Get that beach feel inside and out at boutique hotel U Capu Biancu, on the sunny shores of southern Corsica. Embrace the simple life and spend your holiday alternating between two beaches and exploring the coast by paddleboard or canoe – to really push the boat out, hire a catamaran. With your appetite whet, enjoy lunch on the beach at the laidback La Paillote, where you can dine on traditional Corsican treats. Once you’ve soaked up enough sun by the infinity pool, head to the wine cellar for a flight around Corsica’s finest vineyards.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of Corsican wine; guests staying five nights or more also get an apéritif at the hotel bar
Noon. Earliest check-in, 4pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability; you can also store your luggage at reception and make use of the hotel’s facilities.
Double rooms from £269.40 (€295), including tax at 2.1 per cent.
Rates exclude breakfast; the hotel offers a buffet breakfast of home-made breads, cakes and yoghurts, plus local cheeses, cold meats and eggs cooked to order (€30 an adult; €19 a child).
Due to Corsican law, the hotel are no longer permitted to have sunloungers on the beach. You'll still be able to swim and sunbathe, and water sports can be arranged until mid-September, depending on the weather. Also, the Corsican coastline can sometimes experience strong winds, occasionally putting the beaches out of action.
The hotel is closed annually from the beginning of October until mid-May.
At the hotel
Two beaches in reach, a motor boat and jetty to cast off from on aquatic adventures, a cheese and wine cellar and free WiFi in the lobby and the bedrooms. In rooms: TV, air-conditioning, black-out curtains and a minibar with free bottled water. DVD players are available from the front desk on request.
Our favourite rooms
Don't expect plenty of frills – the decor is simple and rustic, letting nature take centre stage. Sea-view rooms and suites have breath-taking ocean vistas from their private balconies; Laetitia, a Sea-View Deluxe Suite, has a large copper bath tub overlooking the bay. If you prefer turf to surf, the Maquis-View Junior Suites have large private terraces with beautiful outlooks over the flower-filled gardens and the mountain ranges in the distance.
Surrounded by heavy stone boulders, flowering vegetation and a lounger-lined terrace, the heated outdoor infinity pool has beautiful views of the bay.
Distractions are kept to a minimum in the simple wooden spa-shack. Let the sweet smell of Corsican flowers and herbs soothe you as you unwind with a clementine-and-myrtle massage, or a honeyed butter-and-sugar facial that’ll nourish and rehydrate sun-frazzled skin. Pilates, yoga and fitness classes are also on offer.
Bonifacio is like a rustic Riviera, so pack lots of simple blue and white linens. Leave your heels and suit jackets at home.
The lobby, main restaurant and bar are wheelchair-accessible, and there are two bedrooms with disabled access (one Superior Sea-View Room and a Sea-View Junior Suite). Ask at reception for a ride down to the beach in the hotel’s electric buggy.
Kids 12-and-under can stay for an additional €150 a night. You'll need to contact the hotel before arrival to confirm extra beds or cots, both subject to availability. Changing mats, baby baths and highchairs are available; babysitting is €15 an hour.
Get a front-row seat with sea views or request one of the central tables by the window.
Comfort before couture – anything goes at these easygoing eateries.
The hotel has two restaurants, one in the main building and La Paillote by the beach. Retaining the rustic atmosphere of the rest of the hotel, the main restaurant has exposed stone walls, flagstone floors, ornate metal lanterns hanging from the ceilings and hand-painted plates on each table. Choose a seat under the arches in the inner section, or a take a table with a sea view on the sheltered terrace, and tuck into chef Gadio El Hadji’s regional delicacies, such as traditional Corsican pies, fish carpaccio, or seven-hour braised pork ribs. Follow up with a selection of Corsican cheeses, or a delicious sweet treat made by accomplished pastry chef Marianne Davin. La Paillote is a beachside shack serving up seasonal dishes for lunch in a relaxed setting. Fresh fish is a must: the hotel has its very own fisherman, Maxime, who always gets the best catch of the day.
Let sommelière Vanessa Maloyer take you on a wine flight around Corsica, France and the rest of the Med in the hotel’s underground wine cellar. Pair your tipple of choice with a selection of cheeses and the cold meats that hang from the old wooden beams. After a long day of watersports, sunbathing and spa treatments, the cocktail of the day will be a tempting treat in the main bar.
Kick off your flip-flops and relax on the sea-view terrace, or take a break from the Corsican sun and sit inside on a wicker or leather armchair. The drinks list includes Hendrick’s mojitos and local favourites such as Muscat Royals, starring Corsican muscat, mint and lime.
Breakfast is served from 7.30am to 10am; lunch from noon to 2.30pm; and dinner from 7.30pm to 10pm. The bar is open from 9am til midnight. La Paillote is open for lunch from mid-June to mid-September.
