Sometimes you come across a hotel that just seems to get everything right. The Scarlet, perched on top of one of North Cornwall’s most gorgeous beaches, is one of those hotels. From the warmest of Cornish welcomes on arrival, to the comfy sleep pods in the spa and spot-on temperature of the outdoor seaweed hot tubs, The Scarlet hits all the right notes.
While there are 37 rooms in total, the overall feel of the place is still very intimate. Size-wise, rooms range from ‘just right’ to ‘indulgent’, and all are sun-filled, sea-facing and both ultra-stylish and impossibly cosy. You can choose between sipping tea on the balcony or bathing in your free-standing tub while looking out of the floor-to-ceiling windows to sea.
Or you can always check out the spa... And, my, what a spa it is. In addition to the calming indoor swimming pool, aromatic steam room and silent, candlelit treatment zone, there’s a hammam, a Rasul for mud treatments and a meditation room. Best (for which read: most indulgently) of all, though, is the deep relaxation space which comes complete with the aforementioned cushion-filled hanging canvas pods that you can curl up in and catch 40 winks. If that’s not quite enough on the relaxation score, you can take a dip in the clifftop outdoor swimming pool before warming up in a log-fired seaweed hot tub. Overlooking the rolling waves of Mawgan Porth bay and licked by the blustery Cornish sea air, the tubs themselves make for a bracing spot in which to settle in and sip a cocktail.
All that fresh air can build up quite an appetite and, luckily, The Scarlet’s restaurant impresses on all levels. Firstly, there are (yet more) endless sea views; then there's a pitch-perfect wine list; most importantly, though, it delivers with the fresh, local produce that it serves up, including an especially delicious catch of the day. In fact, it'd be all too easy to think it couldn’t get any better. But that's before you've ordered yourself up a bottle of the local (and award-winning) Camel Valley champagne to retire to your room with...
- Sitting in the log-fired hot tubs and gulping the fresh sea air
- Falling asleep in the sleep pods after an indulgent treatment
- There are no children allowed, so it really is a romantic break
- The food, the food, the food
- The admirable eco-friendly credentials
- It’s rare to say, but this hotel is faultless, our only complaint is that little else matches up...
Need to Know: The Scarlet
Number of rooms: 37
Check-in/check-out times: 2pm and 10am
Room service: Yes. There’s 24-hour room service
Swimming pool: Yes. There’s an indoor and an outdoor pool
Spa: Yes. Treatments range from bathing rituals to Ayurvedic facials using the Scarlet’s own handmade products.
Dogs welcome: No
Eating and drinking: The restaurant at The Scarlet is outstanding. Fish and seafood-lovers are particularly well catered for, obviously, although there’s also perfectly cooked Cornish lamb on the menu and plenty for vegetarians. It’s well worth factoring in pre-dinner cocktails at The Scarlet bar, too.
Location: If lounging about in the spa, taking long lazy lunches and looking out to sea from the hot tubs begin to wear, then guided cycling trips with the lovely Tim at Mobius (Mobiusonline.co.uk) or surf lessons from Nick at the Surf Club (Thesurfclubcornwall.co.uk) can also be arranged.
Getting there: The hotel is a 10-minute drive from Newquay Airport, which is serviced by many of the budget airlines. Newquay train station is a 15-minute drive away and Bodmin Parkway station is a 30-minute drive and has regular services to London on First Great Western (Firstgreatwestern.co.uk).