Hotel Les Bergeries

Palombaggia, Corsica, France Book from

Reviewed by Tom Bell
Chic hotel above Palombaggia beach with cool pool, stylish rooms and delicious food in the restaurant
Palombaggia is the loveliest beach on Corsica, simple as that. You stroll through shady pine trees to find 6km of golden sands and clear blue water stretching south to Sardinia. In summer, bars and restaurants open up on the bay, so join the throng of beautiful people for a spot of lunch on the beach. Afterwards, top up your tan, cool down in the water or hire a speedboat and explore this magical coast.

The hotel sits at the foot of a forested hill 700m back from the sea with hypnotic views down to the water. It’s a seriously attractive place - lush manicured gardens, golden stone buildings, an infinity pool that looks the right way. You get sun loungers flanking the terrace, and decidedly attractive bedrooms, all with private terraces or balconies. Which makes it quite tricky to up sticks and head down to the beach. To help you get there, the hotel runs a shuttle service that whisks you down, dropping you off at all the best places. There’s loads to do - diving, snorkelling, waterskiing, kayaking - though if you want to relax, just throw down your towel and snooze in the sun. There are drinks on the terrace and excellent food in the restaurant when you get back. A great place to do nothing at all.

Highs

  • The position here is idyllic - sun, sea, sand, sky
  • Breakfast on the terrace with its watery views is a great way to start the day
  • Cool bedrooms pack a punch with private terraces and a contemporary rustic feel
  • The food here is excellent, the best we ate on the island: think Camembert fondue, barbecued king prawn skewers, chocolate fondant with a passion fruit coulis
  • Ideal for a honeymoon, or an indulgent romantic holiday

Lows

  • Breakfast is expensive, and charging for it seems mean when a week-long minimum booking in peak season is thousands of Euros
  • Palombaggia gets madly busy in July and August. Come in May when prices are lower - you’ll have the place to yourself
  • The service is fine, but it doesn’t quite match the price tag that comes with it
  • The restaurant is closed on Monday nights, except during peak season

Best time to go

The hotel is open from early April to early November. July and August are extremely hot and prices soar, so come in April and May. You’ll get the best rates, the sun will be shining, and the beach will be yours.

Our top tips

Kayaking is a great way to explore the coast and much less expensive than hiring a boat. If you fancy a day on the water, head north 30km to the Golfe de Pinarello and explore its beautiful coastline. You’ll find good beaches, too.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 17
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 4 Jan 2016 - 7 Feb 2016
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The bedrooms are scattered about, a few in the main house, the rest in the garden. Most have the same simple elegance: white walls, high ceilings, terracotta floors, pink throws on super-comfy beds. You get sofas or comfy armchairs, flatscreen TVs, then waffled robes, fancy oils and tubs and showers in pretty bathrooms; there’s air-conditioning, too. Best of all is your private terrace. Glass doors open onto it and you’ll find loungers, wicker armchairs or perhaps a sofa, perfect for lazy afternoons. Most rooms have sea views.

Patio Rooms are the cheapest, but they're lovely; they’re not huge, and don’t have sea views, but they have large courtyards which act as a sitting room in the sun, so you get plenty of space. They're the closest rooms to the road, a small windy lane that serves the peninsula. We stayed in low season when the road was empty, but that’s probably not the case in summer. Not that you should worry unduly. These are great rooms.

The Sea View Rooms have lovely terraces, your privacy coming from walls of lush green foliage. The rooms themselves are nice and big with sofas inside and funky sun loungers on the terraces, all of which encourages you to get horizontal. We had one of these and loved it.

The Junior Suite Patio has a patio and a single bed behind a curtain, which will work well if you’re travelling with a child (though all rooms can fit a rollaway bed). The Panoramic Room and Sea View Junior Suite are in the main house. The former has lovely shaded balconies made from rustic wood, which have the best views in the house. Both are above the pool, so you may hear chatter from below.

