madebywave Travels: Beach Clubs of St. Tropez
I’m still coming down from a natural high after my trip earlier this month to St. Tropez. What a place! There are just not many destinations like this in the world. The area is famous for its beach clubs and I’ve chosen to focus on the club scene in this post.
7 Beach Clubs in 7 Days
With a stretch of beaches no more than ten minutes’ drive from the main town, St. Tropez has every type of beach holiday on offer. Each one has its own unique ambience, cuisine and music with everything from more family-friendly, laid-back clubs to Michelin-starred cuisine and partying that goes on well into the evening.
The Party Beaches
Les Palmiers Beach Club is famous for wide stretches of sand and elegant restaurant. Things really heat up after lunch when the party gets started but you can always sneak off and have a massage in the beauty salon.
Elsewhere and if you fancy a dance on the table after a long, boozy lunch, you’ll love Bagatelle. It feels slightly more crowded than Les Palmiers but the atmosphere is effortlessly cool. Enjoy a meal in the restaurant which boasts one of the most beautiful interiors in the area – all white and wooden with black and white photographs lining the walls. After your meal, chill out on the beach and smoke some shisha while enjoying the music. This is the perfect place for a big group of people, certainly not a romantic escape!
Next in line we have Nikki Beach Club which is the beach club with a twist – there’s no direct access to the sea. However, they do have an amazing pool which acts as the entertainment centrepiece. Loud music pumps out all day, so be prepared.
For me this is the perfect ‘après-beach’ spot to visit around 6pm after a day spent sunbathing. There’s always something going on at Nikki with wild parties, famous DJs and lots of fancy dress. If you like the Burning Man Festival and partying in Ibiza, you’ll love this.
The Exotic Beaches
Just down the sands, you’ll discover Moorea and Tahiti Beach Clubs, and what feels like a whole other world. Both are influenced by the beautiful islands of French Polynesia which felt nostalgic after my travels there earlier this year.
The exotic feel is enhanced by bright, vibrant interiors that are so different from the classic French Riviera white and blue beach club aesthetic. Moorea is home to a lovely restaurant – try the tuna tartare! One part of the beach is the music section where you can enjoy laid-back tunes infused with French Polynesian vibes.
Not to be outdone, Tahiti offers cool bright interiors and gorgeous live music – check out the schedule in advance to enjoy an elegant lunch by the ocean to the sounds of a live jazz band.
Finally, we have the St Tropez beach classics – chilled out, iconic beaches that never go out of fashion. Plage de Salins is a casual, family run beach where the food is out of this world! It gets busy at lunchtime but that’s not a problem when you can eat by the shore with the waves lapping at your feet. The mussels, lobster, seabream and seabass come highly recommended.
The family feel is enhanced by the owner whose character, humour and warmth really adds to the experience. The beach is not the best for swimming, with lots of rocks in the water, so I would recommend visiting in the late morning for a long lunch before heading back to St. Tropez for a spot of shopping.
Not all the St. Tropez classics have been around for long. Cabane Bambou is a relative newcomer but it’s already a firm favourite. An elegant atmosphere fuses beautifully with the shabby chic interiors where off-white and wood play a central role alongside gorgeous handmade textiles and scatter cushions. The food is fantastic, the boutique offers beautiful accessories and there’s a small spa hut for when you fancy a bit of pampering.
We may have reached the end of our countdown but we’ve also reached my all-time favourite St. Tropez location - Club 55. One of the classic French Riviera beach clubs, I went for the first time many years ago and even today it hasn’t changed a single bit. It still has the same vibes and that luxurious French Riviera atmosphere.
The club was established in the Fifties when a movie with Brigitte Bardot was produced at the beach.Today, the club is visited by many celebrities but also regular tourists. So don't be surprised if you spot Kate Moss or Brad Pitt lunching next to you.
Order the raw vegetable platter - one of the restaurant's most iconic dishes – and make sure to visit the boutique where chic French charm knows no bounds.
Top tips: The beach clubs in St Tropez get very busy so I recommend booking your sunbeds up to 10 days before in the high season. I’d also recommend making your restaurant reservations in advance. And don't forget to pack your favourite madebywave pieces to complete your beachside look.
Happy summer holidays!