St. Tropez Nightlife
7 Quai Suffren
Tel: 33 4 94 97 00 54
The ideal pre-disco hangout gets packed from about 11 pm onward and is where you'll suss out the night's private parties. The dressed-to-kill crowd lingers at tables or sways to the DJ tunes at the long bar. A good option for an after-dinner drink if you don't want to commit all night to a club.
Open noon to 2:30 am.
Quai Jean Jaurès
Tel: 33 4 94 97 00 90
This café overlooking the port is a major hub for many locals. Customers might come by three times in a day—in the morning for a coffee with the papers, before dinner for an aperitif, and then afterward for a nightcap. The slouchy scarlet-red director's chairs on the terrace offer some of the most electric people-watching in the world.
Résidence du Nouveau Port
Tel: 33 4 94 97 95 95
Le Papagayo is the most unbridled of all the clubs in St. Trop. It doesn't look like much—snug, painted all in white, and with an open circular VIP area—but it has pulled everyone from Brigitte Bardot to Donna Summer. More recently, you might have been shaking your stuff next to Bono, Beyoncé, Denzel, or Diddy. Everyone jams the strobe-lit dance floor together, stars and all. Our favorite nights are the lavish costume parties and themed evenings (Tahiti, cowboys). All in all, let's just say that a lot of illicit behavior and dirty deeds have gone down here: What more recommendation do you need?
Open nightly midnight to 5 am, July through September; weekends only in October.
Avenue Paul Signac
Tel: 33 4 94 56 68 16
If there's an institution that sums up why the French refer to St. Tropez as "St. Trop" (trop meaning "too much"), it's this flashy Studio 54 throwback, which has been the nexus of the partying crowd since the 1970s. The wall-to-wall mirrors, electric palm trees, and disco balls hail from that decade, too, but a 2008 face-lift updated the banquettes, wall upholstery, bathrooms, and entryway. Boldface names, including Beyoncé, Diddy, and George Clooney, still swing by, along with Botoxed beauties ranging in age from 16 to 60 and playboys with wallets big enough to drop $3,400 on a magnum of Cristal. About four times a season, someone will order a $140,000 limited-edition bottle of Dalmanazar Byblos by Perrier-Jouët, complete with diamond keepsake by Van Cleef & Arpels. The appreciative crowd (sometimes including whole families) arrives ramped up and ready to boogie to house, hip-hop, and the occasional bit of perplexing French rap offered by Jack E., the rotund house DJ. Since people line up for hours outside in high season, and even pretty people get turned away with some regularity, look your best (or book a room at the Hôtel Byblos, to which Les Caves du Roy is attached). The regular doormen tell us that behavior in line does count: One unruly, already-drunk friend could ruin your chances. And don't forget your AmEx Black Card.
Open daily midnight to 5 am, July and August; weekends mid-April through June and September through mid-October.
Place de la Garonne
Tel: 33 4 94 97 22 56
It's hard to chat up your new attractive friend at the club with the whomping bass. ("What's your name again? Pardon? Oh, forget it.") The Octave Café is a piano bar tailor-made for tête-à-têtes. Visiting pop stars sometimes drop in for impromptu sets—it's a local tradition. Liza Minnelli, a Rolling Stone or two, and France's favorite rocker, Johnny Hallyday, are among those who've performed.
Open nightly from 11 pm.
Résidence du Nouveau Port
Tel: 33 4 94 97 14 70
The southern branch of the nightclub on Paris's Champs Elysées has a doppelgänger crowd: curvy young blondes in designer gear being ogled by slightly older men with sunglasses pushed back on their heads. Still, it feels a bit less manufactured than either Caves du Roy or Le Papagayo, which means many visitors feel comfortable here, assuming they're cool enough/well-dressed enough/beautiful enough to get in. The playlist shifts from 1970s oldies to the latest funk and deep house as the evening grinds on.
Open nightly from midnight, Easter through August.