March 29, 2022

A Chat with Joan Amadei, the Owner of Cala di Greco, Bonifacio Corsica

After many years on the mainland, the owner of Cala di Greco, Joan Amadei, returned to his native Corsica to build this luxury boutique hotel. Located on a piece of property owned by his family, the contemporary suites of this Mediterranean paradise overlook the 12th-century Old Town of Bonifacio and a slice of the sea.

Besides the stunning views, remarkable design, and personalised service, what is so special about Cala di Greco is that it almost didn’t exist. In chatting with Joan Amadei, we learn that the path leading him to become a hotelier was not as direct as one might think.

“…nothing predestined me to run a hotel. I started by studying at a business school in London, the Westminster Business School, where I got a Master’s in Financial Engineering.”

Joan was born and raised in Bonifacio, and his parents bought the piece of property where the Cala di Greco sits today. To cater to Corsica‘s high-end tourists, his parents created the Terra Marina residence. Many years later, after a varied career path, Joan would decide to build his hotel on this remarkable piece of property.

Cala di Greco Bonifacio
Breathtaking Bonifacio from the bird’s perspective

After going to university in London to study finance and working as a banker on the mainland, Joan eventually returned to island life in Corsica. This was when the vision of creating a unique hotel in harmony with nature and local culture took shape.

From master mason to masterful design

Joan did not return to Corsica with the vision of building a dreamy hotel nestled into the landscape above Bonifacio. He began working as a mason, eventually getting a degree in this traditional building craft. It wasn’t until 2010 that he decided to build Cala di Greco.

Cala di Greco
Masterful design of Cala di Greco

The name means Greek cove and pays homage to Homer’s Odyssey, whose Greek hero is said to have stopped over in Bonifacio during his journey – even the suites depict names of mythological Greek characters. The hotel began with six suites and has grown over time to encapsulate Joan’s desire:

“to make Cala di Greco an address not to be missed on the island”.

Although Joan has created his own brand and has a passion for high standards, many of his values match his parents and the vision they started. Therefore, the Amadei family heritage exists throughout this luxury, eco-friendly property.

Balancing contemporary architecture and nature on cherished land

Joan constructed the hotel using local materials, with nature at the heart of the design. Hundred-year-old olive trees fill the three hectares of land, and the protected Corsican maquis – a mix of hardy shrubs, small trees, and flowering herbs – dot the surrounding landscape.

Cala di greco
Stunning outdoors of Cala di Greco

Joan considered every detail to ensure that the hotel blends in with its natural surroundings. He wanted simplicity and elegance to be in perfect harmony so that all the senses awaken whether you are inside or outside. The breathtaking views, charming birdsong, and the heady scent of herbs and salty breezes are all part of the Cala di Greco experience.

“Cala di Greco epitomises the best of what Corsica has to offer.” 

It was imperative to Joan that the hotel uses renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and energy-saving techniques, to keep the balance with nature as harmonious as possible.

“A hotel must implement ecological initiatives to limit the impact of its activity on the beautiful nature that surrounds it.”

Joan combines high-quality services with a welcoming family atmosphere

Cala di Greco is a short distance from the medieval, cobbled stone charm of Bonifacio; it’s a five-minute drive from some of the best beaches in Corsica – and did we mention the Mediterranean views? However, what makes this boutique hotel extremely special is the personalised service dedicated to each guest. Joan and his team make your stay at Cala di Greco feel at home, yet pampered, at the same time.

Cala di Greco
Idyllic atmosphere of Cala di Greco

Besides being available and responsive to every request, Joan feels that Cala di Greco can reflect Corsican culture; he wants you to experience a taste of life on the island. Although it’s tempting to spend every moment at the hotel, with breakfast in the sun, massages, beauty treatments, and two heated pools, Joan Amadei encourages you to discover the island and all its Mediterranean splendour.

“It is also important for us to highlight our Corsican identity as we are proud of our island and all that it offers in terms of culture, landscapes, specialities.”

cala di greco
Joan Amadei, the owner and creator of Cala di Greco

What is the best moment of the day? 

Morning – we are full of energy!

Where are you dreaming to go next?

Seychelles – but Corsica is already a heavenly place to live.

What makes you smile? / What makes you happy? 

Sun – Corsica is the best place to enjoy the sun!

Where do you get your energy from?

Family and passion for work.