The-scarlet-hotel-overlooking-pool

A UK MINI break that doesn't have to cost the earth

Explore the beautiful Cornish countryside at the eco-friendly hotel, The Scarlet In Cornwall

Ashleigh Moore

Weekends away and short getaways are becoming more and more popular, with the Office For National Statistics reporting that in 2016 Britons went on 27 million more holidays than in 1996. And now, with budget airlines raising the competition by constantly dropping their prices, short breaks are becoming more accessible for everyone. However, as awareness about the impact our travel is having on the environment, many of us are starting to look a little closer to home.

So if you’re looking to cut your carbon footprint, or you just don’t fancy the hassle of an airport, holidays in England are an excellent alternative. The UK is by no means a compromise for shorter travel times, with hundreds of awe-inspiring destinations on our doorsteps. Cornwall, for instance is the perfect staycation destination: not only has it got gorgeous hotels and stunning beaches, Cornish ice creams and pasties, it also offers idyllic countryside perfect for long walks, pro surfing spots and great British pubs with amazing cliff top views. And best of all, in this case, is you can drive there in an afternoon! Hugely lowering your CO2 emissions without sacrificing any luxury or adventure experience.

The Scarlet Hotel and spa overlooks the beautiful Meagan Porth beach

While eco-friendly hotels are nothing new, they are certainly becoming more and more popular among the more luxury-focused hospitality market. Recycling water and minimising waste are fast becoming staples in a hotel’s mantra, but The Scarlet in Newquay, Cornwall is pushing the boundaries further without compromising on their 4 star hospitality standards, resulting in guilt-free, environmentally friendly trips away. The hotel’s sustainable approach started with the physical building the hotel: recycling wood, keeping within environmental transport targets. Since then, the hotel also uses a biomass boiler, solar panels and mineral wool insulation, as well as offering electric car chargers to help guests keep carbon emissions as low as possible. This means that if you choose to drive down to Cornwall you are able to do so with an electric, or hybrid car, making your getaway even more environmentally friendly! In this case, the MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid proved the perfect car to drive down in: efficient, comfortable, spacious and with all of the latest car tech you could need (even keeping you up to date with the latest weather forecast with its MINI connected technology!).

STORY: Why St Austell is a great place for a summer staycation

None of the 101 ways The Scarlet is eco-friendly take away from the sumptuous accommodation that it provides, they only add to it. The boutique hotel can be found nestled on a hilltop overlooking the beautiful sandy Mawgan Porth Beach, the view of which can be seen from almost every angle of the building. In particular, the enormous sky-high windows showcase the stunning bay the moment you walk in to the reception area for an impressive welcome, Through to the floor to ceiling windows throughout the main restaurant, spa area and walkways so that it feels like you are outside (but much warmer, as we visited in February!).

Driving the MINI Countryman Plug-In Hybrid kept the journey to Cornwall environmentally-friendly and could be charged at The Scarlet Hotel!

There is a sense of clear consideration throughout the hotel to allow guests to enjoy it as they please. From the several lighting options within the rooms through to the table service across all communal areas allowing you to wander round the hotel as if it was your own home. Particular attention is given to the coziness of the hotel’s ambience, with plush sofas and throws in different rooms that all feature table (or sofa) service, as well as one of the widest selections of board games I have seen are located around the different areas.

Bed and breakfast rates start at £240 a night with a very comfortable Just Right double, featuring lots of welcoming touches such as complimentary bath salts, recycled felt Kaaita slippers (which you can keep) and light settings for every mood. The room itself is open plan and spacious with a bath, monsoon shower and incredibly comfortable bed. As with the design of the rest of the hotel, all rooms have been designed to maximise the striking cliff top view, while the ground floor options provide guests with a direct path down to the beach itself. 

MORE: 4 top eco-friendly holiday destinations

Tied with the award winning restaurant led by top chef, Tom Hunter, the best bit about The Scarlet hotel has got to be the spa which centres around an indoor pool directly overlooking the impeccable view seen around the hotel. The spa itself has a deliberate focus on the holistic wellbeing of guests, focusing on Ayurveda wisdom to nourish mind, body and soul. As well as the heated indoor pool with impeccable views of beach, cliffs and sea, there is also an outside natural pool entirely chemically-free, cleaned by the reeds within it. You can find a wide range of treatments available from Short Journey massages through to oil pouring and revitalising mud wraps on a heated hammam bed. All of which are personalised as therapists take the time to assess a guests’ needs before undertaking any treatments to ensure they are targeted to the areas that need them most.

 The stunning view from The Scarlet’s spa overlooks their natural, outdoor pool

If you are ever able to drag yourself away from the comfort of The Scarlet, you will find that it also happens to be located incredibly close to several other beach hotspots around Newquay. For instance you can walk (or drive) along to Watergate Bay, a vast white sandy beach, for a choice of several restaurants again boasting that stunning ocean view that it is hard to believe is still in the UK.

For a taste of pure, indulgent bliss against a backdrop of one of England’s most striking cliff top views, book a short stay at The Scarlet Hotel and help them look after the environment, and you! Rooms start at £240 a night for bed and breakfast rates. For more information on the MINI Countryman Plug In hybrid car head to the official MINI website.

More on: