When expense is no object - where else to stay?
The legendary Hotel Byblos on Av Paul Signac is the quintescence of luxury. What does such "luxury " cost? 550 euros a night, if you want to know. The carpark bristles with Ferraris and Rolls Royces. The Hotel boasts its own chillout record series on par with the Buddah Bar.
In the basement is the kitsch number one celebrity nighspot disco Les Caves du Roy , where you will see P Diddy or Bruce Willis holding court. Expect to spend or bribe in thousands to even get in. Rumoured one party set back P Diddy a half million dollars on champagne - Dom Perignon or Cristal, of course. but spraying as well as drinking.
Daytime, a discrete hotel-chauffered people-mover ferries a half dozen American trophy wives down to the beach. They are spending the summer season in St Trop', while their Ivy League husbands sweat 18 hours a day over corporate multimillion dollar mergers and aquisitions.
Everybody who is anybody stays at Byblos.This is personal service to the extreme. This is not necessarilly somewhere anyone might stay, but it is somewhere to see.
- Luxury Travel
Harbour St Tropez
Simple fishing boats point to the history of Saint Tropez, overtaken by the explosion that followed Vadim and Bardot in the late fifties where they filmed "And God Created Woman"
The folklore origin of Saint Tropez is the landing here two thousand years ago of a Roman christian convert centurion, bound to the mast of his cast away ship with a cockerel companion that pecked out his eyes.
Today the boats landing at the harbour are more likely just simple fishing boats which unload extraordinary expensive sea food, to be eaten in even more extrordinarily expensive restaurants, by grossly overpaid western media moguls.
Pleasure boats and yatches offer a vantage point from which to watch the pleasure-seekers below.
The big question: what to wear?
You come here to see and be seen. Your biggest decision is not whether to take a packed lunch, its what you propose to wear.
Beginners need some style advice.
Real Tropezienes set an example
The girls' clothing style is white, and more white. Temperature is hot and white is cool. A hat is sensible but no flower-pots - wide brimmed straw works well. And roomy shoulderbags, not euro-trek rucksacks.
For men, a dog makes a suitable statement - "I live here".
Style notes for visitors
(Apologies to Heat and Hello readers who know all this stuff inside out!)
Youve come here to enjoy the scene, and people watch. Only the day-trippers wander around dressed for the beach. Wear clothes, not "sportswear". No-one is wearing branded sportswear - which some people mistakenly think looks cool. No US baseball vests with the number 18 in huge letters on the front (as in an estimate of the wearer's IQ). That only works if you are P Diddy.
Geltlemen: daywear, if you must wear a baseball cap, it's ok here, but its worn forwards not backwards (dude!). And the shorts - not short shorts - cut half or three-quarter length and flipflops or Birkenstocks, not trainers. Evening: low-cut denin jeans of designer look finished with a big metal belt, mixed with an expensive designer shirt - perhaps white embelished with embroidery and silver, rounded off with a soft-tailored dark jacket.
Ladies: as extrovert as you dare, if you've got it this is the place to flaunt it. If you used to have it but its getting on a bit, age doesn't matter - you need to be more outrageous as you get older - in France you get points for not giving up. A straw stetson hat and cowboy boots teamed up with skinny jeans may be passe (Posh still wears them) but theres some life still in variations. Last of all - those dark glasses - the bigger the better. Its the defininition of cool.
Think: "No Photos No Photos - see my agent!" Now you're beginning to get into the spirit of St Tropez.
A Polish refugee baker created this delightful confection that can be purchased freshly made from the original bakery in st Tropez
Tarte Tropezienne offers you a sumptuous wedge of creme patisierrie custard, sandwiched in sponge cake and dusted with crystallised sugar. Fabulous, and the best tasted.
Trophy men. Hurry hurry girls. Get yours here!
The Nice - St Tropez Ferry offers you exclusive access to the boot on the other foot.
The lady clearly had the money, Paris Hilton clone , and her hunk trophy male companion a fair bargain. Rippled torso, six-pack stomach, deep tan, dark wavy hair, immaculate rolex, just the right kind of canvas trousers, designer sandals. Everything in its place, game, set and match.
