Friday, October 18, 2013

HOTEL CHECK FRANCE, Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez

The glam and trendy St Tropez awakes between these walls. Closed for 20 years, the old Hôtel de Paris has been transformed into a smart design hotel that combines contemporary lines and daring with some Sixties and Seventies nostalgia, from top to toe.

Adventurous touches and distinct style

This reincarnated lifestyle destination is bang in the middle of the quaint village, just a few steps from designer boutiques and nightspots, and the picture postcard harbor…

And a sense of place. From the top, boats seen
bobbing on the Gulf of St Tropez
With boats from all over the world

Sleek yachts in what was once a fishing harbour
Also 10 minutes by shuttle to the pale gold sandy beaches of Pampelonne, while the warm weather lasts.

A public beach at Pampelonne
This is not a seasonal hotel. It will continue to welcome guests through the winter, attracting with  the urban pleasures of St Tropez, its own sleek spa, high tech  fitness and advanced event facilities. And of course the cool and trendy ambience of the hotel…

Spa enfolding like a pure White coccoon
Designer passion is unmistakable at Hôtel de Paris.  A suspended swimming pool glints above the glass ceiling of the high atrium lobby. The lobby is a nice place to hang in the evening, with comfy bar and  classy bistro under a 3 Michelin star chef - Georges Blanc.  

Atrium with roof of glass under the pool
and gigantic suspended lumiere,
with a softly inviting bar on the right and
to the left *** Michelin magic...

Le Suffren Café by Georges

Or head up in sunshine to where the pool lies on the roof terrace, for the sight of terracotta rooftops and white sails on the blue.

Swimmer perhaps seen from the lobby below

The rooftops of St Tropez beyond and some pebbles
on the hotel rooftop for atmosphere

Up here is plenty more lounging space, a Japanese restaurant in high season, and a fabulous breakfast room with views out along three walls.

We had a great breakfast too, with pancakes and maple syrup, home made yoghurt and fresh fruit, smoked salmon and all that kind of pampering alongside the expected ...

...wonderfully buttery croissants
But back to the Design thing. Interior designer Sybille de Marjorie went into the glamorous history of St Tropez and the hotel while playing with high tech features. So there are flat screens moving with  underwater creatures, glass lifts sailing up the lobby walls, and  lots of images of gorgeous feminist icons including Brigitte Bardot, who still lives in St Tropez.
And all pretty hi tech

The 52 rooms and 38 suites are vivid with pale and smooth surfaces, playing against moody 70s colours, lines and geometric shapes. About half have balconies to an inner courtyard.
Small and immaculately stylish Classic rooms use space to the optimum

Clarins room amenities - in line with the Spa by Clarins

It's the Warm South - most
rooms have village views

Patio terrace  rooms and suites have balconies to an inner courtyard. A few go way out to celebrate creativity…with round beds and everything possible round even a round shower cabinet in the hallway.      
Watch your partner shower as you lounge on the bed

This patio suite includes one of the famous wicker armchairs from the legendary film Emmanuelle.
The famous chair

Stylish hand basins throughout
Feminine colours in a patio suite bedroom

Our visit coincided with the annual yacht race Voiles de Saint-Tropez – which attracts prestigious sponsors and the world’s best sailors (28 September to 6 October). The marina thronged with spectators; walking or staring out from the long line of cafes and restaurants.

People and boat watching, apertifs and café crême
Yachts fluttering by

Crowding round the famous sailing boats

Among visitors to our hotel were guests travelling in a procession, all in Ferraris…
Bird's eye view of one of the Ferraris, from our room

Meanwhile we did the other obvious thing – we went exploring in the vine and pine covered hills. Guided beautifully by the hotel concierge and our GPS we sought the spirit of Provence close by in Gassin and Ramatuelle.

Gassin / narrow stone streets and flowers

Gassin town hall

Like any Provencal town / an art gallery
with paintings - from 1000 to 10000 euro

Gulf of St Tropez

A fountain from Gassin's mountain side
Then we went beach walking at 26deg C. The Pampelonne beaches stretch for miles, with lovely white soft sand and turquoise water. You can walk along a sandy track past the long line of Beach Clubs, each its own distinctive style and colour, claiming their own bit of waterfront.

A romantic Beach Club - Polynesie

A beach club that welcomes families

Hotel de Paris gives advice on which would suit each group of guests: A family beach? Laid back beach club with DJ? Romantic  beach club? Exclusive beach – with 50 euros for a sunbed, keeping up the tone! Then of course there is the public beach.

...gorgeously empty in the late summer *30 Sep

Enjoying Gassin, drinking and driving...

Braised beef up on the heights of Gassin

The little fishing village of St Tropez was discovered by impressionists and other artists seeking the light and colour of the South of France. Picasso, El Greco and others favoured Hotel de Paris, and then came the 1960s and 1970s, the star-studded years. Finally the sleeping beauty was off stage until this year, 2013…

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