Just down the coast from Saint-Tropez, on the south-facing side of the peninsula, is Gigaro Plage, a beautiful little beach that rivals any on the Côte d’Azur, but without the crowds. If that sounds like the way to do the French Riviera, then we’ve got the hotel for you; La Pinède Plage is what a naive visitor might expect Cannes to be, before they’re overwhelmed by the sheer urbanity of the place.
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Here, as elsewhere on the Côte d’Azur, the hotel’s beach is a private one, but it feels wonderfully secluded and even a bit wild — it’s set well off the beachfront boulevard, and shaded by trees rather than imposing hotel buildings. And La Pinède Plage itself is anything but imposing — the interiors are contemporary, even minimalist, and perfectly tailored to their seaside setting. Sea views, naturally, are worth splashing out for, though garden views aren’t exactly a hardship here.
The hotel’s restaurant is helmed by a chef who was sous-chef at the Michelin-starred Château de Valmer, La Pinède’s sister hotel just up the road — it’s worth making time for a dinner here and one at the Château, and maybe even a spa treatment while you’re there.