And who said beauty is only skin deep? I only clocked this as the lady pulled down his white sailcloth trouser belt to show the Calvin Klein imprint on the waistband of his underpants beneath. She paid for them and she's going to show them off
On landing at St Tropez, the couple melted invisibly into the beautiful crowd.
People Watching: Factor 9
Strolling in the streets of Saint Tropez
Saint Tropez was originally just a sleepy fishing village frequented by painters and writers. However this was changed forever by "And God Created Woman", a 1956 film that put this town aswell as Brigitte Bardot on the map. During the 1960s, Saint-Tropez became a favourite hangout for the international jetset and has had a mundaine reputation ever since.
Too be honest, I expected an overpriced, touristy place, that stuck to this 60s fame and is notorious for its VIP spotting. Well, touristy it is and like any other Mediterranean place somewhat overpriced as well, but despite the big yachts in the old port, which are actually quite a nice sight, the village still has a lot of traditional charm. I haven't seen any VIPs and the yachts and port really resembled the ports of the other places in the area, such as Cannes, Marseille, etc., making this just another one of the nice places on the Cote d'Azur. And one of the most charming at that. The little streets in the village are pretty cute and because of the busloads of tourists, everything is very well maintained.
view from the citadel
It's not too hard to climb the stairs to the citadel. You will be rewarded with a beautiful view of St. Tropez and the surrounding sea.
In the picture you can see the distinctive red-yellow Portalet Tower which was part of the original defensive system completed in the late 15 th century.
- Historical Travel
Masses of stylish restaurants
Ther is no shortages of eating places in Saint Tropez. Ranging from the merely expensive to the even more vastly expensive, eating out requires a cool head and a wary eye on hidden costs. Even a reasonably priced pizza ceases to become so when the cheapest bottle of wine is three times the price. check for a sensible option.
Overlooking the town from the Citadelle
Sight seeing in St Tropez is not a big deal - around an hour brisk walk should about do it.
Pretty in every aspect, the view over the town from the citadelle provides fine views. In the distance 5 km north is the venice of the Cote D'Azur - Port Grimaud - and 11 km the modern resort of Saint Maxime.
This is the former police station in St. Tropez - le Gendarmerie Nationale - where Louis de Funes and his Gendarmes du Saint Tropez had their quarter in those funny old movies :) This is one real attraction of St. Tropez beside the luxury stuff.
Check out the second picture - there is a second Gendarmerie Nationale - the current police station.
No question Saint Tropez is a magnet for young and not so young women with a taste for style. I think it follows from the fact women tend to read celebrity magazines and St Tropez is a backcloth to a certain A-list and B-list celebrity scene, making it one of the must go destinations. Its expensive and hard to get to, providing the necessary exlusivity.
Strangely, not many young men with shaved heads and earings, wanting to watch football on bar big screens, pint in hand, surrounded by like.
Perhaps these two things are related.
A police station is not a place one would normally consider to be a tourist attraction, in St. Tropez it's different. Made famous in the French 'Gendarmes' movie series, it is now a pretty popular stopping place for visiting fans of Louis de Funes such as myself.
- Budget Travel
St. Tropez Harbor
The harbor in St. Tropez is the most irresistible harbor I've seen. With the luxury boats so close you think you can climb aboard and taste some of the life of the rich. Or you can just walk up and down the pier and watch the boats, people - maybe spot some celebrities, which can be a lot during summer, and eat at fancy restaurants.
There is a small park in St. Tropez, not really a park as it is mostly sand and some trees, with a restaurant on a side. It is mostly used by locals to play "boules" - the game with the heavy metal balls being thrown to the small little one in the sand - a French traditional game.
Real big luxury boats
Looking at those boats makes you dream some time you will have such money and status so you can afford having a boat, cruising the seas and harboring in the most expensive ports like this one. I can imagine a day in this port costs way much more than an expensive hotel. But normal people like me can enjoy watching and dreaming.
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