Finally, the Sea View Suites, hidden away in peace, have large terraces gazing down to the water. Inside, driftwood furniture, doors onto a tiny courtyard, and beautiful bathrooms with a deep bath and walk-in shower. There’s loads of space, but the big surprise is the children’s bunk beds in the lounges. These are hidden behind double doors which, when open, slide into the wall, disappearing in a flash. Kids love them, and happy kids mean happy parents.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Sun loungers
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Breakfast (extra cost) is served on the main terrace from 7.30-10am. It’s a help-yourself affair, with lots to choose from: local cheeses and charcuterie, fresh fruits and bowls of bread, croissants, brioche and pains au chocolat; there’s even bacon and eggs. A beautifully effective machine waits by a pile of oranges - toss in a couple and watch as they turn into juice in seconds.

A limited lunch menu is available, which can sometimes be served as room service on your terrace. There are croques-monsieur, fresh salads, tasty pizzas, plates of local cheese and charcuterie.

Dinner is more serious altogether - the food here is excellent. Some of the starters are sinful - the baked Camembert is hard to resist. You may find grilled lobster or rack of lamb followed by pineapple carpaccio or profiteroles in chocolate sauce. The restaurant is open every day in July and August, but closes on Mondays at other times.

As for local restaurants, if you want to splash out, head to Casa del Mar, where 2 Michelin stars wait; book very early in high season. At the other end of the scale you can head over to Costa Marine, a 5-minute drive from the hotel, for seafood and meat simply cooked; it’s a lovely spot with big views. Alternatively, head into Porto Vecchio and try Sous La Tonnelle for great Corsican food at decent prices. If you want to eat on the beach, head down to Le Tamaricceu, a very popular spot; the hotel will drop you off. There’s also some serious food at The Belvedere, either a Michelin star or a brasserie for half the cost where you’ll find fresh fish and island meat.

For other restaurant recommendations in Corsica, see our Destination Guide.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity: remove

Activities

  • The swimming pool terrace is a great spot to do nothing at all. There are loungers in the sun, loungers in the shade, the bar is 10 paces away, and the views stretch for miles

  • Head down to the beach and join in the fun. Because all beaches in France are public, not many of the restaurants have permission for sun beds. However, the hotel knows which ones do and will take you to them; expect to pay about €20 a day for a bed (2011 price)

  • The area is geared up for all sorts of watersports. You can kayak along the coast, kite surf, dive (the owner’s brother owns a dive company), learn to sail, waterski or roar about on a jet ski. Alternatively, just pick up some goggles and snorkel

  • The hotel has its own motorboat, an 8m rib. You can hire it with or without a pilot (quite expensive but fun)

  • Check out the island’s beautiful interior. You’re close to Les Aguilles de Bavella, a range of spectacular mountains, their peaks sculpted dramatically by the wind. Take the road up to Zonza (Europe’s highest race course), then on to Quenza, where you can saddle up and ride in the mountains. There’s canyoning up here, too

  • Visit Bonifacio, the vertigo-inducing clifftop town on the south coast. You can play golf on its cliffs… and lose your ball in the sea, no doubt. It’s well worth taking a boat trip as the view of the town from the water is staggering. There are sea caves to explore and the stunning Iles Lavezzi. Around them the odd atoll lies submerged underwater and you will not believe your eyes when you see people sitting in deckchairs seemingly afloat in the middle of the sea

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Canyoning
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Jet skiing
  • Kayaking
  • Kitesurfing
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Water skiing

Kids

Children are welcome, but the hotel best suits babies or older children as there isn't much here to entertain a toddler. All rooms are big enough to accommodate an extra bed (extra cost). There are cots available and babies (3 years and under) for free. Babysitting can be arranged.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Sea View Suite has a kingsize bedroom and bunk beds in the lounge, which magically hide behind double doors during the day. The Junior Suite Patio has a double and single bed. All rooms can fit a rollaway bed or baby cot.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Children's meals:

There's a children's menu for kids under 5; those aged 5-12 get a reduced half-board rate.

Kid Friendly: remove

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