Seeking an exclusive venue offering luxury, excellent service and movie glamour? Then try the newly renovated Le Beauvallon
Until 1956, St Tropez – situated an hour to the south-west of Nice, on a glorious Mediterranean bay – was largely known as a quiet fishing village that doubled in summer as an artists’ playground. Then Brigitte Bardot arrived to film And God Created Woman; nothing would be the same again.
If the Côte d’Azur has a reputation for glamour, St Tropez is the unquestioned jewel in the crown. Still charmingly quaint, the place exudes class and elegance from every corner. It is fitting, then, that just across the bay lies a residence that emulates its effortless style. Le Beauvallon, built in 1911 as a home from home for the Parisian glitterati, is an exclusive hotel residence set just up the hill from the Mediterranean. Part-hotel, part-staffed mansion, it is available for exclusive hire for corporate groups, families or friends in its 26 suites and 14 en-suite rooms.
The stunning recent refurbishment sees the Beaux-Arts building now resplendent in a dark red exterior, with the exception of the gleaming white terraces, which positively pop in the Mediterranean light. From the moment you arrive in the airy lounge at the heart of the hotel’s ground floor, surrounded by lashings of eye-catching modern art, you are ensconced in the height of sheer luxury. Rooms vary from the sumptuous to the spectacular; while the corner suite comes with a well-appointed private terrace, the Beauvallon suite features a glass-walled bath overlooking the turquoise waters of the bay below. The pièce de résistance is the Sky Pad master suite, complete with grand piano and a bathroom that defies belief.
Staffed by an impeccably trained team who have spent time on the world’s most exclusive super-yachts, the hotel also features ‘pantries’ dotted around the building; rather than room service, you are invited to drop in and make yourself a Nespresso coffee or take a pastry. On arrival, you are told to make yourself at home; it is hard not to.
From the hotel, a short walk through well-manicured gardens takes you to the beach club, complete with pool, bar and Jacuzzi. As ever, it’s the little touches – complimentary sun cream lies in the shade, lest you had left yours behind. Such attention to detail runs through everything at Le Beauvallon, even down to the chilled glasses into which it would seem rude not to pour a cold glass of Provence rosé.
If you’ve tired of the swimming pool, a short trip across the bay beckons for an afternoon walkabout among the beautiful people of St Tropez. Getting there in style is easy; the hotel keeps a speedboat on hand, complete with captain, for the 10-minute journey.
Once back at the main house for an evening’s entertainment, choices abound. Supper is sourced from local restaurants, and the wine cellar restocked with only the finest French varieties.
A post-meal movie is an option in the private cinema; alternatively, karaoke, pool, cards – even a climbing wall for the young or the young-at-heart – are all available.
Stylish, elegant and glamorous Le Beauvallon offers the perfect retreat for a most extraordinary weekend.
BA operates regular flights to Nice from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City; Air France from Heathrow and London City. Lufthansa offers daily services from Manchester, while easyJet flies daily from Gatwick.
Le Beauvallon accommodation
Exclusive hire of Le Beauvallon costs €70,000 (£60,000) per day. Rates include staff costs, breakfast and snacks, but exclude other food and drinks, a 10 per cent French VAT charge, and a local tax of €2.2 per adult per day.