I stumbled on The Scarlet Hotel a couple of years ago whilst staying in a local caravan! I noticed it up on the hill whilst on the beach at Mawgan Porth in North Cornwall. Intrigued I ventured up, and despite the flame being slightly embarrassed at the intrusion I sampled the special views and atmosphere that this hotel exudes. I vowed there and then that I will be back, and so it came to pass. Having slavishly endured a fabulous twenty four years of marriage to the flame we set about some sort of celebration. The Scarlet Hotel provided the celebration with aplomb.
The estate agents harp on about ‘location, location’. Would The Scarlet Hotel be just as enchanting based on a roundabout just outside Slough? Probably not. There is no doubt the fact that this hotel is huned into the rock of a Cornish hillside overlooking a wild, sea lashed stretch of golden sand clearly gives the hotel an edge. The views from any room are totally captivating. The views change almost by the minute. Particularly on a wild October day with the clouds rolling in from the west and the sun moving slowly round the corner.
You notice things are different as soon as you arrive. A lithesome, broad shouldered surfing dude or ‘dudess’, ghosts from the side to invite you in. Whilst looking for the reception counter you realise that there isn’t one, and as you are being shown round the hotel by a suitably tanned hostess you then further realise that all your needs as being noted and settled. By the time you get to the room you notice you’re luggage is already in situ. The only complaint was that my best shirt wasn’t unpacked and hung up!
Apart from the luxury, the views, the food, the spa, the outdoor hot tubs, the pools, the location, the architecture, the wonderful furniture, the artwork by local artists, the hotel boasts it’s Eco credentials. I’m not a lover of the term ‘ecofriendly’ feeling it is rather over used, but the effort The Scarlet goes to is impressive. Not just a warning about how much detergent it takes to wash your towel like most hotels, it then uses recycled water, biomass boilers, no air con, self purifying pools, organic soaps, and these are just a few of the extraordinary measures the hotel undertakes to avoid waste.
As this is a foodie blog I suppose I should get on about that! Sadly my camera failed me in my hour of need and so I have had to use a few library shots. The hotel boasts an ever changing menu using local produce. The flame and I managed to wolf a good deal of mackerel, monkfish and ‘Bre Pen’ lamb. The food is beautifully presented as you would expect. Flavoursome and cooked well. I hesitate to suggest however that at £42.50 for three courses casual visitors might find the whole event a little underwhelming for the money. For us this was all included in our three day spa break.
The dining area at night was a little disappointing if I’m honest. Given it was dark, and that there was no view and our table was facing the window, I felt there was a lack of atmosphere. The room was very quiet and dark. A stark contrast to a meal we had at Fifteen Cornwall down the road.
That said the same table was transformed in the morning for breakfast into arguably the finest view you can possibly have anywhere. The breakfast in particular was spectacular anyway. Again using local produce the homemade granola, Cornish yoghurt, Cornish sausages, bacon, eggs all cooked and taken formally as part of a three course, served at your table meal. The breakfasts were a major highlight of the weekend for me.
In all the whole experience of spending three nights at The Scarlet Hotel was a truly memorable one. It was without doubt the best hotel we have stayed at, certainly in the UK. It is easy to see why the Sunday Times named it their No 1 hotel in their top 100 places to stay. To most the cost of staying here means that this is the sort of place you stay at for a special occasion. I can’t imagine how it would falter in providing a suitable backdrop to savour that time.
Tredragon Rd, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall