Get pampered on your perfect seaside getaway at this child-free and eco-friendly Cornwall hotel and spa in England.
There are few places in the UK that match the sheer dramatic beauty of the Cornwall coast. It’s hard to rival its astonshing landscape — hidden coves, sandy beaches (a rarity in Europe), quaint coastal villages and lush countryside. This idyllic setting is just what my husband and I were looking for to escape London’s relentless pace. Some well-earned downtime with a spot of pampering seemed like a very good idea. And the adults-only eco-hotel and spa, The Scarlet, in Mawgan Porth, Newquay, sounded most inviting.
The Scarlet couldn’t be better situated — located on a clifftop overlooking the stunning expanse of golden sand-Mawgan Porth beach, it offers up sublime views. The coastal path for walking is at our doorstep, and it’s also an easy 30-minute walk or 5-minute drive (though we recommend the eco-friendly option) to the Bedruthan steps, one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions. Get a picnic from the hotel and don’t miss this incredible landmark. Legend has it that a giant called Bedruthan used the massive rock stacks in the sea as stepping stones as a shortcut across the bay.
As we enter, the atmospheric reception lobby, kitted out as a modern living room with comfy sofas, makes us feel right at home. There’s no formal reception desk and no rushing guests about, and it’s nice to just have a moment to sit, drink a cuppa, take in the staggering views and just… breathe.
The staff magically appears to sign you in and they turn out to be very friendly and welcoming through our visit. It is the strong suit of this luxury Cornwall hotel.
Room with a view
Our airy sea-facing room is has a chic modern aesthetic with warm touches and is cleverly designed to bring the outside in. The balcony has spectacular, uninterrupted seafront views and turns out to be one of our favourite features of the ecohotel.
Everything about the hotel seems to have been designed to give you some quality time with yourself. That means hidden nooks and crannies where you can just have your own space and privacy. Also, while I love kids, can’t say we missed the little energiser bunnies running around, so that is a huge bonus!
Spa with a view
The Scarlet has paid considerable attention to detail in terms of wellness. Here, we find one of the loveliest indoor pools with a view of the Atlantic. It overlooks the beach, and it would take wild horses to drag you away from this amazing space. Oh well, maybe the clifftop hot tub overlooking the Atlantic might have more success! Bring on the bubbly.
There’s also a natural outdoor reed-bed pool, but it was too cold for us to try. Should be bliss in the summer. The holistic spa treatments are inspired by Ayurveda (which you can book) while some spa facilities and sessions like meditation, yoga, etc are free for guests. All in all, it feels lovely to be cocooned in this inviting space and to feel that elusive sense of well being settle in.
Food and drink
Wellness is also at the heart of the food at The Scarlet. With season and locally sourced produce featuring on the menu, you could enjoy a leisurely candle-lit dinner to savor with a chilled glass of white even if you’re not staying at the hotel.
Headed up by Chef Mike Francis since 2017, the mix of Europe-style dishes with Cornish influences are a treat. There’s good choice for vegans as well with food and vegan-friendly wines. Meals are eaten slowly and meant to be savored, and you don’t have to dress up if you don’t want to. My personal preference has always been for restaurants that know they don’t need to be pretentious to be fabulous. The focus is rightly on the food – immaculately presented and delicately flavored.
For a relaxing drink, The Retreat Terrace is just the place to be to watch a sunset or sunbathe in the summer. If the beach is a tad crowded in peak season, you need a (child-free) retreat like this to make the most of your stay.
The Scarlet is proving that a sustainable stay doesn’t have to cost the earth. The hotel has set up a local community fund to improve the natural environment and to benefit locals. There is also a conscious drive to reduce its negative impact by sourcing local, reducing waste and keeping an eye on energy usage. The biomass boiler is fired on wood chips (waste products and FSC wood from a local company) and is used to produce hot water for bathrooms, kitchens and for heating the hotel.
The rooms have ethically sourced toiletries, organic towels and slippers that are made from recycled bottles. No kettles, plastic water bottles or fridges in sight (though you have the option of asking for one) and there’s lighting control to save on energy and create the ambience you prefer.
Overall, the hotel blends into its surroundings harmoniously and even offers discounts to guests who travel to The Scarlet by foot, bike, bus or train.
We just loved our stay at The Scarlet – from the sublime sea views to the welcoming hospitality and eco-cred, it’s this Cornwall hotel and spa is perfect sanctuary for running away from the battering pace of real life. Perfect for a mind, body and digital detox. So you can just breathe.
The Scarlet in Mawgan Porth is only a five-minute drive from Newquay airport.