The Big Six: French island escapes

Emily Kent-Smith
Saturday 22 October 2011 23:09

Hotel Casadelmar, Corsica

This hotel overlooks the Mediterranean from the southeast coast of Corsica just outside Porto Vecchio. Everything centres on the sea views, from the hillside infinity pool, terraced Italiante gardens or sea-facing rooms. Inside the modern timber- clad and glass building, the personality of each room is bolstered by a unique colour scheme, whether it's cherry red armchairs or grape purple rugs.

Hotel Casadelmar, Route de Palombaggia, Porto Vecchio, Corsica (00 33 4 95 72 34 34; Double rooms start at €370, including breakfast.

Hotel Delos, Ile de Bendor

The tiny island of Bendor was bought by Paul Ricard, titular creator of that most French of all tipples, the world-famous aniseed liqueur, back in 1950. Ricard subsequently helped shape the island into its modern incarnation of a tranquil collection of stone fishermen's houses, palm trees and art galleries. It even has a wine museum. He built the Hotel Delos in 1962 and it mixes his original design with modern touches – expect colourful tiles, mosaics, vivid linens and antiques.

Hotel Delos, Ile de Bendor, Bandol, Provence (00 33 4 94 05 54 88; Doubles start at €160, room only.

Hotel La Maison Sur L'Eau, Ile de Noirmoutier

Noirmoutier is best known for its gastronomy, particularly for salt and potato production. Stay at La Maison sur l'Eau, which offers simple rooms and an ocean-view pool and restaurant.

Hotel La Maison sur L'Eau, 57 rue de la Pointe, Ile de Noirmoutier, Vendée (00 33 2 28 10 34 40; Doubles start at €145, room only.

La Maison Douce, Ile de Ré

The Ile de Ré packs in marshes, forests, sand dunes and chic Parisian holidaymakers. Elegant accommodation is offered by La Maison Douce, where the garden flourishes and the bedrooms are simply styled.

La Maison Douce, 25 Rue Mérindot, St-Martin de Ré, Ile de Ré, Charente Maritime (00 33 5 46 09 20 20; From €135.

Le Mas du Langoustier, Ile de Porquerolles

Just a short boat trip from resorts such as Toulon and St Tropez are the pine-fringed, white sand beaches of Porquerolles. The car-free island offers a retreat from the frenzy of the French Riviera, particularly once day trippers have departed back for the mainland. On the west coast, Le Mas du Langoustier is stuffed with antiques, has a vineyard producing rosé wines and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Botanical gardens, tennis courts and two beaches complete the idyllic scene.

Le Mas du Langoustier, Ile de Porquerolles, Côte d'Azur (00 33 4 94 58 30 09; Doubles start at €180, inc breakfast.

Hotel La Désirade, Belle-Ile-en-Mer

This Breton island was immortalised by Monet and so beloved of Sarah Bernhardt that she had a home here. On the west coast, this hotel captures the nautical spirit of Belle-Ile with tongue-and-groove panelling, breezy colours and a seafood restaurant.

Hotel La Désirade, Belle-Ile-en-Mer, Brittany (00 33 2 97 31 70 70; Doubles start at €125, room only.

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