Sea Spa: scented relaxation at Corsica’s Hotel Casadelmar
by Simon Ward
Where is it?
Situated across the bay from the commune of Porto-Vecchio in south-east Corsica, Hotel Casadelmar opened its doors in 2004. Its two-storey, rosewood-clad façade sits on the shoreline, surrounded by two hectares of lush Mediterranean landscaped gardens offering plenty of privacy for the actors, politicians and sports stars who regularly visit. (Cristiano Ronaldo recently enjoyed a spot of post-World Cup R&R there.)
What’s the hype?
Casadelmar’s interior takes its design cues from boutique hotels but on a larger canvas, with contemporary art prints on the walls and bright furniture and sculptures providing pops of colour. But for all its refined beauty, the real focal point is the sea: all 31 rooms have commanding views of the sweeping bay, as do the bar, the grill and restaurant – even the spa’s fitness centre has floor-to-ceiling glass windows to inspire you while you’re working up a sweat.
The hotel’s expansive terrace is perfect for sundowners before dining at Restaurant Casadelmar, the island’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant. Ask for the Creation and Passion tasting menu, a seven-course affair encompassing beef with Valicella ewe’s milk tome and horseradish, scorpion fish with tarragon and exquisite desserts from pastry chef Claudio Pezzetti.
What to have
What Casadelmar’s Espa spa lacks in size it more than makes up in variety. It serves up an exhaustive list of treatments: there’s Balinese, Ayurvedic and Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi massage for adults; and children aged six to 16 can choose between fun extravagances such as a Skin Sparkle Facial or the Over The Rainbow Mini Manicure. Its steam and sauna rooms, finished in floor-to-ceiling marble, are appointed alongside passion fruit-infused rain showers, an ice fountain and further treatment rooms offering manicures, hairdressing services and beauty makeovers.
The spa’s signature Casadelmar Massage uses a blend of aromatherapy oils blended from local herbs and plants such as arbutus, myrtle, rosemary and heather. For a shared experience, couples can enjoy the €450 Spa Journey for two, an exercise in pure indulgence encompassing three 50-minute treatments plus lunch and fruit cocktails on the hotel veranda.
Where to chill
Decked in dark wood and furnished with waterbeds and complementary figs and apricots, the spa’s rest room gives you the opportunity to drift off in post-treatment serenity. And when you’re feeling sufficiently revived, take a stroll down the verdant gardens’ walkways, which wind their way to an electric-blue infinity pool, yoga platform and the hotel’s small private beach.
Best by boat
Sail right up to Casadelmar’s jetty and hop on to the hotel’s grounds for pampering, cocktails and cuisine. Alternatively, the marina across the bay in Porto-Vecchio has moorage for boats up to 24 metres. You can also charter Casadelmar’s 18.22-metre Itama 55 for €3,500 a day or hire one of its motorboats for a sunset ride across the bay.
How to get there
Air Corsica offers flights twice a week to Ajaccio, Bastia and Figari from April to October as well as a newly added weekly route to Calvi from 18th of May 2019. The number of flights will increase to ten per week during the peak months of June to September. Prices are £60 one way from London Stansted. For reservations: aircorsica.com