There is no beach-club scene in the world like the one in Saint-Tropez. Not in the Hamptons. Not in Malibu. Not in Monaco. Here, striped lounge chairs are lined up like dominoes along the three-mile Plage de Pampelonne (which, to split hairs, is technically in Ramatuelle), the longest and most photographed stretch of sand in the region, and scoring a pair of recliners is never easy-unless you arrive by yacht.
Local lore has it that Bardot was often spotted rolling around on the sand with men in front of Club 55. Crowds who wanted to live out her liberated lifestyle followed, and with them, more beach clubs.
Club Les Palmiers
Wear white for this sophisticated day club attached to the hotel of the same name. It’s a decidedly under-the-radar scene that attracts locals, incognito celebrities and well-heeled travellers looking for fewer selfies but perhaps the best food on the beach. Expect fresh seafood and velvety pastas along with thumping music and a crowd that can’t get enough.
With outposts in Sao Paulo, Miami, Dubai and other fashionable destinations, it was only a matter of time before Bagatelle made its way to Saint-Tropez. The club, which opened in June, has since been added to the list of let’s-do-lunch favourites for global citizens. Grab one of the 200 sun loungers on the beach or book a private-section bed for the ultimate afternoon hideaway.
If you were looking for the party, you’ve found it. Nikki Beach has been hosting globe-trotting guests for 14 years, and the club’s cult following continues to grow each season. The “white party” runs all summer by the pool and lures boldface names by the boatload, quite literally. If you go, bring a change of clothes-those bottles of Cristal have a mind of their own.
Dating back to 1946, the region’s oldest beach club draws a more casual set, by Saint-Tropez standards. Though it’s situated at the northern end of Pampelonne, Tahiti’s bright orange sunbrellas and waterfront huts make guests feel like they’ve been transported to an exotic Polynesian paradise.