Order pastas, fresh fish, local tarts and desserts to your room anytime between 11.30am and 10pm, daily: between 10pm and 7am, the hotel offers a reduced menu.
This ocean-facing island stay is right at the bottom of southern Corsica. The popular port and historic hilltop town of Bonifacio is a 30-minute drive away.
Fly to Figari-Sud Corse Airport, a 40-minute drive from the hotel. There are weekly direct flights from the UK; alternatively, catch a connection at Nice or Marseilles. Smith24 are on hand day and night to book your flights, car rentals and anything else.
You’ll need your own set of wheels to properly explore the Corsican coast, the maquis-covered mountains and Bonifacio. Our Smith24 team can arrange a rental car for you to pick up at the airport. There’s free valet parking at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Come summer, the Corsican coastline is dotted with the elegantly opulent yachts of the rich and, sometimes, famous. Hire a private catamaran or the hotel’s motor boat and head offshore to explore Corsica’s coastal caves and the nearby Lavezzi Islands. There are other ways to reap the benefits of your beachside bolthole; the hotel has stand-up paddleboards and canoes for use in the summer, and can help arrange jet ski hire, kite-surfing lessons and scuba diving excursions. Back on dry land, explore the island’s hinterland hiking with local expert, Stephane Rogliano, or go on a 4X4 tour through its varied valleys. The hotel organises a range of daily activities that change each week, such as yoga sessions and local beer tastings. The sunny shores of Sardinia are just an hour’s ferry-ride away: catch one of the eight boats departing daily from Bonifacio port and spend a day living la dolce vita.
Bonifacio is filled with world-class restaurants to choose from. At the end of Quai Jerome Comparetti, Dorsia (+3 (0)3 4 95 74 00 49) offers a mix of classic fish and meat plates, plus more inventive dishes inspired by flavours and ingredients from near and far. The waiters really know the menu and will happily make recommendations to suit your tastes; if you like it hot, try the spicy tuna, or order a selection of ceviches to get a real idea of the chef’s talents. If you can handle the hike up Montée Rastello (you can also drive), head to Ciccio, on one of the small winding streets of the fortified old town. The traditional Corsican dishes change regularly, depending on the daily catch and what’s in season. Pair grilled sea urchin, or a Breton lobster with white summer truffles, with a bottle of Antoine Arena, Clos Canarelli or Domaine de Lecci wine. Also up in the old town, Stella D’Oro has been serving home-made lobster spaghetti and bouillabaisse for three generations. The mouth-watering recipes are passed down from mother to daughter, making this small, rustic restaurant well worth a visit.
Café de la Poste is right at the top of Bonifacio, and our list of local cafés. The menu features Italian classics made with local ingredients and lots of fresh fish. Take a streetside table outside, or sit inside and tuck into thin and crispy pizzas, lobster-laden pastas, steak or seafood risotto. What’s a summer holiday without (lots of) ice-cream? In Porto-Vecchio, head to Le Glacier De La Place on the Place de la République: pair fruit-filled ice-cream with a glass of wine. Making ice-cream for almost 40 years, Glacier de la Rocca is an unmissable stop in Bonifacio for anyone with a sweet tooth; if you have space after their sky-high scoops, treat yourself to one of the signature coral cakes.
Watch boats bobbing in the bay while enjoying a refreshing cold beer, a glass of rosé or a classic cocktail on the port-side terrace of La Marina (+3 (0)3 4 95 73 00 94) in Bonifacio. The beach bar and café, Le Palm Beach Palombaggia (+3 (0)3 4 95 50 19 36), is 40 minutes away by car, but the drive is worth it for a full day on the beach in a private cabana. Have a whole lobster or a burger and chips for lunch, a chocolate-covered crêpe for tea, then round off the evening with cocktails in the ocean-facing bar. From the chairs to the fare, everything at L’Oasis Santa Giulia is organic and sourced from local producers. Take one of the reclining sunloungers or the hanging chair under the trees and spend the evening sampling Corsican wines, paired with the island’s traditional goat’s cheese.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this seaside stay in Bonifacio and unpacked their beach bags and wine, a full account of their island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside U Capu Biancu in Corsica…
Beachside boutique hotel U Capu Biancu has breathtaking views of the Corsican coast; with two private beaches and a hilltop infinity pool, it’s in a prime position for soaking in the sun. Embrace the beach outside and in; after a day spent paddleboarding in the bay, retreat to your rustic-chic bedroom, decorated with stone features and quirky driftwood accents, so you’ll never forget there’s a beach in reach. Here, you’ll experience all the best bits of Corsica; beyond the bay, sample traditional fare in either the hilltop or beachfront restaurant, take a flight around Corsica’s vineyards in the cave-like wine cellar and discover the local flora in the maquis-surrounded spa, while enjoying a myrtle-and-clementine massage – local delicacies we’re more than happy to try out…