find authentic Italian, but The Tuscan Kitchen (+44 (0)1797 223269) on Lion Street is run by a husband-and-wife team, and ingredients are plucked from their farm in Italy. Just outside the town’s mediaeval gate, Landgate Bistro (+44 (0)1797 222829) has an excellent menu of classic and contemporary British dishes. Savvy diners will love The Gallivant on New Lydd Road in Camber Sands (+44 (0)1797 225057), where grill-focused grub is made with sustainable, free-range and organic ingredients (meats are locally farmed, and only non-threatened species of Rye Bay fish are used).

Local cafés

There’s no shortage of cafés and tearooms in Rye, but you’ll be magnetically drawn to the cream cakes and savoury temptations at Fletchers House on Lion Street (+44 (0)1797 222227).

Reviews

Photos The George in Rye reviews
Nick Hussey

Anonymous review

By Nick Hussey, Promoter and producer

Considering I’d just slipped a disc and had promised to cycle over the Alps the following Monday, our stay at the George in Rye needed to live up to expectations. That, or my pathetic squeals of pain would reverberate through their towel cupboards and kitchens and onwards to those very edelweiss gorges. Thankfully, the hotel has a reputation for being comfortable and traditional, yet stylish – thanks to being touched by the hand of film set designers. Just what the doctor ordered.

Mrs Smith drove under an ancient fortified Old Town gate, dropped me outside the George, unloaded the bags and told the staff that on no account was I to carry anything. Humiliating verbal castration upon arrival. Great. While she searched for a (rare) parking space, my bag-heaving receptionist was very sweet. I asked if I could store my bike in the garage, which was of course fine. I tried to explain that cycling was good for my back, to assuage my guilt at the exercise/laziness contradiction. She really didn’t mind. But the poor disbelieving Shakespeare-lookalike barman-cum-bag-wallah nearly herniated himself with Mrs Smith’s make-up and a year’s supply of fluorescent Lycra.

The first thing we noticed about this 18th century coaching inn was that the new owners seem to have achieved what few proprietors of these ancient public houses up and down the country have: a modern, redesigned interior that is still sympathetic to the original character of the building. It’s not just that the black tar encrusted beams have all been sand-blasted clean, or that the sticky red paisley carpets have given way to the original flagstone tiles. It’s that no detail, from the nickel-coated plug sockets to burnished copper radiators, has been overlooked. Tightly packed with long sofas, chairs and beams, the George rises above the seagull-echoing street in a warren of little floors. Our room is extremely light and well planned, rendering it utterly inviting, helped in no small way by soft-touch scented pillows and hot-water bottle cosies. The bathroom has a Victorian-style bath cum shower, and is Aveda-product equipped, while soft-blue wood panelling lends a gently nautical air. As soon as she opened the ‘G’-branded wooden box to find an incredibly varied selection of teas, Mrs Smith immediately set to work preparing that most British of refreshments in celebration.

The owners, Katie and Alex Clarke, have links with set design and prop buying, making for a tasteful but vibrant and diverse decorative scheme: psychedelic Beatles prints sit alongside pockmarked beams and distressed leather. On our way to dinner, we nosed our way into the beautiful airy ballroom as it was being prepared for a wedding. The high walls are hung with a diverting bird-pattened wallpaper, and the chairs are clad in monochrome Florence Broadhurst textiles. It is decor that makes for love-at-first-sight stuff.

Chef Rod Grossmann’s menus create bold but well balanced flavours. Local produce is at the fore, and starters such as dressed crab and smoked duck are quite something. The wine we chose was English: Sandhurst Sussex Pinot Noir – what an extraordinary revelation. Having tasted no better Gevrey Chambertin from Burgundy itself, it instantly became an all-time favourite.

We weren’t the only ones feeling celebratory, don’t forget. And, as many of the bedrooms lead straight to the ballroom’s heavy doors, that night, as we climbed the stairs in a pleasant post-prandial daze, a growing din of wedding-reception disco filled us with dread. But, thanks to some extraordinarily good soundproofing, Mrs Smith, with her owl-standard hearing, was able to restrict her deadly talons’ nocturnal tasks to clutching the crisp bedding.

