traveling and meeting other cultures: ideas, destinations, reviews and tips
Hotel Residence de la Pinede
We stayed in the Residence de la Pinede in mid September 2007, and our experience was very good. There are few hotels in the world that can compare to this small luxury property less than 10 minutes walk from St. Tropez center with everything this opulent French Riviera resort can offer - from sea excursions and helicopter rides to luxurious hotels and gourmet restaurants.
The reason we ended up with the Residence de la Pinede was very practical. We were looking for an upscale hotel in St. Tropez (where we had never been before) for our planned vacations in September. While checking rates on the hotel's Web site we noticed significant discounts for the 'middle season' (September 14th to the 26th and April 25th to May 23rd) - the price was €695 for the "JUNIOR SUITE facing the SEA" (€1125 for 'season', and €1335 for 'high season'). The timing was perfect, and we felt like it was a real deal.
Despite rather stiff cancellation policy and deposit (credit card charge equal to one-night stay made at the time of booking; cancellation fees €150 if more than 30 days before the arrival; deposit is not refundable for cancellations less than 30 days and no-show), we decided to make a reservation in advance (in February). I think we were right - when we arrived, the hotel was fully booked.
St. Tropez area map.
St.Tr Office de Tourisme
Location and Layout
Hotel's location is perfect (see the map). Normally, guests arrive by car from Nice( about 110 km or 65 miles from Nice airport) or Toulon (50 km or 30 mile from the Hyeres airport). It's difficult to miss the hotel entrance - it's within town limits, right on route D98 which becomes Avenue du 15 Aout 1944 after D98 intersection with D93 (Route des Plages). There is a big yard in front of the hotel - it means no problem with parking (which is free with valets to take care of cars). If you think that the proximity to a road with never ending traffic will be a nuisance, you are wrong. Almost all rooms have sea views, and the building itself completely blocks any noise. In fact, when you at the hotel premises, it's hard to believe that road with heavy traffic is less than 100 yards.
Another huge advantage of the hotel's location is its own private beach. In a way, I may say that the hotel's courtyard is this beach. There is a manicured lawn with emerald grass, flowers and parasol pines. And if a private beach is not enough, there is also a large heated swimming pool. There is no other place in St. Tropez that can offer anything like this. It is marked by unrestrained gratification and self-indulgence. The Residence de la Pinede is by far one of the most beautiful locations to which we've been.
Hotel has 43 rooms. As I already mentioned, most of them are looking at the sea
with terraces or balconies where guests can relax, enjoy the view of the Gulf
of St. Tropez, or order drinks or dinner. There are several categories of rooms
- Standard and superior rooms with 'city' view (€395 - €720)
- Standards rooms with 'sea' view (€485 - €915)
- Superior and deluxe rooms with 'sea' view (€520 - €1015)
- Junior suites with 'sea' view (€695 - €1335)
- Suite with 'sea' view (€800 - €1910)
The higher category rooms are bigger. However, if you look at the plan, the difference in size is not big. All rooms are nicely decorated and have full bathrooms (some of them are marble), mini-bars, TVs and safes. In deluxe rooms you will find writing desks; suites may have more furniture and additional bathrooms with showers. Terraces are equipped with at least one table and a couple of chairs (all outdoor furniture is plastic).
Our recommendation - avoid 'city' view rooms. Fortunately, most of hotel rooms have 'sea' views and they are very quite, both, day and night. Obviously such rooms may have their own pluses and minuses, but by our observation it would be difficult to make a mistake. Most of them will provide you with wonderful experience.
The property is impeccable. Staff is very well trained and extremely professional. Someone is always there for you and near you. This indeed is almost a signature feature of this place - as if personnel blends into background when not needed, but like magic pops-up immediately when you need something. There is no affectation or mannerism - it's interesting to communicate with staff, and it's nice to be cherished and taken care of. That's the feeling you acquire quickly after checking-in.
The hotel has its own gourmet restaurant. To say that it is popular among guest would be an understatement. It is one of the best places for fine dining in the whole community of St. Tropez. Moreover, I would dare to compare the food offered with the very best and chic Parisian restaurants. At the same time, as always with this hotel, the restaurant environment is very relaxed. The only dress code requires is no shorts (anyway, restaurant patrons tend to come somewhat dressed-up). Because of the popularity of the restaurant and its small size, it is highly advisable to make reservations. I would recommend to do this as soon as you can (even at the time of booking).
The restaurant is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Unless it is raining, or windy, or cold, guests are served on the terrace which has a wonderful view on the Gulf of St. Tropez. Essentially, you are dining on the beach, and the whole setting is very romantic especially when it's dark and lights of St. Maxime (on the opposite side of the gulf) are on the horizon.
There are several menus available (starting at €115 - 2007 prices), and for the restaurant of this caliber they are surprisingly modest. I recommend to try the Gourmet Experience option (€170 per person) where you may create your own menu by choosing three dishes, cheese, and two deserts served in half portions.
The hotel is expensive, but the best usually is. And, as always, you get what you pay for. Although it is subjective, but taking into account that the hotel is within the limits of St. Tropez (a very expensive resort by itself) with short walking distance to everything, and that it has private beach, rooms with sea view and exceptional service, I believe that this place offers a good value.
With this hotel, negatives are all about personal preferences. For example, there is nothing in this hotel that I would change. However, I can easily see someone complaining about the hotel location - even though the hotel in not far from St.Tropez center, it would be even better to be in town. If you go back to the hotel late in the evening or night (after splurging at St-Tropez's hangouts), the darkness of the road can be a bit unpleasant. But it's difficult to have both - you'll have to choose between the town location and private beach. All you get in the center is the St. Tropez marina. With all other hotels in the area the only way to get to a beach is to use bus shuttles. With the Residence de la Pinede you walk from your room to the beach.
Another potential issue is the hotel clientele - most of guests has age is probably from 40 and older, and there few kids. So, if you prefer a younger, and more loud-party type of atmosphere, perhaps, you would like to stay somewhere else.
Address and Contact Information
The Residence de la Pinede
Address: Plage de la Bouillaisse BP 74, St-Tropez 83991, France
Web site: http://www.residencepinede.com
You May Also Like
Il San Pietro di Positano (Positano, Italy)If you have never been to Hotel San Pietro di Positano in Italy, nothing can prepare you, neither Fromms with detailed hotel description, nor hundreds reviews of people who visited ...
A day in St. Tropez - Streets and La CitadelleA day in St. Tropez - walking the town. This part of the article focuses mostly on the center of St. Tropez and its streets as well as La Citadelle.