I think I have a new favourite place for a staycation – The Scarlet Hotel in Mawgan Porth…
I wasn’t sure what to expect when we headed to Cornwall this weekend for our second wedding anniversary, but I definitely didn’t expect it to be quite so perfect.
The last time I’d been to Cornwall was when I was 17, staying at the infamous Sunnyside campsite (now derelict, long may she rest in peace) and living off 50p “test tube” shots and fried egg sandwiches. It was as brilliant a holiday as a 17 year old could wish for, complete with romance, sunburn and AS results celebrations, but I never forgot that it took us eight hours to get there. The seemingly never-ending journey is why I hadn’t returned.
This weekend though, we decided to fly from Gatwick. And my goodness, it was SO easy. Less than an hour in the air and then our taxi from Newquay airport to The Scarlet took seven minutes. Seven minutes of gazing out the window and realising just how ruddy beautiful our home for the weekend was going to be…
It’s obvious as soon as you enter The Scarlet that you’re staying somewhere very special. Huge windows wherever you are mean that you’re nearly always able to see the sea and there’s invariably a member of staff around should you need anything, despite the fact that the usual hotel facilities like “a reception desk” have been completely done away with.
There’s a real sense of calm (it’s adults only, which certainly helps!) and as an eco hotel, there are lots of quirky touches which act as a constant reminder that sustainability and luxury can in fact go hand in hand – whether it’s the slippers made from recycled plastic bottles or the local handmade soap which you’re encouraged to take home in an organic cotton bag. (Side note: you will not need to be encouraged to smuggle home the toiletries, they’re the nicest hotel toiletries I’ve ever had the pleasure of using and they smell DIVINE).
Luckily our room was available when we arrived despite the fact we were early, so we were able to get settled straight away (read: stand on the balcony and say “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS VIEW?!” over and over again) and get our things together for a walk along the shore.
Mawgan Porth is a particularly lovely beach, situated between Padstow and Newquay and complete with huge crashing waves, rugged coastal paths and seemingly endless golden sand. It regularly features in the “best beaches” type spreads you see in the Sunday papers, yet still manages to be quieter than the neighbouring bays. It wasn’t hard to fall in love with it.
Obviously I managed to get completely soaked on the beach whilst trying to save a fish (of course), so it was nice to get back to The Scarlet in the afternoon to warm up in their cedar wood sauna. No need to forgo the sea view here either, as the portholes mean you never have to stop watching the waves…
The indoor pool
The outdoor pool
After a luxurious swim indoors and a brave swim outdoors (an unheated reed-filtered natural pool is a test in October, but I promise it’s worth it!) we were ready to head to the hot tubs and watch the stars come out…
With a G&T in hand and nothing but the sound of the wind and the waves, this was a very nice way to warm up.
We dined in The Scarlet’s restaurant on the Saturday night, enjoying all sorts of treats (ST won’t stop talking about the trout and I will happily bore you for hours about the cheeseboard) and generally relaxing into the stay even more. The big booth tables enable you to spread out and the atmosphere was really relaxed despite the high quality of the food. It never felt stuffy and I didn’t feel under-dressed in jeans and a shirt.
The food and drinks were good throughout the stay and it was nice to try so much local produce. Obviously I’ve already mentioned the cheese (THE CHEESE!) but the drinks were especially good: ST really liked the local lager – Korev – and I became a big fan of both the local apple juice by Polgoon and the Tarquin’s gin, especially when mixed together.
I can’t not mention the boozy chilli hot chocolate, either. It was quite something! The best part though? You could get your drinks and food delivered to wherever you were in the hotel at no extra charge, so if you wanted to relax on your private balcony but still essentially have waiter service then everything was just a phone call away.
On the Sunday morning we had an early breakfast (EGGS FLORENTINE, GET IN MY FACE) as ST had a surfing lesson booked with Nick at The Surf Club, but I’m going to blog about the surfing separately as this was a real highlight of the trip.
We checked out of The Scarlet after breakfast, heading over to their sister hotel Bedruthan for our second night. We weren’t gone for long though, spending most of Monday afternoon back at The Scarlet playing pool, sunbathing on the terrace (albeit in a coat!) and enjoying one last meal in the restaurant before it was time to fly home.
I’m going to blog about our Bedruthan stay tomorrow, as our bedroom there had quite possibly the best view of any hotel I’ve ever stayed in and our time at their garden spa was just idyllic.
Until then though, I’ll sum up by saying that The Scarlet is a really wonderful place and we have been talking non-stop about going back.
I was really ill in the run-up to this weekend away and was slightly terrified I wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy it, but I really needn’t have worried. It seems almost impossible to feel anything but relaxed when you’re somewhere as idyllic as The Scarlet and we both rated this trip as one of the best holidays we’ve ever had.
Stay tuned for part two tomorrow and yep, there’ll be a vlog soon 🙂
B&B rates at The Scarlet for the type of room we stayed in – a “Just Right” room – start at £210 per night.
We were incredibly lucky to be guests of The Scarlet hotel. You can read more about how I work with brands here.