By Alexandre Arditti

Imagine an entirely private domain of 2500 hectares of wild nature, sheltering altogether 19 charming sheepfolds scattered in the middle of the bush, between sea and mountains. This garden of Eden in Corsican version, we owe it to the imagination and a touch of madness of the owner, Paul Canarelli, who has achieved the feat of bringing out of the earth a real UFO of the global hotel industry. Exceptional setting, absolute tranquility and Corsican hospitality … The story of love at first sight under the sun of an Island of Beauty which has never lived up to its name.

When arriving near the Domaine de Murtoli, located half an hour from Figari airport, between Sartène and Bonifacio, do not look for imposing signs or an “official” entrance: there aren’t any! Discretion requires, we slip incognito to an already bucolic reception by following a small dirt road before emerging, speechless, on the immensity. In front of you, a huge valley of wonders bordered on one side by the Mediterranean and on the other by the high Corsican mountains, whose peaks often remain snow-capped until spring. In the center, a landscape of green meadows and hundred-year-old olive trees, while a few cows roam freely here and there in this dream setting. Welcome to Murtoli!

These houses have a soul …

Paul Canarelli owes this extraordinary estate from his grandfather, to whom he once promised to keep it at all costs despite the inevitable greed in the heart of one of the most desirable regions of Corsica. A sentimental dimension essential to understand the approach of this passionate about Corsican heritage and the magic of Domaine de Murtoli. Because 25 years ago, Murtoli was still wasteland. Paul Canarelli begins by renovating for his personal use one of the old ruined sheepfolds that dot the estate. The idea of restoring others into a hotel would not come until a little later. Today, no less than 19 patrician houses in dry stones that can accommodate from 2 to 16 people and whose foundations date for some of the 17th century, which have been restored, like so many small charming refuges hanging on the hill or by the beach. Here, nothing ostentatious but a real authenticity: whitewashed walls, chestnut wood beams, oak floors, tommettes, stone sinks… Everything is simple and beautiful in the image of nature and the men who lived there. once these hills.

Sweet life and Corsican gastronomy

The concept in Murtoli? You are at home here, and you can simply stay all week in your house for complete privacy, cook there (residents can help themselves to fruit and vegetables free of charge in the large vegetable garden of the estate), while benefiting from 5-star hotel service. Every morning, in the first rays of the sun, a pretty, ultra-rich breakfast basket will be delivered to you directly with plenty of fig jams, maquis honey, fresh fruit and other vitamin-enriched delicacies to start the day off right! But it is also possible to take advantage of the many facilities offered by the estate, starting with its three restaurants. And yes, in Murtoli, Corsican cold meats and cheeses are obviously in the spotlight, in particular thanks to the ewes and the cheese factory on the estate and the delicious cold cuts from the neighboring farm. You will thus find the best of Corsican products on your plate and it is already a nice program in itself! First at La Ferme, which serves as a meeting point for happy holidaymakers who wish to have lunch, dinner or a drink on a lovely, warm and always sunny terrace. Here, don’t be surprised if a guest suddenly begins to take up A capella a famous Corsican ritornello: Murtoli is above all conviviality, whether you are a simple resident or a movie star – since many personalities come regularly stay there – the atmosphere remains the same, simple and relaxed, music everywhere with many concerts in summer and winter.

Another appointment that deserves more than a detour, the Table de la Grotte, a restaurant squarely located in the heart of an impressive natural vaulted cavity, a truly atypical place where it is good to enjoy a suckling lamb with friends in front of the fireplace. or on the terrace offering a panoramic view of the domain. Finally, the Restaurant de la Plage, particularly popular in the heart of summer, all in driftwood and nestled with its feet in the sand facing translucent waters and one of the most beautiful beaches in Corsica, about ten kilometers long. kilometers. Here, we thank the sun every day, but especially the fisherman from the estate who takes his boat out every morning to supply gourmets with fresh fish that you will then find at noon or in the evening grilled on your plate: denti, saint-pierre, sea urchins … Fans of beautiful peaches have not finished feasting!

Spa on the beach, tasting of Corsican wines, golf or relaxation…

Between two days spent at the beach, by your private swimming pool or strolling on the domain, it is possible for the hyperactive to practice all kinds of activities, starting with magnificent boat trips to access the small neighboring coves. , or even more sporty, big game fishing and horseback riding. For the friends of Bacchus, head to the wine cellar for a small tasting of the best Corsican vintages in the company of the sommelier. Sant Armetu, Clos Venturi, Domaine de Vacelli (Cuvée Granit) without forgetting the magnificent Tarra d´Orasi: great discoveries in perspective! And since we are in Corsica, now is the time to try the spa and its organic Casanera products, made from immortella and plants from the maquis. In summer, special mention for the ephemeral treatment rooms set up on the beach, where, sheltered from the heat and prying eyes, under bamboo and wild rose bushes, you can treat yourself to an unforgettable massage between two swims. Last but not least, the Domaine de Murtoli is also one of the new unmissable events for golf enthusiasts, thanks to a superb 12-hole course designed by Kyle Philips, offering a breathtaking view of the Big Blue and the mountains.

But what adds to the magic of Murtoli is undoubtedly the welcome extended to you by Paul Canarelli, brilliantly supported by his wife Valérie, who always takes care of you. For a little, we would almost think of ourselves as friends of the family. Because Murtoli is much more than a hotel, but that you understood!

Let’s go ? 

With Air Corsica from Paris, Marseille and Nice to Figari. Houses from 170 € per night out of season. Open all year (annual closure from mid-February to mid-March). Round trip flights + car rental packages at Figari airport for 3 days from 350 € / pax from Paris and from 250 € / pax from Marseille and Nice.

Domaine de Murtoli
Vallée de l’Ortolo 20100 Sartène
Tél : 04 95 71 69 24