Summer sizzle in the south of France at MUSE Saint Tropez
For decades, Saint Tropez’s relaxed glamour and high style has been a magnet for the international jet set. At MUSE Saint Tropez, guests enjoy the best of these two worlds.
The jury is still undecided on whether it was Brigitte Bardot who vaulted Saint Tropez to world attention after the release of her career-defining 1963 film When God Created Woman. Or whether it was the former slumbering fishing town on the Côte d’azur that set the scene for the French actress’s ascent to superstardom. Regardless of what the answer may be, neither the celebrity nor the town has been the same since.
By ambling through Saint Tropez’s cobblestone paths that line its streets six decades later, one still detects a charming Bohemian frisson. This extends from hippie-chic fashion behind window displays to shops peddling quirky objets d’art and posters, encouraged by Bardot in those early years, when the magic was just beginning.
Here, boutiques that coined the term resortwear long before such shows became permanent fixtures on the fashion world’s calendar sit alongside art galleries paying homage to art styles the town is known for around the world. There are also pastry shops such as La Tarte Tropézienne and its eponymous cream-filled brioche, which was put in the spotlight by the When God Created Woman film crew who came for their afternoon tea breaks, and enjoyed by countless other people since.
Inspirations are aplenty in this charismatic location. First-time visitors are never the same once they leave.
Saint Tropez (or if you’re local, St-trop) invariably sparked the genius of artists, painters, photographers and writers, all of whom were drawn to the town’s creative energies in their multitude of forms. In the process, these individuals, the likes of whom include Paul Signac, Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Albert Marquet, David Hockney, Donald Sultan and Stefan Szczesny, became legends.
A short distance from Place de Lices, known around the world as an epicentre where the international jet set converge, along the route de plages, is the
more recent but equally legendary MUSE Saint Tropez. The elegant 15-suite property is gift-wrapped in a stunning well-tended tiered landscape. Towering cypress trees, pine forests, olive groves and rose bushes surround this ultimate sanctuary for the discerning.
The area’s visceral beauty is matched by the hotel’s classic minimalist interiors, colourcoordinated in whispers of light caramel and creamy white. Each suite ( 10 of which have private plunge pools) pays fitting tribute to 20th-century muses and their first names — Jean, Audrey, Sophia, Edith, Juliette, Greta, Catherine, Colette, Josephine, Ella, Gala, Lauren, Grace and Ava. The furnishings in the suites are the work of Henryot, the company that designed pieces for France’s former royal house of Versailles, while bedding comprises sublime 800-threadcount Egyptian silk and cotton-blended sheets.
Intrinsic to MUSE Saint Tropez’s philosophy of well-being and joie de vivre, some suites are equipped with spa amenities including massage tables. Therapists, trained in classic spa techniques and informed by intuition, utilise herbs and plants prevalent in the hotel’s vast gardens, distilling through a technique known as hydrolat, the purest oil extracts combined with a water base. This process ensures that the oils deliver maximum healthful benefits and that guests derive the best restorative experiences from their treatments.
Guests at MUSE Saint Tropez are known to stay for as long as two weeks – ample time to settle into Saint Tropez’s easy rhythm and almost effortless routine of languid afternoons and evening glamour, if one so desires. The hotel’s heated pool is its social heart with an adjacent bar facing cabanas and lounge chairs perfect for sinking into. To keep cool on hot afternoons, request the bartender to rustle up a MUSE cocktail. Or try a decadent Ladurée glace in flavours such as chocolate, lemon, caramel, pistachio and vanilla.
Mealtimes, too, are celebratory affairs at M, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is focused on local garden produce and herbs as well as seafood. For instance, Mediterranean red mullet, flavoured with sundried tomatoes, served with Venere red rice and diced with chorizo Iberico.
An artfully plated dish of cod with shellfish sauce and mousseline of sweet potato offers celebrations of colour, contrasting flavours and the freshness of just-caught seafood. Desserts are all about local fruits — red berries with Saint Tropez rosé along with nougat ice cream sprinkled with nuts from Piedmont, and dried fruits. All dishes from the menus at M are also available for in-room dining if guests prefer some alone time because at MUSE Saint Tropez, every whim is entertained and every request fulfilled.
For more information, please visit www.muse-hotels.com
MEALTIMES, TOO, ARE CELEBRATORY AFFAIRS AT M, WHICH SERVES BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER. THE MENU IS FOCUSED ON LOCAL GARDEN PRODUCE AND HERBS AS WELL AS SEAFOOD.
This chic retreat reflects the laid-back glamour of the Riviera.