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Saint-Tropez Luxury Hotels

Matt Adams

Saint-Tropez Luxury Hotels

Saint Tropez, a subtle blend between a picturesque fishing village and a world capital, waited many years before opening luxury hotels on its narrow, winding streets, but the result was well worth waiting for. The height of chic here is no longer anchoring your yacht in the harbor and parading yourself around the swimming pool of your private mansion, but to settle into a luxury hotel for your entire vacation.

If you follow the Salins route, just 250 meters from the beach, you’ll find yourself face to face with the Seez Saint-Tropez hotel, an identical twin of the hotel in the very classy 16th arrondisement of Paris, both of which belong to the same hotel group. Although the latter represents the quintessence of urban life, the former, in Saint-Tropez offers guests total Provençal luxury. The architecture created by Jean-Jacques Ory and the interior design of Christophe Pillet combine to make a daring visual statement. The reception area is surrounded by glass walls framed in metal enabling the interior to totally blend into the exterior. The furniture designed by Christophe Pillet and the Emeco deck chairs are a subtle reminder of 1950’s design, whereas hidden behind the sumptuous gardens created by Christophe Ponceau, each of the  35 rooms has its own particular personality and surprises around the hotel’s basic aesthetic theme. The swimming pool, protected by a private garden enables guests to relax before having dinner at the restaurant under the direction of none other than the renowned chef, Pierre Gagnaire.

For a more Provençal experience, why not try the Bastide de Saint-Tropez, a hotel built like a village with small individual houses around a central plaza. Just a stone’s throw from the famous Place des Lices and its petanque players, this atypical hotel has only 26 rooms spread throughout 4 buildings each with a different inspiration. The owners themselves selected the decorative elements, giving guests the immediate impression of being invited into a private home. The jewel of the Bastide is undoubtedly the Aurore apartment with its private veranda and terrace overlooking the swimming pool. Sailing enthusiasts can take advantage of the hotel’s sumptuous 22 meter yacht, the San Lorenzo and enjoy the magnificent view of the bay around them.

And if your boat has a bit of fuel left or enough wind in your sails, you can head for the Bay of Pampelonne and discover La Villa Marie, a hotel resembling a chic private Italian home which offers a quiet and serene vision of luxury. Hidden on a 3 hectare pine forest property, the Villa Marie is a haven of peace and the ideal place to take advantage of all that Saint-Tropez has to offer without the accompanying madness. How can anyone not feel at home in this building designed with simplicity and talent? How can anyone not contemplate staying here forever? The Villa Marie offers timeless luxury in all seasons without flourishes or excess, simply expressing its own interpretation of the good life. This interpretation includes the celebration of wellness pushed to its highest point: the spa, of course, a must in the region for demanding and often blasé guests.

The Charm & More hotel group’s desire to create a modern establishment while still maintaining its respect for Provençal architectural traditions, led it to entrust Patrick Jouin with the design of its Benkiraï Hotel. The result is an elegant, simple and discreet establishment. The basic concept is clear as soon as one enters the hotel. Guests find themselves in a minimalist reception area with a concrete floor and leather sofas. The ocher tones of southern France are present on the outside to remind guests that they are in Saint-Tropez. In the center of the hotel, we find a bright red solarium made with exotic Indonesian wood, known as benkiraï, which contrasts sharply with the scintillating deep blue of the swimming pool. The hotel’s 41 rooms, similar in size and design, are nestled in the Provençal style buildings overlooking the pool. Some are totally in glass in order to take advantage of the Mediterranean sunshine. Surrounding these cocoons of well-being is an entire hectare of lush vegetation ideal for reading and napping!

Following the route des Marres, bordered by vines and hidden in the heart of rich natural scenery, we discover the Muse, a luxury hotel whose suites were inspired by the region’s villas.

The precision, wealth and design give the hotel its personality within the framework of a Tropezian landscape. This is all thanks to its creator, Celia Gumbau, who conceived the hotel as if she were a guest and not a member of the hotel industry. Each of the 15 suites bears the name of a more or less ”ancient” muse and offers guests a magnificent view. The Romy suite (named after a modern muse, the actress Romy Schneider) is the height of luxury with its terrace looking out onto the pine forest and its bathroom opening onto the duplex bedroom. Ecology enthusiasts will be delighted by the 160 essences in the self-sufficient garden created by Sophie Agatha Ambroise and the “slow-food” gastronomic dishes served in this cocoon of Tropezian serenity.

