Saint Tropez: the discrete charm of the Villa Marie
A member of the elegant Sibuet hotel collection, this 5-star establishment is the antithesis of the usual Tropezien bling! Suffice to say that we particularly relish the chance to make the most of a calm haven of this 3-hectare pine forest planted with lavender, rosemary and bay trees…the different 45 bedrooms and suites are housed in the principle Italian-style building, offering a superb view of the Pampelonne beach. The Jocelyne Sibuet décor compliments the pretty provincial furnishings, sourced from the area and terracotta. In the series of little salons on the ground floor, we love the sophisticated colours that adorn the walls: coral, taupe and lime green…and the shells framing doors and mirrors, which remind us of the nearby seaside! Our favourite bedrooms: the Cap Camarat, a superb suite from which, even in the shower, guests can drink in a view of the Mediterranean! And Number 14, whose terrace opens up directly over the forest. Time at Villa Marie is split between lounging by the poolside, whose natural rocks give it the look of a natural pool, several meals at the Dolce Vita restaurant, which can be enjoyed either in the conservatory or on the magnificent terrace. The menu comprises of fresh products honouring local cuisine: steak tartare with Menton lemon, provincial Saint Pierre “tian” vegetables cooked in their skin…and at lunchtime, nothing beats a pan bagnat à la Villa Marie – a triumph! A lovely Pure Altitude spa completes what this extraordinary place has to offer. But there is nothing stopping you from partying on one of the beaches way below or from slipping off to do some shopping in Saint Tropez! A.F.-M.