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I may have mentioned this once or twice before, but the South of France is one of my favourite places in the world, granted I’ve not seen the whole world yet, but it places at the top of my list so far.

Why? Because I’ve never had a bad meal there, from a coffee and croissant for breakfast to a full-blown tasting menu it’s always totally divine. The beaches and coastline are stunning, bars and restaurants divine, the mountain villages are arty and stylish, the shopping is expensive but chic, what’s not to like?

We are staying at possibly the most iconic hotel in St Tropez, Hôtel Byblos, well known for its fashionable guests, that include actors, artists and musicians to directors and playwrights, anyone who’s anyone has stayed here, and it’s no wonder, it is a stunning property.

We checked in to our 6 th floor suite overlooking the pool and gardens. It was large, bright and airy, with designer-inspired furniture and soft furnishings, in shades of soft sunshine yellow. The bed was large and comfy, the bathroom has a waterfall shower and a bath and of course included lots of luxurious smellies. We were greeted with a chilled bottle of rosé, which we enjoyed that evening pre-dinner sitting on our little balcony.

We spent the first afternoon relaxing and catching up on some much-needed sleep, we were up at 2 am to get the early EasyJet flight from Luton to Nice, to ensure we had the whole day as we arrived.

The pool and surrounding area were luxurious, the soft sunbeds were a delight and with our first-holiday cocktail, we really felt in the holiday mood. We dragged ourselves away after a few hours as the sun disappeared behind the trees and we sauntered up to our suite to freshen up for dinner. Dinner that evening was in Cucina, probably one of the prettiest restaurants I’ve ever seen, a huge outside terrace with beautiful trees full of romantic lighting and stunning table settings. The menu was exciting and authentically Italian.

We began with a Kir Royale each while we chose our dishes. I began with tuna tartare, burnt lemon and lemon confit and my husband chose the Apulian burrata with asparagus, these were great choices, fresh and delicious. Then we chose a couple of dishes to share, Cacciucco-style red mullet, confit potatoes with thyme and fennel purée, the fish was soft and succulent, and Gamberoni stuffed with squid, lemon confit, tomatoes confit, basil, and a variation of zucchini, the gamberoni were perfectly cooked and everything was seasoned to perfection too, the presentation was beautiful. We washed it all down with a delicious bottle of rosé and when we finished that we chose a dessert to share, chocolate pizza, wow, what a way to end such an amazing feast.

St Tropez is renowned for its port and the stunning array of yachts, so a visit would not be complete without a walk, which was literally five minutes into town, to check them out and have a beer in one of the port-side bars.

Hôtel Byblos has so much to offer, the other restaurant by the pool, Arcadia, has a more relaxed and laidback atmosphere. Arcadia offers Mediterranean cuisine for a fabulous culinary experience. A mix of flavours with an inspired menu. Many of the dishes are created using vegetables from the Byblos vegetable garden,  then delicately garnished and presented in tajines. Arcadia is by the pool and is where you will enjoy breakfast, which is served until 11 am, the hot breakfast choices are delicious and freshly cooked, equally, the fruit, yogurts, pastries and fresh cold meats were also tasty.

When you’ve finished your dinner at Arcadia why not venture just around the corner to Lounge Bar ‘B’  it is the ideal place to continue your evening with a coffee or cocktail while enjoying the magical setting of the Byblos swimming pool and some evenings there is also a live band that plays well-known hits.  The drinks menu is extensive including fine wines, signature artisanal cocktails and exceptional champagnes. It’s the perfect spot pre or post-dinner.

When you feel the need for a little pampering the Sisley Spa is stunning and offers a huge variety of great treatments by experienced therapists, I know, I was lucky enough to be invited for a massage, and it was probably one of the best I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve had a few!

If you prefer the beach to the pool, fear not, Hôtel Byblos has a stunning beach club, Byblos Beach Ramatuellle situated on the famous Pampalone Beach. The beach club perfectly mirrors the sophisticated atmosphere of the main hotel.

The contemporary design is influenced by the maritime world, and the sunshades above the restaurant area provide a vivid reminder of the impressive sails of the fabulous yachts to be found along the Riviera coastline.

The wide wooden sunbeds with dual headrests and deep luscious mattresses provide the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind in the sunshine or have a little snooze in the dappled shade of the magnificent openwork rope parasols.

For your dining experience at the beach club, the menu, as at the main hotel, is refined, light and flavoursome Mediterranean cuisine, with dishes made from top quality items from local farms and their very own Byblos kitchen garden. We began our lunch with mint and green peas cold soup with Greek yogurt, it was a refreshing start to our meal, we followed it with tuna steak served with pan-fried sweet and sour peppers.  We enjoyed a couple of hours at the restaurant before spending the rest of the afternoon on the beach, under the Byblos sunshades on the deep comfy sunbeds, cooling down in the sea, every now and again and ensuring we kept hydrated with a delicious bottle of ice-cold rosé! Water an option too of course!

Our Byblos experience was certainly special, it was glamorous, sophisticated, and full of delicious culinary delights, to be repeated in the not-too-distant future.

A: Hotel Byblos, 20 Avenue Paul Signac, 83990 Saint-Tropez
T: +33 (0)4 945 668 00 F +33 (0)4 945 668 01
W: Byblos Hotel

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Written by Debbie Stone Global Editor for the Luxuria Lifestyle Group