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Benkiraï, St. Tropez 

11 Chemin du Pinet
St. Tropez
France 83990
Tel: 33 4 94 97 04 37
view web site ›'s insider take:

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?

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

In a quiet neighborhood on the Cap du Pinet, the 42-room Benkiraï is for those who love St-Tropez best at arm's length. The centerpiece pool is ringed by a teak sundeck, with a cluster of metal-and-glass umbrellas by the bar. The snug rooms are cosmonaut chic: Floors are buffed cement and furniture is built-in, rounded, and covered with cornflower-blue or taupe Formica. Aside from a few irritations—knobless closet doors have only an indentation marked push, and service, though smiling, is spacey, typical of St-Tropez's "I'm much too beautiful for this job" attitude—these rooms are well thought-out, from the TV and DVD-CD player in a pedestal fixture at the foot of the Frette-sheet–covered bed, to a blue night-light in the bathroom. A beaded curtain separating bedroom and bath is operated by flipping a switch. The hotel's restaurant scene is fabulous, and the Thai food's even better.

—2007 Hot List

When to go: St-Tropez connoisseurs love May and September.

Which room to book: A room with direct access to the pool, such as No. 16.

Amenities: Bar/lounge, Pool

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