Located just outside the town of Calvi, La Signoria has the best of both worlds - it's at the foot of the Corsican mountains, yet close to the beach.
Housed in an 18th century Genoese estate in three acres of gardens dotted with orange trees, pine trees and fountains, the setting is stunning. The 24 rooms are dotted around the gardens, and comprise of residences (standard rooms and suites), suites in the old house, family suites with two bedrooms, and two villas with private pools - one has three bedrooms and a large pool, the other is perfect for couples with a private plunge pool and just one bedroom.
The restaurant serves delicious food in true Corsican style and there is a soon to be open bistro. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, sauna, steam room, massage treatments, a gym and a Jacuzzi.
The hotel also has a private beach, and there is a shuttle going to and fro every day. The Signoria Mare, as it is known, is on the edge of Calvi Beach and has deck chairs and a grill restaurant. A variety of activities are also available, such as sailing, fishing, water-skiing and diving.
Why We Love It
La Signoria has a private section of the endless Calvi Beach, especially reserved for hotel guests, meaning no fighting for the sun loungers at the public bars restaurants along the bay.
A 19th century boutique hotel located on the seafront in Ajaccio Bay, Les Mouettes is simply charming.
The 27 rooms are all housed in the main building, which is surrounded by ancient eucalyptus and pine trees, and most have sea views. Décor is fairly simple and typically Corsican, with mod cons such as complimentary Wi-Fi and flat screen telly's keeping the rooms up to date.
Located on the seafront, there is plenty of beach action to be had. Guests can snorkel, scuba dive, sail, hire a boat and explore the hidden grottoes, or simply relax on the beach, which is directly below the hotel. For those to prefer to keep their feet on terra firma, there is cycling, tennis and fishing. For the culture vultures, Maison Bonaparte (the birthplace of Napoleon) houses an impressive array of the Emperor's personal items, and the nearby Palais Fesch boasts a beautiful collection of Italian Renaissance paintings.
During your stay, feast on bountiful buffet breakfasts on the terrace, lazy lunches in La Table du Marche and fine-dining from Tuesday to Saturday in the A Terraza restaurant. Come evening, retire to the bar for Corsican wines and hand-crafted cocktails.
Why We Love It
Caroline the beautician is a miracle worker. A one (wo)man spa who gives a perfect pedicure and a mean massage, either on the terrace or in room. Book early as those hands are often in high demand.
U Palazzu Serenu
Part luxury lodgings, part art gallery, U Palazzu Serenu is a sophisticated boutique hotel in northern Corsica near the city of Bastia.
This converted 17th century palace, revamped by the interior designer Nathalie Battesti, has six rooms and three suites in total, with the emphasis firmly on white - think the bed linen, the walls, the furniture - offset by occasional colourful contemporary artworks. Those who appreciate beautiful composition can also just stare out of the windows at the gorgeous mountain scenery, with some of the rooms also enjoying views down to the sea. Two of the rooms also have small garden terraces.
In warmer months breakfasts are served under the lovely loggia of the summer housein the gardens, where guests can eat while enjoying views of the valley. Meanwhile the lovely main restaurant also has a terrace. The menus major on Corsican cuisine which, given the island's dual French and Italian identity, tends to be delicious.
When not eating well, guests can lounge by the 60ft pool on elegant deckchairs, wander around the picture perfect neighbouring village of Oletta or explore nearby beaches and the stunning Gulf of St Florent.
Why We Love It
U Palazzu Serenu is a must for contemporary art fans, who can admire works by famous contemporary artists such as Anish Kapoor, Daniel Arsham, Wendy Wischer and Conrad Marca-Relli dotted around in the reception, the drawing room and in the bar.