For those who want to retain their level of urban trendiness during their stay in Saint-Tropez, the Kube is the place to go.

Located on the coastal route overlooking the bay and its numerous yachts, the Kube Hotel has one of the finest geographical sites in Saint-Tropez. Like its Parisian counterpart, the Mediterranean Kube possesses all the luxury of a boutique hotel with an elegant and minimalist design. The exterior architecture of this former clinic is sober and discreet although it’s in the Kube’s 41 rooms located along dark corridors with midnight blue lighting that the philosophy of the hotel can be felt. The Kube has become one of the hot spots of Saint-Tropez thanks to its three trendy bars, its huge 24 meter neon lit infinity swimming pool adjacent to the scintillating Mediterranean Sea, not to mention its ice bar. Only 30 minutes of extreme cooling off are authorized. It’s the hotel’s main attraction. Everything is made of ice here including the glasses which contain the cocktails.

It goes without saying that it’s the “coolest” place in Saint-Tropez!

Are you a “palace person”? Saint-Tropez has what you’re looking for : the Ramatuelle Reserve. This temple of well-being is perched in the middle of a sumptuous private pine forest on a hill overlooking Capes Camarat and Taillat.

With its newly awarded palace classification, this refuge, which is both a hotel and a spa, is above all an invitation to serenity, like a retreat where one comes to relax and get back into touch with oneself. Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the architect, renovated this relatively austere building giving it a Le Corbusier touch and spaces in the suites designed to take advantage of the sea breezes and the sunshine. Add to this the extraordinary service provided and a high level of spa treatments, and you have all the ingredients for a relaxing vacation, which is not always easy to find in Saint-Tropez!

And yet, in the heart of all the hustle and bustle of Saint-Tropez, just a few steps from the Place des Lices and the port, the Pan Deï Palais is a true haven of peace. Its discreet exterior is deceptive compared to what guests find once they walk through the magnificent wooden door. Built in 1835 by General Allard for his wife, Princess Pan Deï, this luxurious home is a veritable oriental palace. There are only 12 rooms and suites for guests in search of peace and quiet in this warm, atmospheric jewel consisting of white stone from Turkey and decorated with century’s old carved wood. They all open onto the interior patio and the mosaic swimming pool. Françoise Piault, the decorator’s wanted to recreate the soul of a refined, exotic oriental palace using ocher and red benches, authentic panels of carved wood, bas reliefs in sculpted stone of small Balinese Buddhas and the carved wood ceiling of a Burmese temple in the Krishna salon……Asia in the heart of Provence…

Facing the Place des Lices, we find La Maison Blanche, a private mansion dating back to the early 20th century, entirely decorated in a romantic and minimalist spirit. This hotel, in the charm category, is totally contemporary in design, primarily in white and a haven of peace and freshness in the heart of hyperactive St. Tropez. In the suites, the visible beams and antique furniture set the tone, and the light, airy and virginal décor recreate the simple, discreet and intimate atmosphere of a family home in each room. The Maison Blanche is ideal for a family to come home after an ice cream or two and a swim.

In a village like Saint-Tropez, certain places are institutions, and the Byblos is one of these, almost as much as the yachts and the partying. Built on the city’s highest hill in the late 1960S, the Byblos sprung from the imagination of Lebanese born hotel owner, Jean-Prosper Gay-Para whose dream was to create a palace that would be totally unique throughout the entire Mediterranean. Named after the ancient port of Phoenicia, it fans out around a mosaic representing the rapt of Europa by Zeus. The interior is filled with precious furniture, ancient mosaics and statues which stand side by side with more modern ceramics from Vallauris and Provençal patina. Byblos however, is known throughout the world for its Caves du Roy, the trendiest night spot on the Var coast which hosts international fashion models, ultra rich business people, show business stars and crowned heads.

There’s something for everyone in the hotel world of Saint-Tropez. The diversity of luxury establishments continues to increase. In this vein, the Hotel de Paris has just completed its renovation, and will very soon add its five stars to the firmament of the Mediterranean coast.


Matt Adams

Director

Native of London, Matt Adams is a graduate of the famous Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. After working for the BBC, he falls in love with France, where he quickly became a director and editor.

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