Next morning, at a slobbish 10.30am, we took breakfast in our slightly small but excitingly bouncy bed. I went all full English; Mrs Smith purred as she lapped up home-made yogurt and raspberry compote. Later, while she pottered about Rye, buying fudge and millinery just up the High Street, I went for a cycle, and found the landscape around Rye flat, windy and abundant in sheep. I attempted to ride along Camber Sands, but couldn’t. I sank. Children laughed at me; adults pointed. But the incredible light on the beach, glistening on sand and glittering on waves, made up for my public humiliation.

Having wound my Lycra’d way back through bobbing poppies and pea fields stretching into the horizon, I was looking forward to bar snacks and bitter. A superb lamb burger, sticky caramelised chunky chips and a fresh local pint did the trick, and I happily read the papers on the enclosed, decked courtyard of the George. Luckily, no one appeared to derive too much amusement from my hairless thighs.

Smiles were more forthcoming during our visit to the nearby pampering palace, the Rye Retreat, however, where Mrs Smith had booked me in for a full-body massage and facial. Having only read of such things in sneaked teenage glances through mum’s copies of Cosmo, I was a tad nervous, and desperate to let all the nice ladies know that I fancied girls. They didn’t seem to care, and Karen, my masseur and face-scrubber, soon put me at ease. I came out smelling of tangerines and lemon sorbet. The back was in a dreamy state and Mrs Smith was warbling something about fantastic bum toners; life was pretty good.

Rye – you made converts of us. OK, this East Sussex spot may present more-than-ample kitsch bric-a-brac window-sniggering opportunities, and maybe its one-way system is a little annoying to first-time users, but the charm and romance of this ancient fishing town is undeniable. And, if it is trying to shrug off its unfair bucket-and-spade image, then the George in Rye will help its cause no end. And as for my slipped disc – well, our weekend worked a treat on that, too.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The George in Rye’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Would have no trouble recommending. Charming hotel and staff right in the middle of Rye and all its charms! The hotel went to the trouble of calling ahead to ask if we would like to book for dinner, very welcome as this particular Monday evening the restaurant was full. Although the food is enjoyable, it is slightly overpriced. Breakfast not to be faulted, excellent.

Don’t expect

Parking at the hotel, but there's very reasonable 24 hr car park close by.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Oct 2018

We loved

Quirky decoration, roll top bath, friendly service, squishy beds.

Don’t expect

A lie-in, if you have a front room on a Monday morning – the bin men come crashing around at 7am. Ouch!

Rating

Stayed on 19 Aug 2018

We loved

The in-room massage provider was excellent.

Don’t expect

Recently refurbished rooms.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Aug 2018

We loved

The room and the food were excellent, but the dinner experience was marred by chaotic service. The visitor centre model of Rye and the audio guided tour of the town were fascinating.

Don’t expect

It to be easy to arrive and depart by car.

Rating

Stayed on 25 Sep 2017

We loved

Dinner at the hotel's restaurant was lovely. The situation of the hotel in the centre of Rye. The local cinema up the road from the hotel was gorgeous.

Don’t expect

The height of luxury. It's more of a pub hotel.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Sep 2017

We loved

We had a great stay at the George at Rye, and enjoyed a great cocktail there too. Thank you. 

Don’t expect

A sleep in: they move the bins early, which is very noisy.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Aug 2017

We loved

Quirky room, lovely bath. Rye is lovely to walk around, very compact.

Don’t expect

No fridge in room.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Jun 2017

We loved

Everything about the hotel.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Apr 2017

We loved

Room, location, food.

Don’t expect

Mad nights out on the town, ultra modern decor.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Apr 2017

We loved

The staff were so very helpful and pleasant to deal with at all times.

Don’t expect

Easy access to rooms in a hotel built in the 16th century.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Feb 2017

We loved

The unique styling, furniture, decor and comfort of the suite. The luxury of the roll top bath. The fireplace in the bar. The breakfast. The service in the bar and restaurant. Views from St Mary's Church tower. Kino cinema and cafe.The Standard Inn. Camber Sands. The Pilot Inn, Dungeness for fish 'n chips.

Don’t expect

Convenient car parking.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Jan 2017

We loved

The beautiful rooms and the excellent restaurant. Do a walk on Camber sands. Or a walk on the High Weald.

Don’t expect

Thrills. But that's no bad thing! It's a place to chill out and disconnect.

Rating

Stayed on 1 Jan 2017

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