The Scarlet, Cornwall – The UK’s best adult’s only hotel? [REVIEW]


A stay in the lap of luxury, overlooking an idyllic Cornish bay… Plus, have we found the best hot tub in the world?

WHO WENT? FashCatherine editor, Catherine Hudson, 31, and boyfriend, Lee, 32, enjoyed a stay at The Scarlet hotel, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall


The entrance to The Scarlet hotel


Hotel: The Scarlet
Location: Mawgan Porth, Cornwall
Address: The Scarlet Hotel, Tredragon Road, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, TR8 4DQ
Phone: 01637 861 800
Nearest rail station: Bodmin Parkway Station, which is a 25 minute drive from the hotel
Nearest airport: 5 minutes by road from Newquay airport
Rates: Rooms at The Scarlet are from £210 B&B. Visit The Scarlet website to check the latest packages on offer, including babymoon breaks,
Pool? Yes, in the spa – and one natural pool, outside
Wi-Fi? Yes, in room and in communal areas – phone signal is none existent
Choice of oils given before treatment? Yes – full consultation with therapist
Use of other spa facilities given? Yes
Lockers and changing room? Yes – no locks on the locker facilities
Does it feel luxurious? Yes, in all areas it feels cool and luxurious
Did I feel relaxed? Yes, incredibly
Perfect for: A couple looking for a romantic weekend away, sans children
FashCatherine credentials: Did I mention there’s no children allowed? The calm is almost palpable. Also, the staff are very friendly, without being overbearing. They will chat to you about everything from local gin to local walks. And the food, oh, the food – a combination of fresh local produce and seriously skilled cooking.
You can enjoy a discount at The Scarlet, if you travel by foot, bike, rail or coach as you are reducing the number of cars on our roads and therefore the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Speak to the reservations team for more information.


Mawgan Porth bay – beautiful, even on a grey day!

There are many wonderful things we all know and love about Cornwall, including the indulgently delicious food and the scenic vistas reminiscent of warmer climes. But The Scarlet eco hotel in Mawgan Porth bay is one of the more hidden jewels in the county’s crown.

Cornwall may seem very far from the madding crowds, or indeed, very far from anywhere; but once you have crossed the Devon/Cornwall border, it really isn’t really very much further. And the journey is well worth it for the rich rewards. So, after having endured recent back pain thanks to an old slipped disc injury, a laid-back weekend at this adult-only retreat with luxurious spa, was just the ticket.



The Scarlet hotel is located on the top of Mawgan Porth bay, a short drive from Newquay. On arrival at the bay, you will notice a couple of seafood ‘restaurants’, a very ‘local’ pub, a mini mart, a couple of seaside accessory shops and a Pitch ‘n’ Putt and Crazy golf course. And that’s it, folks. So, you really do feel like you are ‘getting away from it all’.


In front of the pitch ‘n’ putt, a short walk from the hotel


Fish and chips from the local pub


Golfing, with Mawgan Porth beach in the background



The Scarlet excels at laid-back luxury, with wooden-floored rooms filled with local modern art, giant window pane panels to make the most of the incredible views and cosy, comfy seating dotted all over the hotel. All of the bedrooms are elegantly decorated and have an open plan bathroom to bedroom layout. Every room has a balcony, or additional elevated outdoor ‘pod’, to allow the hotel to say that they all have a sea view.

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The reception – which doesn’t have a desk. There is a sign asking you to be seated, and someone will come to attend to you. They will know you are there! 



The Scarlet offers a seasonally changeable lunch and dinner menu, full of local produce offering classic British and Italian dishes with a modern twist. My plate of pork belly, served with a cut of pork loin, broccoli and crackling was ‘melt in the mouth’, and caused plenty of food envy from Lee.


Pork belly plate…

We are, however, pretty good at sharing food, so I was also able to nab some tender salmon from his plate, in exchange. In between courses, we were served a tasty and palate cleansing apple sorbet, and finished with a honeycomb bombe desert filled with crème pâtissière, with a side of pistachio cake and raspberries. You can let your dinner go down before bed with an evening game of pool in the amusingly named ‘Rumpus Room’, pictured below.



Breakfast is equally exciting, with everything from the healthy (haddock and poached egg, above) to the naughty but nice (local cheese toastie with bacon). Additionally, you can order complimentary hot drinks whenever, and wherever, you like – anywhere in the hotel. And if you are lucky, it will arrive with a piece or two of homemade shortbread…



Sometimes a spa can feel like an ‘add on’ to a weekend break or holiday, but at The Scarlet, the focus is on holistic wellbeing and Ayurvedic treatments, with a menu of ‘journeys’ (lasting up to four hours) on offer. You don’t need to book a treatment to enjoy the lovely pool or steam room and sauna and it is especially nice to swim in the pool at sunset, thanks to the big windows and views over the bay.


Treatement wise, you can choose a treatment ‘journey’, which cost from £210 for 3-4 hours. There is also a couples treatment, which costs £125 each and lasts from 3-4 hours, and ends with a glass of champagne served in a double ended bath!

For expectant mums, the new ‘Pai Pregnancy Journey’ treatment can last between three and four hours, and, after a consultation with a therapist, you are scrubbed, massaged and pampered with a range of beautiful Pai products. You can then additionally choose, as many elements as you’d like, from: an ache and pain relieving massage, a bump nourishing body wrap, a warm scalp oil massage and facial therapy to tone and plump. A pregnancy pillow can be used throughout and the therapists offer helpful advice and a guided meditation to calm your mind.


The spa’s indoors relaxation area

There is a selection of excellent yoga classes to sign up for, including group yoga on the beach and a group or one-to-one pregnancy yoga class – which is all about breathing control, nourishing your baby and taking time to relax and prepare for giving birth. The teacher, Anna, is such a kind and gentle person – the perfect person to learn calming techniques from.

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Hanging relaxation pods


The beautiful swimming pool


There is a natural (read: cold!) pool outside and a couple of hot tubs, which can be booked for half an hour slots, for an extra charge. Taking a dip in the natural pool is a must, but make sure you have the hot tubs lined up for afterwards, to warm yourselves up.

The cute little tubs, sized for two, are perched between huge boulders. Sitting beside your love in a hot tub while gazing out over a beautiful Cornish bay must be one of life’s best experiences. Sadly, it is all too short, but an assistant will bring you comforting towels and robes when your time is up.



If, like us, you fancy the idea of walking a dog along the beach or over cliff tops, you can book in a slot with the hotel’s dog, Jasper – although do book ahead, as he has a busy schedule… Walking, with or without a dog, is without a doubt the best way to see Cornwall’s spectacular coastline, and the staff will recommend paths.

The views, whether at sunrise, in brilliant sunshine, through a storm or at sunset, are unforgettable. We would rate The Scarlet as one of the most relaxing, beautiful and inspiring places we have stayed in, both in this country and abroad.


Visit The Scarlet online now, for more information and to book your romantic weekend away

Note: If you want to travel to the area with kids, and stay in similar luxury, The Bedruthan Hotel, which is situated on the hill above The Scarlet, is brilliant for families.

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The stay reviewed in this article, in September 2015, was supported by The Scarlet hotel, Cornwall.

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