When the five-year-old overheard me tell someone that Mr P and I were soon going to be heading to a hotel that doesn’t allow kids to stay, she huffed, teenager-style, folded her arms, saying, “NO KIDS ALLOWED?!” like it was the most offensive thing she’d ever heard.
But, far from being offensive, I think the child-free aspect of The Scarlet Hotel, is partly where its genius lies. If I’ve ever got a few hours, or even days, away from my gorgeous daughter, the last place I want to be is somewhere with other people’s kids running around. So whether I’m working, and choose a coffee shop with a quiet upstairs area that’s hard to access for people with a buggy, or I’m off on a mini break, and look for the most child-unfriendly place possible, for me, it’s an important of time away from my kiddo.
First impressions count and as we arrived at The Scarlet, we noticed straight away that there’s no reception desk. Instead there was a small sign saying ‘We know you’re here, please take a seat’. After a minute or so, a member of staff came over to the sofa area we were at, greeted us, checked us in and offered us tea and coffee. It was immediately clear, as we sat with a cuppa, looking out over the Cornish coastline, that this was a hotel that likes to do things a bit differently.
Our room was gorgeous – modern décor, just like throughout the hotel – and quite quirky with the bathroom and bedroom being one space, with a separate little door that lead to the loo and shower.
Large sliding doors opened out onto a private terrace area that overlooked the amazing coastal cliffs. In fact, it did more than overlook, we could walk from our terrace, onto grass and join the path down to the beach.
And the beach is something special – this part of Cornwall is somewhere I’ve visited three or four times before, and there’s a magical feel to the bays that curve inwards from the cliffs.
You can tell that the owners of The Scarlet have put a ridiculous amount of thought into planning everything – wherever you are, in the hotel, seating areas face out towards the sea and in summer months, there are decked terrace areas dotted around the hotel. When you’re swimming in the pool, you’re looking out over the view. And there’s even some hot tubs nestled in the cliff, with waitress service in case you fancy some bubbles out there.
In fact, the only part of the hotel that has seats facing inward from the view, is the bar area, which encourages guests to focus on each other, rather than the great outdoors.
Another lovely quirk to the hotel is the lack of tea and coffee facilities in the room. Instead, the encourage you to call for tea and coffee any time, day or night, if you want some. Likewise, you can get complimentary tea and coffee wherever you’re sitting, around the hotel, 24 hours a day.
After a walk across the beach, down below the hotel, we settled ourselves with a book and a gin and tonic, in one of the peaceful, sunny chill out areas, before getting ready for dinner.
If you time dinner well, you get to see the sun set over the sea. Even though the rain was throwing down, it was still a beautiful way to eat! The food was incredible and their house red went down a treat.
I often think that a hotel is only as good as its breakfast, and thankfully, this didn’t let The Scarlet down. With a breakfast menu that changes daily, they offer things like banana smoothie, muesli and porridge for those healthy types and pancakes with apple, smoked salmon and scrambled egg or a full English for everyone else. As we sat there, watching the waves below, the weather changed from glorious sunshine to grey, stormy rain, and back again to sunshine. It felt like Cornwall was doing a little weather show, just for us.
We didn’t try out the spa, but we had to walk through the spa reception area to get to our room, and just the smell of massage oils wafting through the air was enough to relax me. If we go back (and I’m sure we will) I’ll make time to have a treatment and chill out in the spa area.
So as far as a child-free hotel stay goes, I’m not sure The Scarlet can be beaten. If you’re looking for somewhere to completely remove you from everyday life, this is the place for you.
Double rooms at The Scarlet start at £210 based on two sharing on a bed and breakfast basis. For more information please visit scarlethotel.co.uk. Big thanks to The Scarlet for inviting us to stay for the purpose of this review – we loved it!
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