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Domaine de Misincu

Domaine de Misincu is located in Cap Corse, Corsica's wildest and arguably most beautiful part, and its white-washed design is reminiscent of Greece.
Kitchenette at - Domaine de Murtoli, Corsica, France - Courtesy Camille Moirenc

Domaine de Murtoli

Don't be surprised that there are no road signs to lead you to Domaine de Murtoli, set back on a wild peninsula near Sartène. Discretion and privacy are one of the key draws of this massive estate (it's five times the size of Monaco). Owner Paul Canerelli and his wife Valérie, who began developing the family property in 1994, continue to add new features to this unusual property.

Bordered by fragrant scrub, olive groves and orchards, the winding red dirt roads lead to the rustic cottages—with a choice of valley, sea and maquis views—scattered throughout. Interiors are simple but elegant, and even the romantic, one-bedroom houses have cozy sitting rooms with fireplaces. Some of the larger accommodations also include air-conditioning, heated pools and hammams, but don't expect standard hotel amenities like satellite TV; the idea here is to luxuriate in a back-to-nature ethos.

Domaine de Murtoli also features a farm-to-table approach—the owners raise their own meat, use their own vines for rosé and bottle their own oil. "There are 150 cows, 500 goats, 7,000 olive trees and 13 hectares of immortelle, a plant used in anti-aging beauty creams," says Valérie Canarelli, who offers a long list of services from coastal nature walks with a botanical guide and on-the-beach massages, to horseback riding and excursions in their in-house fishing boats.

Guests can choose to have meals in their villas (private chefs can be arranged but many guests also order groceries and whip up their own feast in the fully equipped kitchens). But Murtoli also has Michelin-starred La Ferme, a restaurant housed in a soaring restored barn, with an exquisite wine cellar where small tastings and intimate dinners can be arranged. La Grotte, a candlelit restaurant built into a stone grotto, has multiple al fresco terraces, making it a favorite for sunset viewing and aperitifs.

Bonifacio is a 40-minute drive away, and the area also has vineyards and smaller villages to explore, but Murtoli is the kind of sprawling, special place where most visitors simply hole up, relax and recharge. Says Valerie Canarelli: "I can see it in our guests as soon as they arrive. Slowly, they exhale, they relax, the women stop wearing make-up. Everyone lets the stress go. It's magic.

Lobby at Grand Hôtel de la Cala Rossa, Corsica, France

Grand Hôtel de la Cala Rossa

One of the best upscale hotels on the island, this 40-room grande dame is still going strong, thanks to its picture-perfect sandy cove, a Michelin-starred restaurant, a Clarins Spa and a family-friendly atmosphere.

Food at Hotel Casadelmar, Corsica, France

Hôtel Casadelmar

Set back on a terraced hillside near Porto-Vecchio, Hotel Casadelmar is a contemporary boutique hotel that was the first of its kind on the island (it was extensively renovated in 2018). The low-slung, shimmering rectangle of glass, red cedar and stone was designed by French architect Jean-François Bodin. It's a restful, hip haven of refinement, geared for the type of international client who prefers lazing at the heated 25-meter infinity pool or spa treatments to the crowd of guide-toting trekkers.

Everything is meant to dazzle the eye, especially the luminous split-level white lobby and bar, decked out with red and violet Frigerio stools. The comfortable rooms come with bay windows, teak furniture, and deep, comfy sofas, accented by fuchsia, orange or violet curtains and bedspreads. Of course, nothing can beat the sweeping vista of the bay from the rooms' private wooden terraces, where breakfast is also served.

Pool Lounge at  Hôtel Casadelmar Plage, Corsica, France

Hôtel Casadelmar Plage

Opened in 2012, this lovely sister hotel of Hôtel Casadelmar, across the Golf of Porto-Vecchio, is also a Bodin-designed property, hidden away at the tip of a red rock peninsula. The twelve rooms and three suites are deeply comfortable, spacious and done in a minimalist style. They are located in three separate villas, and feature a color scheme of predominantly white, grey and sand tones, with a mix of stone and blond wood furnishings. All of the spaces are livened up with splashy colored chairs and light fixtures by contemporary designers.

