We were sad to leave. We had such a lovely time over the New Year weekend but the year had begun and time waits for no one.
We had so much fun from the start! We could already see the beach as the car was weaving its way down the hill towards the hotel. We couldn’t wait to get on it!
We’ll leave Mummy to tell you all about the things she liked about the hotel, but for us – this was another beach on another New Year, another memory – that we will always have together.This was the start of our 2017.
May’s comment: A cockapoo owner/friend told us about Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall. She knows that I am always looking out for dog-friendly coastal hotels where I can take my pooches for our annual New Year’s Day beach walk. I had no expectations except that we have been to St. Ives, Cornwall once before and we loved it.
Upon arriving at the hotel, there wasn’t the usual receptionist desk. Instead we were greeted by this sign.
Before I could even finish reading the board, a staff member popped out to greet us. We were shown to our room – one of the five dog-friendly rooms in a hotel of 37.
All rooms have sea views and the dog-friendly rooms were allocated throughout the hotel, unlike some of the ones we’ve stayed in where “dog friendly rooms” tended to be in the “old wing” or un-refurbished rooms, or they’re located outside of the main hotel. Here at The Scarlet, there was no difference.We hung up our coats. They had wellies on loan upon request – for dog walks on the beach. That way I didn’t have to lug mine down from London.
And instead of a tatty old dog bed, awaiting us were two cushions. And on each cushion was a blanket and a towel. And bowls for food and water – Darcy and George each had a packet of homemade dog biscuits.
We couldn’t see the beach from our room but we still had sea view.Our room was located just above the staircase that led to the lower ground floor and access to the beach. We couldn’t wait to get going. A short walk or run with much excitement down to the edge of the hotel coastal garden (note: they’re supposed to be on leashes!)Down a narrow but defined path along the hillside And voila! Beautiful Mawgan Porth Bay awaited us. The beach here is dog-friendly year round.
We came here for the New Year weekend, and the programme was full of interesting things to do. Once the doggies had their run around, it was my turn.Enjoyed a complementary 15-min head and shoulder massage from the Spa while looking out at the beach below.
We decided to sit on the terrace to enjoy our tea and cakes as the weather for the following days did not sound promising.And we watched the sunset – the only one for the rest of the weekend.I chose to leave ever-so-friendly George with the staff who were only too happy to have him, while Darcy and I went to an informative wine tasting with Mark Hellyar “The Cornishman in Bordeaux.”Throughout the weekend, there were various talks and storytelling. As long as they were in the Retreat, I could bring one of my dogs – and it tended to be Darcy because George would be too busy disturbing everyone, needing attention.As it happened, Darcy became a subject of photography during a talk by professional photographer Rob Jewell.Of course she posed beautifully!
There were quite a few other sessions such as playing with singing bowls and their healing vibrations, and the one I’m sorry to have missed – Hoop Jam! A hula-hoop session. Would have loved to have learnt that.
The chef hosted a tasting session of products from the Cornwall region – cider, cheeses, chocolates and cured meats – again in the Retreat. In short, there was never a dull moment. But one can also choose to stay in the room, immerse in the sea view and while away the time listening to the sound of crashing waves or take a walk on the beach with the dogs. I did all three.
Dogs were not allowed in the restaurant nor bar area – but we could sit in the Retreat where they happily set up a dining table for us. There was another couple with a bulldog in the same room. A bit of barking went on at the beginning but all parties concerned didn’t mind. I was on my own and although I could have left them both in the room while I went to eat in the restaurant, it was probably easier to eat with my dogs in a separate room than to sit alone at a table in a place full of couples and groups. They set a proper table for both dinner and breakfast!And the dogs had water bowls and they suspect that I was giving them sausages from my breakfast – so they had a bowl for that too. Or I could have room service for breakfast or dinner – at no extra charge.
As it was an eco-hotel, they didn’t have fridges and kettles in the rooms – thank goodness! Instead they provided a 24 hour tea and coffee service with no extra charge. In many ways they were very generous and not penny-pinching.
There was something about the informality of space, the “can-do” and “not-a-problem” staff attitude that immediately put one at ease after a long train journey. Maybe because it is a hotel with a holistic approach, maybe it was the sea air or just the breathtaking sea views. I think mainly in how they received me and my dogs.As it was an adults-only beach hotel which allowed all adults there to be more relaxed – no tensed parents. And also no tensed moments of kids rushing towards the dogs. So it worked out well.
On New Year’s Eve night before the festivities began, I sat in the hot tub with a glass of champers, listening to the sound of high-tide. And I started off the new year with a hammam in the spa. I’ve been to a lot of spas around the world, and the treatment I had ranked up there with the top Asian spas.
Though dogs are allowed at Scarlet, they have considered all things to make it comfortable for all guests.
What made it all a pleasant experience for me was how they made it in some ways better for me with my dogs – ability to dine in a nicely set up room with them instead of feeling I was not the norm in a roomful of people with their human companions, or to dine in room at our convenience without being penalised.
I appreciated not being made to feel like we were outcasts and given below par rooms because of my dogs. And happy to report that most of the other guests were delighted to meet my dogs. They were definitely the ice-breakers and in some cases, the connector. Those who didn’t like dogs, we never met nor encountered. It was well noted that about half of the people we met were return guests – some have been coming for years.
There were altogether five dogs in the hotel over the weekend. My two plus Ella – the Bulldog, Poppy – the standard poodle and Millie – a Sproodle! We had little interaction. Poppy was the only other dog that turned up at all the events we went to. She was a grand dame of 13 years old and couldn’t be bothered with my two barkers (embarrassing!!!) when they saw her. They barked at Ella, the bulldog – as to be expected. Millie was across the hall from us. She was quiet as a mouse except for one bark when we were outside. But mine barked at her every time she came up the stairs! Annoying. But all the dog-owners were very considerate. We all minimised barking and we stayed away from situation which could cause a scene.
I liked the modern architecture on the hillside landscape, the gardens were serene, private and there were little nooks and corners to sit and appreciate the view. The rooms all had sea views and appropriately decorated for a beach hotel, I would say better than most. Just not sure about the art and colour scheme in the public areas. Had to say that just because I am an interior designer. LOL!
Highly recommend the Scarlet as a very considerate and sensible dog-friendly hotel in Cornwall on a year-round dog friendly beach – with a fab Spa.
Oh, and I really enjoyed the food from the delicious local apple juice, porridge with almond-milk to my finely cooked delicious duck. And the dogs enjoyed the sausages at breakfast!Definitely a place to return – already thinking of next New Year’s. Maybe we could have a cockapoo rendezvous! Wouldn’t that be ideal and George, he will be on long lead!!!!This could possibly become “our” beach.
But I left to go to the room with my doggies before midnight. I did bring them upstairs for a glass of champagne but as the band began to play, it frightened Darcy and I took them back to the room when the fireworks began. George was shaking a little but not much. We huddled in bed, all three of us and watched telly. We welcomed in the new year – together – exactly how I wanted it to be. 🙂
P.S. Those neoprene coats were perfect for their beach frolicking. The sand washed right off and kept them as dry as possible. We had taken the Equafleece on one beach run and I think I brought a large chunk of the beach back to the city. For months there was constantly sand everywhere!!! But the Neoprene coats were a part of our clothing line which we have stopped making for now – till I have the time to do something about it. And it even survived George’s scrambling around in the bushes with only one small hole in the aftermath!