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Boutique Eats & Sleeps in ... Cornwall?

Those who know anything about this ancient corner of southwest England love its craggy, traditional flavor -- with twee villages like Boscastle, medieval castles and ruins like Tintagel, and ubiquitous pasties (turnovers). Oh, and let's not forget The Pirates of Penzance, Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, Cornish game hens and clotted cream. But eco-friendly designer hotels? Over in Watergate Bay, just up the hill from Jamie Oliver's high-energy, seven-year-old Fifteen Cornwall in Watergate Bay, near Newquay, I popped into the newly launched Scarlet Hotel, a groundbreaking spa resort which is simultaneously way mod, way luxe, and painfully green, right down to its biomass boiler and plush, organic, "ethically made" towels. Highlights include a killer art collection, a cocoon-like spa with indoor pool, a chemical-free rainwater pool outside, rooms with glassed in lofts looking out over the brooding waves, and a classily laid-back eatery whose organic eats are on a par quality-wise with Fifteen. Good stuff, for sure -- but what really nailed it for this dog-lover was the Scarlet's own hotel dog, Jasper -- he's available for walkies! Now, I don't see hip designer digs likely to exactly take the region by storm. But frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn -- this sure works for me...

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