Napoleon Bonaparte, Corsica’s most famous child, was born on the French-speaking island 251 years ago and believed that imagination rules the world. Imagine a landscape of jagged mountains topped by an immense ancient rock shaped like a lion and formed of pink granite. Imagine a turquoise sea on which sunlight dances and throws shadows onto herb-scented hillsides. Imagine paradise.
Corsica lies in the Mediterranean Sea, just north of Sardinia, but the Casadelmar hotel (casadelmar.fr/en) in the south of the island is almost impossible to see from the water. Subtly designed to blend into the pretty gardens of fig and olive trees as well as the soft grey rock of the hills behind, this sleek, contemporary residence sits in perfect harmony with its surroundings. While a similar calm discretion characterises the service, there is a delightful drama both in descending the curve of the central sweeping staircase and in the view from our huge room. All 34 suites have large private terraces, and there is a villa that sleeps eight, facing the medieval town of Porto-Vecchio across the bay. The hotel’s vast infinity pool is a haven of quietness, while a series of bleached wooden decks, delicious to the bare foot, leads down to a small, sandy beach.
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