La Réserve Ramatuelle has bags of tranquil Provencal charm, a top-notch spa and a two Michelin-starred restaurant, says Siobhan Grogan. All this, and the designer boutiques, world-class people-watching and glitzy beaches of St Tropez are minutes away…
Review: La Réserve Ramatuelle, St Tropez
It may be buried deep within a pine forest in the hills but knockout sea views come as standard at La Réserve Ramatuelle. Perched on cliffs high above the bay below, the coastal bolthole guarantees all eyes are on the dazzling blue of the Mediterranean beyond with endless floor to ceiling glass for all-day sea-gazing. Everything else is coolly neutral at this idyllic estate, with billowing white linen, natural stone and textured taupe sofas. It’s a masterclass in chic French minimalism, an immediately soothing haven for stressed-out city slickers yearning to escape. Designed by acclaimed architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, there are just 27 sleek, neutral rooms, all with their own terrace or private garden and every one has that show-stopping sea view.
For a more private getaway, 13 palatial serviced villas with between three and six bedrooms are also dotted discreetly through the grounds. All are glossily immaculate, with terracotta tiled floors, plump cream sofas and candles and orchids at every turn. Ours – Villa 17 – comes with everything from a high-tech juicer to a table tennis table, plus a pretty inner-courtyard and vast terrace overlooking a private heated pool with that obligatory sea view. In fact, Karl Lagerfeld loved these villas so much, he rented one permanently to use whenever he needed to get away.
The hotel’s Spa Nescens is the sole reason many guests check in, with its steamy indoor swimming pool, fully-equipped Pilates studio and hammam carved into an exposed stone wall. There are regular wellness retreats and renowned boot camps but trainers are always on hand to offer Nordic walking, yoga lessons and aqua biking. If that sounds like hard work, there are seafront rooms for indulgent La Mer treatments and intense Swiss-style pampering with cryotherapy, balneotherapy and corrective facials available.
To feel the sand between your toes instead, head to the hotel’s very own Philippe Starck-designed beach club, La Réserve à La Plage, just ten minutes’ away at Pampelonne Beach. Made famous by Brigitte Bardot in the 1950’s, it’s now a see-and-be-seen magnet for St Tropez’s beautiful people, drawn to the icing sugar-white sand, wave-lapped double sun-loungers and all-day party vibes at alfresco seafood restaurants.
For a city fix, head to St Tropez itself to stock up on wicker baskets, handmade olive oil soap and picnic supplies at the lively market. Stroll through the pretty old town with its fortresses and faded pastel buildings, then linger over a rosé and cream-stuffed Tarte Tropézienne in harbourfront restaurant Senequier while you gawp at the super-yachts moored steps away.
The hotel’s La Voile restaurant is one of the best on the French Riviera. Helmed by chef Erin Canino, it was awarded its second Michelin star in 2020 and serves a Mediterranean fine-dining menu without the guilt, avoiding heavy cream and butter and focusing on fish, olive oil and fruit and vegetables from the kitchen garden. There’s even a dedicated all-vegetable menu offering everything from starter to dessert. Elsewhere, drinks are served under a fairy lit olive tree by an outdoor fireplace, while the rooftop Japanese restaurant offers handmade sushi with jaw-dropping sea views.
La Réserve Ramatuelle is the perfect way to sample St Tropez’s flashy charms yet escape its summer crowds. But with its sprawling spa, discreet service and exquisite food, you might decide to never leave this serene Riviera hideaway at all.
Deluxe rooms in the hotel start from €950 per night in low season. Villas start from from €4000 per night for a three-bedroom villa in low season. Book at lareserve-ramatuelle.com
Featured image: Grégoire Gardette