Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

Villa Marie


A refreshing, stylish and luxurious retreat, overlooking Pampelone beach and set among beautiful pines and lush gardens

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Villa Marie


Nestled in a seven-acre pine forest, overlooking Saint-Tropez and the Bay of Pampelone

Travel Information

Nice Airport - 1.5 hours

Top Tips

Pop into Saint-Tropez for shopping, restaurants and the buzzing nightlife but return to your haven at Villa Marie within 5 minutes

5-Star X-Factors

Features its own natural spring and stunning views over the Saint-Tropez beaches with yachts aplenty

Haute hedonism in St Tropez

Villa Marie is as pretty as a picture. Situated off the Route des Plages on the Chemin de Val de Rian, it can brag about being one of the best spots in Saint-Tropez. Not only does it offer exceptional views of the yacht-imbued sea beyond France's most coveted beaches, it is also within minutes of the hugely stylish and alluring village of Saint-Tropez. Thus, the location provides great views, peace and a little reluctance to go elsewhere.

In the warmer months, a cool sea breeze hangs around the glorious pool and terrace enhancing a serene and easy-going ambiance, while at night the atmosphere is more electric and in tune with the buzzy locale. Villa Marie also prides itself on the spa treatments, along with the exotically foliated grounds. It condenses the best of the Var in a high-spirited luxuriant style. Sea and be seen.

It's not easy to pin down the interiors of Villa Marie to a particular style, however there are familiar nuances of the Riviera together with a smattering of Marrakech, along with a Saint-Tropezienne flush of opulence. The gardens, including citrus, pines, vines, roses, jasmine, lavender and Var vegetation, provide fabulous backdrops to all the seating areas, while a long water feature with lilies and koi carp splashes with feng and shui in the forecourt beneath the entrance. There is an instant joie de vivre factor when you arrive here, a combination of sultry extravagance and stylish chill out.

Sleep or not...

The suites/bedrooms are pleasantly decorated in pastel shades and in some instances with four-posters, chaises-longues, hand-painted armoires and large bathrooms. I actually prefer the newer suites with less pastel, more cream and taupe, and a terrace that benefits from the view. They are, of course, more pricey. Our bedroom, however, had a great pine and sea view from the terrace and was most definitely comfortable, with prompt and gracious room service.  

But, this is Saint-Tropez and you do feel 'it' here, so hanging out in your room is not a priority. You want to soak up the atmosphere in the groovy communal spaces; enjoy a cocktail or two at sunset in the bar with views across the bay of Pampelonne; sit on that sublime terrace or one of the property's many patios with a glass of rosé, inhaling the fragrant scent of lavender, wisteria, jasmine…and then shop!

Shop till you drop

No matter how many times we go to Saint-Tropez and vow to avoid the shops it is simply not possible. I think of all the places I have ever visited, Saint-Tropez has the greatest shopping allure. Some of the shi shi boutiques have even popped up on the King's Road in London but somehow they don't have the same pull. This place was designed for shopping along with celebrity spotting. The latter is way more relaxed now and even though Posh was reclining nearby on the pool area of a monster-gin palace, few noticed.

Shopping in Saint-Tropez, slightly out of season, is a fabulous experience and one well worth doing if you visit in May/June or September/October. I have a friend who literally drove down from London so that she could shop with serious intent.

Villa Marie is also a short drive from Ramatuelle; while Saint-Tropez is active, this village is passive. Thus, many visitors are more inclined to enjoy the slower pace and pretty hillside features of this exceptional and exquisitely located village. Like 'St Trop', they have great market days, though this is not the place to shop per se. It has a couple of good restaurants, with views that render you speechless.

Day at the beach

Villa Marie is fabulously located for 'beach days', with the very best only five minutes away, and while we were staying here we enjoyed grilled fish at Club 55 – always a memorable occasion. The Pampelonne beaches off-season are very becoming, however, during the busy times they have a pleasantly stupefying appeal.

At Club 55, if you ask the concierge to book a lounger or cabana in advance, you can sit tight for as long as your eyes can muster. The beach boutique here is worth keeping some euros back for; the owner has fabulous boho-chic style while the sale at the end of August is better than most. In fact, some of the choicest pickings from Saint-Tropez can be found here. Club 55 is great for long, expensive lunches with your toes out of your sandals, followed by some beach time and an eye on the Med's most famous celebrity-trodden pier.

Dining in

One of the greatest pleasures about travelling in, through, and to Provence is enjoying authentically cooked, local ingredients. At Villa Marie, this means fresh fish and vegetables, succulent lamb, truffle risotto, tuna sashimi and an array of fresh garden herbs from thyme to sage.

From twilight through midnight, the candlelit terrace with a magical sea view – set above the towering pines surrounding the outstanding pool – is a truly scintillating dining venue. However, if the mistral breeze is up then the restaurant, decorated in extravagant Rivieran style, is stunning too. These are venues to dress up for. In some cases this may be a newly purchased bejewelled kaftan, while in others it is the bare essential. Either way it works.

What makes Villa Marie a 'cool' place to stay is the fact that it appeals across the board. It is not so exclusive that you feel inadequate if you are a certain age or shape, it does not prescribe to a Saint-Tropez 'type' like some of the boutique hotels in the village. Instead, it encourages a free spirit, exciting a love of quality hedonism and leaving you well rested, while renewing your thirst for all things bright and beautiful. Villa Marie is not defined by its clientele; it has risen, rather sweetly, above that.


Sophie Marchant
Sophie Marchant

Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer