The story of Saint-Tropez's first luxury hotel

Dès 1887, Saint-Tropez séduit déjà Guy de Maupassant, puis le peintre Paul Signac pour qui l’ancienne cité corsaire est la « huitième merveille du monde ». Bientôt, de nombreux artistes affluent pour travailler sous la lumière si particulière de la presqu’île : écrivains, dramaturges, cinéastes… L’histoire de Saint-Tropez est lancée. Un paradis tout trouvé, berceau de celui qui deviendra bientôt un prestigieux hôtel de luxe à Saint-Tropez, désormais intimement lié à l’histoire du petit port de pêche devenu célèbre.

1931 : the genesis of an exceptional place

In 1925, Augustine and Marcelin Aubour – a young married couple from Saint-Tropez – took over the management of the Bar du Littoral, located at the village entrance. The bar faced a large plot of land, where Augustine rapidly envisioned erecting a hotel. The building work began in 1930 at a time when Parisian tourists were beginning to flock to the peninsula, sparking the decision to baptize the new establishment the “Hôtel de Paris”. Inaugurated in 1931, it soon became a favourite haunt for artists on a quest for inspiration.

The Hôtel de Paris was topped with an additional floor in the Fifties to offer a total of 70 rooms, including the village’s first rooms fitted with air-conditioning.

Very soon, the hotel was fully booked for much of the year. It was the new place to be for Parisian high society (Colette, Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot and Jean Cocteau to mention just a few), as well as American celebrities such as Rita Hayworth and Clark Gable. The worlds of cinema, music, French song and sport all rubbed shoulders here.
Leï Mouscardins, presided by Chef René Goujon, was a highly-reputed eatery where people came to savour Bouillabaisse and Grand-Marnier soufflé. But habits changed in the early Seventies. The restaurant closed its doors after the chef died in 1976 and the family business followed suit in 1992 after the death of Augustine.

2013 : the rebirth of a phoenix

The new family of owners, under the impetus of businessman Claude Dray, undertook a complete metamorphosis of the hotel. The finest professionals were put to work under the stewardship of Saint-Tropez architect François Vieillecroze.

Unveiled in February 2013, the reborn Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez is an iconic establishment, fearlessly embracing the 21st century after a 20-year absence. Blending beautifully into the village’s architectural landscape, it is as majestic as its backdrop. The elegant façade gazes over Place de la Gendarmerie, while the sublime rooftop harbours a heated pool, restaurant and bar. The 90 rooms and suites – some with views over the sea and new port – are elegantly set around a tree-lined patio. A stunning Spa by Clarins completes the ensemble.

The spacious and contemporary lobby reflects the singular and astonishingly contemporary character instilled in the hotel by interior designer Sybille de Margerie. A unique sight catches the eye as soon as one pushes open the door: a monumental chandelier courtesy of SM Design, comprising 3,500 shimmering, ivory-coloured aluminium petals.

Inaugurated in February, the new Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez reveals itself to Tropezians, an iconic establishment that now embraces the twenty-first century.

2013-2023 : a cultural beacon

Keen modern and contemporary art collectors, the new family of owners became actively involved in Saint-Tropez’s cultural life, propelling their five-star establishment into the limelight as a privileged partner to various events hosted by the town council, including Saint-Tropez Couleur Bleu and exhibitions at the Musée de l’Annonciade. Today, the hotel is a reputed cultural venue, welcoming the Conversations with Agnès literary meeting every month since 2016. A exciting new literary event, the Best Title Prize, was launched in 2022.

In parallel, artists, sculptors and photographers are regularly invited to show their work at the hotel, with highlights over the years including the mythical Paris Match exhibition entitled “Saint-Tropez and its Legendary Stars”, showcasing photos from the golden years when guests often stumbled upon Brigitte Bardot, Sacha Distel or Alain Delon roaming the old port. Photographers Léonard de Raemy and Willy Rizzo have been celebrated here too, along with comic book writer and artist Manara, sculptors Anne & Just Jaeckin, David Kracov and Sylvain Subervie and, more recently, Jean-Michel Folon, Fred Allard, Catalano and Mauro Corda.

Standing proudly at the village entrance since 1931, the Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez is a genuinely iconic address that continues to accompany the modern-day story of Saint-Tropez and attract travellers seeking an exceptional experience. One day, during the hotel’s restoration work, Claude Dray declared, “It will be the second lighthouse of Saint-Tropez”. And he was right…

The Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez celebrate the 10th anniversary of its rebirth in 2023.