Short Break - The Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

PUBLISHED: 16:55 13 March 2012 | UPDATED: 21:09 20 February 2013

Short Break - The Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

Short Break - The Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

Even the tail-end of a hurricane couldn't destroy the tranquil air of the Scarlet Hotel on a dramatic clifftop in Cornwall REVIEW BY RAY KING

The feisty tail of Hurricane Katia was hurling the Atlantic surf down upon the hideaway beach of Mawgan Porth and sending columns of spray 20ft into the air as the ocean crashed into the Cornish granite headlands either side of the strand.

We stepped back from natures roar into the tranquillity of the Scarlet Hotel, on a cliff top overlooking this wild and magnificent panorama, and all was instantly calmer. Or, one might say, we felt instant karma. Thats the essence of this spectacularly located hotel on the rugged north coast between Newquay and Padstow: a magical ability to enable guests to switch off the world outside, even one as beautiful as this.

The Scarlet is a stunning 37-bed hotel for grown ups no under-12s built almost three years ago to the highest eco standards and offering outstanding food, total relaxation and a superb Ayurvedic inspired spa. This is hippydom, man but in the lap of luxury.

The eco tag is no trendy bolt-on either: rain water is harvested, waste water from guests showers and baths is recycled to flush toilets, the hotels biomass boiler is fired on recycled wood chips and solar panels harness the suns energy. Insulation and air tightness increase thermal efficiency and the Scarlets outside natural pool used a living reed bed for filtration and much of the construction deployed recycled and recyclable materials. But the magic is that although the Scarlets eco-chic mission to be green is all around you, its never in your face.

The rooms are arranged in small clusters over five levels, every one enjoying a balcony or its own patio with terrific ocean views. Ours enjoyed floor-to-ceiling sliding windows leading to the balcony, chic open-plan bathroom with wet room and brilliant drench shower, large bed and every convenience that oozed quality.

The Spa at the Scarlet focuses on complete wellbeing rather than simply skin deep beauty. Guests can slip into a pair of flip flops (made from recycled tyres!) and enjoy the thermal experience of sauna, hammam, rasul and steam room and the splendid pool is chemical free. All products used are 100% organic.

Headed up by Michelin award-winning Ben Tunnicliffe, the restaurant serves sophisticated food that is simple yet bursting with flavour, changing daily to ensure full use is made of what is seasonal; locally landed fish from those dramatic Cornish waters is exceptional.

Fact file:

The Scarlet Hotel, Tredragon Road, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall TR8 4DQ. Tel: 01637 861800; email:;

Bed and Breakfast room rates from 180 per night low season, 245 mid-season and 285 high season.

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