The gorgeous Hotel Lou Pinet give us the must-visits for an authentic experience in the glamorous beach destination
Lead image: Poolside at Hotel Lou Pinet
We’re all pretty au fait with the allure of the French Riviera’s most famous harbourside getaway. Saint-Tropez is a resort beloved by the well-heeled and famous, while still retaining the ambience of a thriving, picturesque fishing village.
Beautifully elegant Hotel Lou Pinet – which recently reopened for the summer season – is a five-star hideaway owned by the Pariente family, nestled away from the hubbub of the beach and Place des Lices but close enough that guests can access all the excitement whenever they wish.
The hotel’s concierge team is adept at spotlighting Saint-Tropez’s hidden gems, and advising on how to experience the area like a local. Here are their top tips – from the best beaches to lounge on to the most delicious restaurant experiences:
Guests can lounge on the beach in the sun at Loulou Ramatuelle and nibble on small Italian bites. Between swims, you can lie on large sofas in the shade of the sails and party to the sound of music with a sunset aperitif. Chez Camille is a cosy restaurant with stunning sea views, offering regional seafood specialties. It was also recently elected best bouillabaisse and grilled fish restaurant in the Gulf. For those looking to grab and go, Homer Lobster Saint Tropez is adored for its iconic lobster roll and grilled cheese sandwich offering.
From small rocky coves to the mythical beaches of the Bay of Pampelonne, the Gulf of Saint-Tropez is full of natural treasures. Stop at Ponche Beach, a small mythical beach sheltered by the ramparts of Saint-Tropez, before taking the coastal path to Ramatuelle, where the paradisiacal beaches follow a path along more than 10 km of coastline.
Arts & culture
Start with the Annonciade Museum of modern art, before visiting the Citadelle and its maritime museum which retraces the wonderful history of the city’s inhabitants. The National Gendarmerie and Cinema Museum is a must-see to uncover the stories of Saint-Tropez in the 60s, including visits to the area by icon Brigitte Bardot, who put Saint-Tropez on the map with the film And God Created Women.
On Tuesday and Saturday mornings, stalls full of local products fill the historic Place des Lices for Saint-Tropez market. Discover linen shirts, beautiful silk dresses and delicate ceramics and return home with some treasures. As night falls, the area offers famous Tropezian parties for those who know where to look.
Saint-Tropez is home to cutting-edge fashion, from jewellery and haute couture to gorgeous swimwear and casual beach clothes. Visit the famous Rondini store – known for selling the most coveted sandals in the French Riviera. The family-run workshop creates everything by hand and will provide quality shoes that will take sandy feet from day to night.
Nightly rates at Hotel Lou Pinet start from 430 Euros on a bed & breakfast basis. For reservations and information visit www.loupinet.com