Saint-Tropez is the kind of place you love but can’t help hating at the same time. It’s is a small town which kind of surprised me the first time I visited, I expected it to be larger. You can walk around the whole town within the hour. Even though Saint-Tropez is a modern tourist hotspot now, the image of the long lost fisher village it once used to be (before Brigitte Bardot put the place on the map in the 50’s) is still very much alive. Look well, it’s hidden somewhere between the souvenir shops and the overpriced coffee.
The good, the bad and the ugly side of Saint-Tropez
I’ve been in Saint-Tropez quite a few times over the last 15 years, mostly out of season though. It’s a special place, I think it should be on everyone’s holiday must-see destinations in France. Saint-Tropez is so superficial at times that it’s funny: there is not a woman around whose lips are not plumped and you’ll find more fake boobs then seashells on the beaches. Cars compete on the streets for the titel of fastest and most expensive, as do the yachts in the harbour.
In summer Saint-Tropez is so filled with tourists that you end up spending more time in your car getting to the beach then actually chilling on the beach (tip: take the boat and avoid the car at all times between June and September). And everything, eeee-veer-ything is astronomically expensive.
The good things? It’s so darn pretty! The mimosa trees, the beautiful sandy beaches of Pampelonne, the sea, the great food, the gorgeous little colored houses plus you can even catch a glimpse of the biggest international stars. When in St Tropez out of season you will see how beautiful the region is, with a rich and varied flora and fauna not often found elsewhere in Europe. Don’t miss out on the gorgeous villages of Ramatuelle, Grimaud and Gassin.
I really do love Saint-Tropez and it’s region and despite the criticism, I must admit that if I was as rich as Croesus I would be living there for sure. Meanwhile I tested a few hotels in Saint-Tropez. I stayed in the hotels with my children.
Our top 5 hotels in Saint-Tropez
This beautiful hotel is a bit out of town but it’s worth every minute of the fifteen minutes walk to the place des Lices! This small hotel (26 rooms incl. suites), a Relais & Châteaux, is really lovely. The staff is very discrete yet kind and helpful. The food is perfect, we did not eat in the restaurant itself but had dinner in the room with room service twice and it was wonderful, fresh and good (risotto with lobster was heaven).
They made absolutely no fuss about preparing meals that were not on the menu, especially for the children.
The whole setting is wonderful, the pool is nice as is the garden. The location is very peaceful and intimate. We had an enormous room (one of the so called apartments) with an indoor closet, tastefully decorated, and a large balcony with view on the pool. It was very quite as we stayed out of high season so I’m not sure if one might have some noise issues in the summer due to the pool? We did not anyway.