“Dazzling small hotel with pretty rooms and sparkling pool, set in lush gardens between the hills and coast of northern Corsica”
Potter about at the hotel and find serenely manicured gardens with beds of fragrant lavender, a shaded breakfast terrace, an ancient olive tree, even a boules pitch. You’ll probably spurn them all for the swimming pool terrace, where you can top up your tan and treat yourself to an ice cream. For something more substantial, there’s a pretty restaurant with a daily changing menu. Bedrooms - there are 17, about half with terraces - are equally lovely: warm colours, beautiful bathrooms, crisply dressed beds and the odd antique. The coast is 7km north at St Florent, where boats whisk you off to sandy beaches. There’s a treatment room, too, plus a hot tub by the pool. Fabulous.
- Seriously attractive house with gorgeous pool and terrace set in peaceful gardens
- Lovely, romantic bedrooms that pamper you rotten
- St Florent, a pretty seaside town that comes alive in summer
- The Cap de Corse, the beautiful northern peninsula studded with beaches and summer restaurants
- The nearby village of Oletta, up in the hills with its magical views of mountain and sea
- You’ll need a car, even though you probably won’t use it that much
- We've heard reports of average service, but didn’t experience this ourselves
- Breakfast is good, but expensive
- Some rooms have baths only, so if you want a shower, ask for one; ditto, request a terrace if you'd prefer that to first-floor views
Best time to go
Our top tips
Also, if you head off to the beaches at Lotu and Saleccia, make sure you take suncream and hats. There are no sunbeds to rent on either beach, so if you need shade, buy a parasol in town to take with you.”
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and pool bar
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Heated Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Private and secure parking
All rooms have a similar style with beautiful beds, pretty fabrics and lovely bathrooms. As they get more expensive, they become more refined and some open onto small semi-private terraces. All rooms have flat-screen TVs and WiFi; all bathrooms have robes and fancy oils. There are 5 categories:
Charme: the least expensive, but the one we saw was rather beautiful, so don't feel you need something pricier. It was large, with an enormous walk-in shower, rustic wood, a gorgeous bed and pretty armchairs. But it was on the ground floor, so a little dark, and it overlooked the path, so you might hear guests pottering by.
Privilege: we stayed in one of these and thought it utterly lovely - clipped and elegant, with an English country-house feel courtesy of beautiful upholstery and mahogany furniture. It was up on the first floor with double-aspect windows that gave views over the pool. All Privileges have big showers in lovely bathrooms. A couple on the ground floor have small terraces.
Prestige: noticeably bigger. We saw one on the first floor, so it had no terrace (others on the ground floor do). Expect stone walls, vast beds, leather armchairs and voile curtains. Of 6 Prestige Rooms, only one has a shower.
Luxe: an enormous room in a barn conversion close to the pool. Think golden stone walls and space for a sofa and armchairs. Doors open onto a terrace, shielded by plants; it has parasols and chairs, too. There's a separate bath with balneotherapy and a shower.
Suites: at the back of the main house, so private and quiet, with sofas and loungers on big terraces. Inside, you get sitting rooms with a DVD player and HiFi. Bedrooms are big and airy with double-aspect windows and pretty views. Bathrooms have baths with balneotherapy and separate showers. Good for honeymooners.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
Breakfast is an extensive help-yourself buffet. You’ll find delicious Corsican hams and cheeses, plates of seasonal fruit salad and yoghurts, artisanal jams, cereals and dried fruits, baskets of patisserie, then extremely tasty local breads. There’s strong coffee and freshly squeezed juices, too, and various hot dishes can be ordered (the scrambled eggs with panzetta are recommended).
Lunch and dinner take place at Pera Bianca, the lovely restaurant housed inside the property's old stone sheep fold. Its exposed stone walls, comfy wicker chairs with soft wool blankets, feature lighting and pool views create a relaxed ambiance. The menu changes regularly according to seasonal ingredients and the chef's creativity, and the food is sourced from local producers. For lunch we had ceviche of sea bass and prawn; dinner was langoustine ravioli with a seafood bisque and herbs from the garden. Dessert was poached peaches with a saffron and honey ice cream.
If you fancy eating out, there's a great restaurant a stone’s throw from the hotel: Auberge A Magina, up the hill in Oletta, a pretty village with big views down to the coast. Don’t be put off by its slightly uninspiring exterior. Or, for good meat try 137, a popular brasserie on the harbour; for the freshest fish, head to L’Auberge du Pecheur. If you want good Italian food, try Il Pulcinella - the restaurant where the locals eat.
- Light meals
- Room service
- Hanging out at the hotel is a great way to spend your day, and as well as the pool and the terrace, you’ll find a hot tub, a treatment room and a hamam. You can book whatever you require at reception
- The best beaches - Plage du Lotu and Plage de Saleccia - are both beyond the reach of cars. Instead, boats whisk you over from St Florent, then return to pick you up. White sands and clear waters wait; there’s a beach restaurant and a bar in summer. You can transfer between the beaches by calèche, a horse-drawn wagon
- The Cap du Corse, the island’s northern peninsula, is a great day out. Take the east coast up and the west coast down - that way you keep the sun with you all day. There are some lovely little villages to explore, beaches to swim from, and excellent restaurants to ensure a good lunch
- All sorts of watersports can be arranged, from boat trips along the coast to diving and kayaking, sailing and jet skiing. Reception will advise. They can also point you towards a bicycle hire shop
- Head into the mountains - they’re wild and wonderful and well worth a day of your holiday. There’s great walking, magnificent views, and horses to ride through spectacular landscape. You’ll be equally happy driving through it all
- Some great music festivals run over the summer. They take place all over the island, mostly from July to September; some are free. Highlights in the northeast are the July guitar festival in Patrimono and the Latin music festival in St Florent in August
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Horse riding
- Jet skiing
- Plantlife / flora
- Scuba diving
- Scuba diving courses
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
Children of all ages are welcome. There are cots for babies and extra beds for older kids (extra cost). However, on the whole this hotel is popular with couples and there is little for kids to do, so it might not suit families.
Babies (0-1 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
The best options are either the Luxe room and the Suites, both of which have a double sofabed and space for a baby cot. The slightly smaller Prestige and Privilege rooms can fit either an extra bed or baby cot.
La Dimora is 25km northwest of Bastia airport and 4km south of St Florent, just inland from the coast in northern Corsica.
Bastia is the island’s second city and is well connected to France for frequent flights. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving this airport. Alternatively you can fly into Calvi (75km away) and drive up.
From the Airport
We'd recommend hiring a car, see our car rental recommendations. If you can't drive, a taxi will cost approx €50 (price correct in 2011).
Ferries to Bastia sail from Marseille, Toulon and Nice in France and from Livorno, Savona and Genoa in Italy.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
More on getting to Corsica
- Bastia Poretta 25.0 km BIA
- Calvi 75.0 km CLY
- Beach 4.0 km
- Shops 4.0 km
- Restaurant 2.0 km