Pleasures Great And Small
On the grounds of the Château de la Messardière in Saint-Tropez stands a small olive tree that was planted years ago by a honeymooning couple. A discreet tag affixed to the trunk of the tree marks the date and the occasion. The couple comes back regularly to the place where their story began, though now with their young family in tow. And so it goes at the Messardière, a palace hotel that celebrates pleasures great and small. Close enough to Saint-Tropez and its sizzling beaches to be convenient for guests, yet splendidly isolated and self-sufficient in amenities and comforts, Château de la Messardière is above all a place to relax and get in touch: with nature, with loved ones, with oneself.
Built in the 1800s as a wedding present for a nobleman of the Messardière family and his artist wife, Château de la Messardière retains its dual heritage as a stately retreat (it is one of just 25 hotels in France officially designated as a “Palace”) and a home for creative spirits. The pale peach main building features a soaring central hall, round towers, and wrought-iron balconies in classic French style. Terraces front and back are the settings for grand receptions and everyday lounging, under the watchful eye of colorful mosaics and contemporary sculpture and paintings by renowned as well as rising artists.
The chateau retains its dual heritage as a stately retreat and a home for creative spirits.
A Perfect Day
Nature is never far away at Château de la Messardière. The hotel’s 25 acres of private grounds spread out atop the highest hill above the gulf of Saint-Tropez, just a few minutes’ drive from the bustling center of the city. The long, leisurely approach affords glimpses of the Mediterranean Sea between walkways planted with cypresses, palm trees and olive trees. The sea views are even more spectacular from the Messardière’s guest rooms and suites, all with terraces or balconies, and from the azure-tiled outdoor pool overlooking the water. The youngest guests, who are most welcome everywhere at the Messardière, also have their own playgrounds, just up the path from the herb gardens, hen houses, and beehives that supply the chateau’s kitchens.
Guests of the Messardière have all the attractions of Saint-Tropez at their feet, from shopping and clubbing in town to sunbathing at the hotel’s private beach club, all accessible day and night by hotel car.
But for many guests, a perfect day at the Messardière involves never leaving the chateau: early-morning swim, hike around the grounds, a light lunch beside the pool, an afternoon of pampering at the Valmont spa, cocktails on the terrace, and dinner of fresh Mediterranean specialties at the Acacia restaurant overlooking the front lawn, with the lights of Pampelonne Beach winking in the distance.