There have always been some very fine places to stay in Saint-Tropez, but the one thing it’s been missing for some years is a proper, old-school grand hotel. No more. Now that the Thirties-vintage Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez is back in action, it’s as though this storied seaside town has returned to its golden age.
Well, both golden ages. The Thirties were something of a peak for the French Riviera in general, as well as the sort of pomp-and-circumstance hospitality of which the grande dames are so emblematic; and the Sixties and Seventies were the decades of Saint-Tropez’s great ascension, when seemingly everyone with access to a boat was turning up here looking for (or wishing to be) the next Bardot.
So the Hôtel de Paris splits the difference. Here classic architecture and Thirties opulence are brought up to date by a contemporary designer whose palette happens to include more than a few references to the Sixties and Seventies — and all three, it should be said, are decades of special resonance to today’s designers.
And to today’s guests. The public spaces are grand in a way that’s nearly gone out of style, but still never fails to impress. And the rooms are just retro enough to inspire an air of romance, without ever looking dated — and there are plenty of contemporary flourishes to entertain the modern eye, not to mention the up-to-date comforts that mark this as a state-of-the-art luxury boutique hotel.
Add to all that two restaurants — Le Pationata and Les Toits — by executive chef Phillippe Guerin, a spa by Clarins, a rooftop bar with a far-ranging view of the coast, and a rooftop pool whose glass bottom looks down into the hotel’s atrium. Some humble hillside villa this is most certainly not.