Photographer Jacob Little shares words and pictures from a stay at the Bedruthan and Scarlet Hotels in Mawgan Porth.
We all know the feeling of coming in from the cold. The welcoming, tantalising yet fleeting feeling of calm and contentment twinned with the satisfaction of ‘braving it’ out there in the great outdoors. It’s one of life’s little but greatest pleasures, and it’s even better when there’s a special welcome to greet you.
Before Christmas I stayed at the Bedruthan Steps and Scarlet Hotels, sampling a little of what has made both of these hotels household names in the Cornish luxury hotel scene. A dark, grey, cold Cornish winter climate for company (and I doubt I need to tell you what that looks like), the hotels were the perfect sanctuary, providing more than a few home comforts as well as some special treats that aren’t to be missed this cold season.
Starting at the Bedruthan, it’s clear that this is the more family-friendly hotel of the two and a place that caters to a wider spectrum of tastes.
Looks are deceiving from the outside, as the attention to detail and level of service offered inside can be said to be up there with the best for a hotel of this size in the south west. Warmly welcomed, the mistiness of the view down to the bay below, or lack thereof, was made up for by the serene surroundings and simple calmness of the décor and local art-adorned walls.
We booked into the Sensory Spa Garden before dinner, which is a wholly recommendable departure from the strains of everyday life and puts you in your very own Garden of Eden. 100% outdoors, it actually helped that it was raining a little bit when we were there, as we travelled from scrubs to saunas and hot tubs.
Afterwards, food in The Herring restaurant provided an intimate space with a handsome helping of local produce. Predictably, a well-earned early night followed having been treated to a process of ‘detoxification’ unlike any I’ve experienced.
One of the major aspects of the Scarlet Hotel, that very much becomes apparent when you walk through the door, is the lack of any reception area or desk. Creating a feeling of calm and space that is often missing from larger hotels, the warm welcome and attention to detail here really make a stay feel friendly and distinct.
It’s not long after being shown to our impressively designed and spacious room that we are invited downstairs to the outdoor hot tubs. An experience, even in winter, not to be missed.
It’s tempting to stay indoors during a winter stay here and cosy up, but that’d be a mistake. Feeling the sea spray and mist hit your face as you sit in a warm, sustainably heated hot tub is a real treat, and leaves you feeling remarkably connected to the elements. Which is, after all, what this part of the world is all about and part of what the Scarlet is keen to promote. Again, like the Bedruthan, dinner here is a real treat, and after free-reign of the beautiful outdoor area and additionally stunning indoor pool, relaxation, and feeling like I was in a true sanctuary, came very easily indeed.
Our time at both hotels was a real treat and an opportunity to shut the outside world away – not just because we were in Cornwall – but because it was the middle of winter and the weather outside meant every home comfort was greatly appreciated. That being said, the beauty of this part of the world and the quietness and isolation of the outside world during our time here was part of what made the visit so special. A winter trip to a part of Cornwall normally associated with summer is, in my eyes, well worth looking in to.
For more information, contact:
Bedruthan Hotel, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, TR8 4BU, tel: 01637 861 200
The Scarlet Hotel, Tredragon Road, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, TR8 4DQ, tel: 01637 861800
Jacob Little is a photographer particularly interested in wild landscapes, craft, old ways and dying traditions. Travel and landscapes form a big part of his work.