The Country Life guide to St Tropez: Where to go, what to see, where to stay and what to eat

St Tropez — or Saint-Tropez — is one of the best know holiday destinations in the world and has, over the years, attracted the likes of Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli and Brigitte Bardot. Gilly Hopper reveals what to see, where to stay and what to eat.

Ever since Brigitte Bardot dropped into town in the 1950s, the resort town of St Tropez has been humming. Its picturesque streets and glitzier establishments providing a heady combination of soul and seduction. 

Creatives spanning Roger Vadim to Matisse have lapped up this part of the Côte d’Azur in days gone by, and beyond the port, a more understated version of the Riviera awaits you, by way of Pampelonne and Ramatuelle. 

C’est bon. You should visit.

L’Escalet beach is close to St Tropez — and though it’s beautiful, it can get busy.

What to do 


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The Rue Gambetta covers many of the big-hitter designer stores, while Place des Lices’ open-air market — held every Tuesday and Saturday morning — is stocked with tempting foods, antiques, and souvenirs. 

Shoppers, divide yourselves accordingly. 


Stretched out over more than three miles, Pampelonne Beach is the most revered stretch of sand in the area — thanks to its slew of beach clubs and in-demand restaurants. 

Meanwhile, Gigaro Beach offers a more relaxed scene and a selection of nice restaurants, including Brigantine.

The wonderful Pampelonne beach near St. Tropez stretches for miles.


Take a small boat out from Port Grimaud, the next port over from Saint Tropez. Nicknamed the ‘Venice of Provence’, the surrounding colourful houses are a wonderful sight to behold as you dock — end your journey here at sunset.


You can’t come to St Tropez and not sample a Tarte Tropezienne. The popular pâtisserie — comprised of custard sandwiched in between a brioche bun — is available on most menus in town. 

Cyril Lignac’s pâtisserie, on Route des Plages, does a great one.

Where to stay

Villa Marie 

With the feel of a private home, Villa Marie’s 45 rooms and suites blend classicism and eclecticism. Bursts of colour are buoying and playful patterns in certain bedrooms offer further delights for the eye. 

Jocelyne Sibuet, the hotel’s founder, has also created her own beauty brand, Pure Altitude (sourced from mountain plants) which can be found in rooms and at the hotel’s bijou spa. 

Most activity at the hotel centres around the pool and the neighbouring coral-accented Dolce Vita Restaurant. Extending onto the terrace and populated with romantic white wrought-iron furniture, it plates up Provençal cuisine and offers a change of pace and tone from the nearby offerings of Saint Tropez and Pampelonne.

Rooms from €490 —

Lily of the Valley 

Offering something a little different to the area’s other luxury hotels, Lily of the Valley is dedicated to wellness, weight loss, and sport. Open year-round, while not a medi spa, the hotel does offer more virtuous options than typically found on the Riviera. 

Guests can choose from a series of wellness programmes while here or skip out on the more virtuous elements of the hotel, as they choose. Enjoy a Detox Treatment at the spa, run laps in the half-size Olympic pool, or workout in the chicest gym imaginable (crunches are more bearable when you’ve pretty, frilly lampshades and vintage artwork in your eyeline). 

For dinner, the Philippe Starck-designed Vista Restaurant is made up of varying table formations and Chef Vincent Maillard’s open kitchen prepares Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on local ingredients. 

Bedrooms offer luxury with a rustic edge — and Starck’s ever-popular marble bathrooms remain a feature here. For added privacy, opt for a pool suite, located a short drive from the main hotel, down on the Plage de Gigaro where the hotel’s beachside restaurant, Brigantine, and beach club is also located. 

Rooms from €550. Rates for the four-day programme start at €2,500 —

Hôtel La Ponche

At Hôtel La Ponche interiors by Fabrizio Casiraghi are pared back and largely monochromatic, with some (occasional) zingy injections of colour. 

The Brigitte Bardot suite is (naturally) the hotel’s most popular boudoir and comes with a terrace and views of the sea. Room service is delivered on oversized silver trays; the restaurant and adjoining dining room, decorated in murals representing Saint-Tropez, look out onto the water. Post-dinner, the Saint-Germain-des-Prés-la Ponche piano bar is a great spot for a sharpener.

Rooms from €350 in the low season and €850 in the high season —

Hotel Lou Pinet 

There’s a lot to lust over at the 34-key Hotel Lou Pinet: the fragrant Tropezian garden designed by landscaper Jean Mus, the sunbed-flanked swimming pool (considered the largest in Saint-Tropez), and of course Beefbar restaurant (where interiors are as delicious as the menu items). 

