An insider guide to the hottest spots in Saint-Tropez
Before Brigitte Bardot (and those photographs by Slim Aarons), the quaint coastal town of Saint-Tropez flew relatively under-the-radar and only a privileged few enjoyed slow strolls through the cobblestoned old town, and cooling dips in the sea after heat-of-the-day hikes through fragrant groves and umbrella pines. While whispers of this sleepier side still lull the pretty peninsula into a relaxed rhythm, today there is an upbeat buzz around the sleek superyachts moored in the happening harbour, where anyone looking to see or be seen settles in for a barefoot summer. From the trendiest boutique hotels to toes-in-the-sand beach clubs, here is where to eat, sleep, shop, sunbathe, repeat in this iconic South of France resort.
Setting the Saint-Tropez waterfront ablaze with its instantly recognisable red awnings, Sénéquier is as popular for its people-watching positioning as its light bites. Traditional French café chairs face the port, which means you can read the paper while tucking into homemade pastries as the glitterati hop on and off their yachts – many will likely pull up a bright red chair next to you.
29 Quai Jean Jaurès, Saint-Tropez, 83990
La Tarte Tropézienne
The secret recipe to this brioche-based, cream-filled cake was written on a pastry box by founder Alexandre Micka in 1985 and is still kept in a safe to this day. The flagship pâtisserie opened in Saint-Tropez in the fifties, and has been bringing sugar-dusted delight to visitors and locals alike ever since.
Boulevard Vasserot, Saint-Tropez, 83990 / 36 Rue Georges Clemenceau, Saint-Tropez, 83990
DIOR Café des Lices
Taking up residence in a faded pink Provençal mansion with cornflower blue shutters, DIOR des Lices takes its name from the legendary square of designer boutiques just steps away. The style set come here for a post-shopping pick-me-up, and can be found in the fragrant gardens discussing the season’s coolest collections over lobster ravioli.
13 Rue François Sibilli, Saint-Tropez, 83990
With outposts across Europe, the highly regarded Beefbar offers a sumptuous dining experience at Hôtel Lou Pinet. Melt-in-the-mouth cuts of Kobe and Black Angus Prime are the stars of the show, but grilled fish, carpaccio and risotto offer lighter Mediterranean flavours. Evenings can be whiled away sipping Provençal rosé under fairy lights and lanterns on the poolside terrace.
70 Chemin du Pinet, Saint-Tropez, 83990
Mory Sacko at Louis Vuitton
Book ahead if you want a table at the hottest new dining destination in town. The French fashion house’s first standalone eatery is being headed up by Michelin-starred chef Mory Sacko, head of MoSuke in Paris. Expect African-Asian fusion food with French flair, served up on a stylish terrace dotted with the brand’s iconic fleur de lis and surrounded by pieces from Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades collection.
Place des Lices, Saint-Tropez, 83990
If you didn’t get an ice-cream from Barbarac and stroll along the waterfront, did you even really go to Saint-Tropez? The artisan glacier whips up fresh batches of ice-cream on site each day using local, seasonal ingredients, ranging from tangy tarte au citron to more-ish noisette.
2 Rue Général Allard, Saint-Tropez, 83990
Hôtel Lou Pinet
One of the trendiest addresses in town, tucked away in private gardens scented with lavender, jasmine and cypress, Hôtel Lou Pinet is a sixties-inspired vintage haven with a Tata Harper-stocked spa and the largest hotel swimming pool in Saint-Tropez. Guests who appreciate an artsy aesthetic will be in their element here, as the Charles Zana styled suites are filled with colourful graphic prints and abstract patterns.
70 Chemin du Pinet, Saint-Tropez, 83990
Hidden amidst the prestigious residential Ramatuelle district, ultra-exclusive MUSE Saint-Tropez centres around a tranquil, cabana-lined pool with toes-in-the-water sun loungers. When you’re not soaking up the sunshine with a good book in the ecological Mediterranean gardens, you can retreat to your creamy, cooling, minimalist suite named after famous muses from Audrey Hepburn to Sophia Loren.
364 Chemin de Val de Rien, Ramatuelle, Saint-Tropez, 83350
Name a better combination than Chanel and Saint-Tropez. The French fashion house has a temporary home in the Riviera resort, once again taking over the chic mansion of La Mistralée until the end of September 2022. Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld regularly holidayed here and even hosted a Cruise Collection show from the Saint-Tropez harbour. Shoppers can browse ready-to-wear Spring/Summer lines alongside a swimwear capsule collection in a poolside setting.
1 Avenue du Général Leclerc, Saint-Tropez, 83990
Look around Pampelonne beach and every other pair of patterned swimshorts is likely to be VILEBREQUIN. Founded in Saint-Tropez in 1971 by a loved up couple, the brand has become known for its ocean-inspired designs and attention to detail – including solid silver tips engraved with the logo on some of the limited edition shorts. The stretch swimwear line is sustainably made using 100% recycled polyester yarn from plastic waste recovered by Mediterranean fishing boats. For every MAN swimsuit made, 200g of plastic is removed from the oceans.
15 Rue Gambetta, Saint-Tropez, 83990 / 31 Place De La Garonne, Saint-Tropez, 83990
Image credit @vilebrequin
An iconic Saint-Tropez swimwear brand born on the beach in 1985 with outlets in the world’ most stylish locations from St Barthélemy to Portofino, KIWI stocks seaside essentials for all ages from sarongs to sun hats.
10 Rue des Commerçants, Saint-Tropez, 83990 / 34 Rue du Général Allard, Saint-Tropez, 83990
Plage de la Ponche
A picturesque cove backed by apricot and peach coloured buildings, Plage de la Ponche is where the locals come for a cooling paddle or to watch the sunset. Fronting the oldest part of the village, La Ponche is a secluded sandy-meets-pebbly beach as popular with photographers as it is with sunbathers. If you’d like to stretch your legs, this is also the starting point for hiking the Sentier Littoral coastal path.
2-6 Rue de la Rampe, Saint-Tropez, 83990
Easy to spot along the stretch of Pampelonne sand thanks to its sunshine yellow striped loungers, lemon-scented Loulou Ramatuelle transports sun-worshippers somewhere between Capri and the Hamptons, with other equally chic outposts in Paris and Val d’Isère. Come for the laid-back yet fun-loving atmosphere and refreshing Riviera dishes sourced from the best local market gardeners and fishermen.
Plage de Pampelonne, Chemin des Tamaris, Ramatuelle, 83350
Le Club 55
The Pampelonne beach club which needs no introduction, Le Club 55 has become synonymous with Saint-Tropez. Yes, there are the yacht hoppers and champagne poppers, but there’s a rustic, down-to-earth vibe here which just can’t be beaten. The food is deliciously simple – think seafood and steak frites – and the seasonally stocked beach bazaar is filled with fashionable finds.
3 Boulevard Patch, Ramatuelle, 83350