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St. Tropez Hotels

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Benkiraï
11 Chemin du Pinet
St. Tropez
France 83990
Tel: 33 4 94 97 04 37
info@hotel-benkirai.com
www.hotel-benkirai.com

This 39-room property has been attracting the hot crowd since opening in 2006. The requisite star designer—this time it was Patrick Jouin—helped: His look here is appealingly minimalist and vaguely Asian. Details include a cedar deck surrounding the pool, and the rooms done up in a scheme of oyster and white, with streamlined contemporary furniture. The best Thai chef in France, Oth Sombath, is running the restaurant. Don't miss his fabulous salads—seared beef and chilis, shrimp and lemongrass—and rich coconut milk soups. Even before it opened, the supermodel crowd already had the address in its Sidekicks. Put it in yours, too, if you simply have to be on top of the latest, coolest, and hippest. Which you probably do: You're not coming to St. Trop for stimulating political discussions, now, are you?

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Byblos St-Tropez
Avenue Paul Signac
St. Tropez
France 83990
Tel: 33 4 94 56 68 00
saint-tropez@byblos.com
www.byblos.com

Just about as scene-y and in-your-face as St. Tropez gets, the legendary Byblos has been the reigning address in town since 1967, when Brigitte Bardot and husband no. 3, Gunter Sachs, stopped by on their honeymoon. The 1971 marriage of Mick and Bianca Jagger (he proposed in room 401) further boldfaced the Byblos. The hotel maintains its Tropezian vive le jet set cool, particularly at the in-house Les Caves du Roy—the most famous nightclub in the French Riviera. (Guests get velvet-rope privileges.) So would you actually want to stay here? The cluster of buildings designed to look like a Provençal seaside village is well run, luxurious, and surprisingly traditional. After a 2008 renovation, the 94 modest rooms—now with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi—are still decorated in tasteful Mediterranean shades of ocher and blue. The best rooms have terraces overlooking the pool, where an amusing gaggle of St. Tropez types—aging French movie stars, international fashionistas—drag themselves to the mouthwatering breakfast buffet (served until 1 pm) and show up for "lunch" around 5 pm at the B Bar & Lounge. Other amenities here include the Alain Ducasse concept restaurant Spoon and the Sisley Spa, which includes perhaps the world's only disco spa shower: Les Caves du Roy's resident DJ, Jack E., shouts out his traditional welcome as throbbing disco beats crescendo and you're washed clean in a blast of strawberry-scented shower gel. If this is not your thing, a more traditional rain-forest spa shower with recorded birdcalls is also available.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
La Bastide de St-Tropez
Route des Carles
St. Tropez
France 83990
Tel: 33 4 94 55 82 55
contact@bastidesaint-tropez.com
www.bastide-saint-tropez.com

If you're well into your middle decades and need your beauty rest—but still can party till 4 am when necessary—this is your place. La Bastide is the best of both St. Tropez worlds: in town but set in a tranquil garden, and with a staff that lavishes attention but does so quietly and respectfully. The 26 ocher-and-rose rooms, housed in four buildings laid out like a southern French hamlet, have pastel stripes and furnishings with a traditional Provençal heart, such as painted wooden armoires and rush-bottomed chairs. The best rooms have private terraces with Jacuzzis. Popular with celebrities who want to be left alone, it's an easy ten-minute walk to the harbor. There, the hotel's private yacht, a 72-foot San Lorenzo, can be chartered for the day, a great way to really escape from the maddening crowd.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
La Ponche
3 Rue des Remparts
St. Tropez
France 83990
Tel: 33 4 94 97 02 53
hotel@laponche.com
www.laponche.com

One of the few hotels in St. Tropez that's actually on the sea, the intimate La Ponche has an artistic, intellectual ambience: It was a favorite of actress Romy Schneider and writer Françoise Sagan. And with its reputation for discretion and appealing simplicity, it still attracts the César-winning crowd—Catherine Deneuve more so than the starlet of the week (except when Kylie Minogue visited). There are 18 rooms and suites in the main building; request one of the six with private terraces, which have wonderful views of the sea and are big enough to serve as a perch for bronzing, napping, or reading outside of the public eye. Otherwise book one of the two junior suites in a former guard tower across the plaza. The restaurant serves piquant Provençal dishes, including a fine fish soup and sea bass cooked with branches of wild fennel. And though there's no pool, the public beach of La Ponche, directly at the property's front, is a better alternative. Speaking of art history, a scene from And God Created Woman was shot there.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
La Réserve Ramatuelle
Chemin de la Quessine
Ramatuelle
France 83350
Tel: 33 4 94 44 94 44
inforamatuelle@lareserve.ch
lareserve-ramatuelle.com