Rooms from €430 on a bed and breakfast basis —

Airelles Saint-Tropez, Pan Dei Palais

The former home of General Jean-François Allard and Princess Bannu Pan Deï, ochre-hued Pan Dei Palais offers peace and quiet close to Place des Lices. 

Counting 12 rooms and suites, each named after ‘Hindu figures and gods’, under its roof, outdoors, the al-fresco pool is just as inviting. 

For a change of scene, take a chauffeur-driven car to Airelles Jardin Tropezina, helmed by Michelin-starred Chef Jean-François Piège. 

Rooms from €950 —


The coastal-inspired AREV boasts a patriotic palette of red, white, and blue. Nautical in feel, the centrally placed hotel comprises 24 rooms and suites, an impressive pool (circled by cabanas), fragrant gardens, and the smart Strand restaurant. 

In need of a little R&R? Book a treatment at the AREV Spa with Maison ST.

Rooms from €1,440 in the high season —


Byblos is a reminder of St Tropez days gone by — a heady mix of glamorous and bohemian styles that brings to mind the mid-20th century Golden Age of travel. Something that doesn’t seem that surprising when you recall that Lebanese billionaire Gay-Para was inspired to build the hotel by his hopeless infatuation with Brigitte Bardot. (Legend has it that the Lebanese town of Byblos is where Adonis and Aphrodite became lovers.)

The nearly 100-room hotel is arranged around a courtyard and swimming pool— each building painted in warming tones of ochre, rust red and terracotta.

This summer (2024) there are four brand new suites, designed by Paris-based interior designer Laura Gonzalez — and what a treat they are. One is daubed in coral, a second in yellow, the third in turquoise and a fourth in jade green. Not so subtle nods to retro design include the ceramic minibars inspired by travel trunks that were popular in the 1970s.

Despite its village-within-a-village feeling, the hotel’s back entrance spills guests out onto busy Avenue Foch.

Cheval Blanc

This Tropezian wonder fronting onto the ocean, with white columns and pink walls that glow in the evening sun, was already a successful hotel: La Résidence de la Pinède.

After its refurbishment and opening in 2019, the property has retained its heart and soul — those majestic pines towering over the terrace, surrounded by 30 rooms.

Inside those rooms, you’ll find understated, contemporary glamour (each Cheval Blanc property has a signature colour—here, it’s a cobalt blue, splashed around white interiors); outside is still pure Provençal.

Book a table at the hotel’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant, La Vague d’Or. The tasting menu by chef Arnaud Donckele, which consists largely of the freshest fish you’ll ever taste, is a theatrical experience, presented with flair.

Where to eat 

Club 55 

Lunch at Club 55 is synonymous with summering in St Tropez. Simple seaside fare and bouquets of organic vegetables rest atop blue and white linens skirted by teak benches at this unfussy establishment. Booking in advance is advised. 

Chez Camille 

For a lazy lunch or dinner on the beach, try Chez Camille. The bouillabaisse, made with fresh fish sourced from the Gulf of Saint-Tropez is just one good reason to drop by.


Sweeping sails overhead, embroidered tablecloths, vintage-style bamboo furniture…. Gigi Rigolatto Ramatuelle couldn’t be prettier. Plating up Italian cuisine, their lobster spaghetti comes highly recommended, as does their tiramisu. 

After lunch, take to the pétanque court under the pine trees or make your way to the Bellini Bar for a glass of something scrumptious. 


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Café Senequier

Right on the harbour, this rouge-hued address is open all day. Grab a seat on the large terrace and order yourself something sweet — croissants in the morning, crêpes Suzette in the afternoon. 

La Réserve à la Plage 

Designed by Philippe Starck, La Réserve’s cabana-vibes beach club is one of the more grown-up dining options in Pampelonne. Note the Loro Piana store as you enter. Nicolas Cantrel’s menu is moreish — the house guac is a non-negotiable, the paella a must. Post-lunch, take up a single or double beach bed closer to the shore.  

Les Grainiers 

This feet-in-the-sand restaurant on Plage des Graniers is open for lunch from noon until 3pm. Feast on truffle pizza, creamy burrata, and fresh grilled fish, accompanied by a couple of glasses of perfectly chilled rosé. 

Hide out at Les Grainiers as the sun reaches its peak, shaded under the restaurant’s many umbrellas.