When French sex kitten Brigitte Bardot sunbathed nude while filming ...And God Created Woman here in the late 1950s, she put Saint-Tropez on the map as the adult playground of the rich and fabulous. Ever since, "St. Trop" (St. Too Much, in French) has sizzled with sensuality, beautiful (and ridiculously wealthy) people, notorious nightlife, and a yacht-jammed harbor where everyone hangs out to see and be seen. The world-class partiers (everyone from Jay-Z and Beyoncé to P. Diddy) tend to arrive by luxury yacht, and celeb couples like David and Victoria Beckham visit annually for sun-splashed fun.
Seductive Places to Stay
La Bastide de Saint-Tropez (doubles from $460, 33-04-94-55-82-55, bastide-saint-tropez.com) is a secluded, 26-room hotel with a large pool and tropical gardens, set away from the hubbub but just a short drive to the action. Guests can charter the property's 72-foot luxury yacht San Lorenzo for a day tryst on the Mediterranean. For the ultimate suite spot, book one of the apartments, decked out in Provençal-style with king-size bed, living room, Jacuzzi, and terrace over the gardens. With only ten rooms, the charming Hôtel La Mistralée (doubles from $549, 33-04-98-12-91-12, hotel-mistralee.com) is a unique former 1850 town house recently turned into a small luxury hotel in the heart of Saint-Tropez. It's gorgeous and quiet and attracts French celebrities. Step back in time in La Suite, where the sunny yellow bedroom decor is Empire-style, and the sitting room is an exact reproduction of one at Paris's Carnavalet Museum.
Voyeurism is St.Trop's raison d'etre, and why not? Everyone here loves to be looked at! Join topless jet-setters on the sands of Pamplone beach, especially the strand in front of Club 55 around 3 p.m., where a beach mat will run you $70, but you'll be toe-to-toe with St. Trop's beautiful people. (Wear your Burberry bikini—at least the bottom.) Although the city has no secluded beaches, Plage des Salins is harder to reach than most, and therefore less crowded. As for re-creating Bardot's bare-bottomed romp, only the gauche opt for the birthday-suit look. If that's your thing, head to Plage de Tahiti, where anything goes.
Totally Indulgent Spa Experiences
Who could resist the Pamper Yourselves massage at the secluded Hôtel La Tartane (33-04-94-97-21-23, latartane.com)? This steamy couples treatment begins with a private hammam (tiled steam bath). Then, because the French know a thing or two about sexy scents, you'll be rubbed with essential oils such as lavender, damask roses, aloe vera, and ylang-ylang from the South of France.
Trendy Les Caves du Roy at the Hôtel Byblos (byblos.com) is packed with boastful billionaires, bronzed beauties, and certified superstars (Elton John and Mick Jagger). This throwback to the glitzy '70s pulses with ear-deafening music and a thumping dance floor. Weekends are the "in" time to go, but you don't need to be a name to get in. Wannabes should dress bimbo Tropézienne (à la Paris Hilton)—if the guys at the door like what they see, then you and your man are in.
The food scene in St. Trop is très cher (translation: very expensive), so make a beeline for L'Auberge de la Mole, nine miles out of town, for classic French fare such as tournedos Rossini: melt-in-your-mouth steak with foie gras. Head back to town for dessert at Sennequier at the port where the tarte tropézienne, a sensual custard, is guaranteed to please.
For a wild, wanton drink, try the GVB, a tall, chilled combo of gin, vodka, and banana liqueur that tastes slightly like a banana milkshake, but with attitude. It's rumored to be a leading cause of erotic misbehavior. (Don't say we didn't warn you!) Order one, if you dare, at the bar at Hôtel Sube on the port.
For more info, call 410-286-8311 or visit franceguide.com.