Following a nail-biting week of road tripping around Corsica and experiencing a variety of accommodation along the way (window opening directly on to a main road, anyone?), it was pure pleasure to draw in to the hidden trove that is Domaine Misíncu. The hotel is situated on the Cap Corse at the rugged northern tip of the island, a world away from more established tourist spots like manicured Porto-Vecchio and Bonifacio in the south. On the hour's undulating drive from Bastia airport we watched the landscape slowly change from crowded city to bucolic bliss as we passed through ancient fishing villages and quaint harbours huddled along the coastline, before abruptly pulling off the road and into Domaine Misíncu.
Previously known as Le Caribou, a glamorous hotspot for French celebrities including Serge Gainsbourg, Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon in the 1950s, the hotel has been given a new lease of life by owner Sylvain Giudicelli, a Corsican local who remembered the bohemian bacchanals that used to be hosted there in his youth and leapt at the chance to reinvent it for modern jet-setters. The result is a soothing white oasis among the wild olive groves and orange blossoms of the surrounding countryside that is more modern but no less chic than its forerunner. The third-floor, spa-like reception has more than a shade of the American brand 1 Hotel about it, all twisted wooden tables and snow-white stylings, and there's an actual spa at the end of a path through the trees outside.
Ultimately, however, we spent the majority of our time here lounging on squishy day-beds and under cream umbrellas by the hotel's gorgeous pool, or else taking the short track across the river that runs through the resort to its private beach and wading into the navy-blue waters of the bay. After a week of competing with Corsican drivers, both proved the perfect antidote.
Beachy but bouji is the vibe here, with a seashell-like palette of creamy whites and sandy browns accessorised with driftwood sculptures, lamps reminiscent of fishing traps and, in our classic room, sliding glass doors that opened out on to a view of the sea beyond. We also appreciated the oddly flattering bathroom mirrors and the window in the shower that allows you to enjoy the view from inside. In addition to the main building's rooms and suites there is an apartment and several villas ranging in size for those who want some extra privacy.
What's for breakfast?
Although we didn't make it to breakfast, we hear there's a hearty spread of locally sourced fare on offer.
How about lunch and dinner?
For lunch, follow the pathway through the trees and head to the relaxed A Spartera, which is situated on the beach and sports tables fashioned from driftwood. Here you can sit right in front of the waves and order a selection of tapas, pizza or specials from the grill while watching the surf roll in. By night, make a beeline (as we did) for the gourmet restaurant Tra di Noi and grab a table on the terrace outside overlooking the candy-coloured skies and sapphire waters. Under head chef Clément Collet the emphasis is very much on homegrown Corsican produce - think vegetables from the kitchen garden, honey from the nearby beehives, fresh olive oil and local charcuterie - as well as regional seafood, often joined together in imaginative creations like the neat stack of avocado and spider crab or unconventional pairing of john dory and peach.
Is there a bar?
When you're not dining at either of the above two spots, a drink is never too far away - you can sip caipirinhas by the beach and rosé by the pool.
Atone for all the gourmet food and wine by heading to the natural spa, which contains four treatment rooms, a sauna, a Turkish bath and a coral-pink pool. There are special treatments dedicated to skincare, as well as a bespoke wellbeing and fitness programme that includes beachside yoga.
Things I should know
The twisting car journey along the meandering coastline from Bastia airport is beautiful, but unfortunately more than a little nausea-inducing. Pack your travel sickness pills…
Within a short walk I can find…
If you can tear yourself away from the hotel's pool and private beach, the cute nearby fishing villages and harbours offer up oodles of authentic Corsican charm and there are plenty of hiking trails through the un-manicured olive trees.