Lunch and dinners are served on the shaded outdoor patio restaurant, featuring a market-driven menu of salads, pasta, grilled fish, spit-roasted lamb and poultry, plus refreshing homemade ice cream and fruit tarts for dessert. At sunset, the bar comes alive with a festive vibe and fills quickly with the beautiful people who swing by for cocktails or dinner.

Hôtel la Signoria

Set back in a grove of cypresses and citrus trees, this lovely 17th-century auberge, owned by the Ceccaldi family, is a small gem of originality and style. The spacious 24 rooms are furnished with terra-cotta tiles, local antiques and patina-washed walls, and all have marble bathrooms and a sitting room. Since 2012, there are now five hillside "cassettas," small 2-3 bedroom villas with private gardens and pools.

The patio restaurant offers flavorful Mediterranean-style cuisine, dished up by a passionate chef and made with ingredients plucked from the hotel garden. The owner, who successfully developed her own organic beauty line using with "made in Corsica" natural essences, has added a lovely 4-treatment-room Casanera Spa to the hotel to showcase her top-quality products.

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Suite at Hotel La Villa, Corsica, France

Hotel La Villa

One of the island's first luxury hotels owned by the Corsican-born Pinelli family, La Villa sits on a hilltop with direct views of bay of Calvi. The 55-room hotel occupies seven acres and is housed in various clusters of white-washed buildings, giving the whole thing the feel of a deeply stylish vacation village. The room interiors may lack some originality, but with their warm earth tones and spacious white-marble bathrooms, they are all deeply comfortable. Most of them also have sea views. There are five pools, tennis courts and a beautiful spa, which offers daily classes including yoga and Pilates.

The pièce-de-resistence of La Villa, however, is the panoramic dining terrace, organized around an infinity pool that showcases part of the owners' whimsical contemporary art collection (suffice it to say that oversized ducks in eye-popping colors populate this pool). Tables have spot-on views of Calvi and the Italian-Mediterranean cuisine is as beautifully prepared as it is delicious.

Library at Le Couvent de Pozzo, Corsica, France

Le Couvent de Pozzo

Friendly young owner Emmauelle Picon has transformed this impressive, honey-colored stone home into a refined retreat. (It used to be a late 18th century Capucine convent replete with a cloister and chapel.) It's set in a vast, landscaped park overlooking the sea. Interiors are decked out with family heirlooms and period furnishings, and the timeless atmosphere truly plunges you into another era. The Convent de Pozzo offers a bed-and-breakfast option, with the choice of four small but well-equipped rooms (inquire about their extra beds for children), plus a sprawling homey living room on the ground floor.

Copious, country-style breakfasts are served on the patio, but Emmanuelle is always on hand for special requests. Should you decide to lounge by the blue-tiled pool, she'll whip you up a simple but delicious home-cooked lunch or dinner from recipes that are straight out of her grandma's recipe book and made from locally sourced products.

Expect Wifi connections but no televisions, minibars or safes in your room, all part of the authentic country charm. Don't miss some of the terrific advantages of this spectacularly untamed peninsula, with arresting panoramic views of the pale aqua, emerald and violet sea and crumbling Genoese crenellated towers at every twist and turn. Best bet: a hike around the coastal "customs footpath" that begins at Macinaggio, the tip of the Cap Corse and winds around the seaside cliffs and crystalline coves.

Above all, what makes the upscale Couvent de Pozzo even more unique is that the property is also available for private rental and sleeps up to 15 people.

Top Villas Corsica

Indagare's preferred villa partner on Corsica has top-vetted villas in some of the island's best locations, including near Porto-Veccio and Bonifacio.
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Version Maquis Citadelle

The wow-factor of Version Maquis Citadelle in Corsica is a spot-on view of the town's citadel from a hillside that faces the limestone cliffs spot-on.

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