Say the words “Saint-Tropez,” and the images come thick and fast: world-famous people, glamorous poolside parties, late-night club antics, and beautiful beaches to recover on the morning after. At the very center it all lies Le Byblos—born in the Swinging Sixties as a headquarters for the international Jet Set, developed and refined over the years into a bona-fide palace hotel, and still swinging today. People come to Hotel Byblos Saint-Tropez hoping to catch glimpses of its colorful reputation as the coolest place to be in the hottest resort on the Cote d’Azur. Le Byblos does not disappoint. “We want everyone here to feel free to enjoy themselves,” says Antoine Chavanne, co-owner of Le Byblos with his wife, Mireille. “We do get a lot of famous people, and we love that. But to us, everyone is a special guest.”
We do get a lot of famous people. But to us, everyone is a special guest.
The Byblos experience is where the action is, yet sheltered from prying eyes. The hotel enjoys one of the best and most unique locations in Saint-Tropez. Built as a series of low-lying villas connected by walkways, Le Byblos sits on its own village-like campus just off the Place des Lices, the town’s central square, and a short walk from the main shopping thoroughfares. The heart of the property is the Byblos pool, the much-photographed scene of many a celebration and also a crossroads for guests making their way between their rooms and Le Byblos’s numerous onsite amenities. At night, the focus shifts to the famed Caves du Roy nightclub, where the Saint-Tropez legend lives on in new generations of party animals.
Keeping the magic alive is a constant challenge for any five-star property. Every year, Le Byblos partners with top names in European fashion, design and gastronomy to add new sparkle to its offering. For its 50th anniversary, in 2017, Le Byblos added a deluxe suite decorated by Rosita Missoni, of the Italian fashion house. Making their debut in the 2019 season: Byblos Beach Ramatuelle, a private club on nearby Pampelonne Beach with sunbeds, dining and car service; and Cucina, a casual Italian restaurant with a menu by Alain Ducasse and seating on a fairy-lit, olive-tree-shaded terrace on the edge of the Byblos campus.
For all its glitz, and there is a lot of it, Le Byblos feels like the cherished family enterprise that it is. Around every corner, from the guest hallways to the Sisley spa, are colorful ceramics and artworks that pay homage to the Mediterranean origins of the hotel’s founders. Mireille Chavanne, a gifted interior decorator, makes the rounds of the Parisian design houses each year to choose fabrics and furnishings for Le Byblos’s guest rooms and suites, each of which has a completely different theme. “It is a lot of work!” she said cheerfully on a recent visit to Le Byblos on opening day of the spring-summer season. “But it is a labor of love.”