The Scarlet

Mawgan Porth, Cornwall


You won't find children running in the corridors, only serenely-smiling couples in organic robes padding their way from the spa, the wood-fired hot tubs or an outdoor pool, kept clean by reeds.

For this is the Scarlet, a hotel built on a Cornish cliff with the sort of eco-credentials that would impress Kevin McCloud.

Its 37 rooms have either a terrace or walled garden – and all overlook the unspoilt sandy bay of Mawgan Porth, within earshot of crashing waves which will perfectly rouse anyone who leaves open their sliding glass doors. The owners have worked their eco-socks off to embrace their stunning location and produce an environment on the most sustainable lines.

You're likely to find a free-standing bath sitting prominently in the middle of a spacious and ridiculously neat wood-floored room, behind a sea-facing sofa. There are even power showers in generous wet rooms behind diffused glass screens.

The beach is literally yards away, down a steep path at the end of the garden and open spaces, such as the library and lounges on various levels, are decorated with seriously decent contemporary art.

Deep in the bowels, there's a maze of a spa full of winding corridors and discreet spaces, centered on a dark, curtained room with sailcloth cushioned pods where guests can curl up and float away their troubles.

So, no kids and no pets, although there is a hotel dog you can take for walks. If you do want to bring the family, you can check them into the sister hotel next door. Just don't expect a text. You're so remote, there's no reception.

Rates: £180-£305
Tel: 01637 861800

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