Review: The Scarlet, Cornwall

The Scarlet hot tub experience - The Spa Man

The Scarlet is an eco-friendly hotel and spa set on the wild Atlantic coast of Cornwall overlooking the sea at Mawgan Porth. Just along the coast from Newquay, The Scarlet is an adults-only hotel that has jumped into my top 10 favourite spas in the UK. Blending effortless charm with a casual, laid back vibe, the staff are friendly, warm and relaxed. You instantly feel at home (there’s no traditional reception desk) and you can kick off your shoes, jump in a robe and stay like that for the entire stay.

The Scarlet views - The Spa Man

The rooms all have sea views (which are stunning), every part of the hotel is designed to maximise the views and it does it with maximum impact. Gazing out over the ocean, your stress levels instantly drop a few notches and your senses are soothed. The 37 rooms over five levels are simple and comfortable with open plan bathrooms featuring the hotel’s own range of refillable bathroom amenities. The beds are positioned to look across the beach and sea. You could stay here all day. But don’t! Take a walk on the beach below or stroll along the cliff tops to Watergate Bay or Bedruthan Steps.

Room with a view at The Scarlet Hotel Cornwall - The Spa Man

The hotel has been carefully considered, from construction to operation. Eco-friendly building materials and construction methods were employed and the whole hotel has been built to reduce its environmental footprint. The hotel uses a biomass boiler, solar panels, heat recapture and heat exchangers; everything that can be is recycled. I suggest you read up on it as it’s a beacon for most hotels. And considering The Scarlet is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, it was ahead of its time when built and way ahead of most new builds even today.

Definitely dine in the restaurant, the menu features local and sustainable ingredients with a nose to tail concept driving the menu. Some highlights during our stay included John Dory with sesame toast and the Milk Chocolate cheesecake with malted milk ice cream was to die for. Special mention must go to the sommelier who was exceptional in her knowledge and enthusiasm.  The dinner service was a bit haphazard at times – with a few mix ups and little by way of apology (except when the manager intervened). Breakfast service was more polished.

The Spa at The Scarlet

The spa at The Scarlet is still, even today, ahead of its time. Following an eco-approach, the spa features an indoor pool and steam room with large relaxation area, five treatment rooms and a hammam and rhasoul room. The deep relaxation area for post-treatment chill out has suspended cocoon pods.

Outside there’s a large terrace, an outdoor natural swimming pool filtered by natural reed beds (non-heated) and very refreshing. Beyond this are two hot tubs (bookable by the half hour) and a barrel sauna with sea views. Dotted throughout the garden below are little hive shaped pods to relax looking over the sea.

Deep Relax at The Scarlet

The concept of the spa is underpinned by Ayurveda and it’s the most relaxed vibe at any spa I have ever visited in the UK. The staff are friendly and informal, casually dressed in leisure wear and I LOVED IT. The brands include Tri-Dosha, Pink’s Boutique, and Proverb. I opted for a Proverb Men’s Facial which was relaxing and rejuvenating. The facial included cleanse, scrub, cleanse and facial massage using gentle broad sweeping strokes that was soothing and relaxing. A mask of aloe vera gel was applied and I was given a choice or scalp, hand or foot massage (I chose scalp). Then serum and moisturiser were applied before I was led to the deep relax room.

The Scarlet Seaview Hot tubs - The Spa Man

Guests of the hotel have free access to the spa, which feels like an extension of the room. There are no barriers, you can come and go as you please during opening hours (8am to 9pm). In today’s world, where charging hotel guests for spa access is becoming commonplace, this is wonderful to see.

Make sure you join some of the daily yoga classes in the yoga studio (again with sea views). Many different styles are on offer and it’s a great way to start or conclude the day.

The Scarlet Massage - The Spa Man

The best bits at The Scarlet

Swimming in the outdoor natural pool

Enjoying coastal walks and beach access

Warming up in the barrel sauna looking at the beach

Soaking in the hot tub sipping champagne

The relaxing Proverb Men’s Facial – excellent

The chilled welcoming vibe of the hotel and its staff

Hot tubs at The Scarlet

Room to improve

Sharpen up the restaurant service. With room rates at this level, it should be better.

Lights were left on at turndown – save more energy and switch them off

There was a lot of noise from upstairs whilst I was trying to relax in the deep relax room (I ended up leaving this space)

I would have loved some post facial skincare advice from my therapist

Outdoor barrel sauna at The Scarlet - the Spa Man

The details

Room rates at the Scarlet are from £240 per night. This is based on double occupancy and includes breakfast, taxes and fees.

The Proverb Facial is priced at £110 per person.

Spa Day

Day spa packages are open to all and include full use of the steam room, outdoor barrel cedar sauna, indoor pool, natural reed filtered outdoor pool, relaxation time in our deep relaxation space and meditation room.

The Space package:

£175 per person

A choice of a True Facial or a Scarlet style massage (60 minutes)

A healthy spa lunch in our sea view restaurant

Time in our cliff top hot tub

Plenty of time in the spa