Coldwater therapies: how to embrace the elements

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The sheer feeling of the cold. When you go swimming in natural waters, that’s the first thing that hits you.

But then your body acclimatises. It becomes a little easier to be in the water. And afterwards — once you’ve clambered back onto dry land — a radiance remains.

At least that’s what Stephen, one of our in-house creatives, is telling us about his new wild swimming hobby. “For me the greatest satisfaction has been post dip feelings – the surge of endorphins or dopamine. Whatever it is? I feel good about myself and it’s here to stay.” (Though Stephen, who also moonlights as a RNLI lifeguard, reminds us of the importance of undertaking wild swimming with care and consideration.)

It’s clear to see that activities involving cold water are having a moment. Old lidos are enjoying a renaissance, while articles on wild swimming are appearing more and more frequently. Amongst our friends, more and more people have started swearing by cold showers — what was once a shrieking surprise is now something they do regularly, saying it helps them to feel more awake and alive.

It always come back to this sensation. That after an exposure to coldwater therapy, it feels as if that initial shock unblocked something: you feel more open to the textures of the world. And in the lethargy of dull lockdown days, the idea of fully exposing yourself to the sheer elements is appealing.


The Scarlet’s outdoor natural pool.

The benefits of cold water

But sharpening your senses is just the tip of the very cold iceberg. Regular time in cold water has been linked to many physical and mental benefits. These include increased circulation and better general mental wellbeing.

What’s more, humans have known about their goodness for centuries: think about those traditional Nordic wellbeing cultures, where an ice bath is often part of the communal spa.

Another key benefit is how cold water is most often found in proximity to nature. At the Scarlet, our natural bathing pool is right out on the clifftops. You can see the waves and hear the seabirds while you swim. It makes everything feel better, more harmonious.

Getting started 

Great care needs to be taken when exposing yourself to cold water. Prolonged or even sudden exposure to cold temperatures can be actively dangerous. Research whether you any existing health issues may need you to take extra caution.

Particular attention must be given if you’re keen to begin wild swimming, too. Before your first swim, research using resources such as SH₂OUT and the Outdoor Swimming Society. Natural waters, including the sea, are very different to swimming pools. Be mindful of water cleanliness and nearby wildlife, alongside shifting tides and currents. Don’t swim alone either: always make sure someone will be available to help if something goes wrong.

If you’re looking to dip your toes into these new waters, also consider beginning small. Seek out sea pools or natural pools. For instance, Scarlet’s reed pool is designed to give you the thrilling textures of open water swimming, but without having to worry about changing tides.

The outdoor Sensory Spa Garden at our sister hotel Bedruthan is another place to discover how the cold can awaken the senses. Inspired by thermal contrast therapies, it features an ice bucket drench that really sharpens the mind.

After a less-than-great year, here’s to trying new things and feeling more alive than ever.

Spa Breaks at the Scarlet

Find a complete wellbeing experience, including use of the Scarlet’s natural pools. Our spa breaks allow you to focus on yourself.

No time like the present

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If you are anything like us, you’re reading this whilst keeping one eye on the family, the dog or something cooking on the stove. It’s life, a constant juggling act, multi-tasking and just doing too much at once. It’s not ideal but often necessary.

But picture this… time for yourself, time to practice being fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction: mindfulness.  

We all want to feel more calm, less stressed, improve our ability to cope and just be kinder to ourselves. Right now it’s never been more important. So, how do we become more mindful?  Let’s keep it simple, and focus on the things we can do with ease. Here’s our top tips to bring a little more mindfulness into your day.

1. Breathe

Anywhere… just take a few deep breaths for a couple of minutes. Pranayama (or ‘breathing exercises’) is a powerful stress-reducing activity. We recommend sitting in a chair or on the floor with crossed legs and a straight spine. Breathe in, breathe out and calm your mind. 

2. Stretch

Take five minutes to stretch. When you stretch you activate your blood circulation which has a calming effect on the nervous system. Your body will thank you for it.  

3. Walk

Walking is one of the most effective ways of bringing clarity to the mind and eliminating the stresses and strains accumulated throughout the day. Take deep breaths and take your time.

4. Eat 

How often do we eat with awareness, taking time to chew our food, soaking up the entire sensory experience of eating a meal. It’s not just the taste or the aromas, it’s also the people we are with. Make time to do this and see how it makes you feel and how it changes the experience of eating.

5. Digital Detox

Take a step back from technology. It’s hard as it has become such an important part of the daily routine. Perhaps start with giving yourself a digital curfew to help calm the mind before bedtime.  Airplane mode is your friend.

