One of the year’s most exciting luxury hotel debuts in France, Cheval Blanc St-Tropez officially opened on May 16, just in time for the sizzling summer season on the Mediterranean. This is the fourth resort in LVMH’s ultra-luxe Cheval Blanc portfolio, joining properties in Courchevel, the Maldives, and St Barth’s. Next to open will be the Paris property inside the former La Samaritaine department store overlooking the Seine, and there’s a London hotel project rumored to be in the pipeline.
Acquired by LVMH in 2016, the Résidence de la Pinède was a legendary St-Tropez institution. This is where food-loving jetsetters would flock for a taste of Michelin three-starred cuisine by chef Arnaud Donckele at La Vague d’Or, followed by sun-lounging in front of the pool, surrounded by majestic pine groves next to the sea. Over the last three years, LVMH has orchestrated a multi-phase transformation by in-demand architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte (also behind the look of the Lutetia in Paris), working in tandem with local architect François Vieillecroze. Reborn as Cheval Blanc St-Tropez, the hotel has retained the sense of intimacy that it was known for. The interiors are a showcase for the destination’s magical Mediterranean colors and light, with natural elements like wood and stone next to ceramic creations by artist Roger Capron.
Notably, the hotel’s room count was reduced in order to ensure a personalized, bespoke service for each guest. (Personal butlers are known as Majordomes, while the so-called Ambassadeurs design unique experiences for guests.) Comfort was stressed in the room design. Wilmotte sought to create the “contemporary feel and ease” that is the signature of the Cheval Blanc Maisons.
Chef Arnaud Donckele is still working his magic at La Vague d’Or, beautifully redesigned. You’ll also find a private beach, swimming pool, and the Cheval Blanc Spa, the only Guerlain spa in St. Tropez. Thierry Wasser, Guerlain’s perfume creator, developed an exclusive scent called “Riviera Chic” just for the hotel.