Even though this was their 'soft' opening period, you would think everyone would be extra keen to impress. We would have been willing to forgive the lack of welcome, but our overall experience during our two night stay led us to feeling incredibly underwhelmed by the service. We stayed in an Indulgent Room and we were impressed by the lay out and spaciousness coupled with the beautiful view. However, some things were seriously lacking. No place for toiletries has already been pointed out in other reviews, in addition lack of gratuities is very obvious.
The explanation in the room notes for the lack of shower gel due to environmental concerns wears very thin when there is a plethora of organic and ethical products on the market including in the hotel's own spa!! The only complimentary thing in our room; water was not replinished and our glasses not cleaned nor our room or bath! Service in the restaurant: a bit slow and cack handed, but this could be because we stayed in the soft opening period. Little knowledge of wines on offer.
The concept and design of the spa is wonderful. We accepted that due to pre-opening all the facilities were not necessarily available. I booked a "journey" and had a wonderful therapist whose massage was second to none. Told that the seaweed baths were not yet up and running, I had an alternative treatment which was lovely.
However, such a shame to discover the very next morning on visiting the eco pool for a freezing, pre breakfast swim that the seaweed bath only 14 hours before in-operational was suddenly working. What a surprise to discover a journalist from a National Newspaper was in there and being given the red carpet treatment. He invited us to join him and we had a lovely time, only to be soured by being refused breakfast at We were given toast and coffee but refused any hot breakfast.
This felt very mean, especially as our newly befriended journalist was offered breakfast when he walked in 15 minutes later. Double standards? Really caring for real guests?
You are left to wonder. Great food, amazing architechure, stylish rooms. Hope it's a huge success - it deserves to be. From the moment we set our bags down in our 'Generous' room, we knew we'd found somewhere special. The location is fantastic, with great views over the bay. Throughout the hotel the emphasis is on relaxation and wellbeing with plenty of quiet spaces to chill out. The hotel also boasts a luxurious spa with plenty of treatments to choose from. There are two pools with one indoors heated and one outdoors if you're feeling brave and there are two outdoor hot tubs overlooking the beach.
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The food is first class and the service likewise. We had a lovely stay at the Scarlet and can't wait to return one day. There were no smells of paint either! A few details were yet to be finished, for example the flooring in the reception lounge, but this did not detract at all. The hotel is very beautiful, we loved the furniture and the artwork in the many public areas.
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The hotel is surrounded by holiday homes and yet you are totally unaware of them from inside as all views are out to the beautiful Mawgan Porth bay and the ocean. We were fortunate to have superb weather and glorious sunsets every evening. All windows face west so perfect for sunset time. We stayed in rm 36, a 'just right' room opening onto the grassed area, the smallest type on offer. It was fine for two people, with a double bed and a desk, plus two small armchairs and a coffee table, which we only used for throwing things on, the chairs being too small to lounge on.
The lighting system can be switched between 5 different settings, and worked very well.
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The only negative was we are used to sleeping in pitch darkness and the switch panel of the lighting system throws out a bit of ambient light when everything is turned off. We found we could cover the ones by the door by leaving the wardrobe door open, and the one by the bed by throwing a scarf over it. The room has a little patio, with two very uncomfortable rocking chairs, would have loved something you could stretch out on, or something you could sit upright on with a table for eating, these are in between and back breaking - def chosen for form over function!
However there are plenty of public areas for lounging with a variety of very comfy seats. Both the courtyard garden and the 'retreat' get morning sun. The retreat has beautiful sea views and was our favourite morning hangout. The food was all superb.
Portions are on the small side, but we found at dinner a starter and main course would just about be enough as we were avoiding deserts we didn't try them. As others have said the food is light on vegetables, and as we stayed 6 nights and ate here every night by the end I was craving something green. I liked the changing breakfast menu, but my husband would have preferred a more fixed menu as he wanted the excellent porridge every day.
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The wine list was very extensive and what we tried was excellent. The staff are all bright and cheerful, and very helpful. Service in the restaurant and on the phone from the room is excellent. When you are in the retreat area or by the pool outside I thought it would be good if someone occasionally did the rounds offering drinks etc.
As others have said the lack of a reception desk is disconcerting, you just have to hang around till someone comes past usually very quickly, speed of service wasn't an issue, but the feeling of no-one knowing you are there is a bit is strange. The phone receptionists have a cramped side room to work in, which doesn't appear to have windows - I thought this was a shame.
The Scarlet Spa Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall
I wish the architects had found a way to keep the serenity of the foyer, but also have the receptionists be able to see into it, and make their working environment a little better, as well as making the guests feel they could be seen and attended to in the foyer. I know its tough to get it all spot on though, and they definitely put the guests first here.
The spa experience is wonderfully relaxing. I had one of the 4 hour 'journeys' and my husband had 2 shorter treatments. We both thought Amanda was superb for massages. The indoor pool is quite small and the outdoor one very cold, so this wouldn't be the best hotel for serious swimmers, but how lovely that they both are free from chlorine. The steam room is very good. The hanging pod meditation area is a great idea, but the pods were not that comfy for my husband who is over 6ft. The hot tubs are very good, we had seaweed in ours which felt great.
There is a lovely smell from the seaweed and wood fire they are heated by. Mawgan Porth is a lovely little beach, seems popular for surfing, and allows dog walking. On the beach front there are a few useful shops and cafes. It is about halfway between Padstow and Newquay, so a great location.
The Scarlet Hotel : A little piece of paradise on the Cornish Coast | Travel to Recovery
We will definitely be going back, although the half price offer won't be available to us so we'll probably have to have a shorter stay. Highly recommended for people that want to relax and have a quiet break without children. The spa offers the ultimate relaxation with skilled friendly staff and plenty of chill out areas. The food is out of this world, beautifully presented and probably the best i have ever eaten If you like contemporary architecture the hotel will wow the socks off you even if the approach to the hotel may put you at an initial unease.
This is probably a very British approach to service and the opposing opinion might be that the people running the hotel have already run the phenomenally successful Bedruthan Steps for many decades and should know a thing or two about the hotel business anyway. We spent a weekend in one of the spacious rooms which was very funky and gave an immediately special feel.
The room contained a shower and a WC pan but no bidet or washbasin, the washbasin being located in the bedroom adjacent to the bath. Generally we found the accommodation to be very spacious with breathtaking views over Mawgan Porth beach. The downside however was that the use of very appealing design features appeared to be employed at the expense of room comfort.
A comfortable chair would have been beneficial addition to a nicely styled but not especially comfortable sofa. We used one of the funky balcony chairs to supplement the settee but this was not that comfortable for either lounge or balcony use.