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The Scarlet, a modern eco-hotel in Cornwall
The Scarlet, a modern, eco, adults-only, hotel is set in a beautiful location on the North Cornish coast overlooking Mawgan Porth. Having read a lot of positive press about the hotel I was intrigued and very keen to visit for an overnight stay.
I had been informed that parking might be an issue but was quickly directed to a parking spot in the car park outside the hotel, by the valet. On entering the hotel there is no formal reception desk instead, comfy sofas and chairs to sit on, the ethos of the hotel is to be relaxed and informal, I had just made myself comfortable when a member of staff appeared, as if by magic, to check me in and offer a very welcomed cup of tea.
Next, a tour of the hotel to get my bearings; being built into the side of the cliff overlooking the sea, The Scarlet facilities are on different levels. The emphasis is on light and space with great use of wood and glass. Large canvases adorn the walls, most of which are available to purchase. From the entrance level, there are stairs leading up to the retreat, a lovely terrace with seating and a panoramic view of the coastline and Mawgan Porth beach.
Going downstairs from the reception is the bar with another cosy lounge, while the restaurant is on the next level. On the ground floor is the spa and exit to the garden with a natural reed pool where you can swim if you prefer to avoid saltwater.
The roofs of the hotel are green in keeping with the eco nature of the hotel. Unlike many modern buildings, The Scarlet does not detract from its setting and blends perfectly into the landscape.
In the centre of the ground floor is the stunning cloister garden with beautiful planting and more seating; one of the hotel themes is lots of open spaces to sit, relax or take in the view.
My room, a ‘Just Right Double’, was on this level; a spacious, calm, room with a bed, sofa, TV and desk. I had my own small balcony with seating for two. There was more than enough storage space, a separate toilet, double sinks and an impressive double walk-in shower. Complimentary Oula toiletries, from the sister Bedruthan Hotel, are also provided. Tea and coffee making facilities are not present in the rooms, you can call through to reception for these at any time.
My initial experience was a session in the hot tub, a personal first for me. Gowns and slippers are provided in the rooms, it’s a short walk to the tubs which are set in the garden with amazing views over the beach. Again chemicals are not used to maintain the tubs, something I was happy about as my skin is prone to eczema. It was definitely a relaxing and unique start to my stay.
Having appreciated the scenery from the tub I clambered out and went for a stroll around the gardens. These are beautifully planted to a natural theme, using granite, long grasses and plants which thrive in the local environment. There is a large wildflower meadow immediately to the left as you enter the garden. Sloping paths take you down to the bottom section which has been planted with real sand dunes, mirroring the natural scenery, hidden amongst these are small, cosy, pods providing shelter and seating.
A gate leads directly onto the coastal footpath which you can walk down to access the golden sands of Mawgan Porth.
I visited the spa for the Short Journey Treatment, a therapeutic massage. The spa at The Scarlet is based on the philosophy of Ayurveda, from India, with the difference being a holistic approach to treatment. Time is spent talking about mood, feelings and your way of life rather than a long medical-based questionnaire. My back and shoulders were very tense so were the area of focus, as well as a head massage. It was a superb massage and left me feeling relaxed and calm. There are hanging pods in the spa relaxation room where you can unwind afterwards, something I’ll try on my next visit.
I went back to my room to freshen up before dinner in the restaurant. The shower was roomy with good water flow, the toiletries smelt divine and although by preference, I would always choose a bath I felt clean and refreshed.
The restaurant has its own terrace with full-length windows, showcasing that ever-present view of the sea below. I was dining on the three-course menu with a wine flight (a reasonable £35 pp). The menu at the restaurant is based on quality seasonal Cornish produce, wines being chosen by the sommelier who gives details of the wines. There are vegetarian options and allergies can also be catered for.
For my starter, Cornish asparagus with slow-cooked duck egg, hollandaise and truffle, the egg was perfectly cooked, the asparagus crisp and tasty. This was perfectly matched with a glass of Chateau Tour des Gendres “Cuvée des Conti” Bergerac France 2017.
To follow I chose Cornish sea bass with crushed new potato, samphire, shellfish and saffron, a dish full of flavour. To accompany the main course the sommelier had picked a glass of Marques de Murrieta, Capellania Rioja Blanco, Rioja Spain 2014. I do like white Rioja, and it was just right for the dish.
With so many delicious sounding desserts to choose from, I decided on the raspberry tart with Cornish clotted cream and raspberry sorbet, paired with a glass of sweet Domaine L’Ancienne Cure “Jour de Fruit” (Monbazillac, France) 2015.
The sun had been slowly setting as I ate, as it was a warm evening after dining I went out into the garden to soak in the gorgeous sunset.
I woke up to a beautiful, sunny, morning and had a refreshing pot of tea in my room before heading out to explore the beach. It was almost deserted apart from a few people walking their dogs. I walked the length of the beach to the village of Mawgan Porth which has a few shops, bars and cafes.
On arriving back at the hotel, I was ready for breakfast, I chose to sit outside on the terrace to enjoy the view. Rather than a buffet-style breakfast, there is a menu with an extensive choice of options, again using fresh Cornish ingredients where possible. I plumped for the granola with natural yoghurt and blueberries, it was delicious. To follow, buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and summer berries, with deliciously soft and tasty pancakes. A cafetière of freshly made coffee completed my breakfast.
It was time to check out and make my way home. I really enjoyed my visit to The Scarlet and wished that I could have stayed longer. I would definitely recommend it if you are thinking of going to Cornwall. It’s a stunning hotel and would be the perfect place to go for a relaxing holiday, a weekend or a short break to unwind.
The Scarlet is around ten minutes from Newquay airport, with four flights daily from London Heathrow. The nearest train station is Bodmin Parkway, roughly 30 minutes away by taxi.
The restaurant and spa at The Scarlet are open to non-residents if you happen to be in the area.
Address: The Scarlet Hotel, Tredragon Road, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, TR8 4DQ – www.scarlethotel.co.uk
Room rates at Scarlet Hotel are from £240 per night. This is based on double occupancy and includes breakfast, taxes and fees. To book, please visit www.scarlethotel.co.uk/stay/rooms, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01637 861 800.
Looking for more places to stay in Cornwall and Devon? we also recommend the Old Quay House Hotel in Fowey if you prefer to be in a town. Or how about The Headland Hotel in Newquay for a more traditional hotel with a stunning beach location.