Why so chic?
Why travel experts chose this hotel
Only when you book with Chic
Set across the road from the golden shores of Camber Sands (voted one of the world’s 50 best beaches by The Sunday Times) this stylish and inviting restaurant with rooms offers the perfect weekend escape.
Whilst the motel-like set up, with car park upfront might seem a little underwhelming at first, do not be deceived - a chic and cosy haven lies within. There's a carefree, barefoot vibe here with rooms boasting a cool Scandinavian meets Californian aesthetic and real attention to detail. Rooms come in a variety of shapes and sizes but all are incredibly comfortable and perfect to retreat to at the end of a hard day at the beach.
The restaurant is a destination in itself and the team's passionate commitment to local produce has won them multiple awards. The cosy bar area is a great place to curl up with a glass of something on a blustery evening or you can sit out on the terrace in the warmer summer months.
The relaxed feel belies an extremely high level of service with unfailingly friendly staff and there's a warm welcome for dogs too with a special section of the mini-bar dedicated to canine treats.
A very chic update on the classic British bucket and spade holiday.
I bought the site in 2012, then called ‘The Place’, a run down roadside motel serving chips with everything initially with the idea of turning it into a private house. A cool, beach house set behind one of the most magnificent beaches in Southern England in as yet an undiscovered part of England. I wanted a place for both my family and friends to escape to on weekends, where we could fish and mess around on the beach and where I could cook delicious food while everyone else was relaxing and having a good time.
For the past 25 years all my friends have told me that I should run a restaurant…so it wasn’t long before I realised that the Gallivant could become an amazing Restaurant with Rooms and that I shouldn't try and convert it into a private house at all. This began the journey that is now manifest at the Gallivant today.
So the Gallivant is a slice of me. My love of food. Going to food markets, finding new and exciting ingredients, cooking them up when I get home. How these trips often involve staying in lovely family run hotels, with passionate owners, where you feel part of the family with bedrooms that are individually unique, with curios from local artisans, places that are effortlessly luxurious and above all relaxing.
- Harry Cragoe, Owner
Read Harry's full story here >
Food is really what The Gallivant is all about; they describe themselves as a restaurant with rooms and take pride in the fact that the vast majority of their food is produced within a 15-mile radius. (That, incidentally, also makes them the first place in the UK where you can try new season Romney salt marsh lamb, a famous local speciality.)
Breakfast features a delicious array of wholesome homemade treats (muesli, banana bread, yoghurt, jams) accompanied not just by tea and coffee but also (nice touch) an endless supply of Bloody Marys at their ‘recovery station’. Bed and breakfast here also includes tea and homemade cake, as befits the Gallivant’s cool foodie ethos. Also included in your stay is access to the hotel's larder, filled to the brim with tasty snacks.
What we loved...
Once you get over the roadside setting, it's hard not to be charmed by the restaurant with rooms that lies within. Food is of the best kind - locally sourced and with a real focus on seasonality - and our room had a beautifully laid-back beachy feel. We wrapped up and headed to the beach to watch the sun set with a bottle of English fizz amidst the dunes. Heaven.
- Roxane, Chic Retreats Editor
The 20 bedrooms offer a pared-back style with a real beachy feel - think driftwood details and cool, bleached-out tones. There's a real focus on comfort - with all rooms featuring a King or Super King-sized bed, 300-count bed linen, feather pillows and rainforest showers. The interconnected Double Rooms would suit families with older children or, if you're here for romance, opt for a Deluxe Double Room for a deliciously deep, free-standing roll-top bath.
The two Double Rooms, one of the Classic Double Rooms and one Deluxe Double Room are dog-friendly (subject to availability), offering direct access out onto a shingle terrace (extra charge applies).
With Camber Sands on your doorstep, you might decide that sunny (or potentially wind-swept) walks along the beach followed by plentiful R&R is quite enough diversion. However, just round the coast to the east you’ll find atmospheric Dungeness, where filmmaker Derek Jarman created his famous garden. Nearby Rye is a beautifully preserved medieval town and former Cinque Port where Henry James, Paul Nash and E. F. Benson all once lived – it’s now a chi-chi little place with quantities of thriving independent shops and restaurants to visit.
The nearby town of Battle was the site of the Battle of Hastings, and there’s plenty to see and explore around the area and at the English Heritage site devoted to that momentous event. The Jerwood Gallery in Hastings' Old Town is worth a visit for 20th century and contemporary art, while outdoor types will want to take advantage of the kite and wind surfing on offer – Camber is one of the top 10 sites in the UK for these sports.
The hotel's treatment room is perfect for a calming facial or relaxing massage, and only natural products from Wideye are used by the therapists. Yoga classes are also offered by the hotel, either in a marquee or on Camber Sands if the weather permits.