Despite its proximity to the rocking scene in St-Tropez, six miles away, this discreet little oasis feels a world away from the high-octane glitz. Its 23 spacious rooms and suites, all with terraces or private gardens, have spectacular sea views and are nestled into a ridge overlooking a secluded cove near the medieval hilltop village of Ramatuelle. The creation of Jean-Michel Wilmotte, one of the designers behind Doha's Museum of Islamic Art, the hotel uses floor-to-ceiling windows and open balconies to capitalize on the region's famed light. With natural stone in ocher and white and touches of unfinished wood, the undulating, interlocking structures create a modernist effect—a welcome change from the more classic and frumpy properties of the Côte d'Azur. And despite their simplicity, rooms are extremely comfortable, with plump white sofas positioned to let you gaze at the view. The sundeck hugs a 100-foot-long swimming pool, and there's an indoor option in the spa for the cooler months. With understated but warm service and arguably the area's best spa, La Réserve deserves an almost perfect score. The only misfire is the restaurant, which touts a healthy menu but serves rather bland food that's pricey considering the portions.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Le Manoir
Île de Port Cros
France 83400
Tel: 33 4 94 05 90 52
lemanoir.portcros@wanadoo.fr
monsite.wanadoo.fr/hotelmanoirportcros/

When you arrive at this handsome white bastide with a tile roof and twin turrets flanking its facade, it'll take a day or two before the regulars decide if you're one of the crowd. Even then, you'll get a cautious welcome and a stiff warning: Nice to meet you, but don't tell anyone else about this place. Le Manoir is an old-fashioned seaside hotel out of a Colette novel, a well-run, unpretentious place surrounded by centuries-old palms and odiferous oleanders. Less is more here, with cool tile floors, whitewashed walls, and the kind of bric-a-brac furniture you find in French country houses that have been in the same family for several generations. In any case, the object of a stay on Port Cros is to spend the day artfully doing nothing. Our suggestion? Wander off to the beach with a book, sunbathe by the pool, take a long nap after lunch. Repeat.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Le Mas du Langoustier
Île de Porquerolles
France 83400
Tel: 33 4 94 58 30 09
langoustier@wanadoo.fr
www.langoustier.com

Located on the quiet, happy island of Porquerolles—France's answer to Nantucket—this is the kind of hotel to which a devoted coterie of Parisian publishers, politicians, and aristocrats return year after year with wives (rather than mistresses) in tow. A landmark since it opened in 1936, its big news this season is a large swimming pool—a somewhat unnecessary addition, since the nearby beach is a delicious spot for a swim. Anyway, Langoustier will never be a luxury hotel in the classic sense of the term. Guileless simplicity is its trademark, with comfortable and pleasantly plain rooms—a Gallic version of a traditional New England seaside hotel. One does see the occasional big spender helicoptering in for lunch: The restaurant is one of the best in the region, serving up catch of the day—lobster, sea bass, John Dory—with innovative preparations that highlight rather than hide the natural flavors. But most guests arrive by ferry from Hyères, take the hotel jitney, and spend a hefty sum remembering what made the South of France so irresistible in the first place.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Le Yaca
1 Boulevard d'Aumale
St. Tropez
France 83990
Tel: 33 4 94 55 81 00
hotel-le-yaca@wanadoo.fr
www.hotel-le-yaca.fr

With terra-cotta tile floors, white-washed walls, and wood-beamed ceilings, this 28-room hotel, built in 1722(!), almost seems humble—until you get a hold of its storied guest list. Colette once lived here, and glamour-era guests have included Orson Welles, Greta Garbo, Errol Flynn…you get the idea. Colette supposedly complained that the lovely views of town and sea distracted her from writing, but don't let that stop you from booking a room with a terrace view. There's a small swimming pool in the garden, and shuttle service is offered to the beaches, just ten minutes away.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Pan Deï Palais
52 Rue Gambetta
St. Tropez
France 83990
Tel: 33 4 94 17 71 71
saint-tropez@pandei.com
www.pandei.com

With only 12 rooms in an apricot-painted villa in the heart of town, the Pan Deï Palais feels like an intimate guesthouse that channels the gently bohemian, carefree St-Tropez of the early sixties. In a break from the decorative idioms of the south of France—Souleiado prints and painted furniture—rooms are done up in refreshing white cottons with imported Indian furniture, including four-poster beds with bright silk shawls. Stone Buddhas and Hindu carvings, and wooden screens in the lobby, lounge, and garden amplify the Subcontinental theme and suggest a sense of serenity. The scene by the pool in the banana tree–accented garden out back is similarly dreamy, which suits the clientele of stylish couples and singles—this isn't a family hotel. After breakfast, served alfresco (weather permitting), most guests spend the day reading on the poolside wicker loungers, maybe drifting out for lunch and returning later for a swim.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Villa Marie
Route des Plages
Ramatuelle
France 83350
Tel: 33 4 94 97 40 22
contact@villamarie.fr
www.villamarie.fr

Need a place that's outside of St. Trop itself, but close enough to get a dose when you want it? Welcome to Villa Marie, a 43-room bastide tucked away in a pine grove outside the hilltop village of Ramatuelle, ten minutes from town. If you subscribe to French decorating magazines, you've seen it: This is another example of the impeccable taste of hotelier Jocelyne Sibuet (of Les Fermes de Marie in the French Alps and La Bastide de Marie in the Lubéron). The decor is an intriguing mix of Belle Epoque and vintage Riviera. There are lots of carefully culled antiques, such as curio cases and rush-bottomed chairs, which contrast nicely with the wrought-iron credenzas and gilt carved-wood lamps. The lovely setting doesn't hurt, nor does the swimming pool carved into the rock, where you can soak up the soleil while listening to the cicadas go wild in the heat of day. Heaven.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.