It goes without saying that Villazzo Founder and CEO, Christian Jagodzinski, has been jet-setting to many different places in the world. Yet, he keeps coming back to Saint-Tropez, not only because of his various business interests there, but also for the beautiful weather (and people!), great restaurants and hot nightlife. We asked him to share his favorite places to hang out, dine, drink and party in this tiny coastal town. Here’s the scoop from someone who really knows the scene.
“Your typical vacation day in Saint-Tropez can be divided into three parts— late lunch, late dinner and late night clubbing.”
Daytime hotspots (from 2pm to 8:30pm)
“Back in the days when I first came to St. Tropez, we still had “La Voile Rouge” with their famous daytime parties and champagne spraying. The owner has since passed away, and the “in” crowd has moved elsewhere: Mainly to Nikki Beach, and more recently also to Bagatelle.
Nikki Beach is still my favorite – it is larger, has a pool as an attractive centerpiece, and better service. Bagatelle is smaller and more intimate, and attracts people that know their staff from the New York original.
Both Nikki Beach and Bagatelle are not just restaurants or beaches; they both live off a party scene popular with the rich and beautiful. Come for late lunch (rarely before 3pm), and be prepared to be hit by champagne showers after 6pm… or arrange them yourself if you dare.
At Nikki Beach, my favorites are their daily fresh seafood specials, their large sushi boats, or the “classic” chicken satay, with various chilled glasses of Chateau Minuty’s Rosé et Or. Be sure to try the Pistachio Tiramisu – my favorite dessert in all of St. Tropez.
Of course, there is also the famous “Club 55” without which no visit to St. Tropez would be complete. There’s no loud music or Champagne spraying there – but great fish and the “incontournable” (= must have) vegetable platters for the whole table.
“Brasserie des Arts has re-started the “dine with a DJ” experience after famous “Villa Romana” lost a little bit of appeal due to stricter noise ordinances. Go to dinner just before 11pm – and by midnight you’ll sit amidst loud club music, with the first diners dancing on the tables! Open until 3am every night.
Newcomer L’Opéra is equally attractive – located at the port with great views from the terrace of yachts moored in the harbor. Old Nikki Beach management has turned this old Café into the latest night hot spot – with reservations being extremely difficult in the high season. L’Opera features nightly shows with flame throwers, exotic dancers and violin players.”
“In a garden of colored lights and over-the-top décor, classic Villa Romana pairs authentic Italian cuisine and serious partying. Order the famous rum cocktail to go with your wood-fired truffle pizza. It’s the priciest of the three, but hey, if you’re still looking at prices, then St Tropez is not the right place for you. I (and other friends) find it less attractive now that they have to turn the music down at 12:30am already as they do not have an automatically closing roof like the competitors.”
“Banh Hoi is a hidden gem of a restaurant down a charming lane away from the bustling port area. The menu showcases Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. Dishes to try include tuna tartare, pork sushi, crispy thin pancakes filled with shrimp, and a red or yellow Thai curry with the most amazing coconut rice.”
“There are only three nightclubs in St. Tropez: Caves du Roy, VIP Room, and Papagayos. The latter has become the meeting point for teenagers coming with their parents, so that’s not for me. My favorite is still the oldest, most reputable of the three: Caves du Roy in Hotel Byblos. Even with its 70s décor, it remains a chic club and “the” place to be seen for late night dancing and pre-dawn partying. Famous DJ Jack E with his “Welcome to St. Tropez” interjections knows how to get everyone dancing. The most lavish of the party-goers will end up in ordering wars over the 38,000 Euro “Mathusalem” sized Cristal bottles.
The VIP Room is the alternative option for serious clubbing – with a more contemporary style and a slightly younger crowd. Large video screens and live performances amidst a turning dance floor are simply electric. Modern Mediterranean and Italian cuisine is on offer throughout the night just outside the club, but whatever fuels you, you better be dressed to the nines and ready to dance.”
Christian has also handpicked his Top 10 selection of luxury villas in every price range for you. Trust him for his picks!