Loulou à Ramatuelle and the New Saint-Tropez Beach Clubs at Pampelonne

Loulou à Ramatuelle, photo credit: Amaury Brac

Summer is heating up in Saint-Tropez, and it’s not just because of the record-setting canicule (heat wave) hanging over France right now. The Plage de Pampelonne—the beach made legendary by Brigitte Bardot in the 1956 movie And God Created Woman—is showing off some sexy new beach clubs alongside the classic favorites. Nearly three miles in length, the Plage de Pampelonne is famous for spots like Club 55, with some guests boating in from their nearby anchored yachts to partake in the scene.

Notably, the Plage de Pampelonne is also classified as a “remarkable natural space,” with environmental regulations passed by the Ramatuelle mayor in 2015 that are now going into place. The idea is to preserve the beach’s dunes and natural flora. What this means is that the number of clubs has been reduced from 27 to 23, leaving 80 percent of the sand open to the public. At the end of the season in October, the beach clubs—constructed with demountable and recycled structures—will be completely removed.

Here’s the skinny on the new clubs this season. La Réserve Ramatuelle opened its very first beach club on April 18. With 75 sunbeds and a restaurant overseen by the resort’s Michelin-starred chef Eric Canino with Chef Nicolas Cantrel, La Réserve à La Plage was designed by Philippe Starck, who was also tapped to design the new La Réserve hotel in Zurich. Hotel Byblos has also opened its very first beach club, Byblos Beach Ramatuelle—serving up Mediterranean cuisine—and even the deck chairs were designed from sustainable materials.

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Last but not least is another popular newbie: Loulou à Ramatuelle. This is the Riviera outpost of the popular Loulou restaurant at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris—a city-center location with a vast terrace overlooking the Louvre. Executive chef Benoit Dargère (also behind Monsieur Bleu and Girafe in Paris) has created a menu with sun-drenched, family-style dishes from France and Italy. Think antipasti, salads, raw vegetables, pizzas and pasta, grilled meats and fish. Loulou à Ramatuelle was designed as a chic homage to the bohemian Riviera of the 1950s.

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