6. Daydream

When was the last time you just sat and let your mind wander? Allow yourself to daydream every now and then, the benefits are quite something. Daydreaming helps boost your creativity, gives you greater focus, concentration and can improve your memory.

Now is the time for a little more self care. Every second counts. 

Finding balance – the Yin & Yang of life

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A guest post written by Kimberley Chandler, of Cinnamon Yoga

It was fitting that our stay at The Scarlet came right after a hectic trip to India, where our last stop was Delhi – just before the recent riots broke out and as COVID-19 was slowly creeping mischievously into our every day conversation.

India was, as always, an assault on the senses. An extravagant display of raw human life, laid bare. I still can’t get enough of it.

The long bus rides, waits in airports and relentless traffic did, however begin to take it’s toll.

I had travelled solo to complete a further yoga teacher training in Yin yoga – which was as calm, restorative and rejuvenating as I hoped it would be.

This was followed by 10 days of state hopping, ultimately ending in the grand finale of the Taj Mahal in Agra.

During my yoga training I learnt about the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which we all have – and I likened them to the Chinese concept of Yin & Yang. Yin being the slow, restorative, replenishing Female energy, and Yang being the quick, dynamic, fight or flight, masculine energy.

I learnt of the importance of having a balance between these energies – too much Yang and we feel stressed, strung out, un-centred. Too much Yin and we feel sluggish, lethargic, depressed.

It is a concept that I now apply to my daily life – to search for that sacred balance, the sweet spot where we have harmony, equilibrium with both energies.

Spending too much time in our Yang, our sympathetic nervous system, means we will be experiencing high levels of Cortisol, the stress hormone.

This can be physically and mentally detrimental to our wellbeing.

We can literally encourage ourselves to enter into our parasympathetic nervous system. It’s like having an emergency wellbeing tool kit.

Your wellbeing toolkit:

  • Spending time in nature
  • Getting a massage
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Relaxing music
  • Creativity, arts
  • Playing with animals / children
  • Breathwork (Pranayama)

A stay at the Scarlet allowed us to replenish our Yin, to find peace, stillness and that dreamy balance once more after a hectic final two weeks in India. Thank you.

See more from Kimberly here:



The story of the Scarlet slippers


‘Love me, don’t leave me’

It’s tradition for a luxury hotel to lavish plenty of single-use items to its guests – disposable toothbrushes, miniature bottles of shampoo, the soap bar that’s used once then goes in the bin.

Here at the Scarlet, though, we have a healthy suspicion of tradition and like nothing more than challenging tired ideas of luxury.

We knew we wanted to avoid single-use items, but tripped up when it came to our slippers. They were vital to the luxury, home-from-home atmosphere we wanted to create, but we didn’t like the amount of packaging, where they were made, or the single-use nature of your average hotel slipper.

So, we set out to find beautiful slippers to fit our  Scarlet eco ethos and we soon discovered Kaaita slippers, each pair are made of six recycled plastic bottles, they’re machine washable,  recyclable and are perfectly ergonomic.  The minimal packaging leaves plenty of room for us to add our own ‘love me, don’t leave me’ label to encourage guests to take them home to prolong their use.

Being more sustainable is our culture, and our teams are always looking for ways to improve this, we now have 111 ways in which the Scarlet is sustainable.


Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall

Five easy ways to prioritise your self-care in 2020

By | #SCARLETMOMENT, Ayurveda, SPA, SPRING | No Comments

Putting self-care at the top of your agenda is about looking after yourself first.

We’ve put together five quick and easy ways to begin 2020 with you as the priority:

1. Give yourself a five minute recoup moment each morning, or evening, whichever works for you. Find your favourite song and do nothing but love it (or dance to it!).

2. Build on the habits you love by noticing the positives in why you’re doing them, i.e. I’m going to yoga because it makes me feel calm and strong.

3. Don’t do it all alone, connect with a friend and combine social connection with you time (we’re biased, but a spa day might be good for that!)

4. Add something just for you to your to-do list, at the top, just one thing – book a haircut or read 10 pages of your book for example.

5. Try something new to kick start prioritising yourself. Always fancied an art class? Want to get to know other people at book club? Go for it!

Looking for a luxurious spa day? Discover our spa days and special offers.

5 ways to embrace holistic health this summer

By | Ayurveda, GREAT OUTDOORS, SPA, SUMMER | No Comments

Holistic health sees the body, mind and spirit as a whole. Bringing these elements into balance is how we can cultivate optimum holistic health. In the Scarlet Spa, we find inspiration in the Ayurvedic tradition of holistic health. There are many ways in which we can create harmony and boost wellness. Below are some of our favourites for you to try this summer season:

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