The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall: The Ultimate Parents’ Retreat

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

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.

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

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.

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

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.

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

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.

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

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.

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

Alison Perry

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.

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

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.

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

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.

Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, review

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 Big thanks to The Scarlet for inviting us to stay for the purpose of this review – we loved it! 

Read my review of our first mini break destination – The King’s Head in Cirencester.

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Why The Scarlet Hotel is the ultimate place for parents to get a break



  1. April 1, 2016 / 9:22 am

    Directly behind the Scarlett is Bedruthan hotel and spa overlooking the same beautiful sandy beach on this stretch of stunning North Cornwall coast. It’s the sister hotel to the Scarlet and is an almost perfect family holiday destination. Kids clubs, activities and playpark plus THE best listening service ever and that glorious beach.

    I’d love to stay at the Scarlet but can not justify a 7 hour drive without also bringing the littlest person. When he’s older hopefully (crosses fingers and asks my fairy god mother)

  2. April 1, 2016 / 10:28 pm

    I’ve been DYING to stay at The Scarlet for a long long time…. my friend got engaged here in one of the hot tubs 🙂 Your post is doing nothing to stop my feelings of longing! x

  3. April 2, 2016 / 7:42 am

    It looks as good as I’d imagined. And you’re so right, a hotel is only as good as its breakfast. Last impressions, and all that!

  4. April 3, 2016 / 3:15 pm

    Oh goodness it looks AMAZING! I love that part of Cornwall too. Such a beautiful stretch of coastline. x

  5. April 4, 2016 / 2:39 pm

    This looks and sounds as amazing as i thought it would! The Scarlet has been on my hotel visit wish list for while now! This just makes me want to go even more! We often go to Cornwall to visit my in-laws but they live more south so have never ventured up to here. I think we will have to soon. Breakfast, the spa and the 24hr tea and coffee are all big plus points for me too!

  6. April 28, 2016 / 9:55 am

    We stayed at the Bedruthan hotel last year which is just up the road, it was amazing but we walked past this place and thought how nice it would be for a kid free break, if we ever get to have such a thing! Maybe when we’re retired 😉 My friend has stayed there and thought it was amazing! x

  7. June 18, 2016 / 7:11 am

    OMG I want to go there right now! The views are amazing and I love the style of the place. x

  8. July 12, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    This place looks beautiful makes me miss cornwall!

  9. July 14, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    This place has been on my list for a while now – certainly before I was pregnant. Now that my mini-explorer is here, I feel it’s the perfect excuse to have a recharge. I’d definitely be making time for that spa!

  10. August 14, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Never been to Cornwall yet but looks a lot like the Pembrokeshire coast in west wales. Definitely next on my list



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