BRIGITTE BARDOT: IN THE SPIRIT OF SAINT TROPEZ

A glamorous icon of the 50s and 6os, Brigitte Bardot embodied the spirit of those decades. 

While filming a production around Nice, the famous actress and singer fell in love with the South of France. 

Located on the French Riviera, St Tropez existed for many years as an unassuming but quaint fishing village with a history stretching back to the Roman empire when, after their invasion in 3I B.C. , their citizens build many opulent villas in the area. 

St Tropez began to receive some recognition in the period just before and after World War 2, due to an influx of artists, primarily of the French New Wave in cinema, and also from the world of fashion, including Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel. However, the town received true global prominence in 1956, with the arrival of Brigitte Bardot and her then husband, the celebrated French director Roger Vadim to film ‘And God Created Woman’. 

Bardot’s emergence from the warm mirrored St Tropez sea in that film and her walk across the waterfront at the Port des Pêcheurs launched her career as the ultimate sex symbol and icon. This helped launch St Tropez as the ultimate playground for the rich and famous. 

Bardot loved St Tropez’s genuine, simple, rustic charms. The mulberry trees, the mighty farmhouses smothered in bougainvillea, the fishermen returning daily with nets full of the sea’s bounty. However, her powerful lure brought a new visitor from nearby Monaco and beyond – the international jet set Princes and Titans would park their superyachts in the harbour, palaces were built in the hills and helicopters would buzz in the air like hornets.

When visiting St Tropez, the chicest crowd will always head directly to the famous Hotel Byblos. Situated in the heart of St Tropez, between the Citadel and the Place des Lices, the Byblos consists of a series of what appear to be fishermans’ cottages unwinding around the pool, marrying a gentle, rustic aesthetic with extreme luxury in the best Côte D’Azur style. 

Le Byblos itself is inextricably linked to Bardot. It was conceived in the mid-sixties by a Lebanese businessman in the hope that it would attract Bardot, with whom he was reportedly obsessed. Unfortunately, he ran into financial difficulties mid-construction and sold the site on to the French tycoon Sylvain Floirat whose family have owned and run it ever since. 

Hotel Byblos achieved legendary status as the place where Mick Jagger proposed to Bianca, and later where Mick stayed the night before his wedding, and celebrated with a post-wedding party. 

The hotel consists of 40 rooms and 51 suites, each individually appointed and generously sized. With the sumptuous furnishings and exquisite bed linen, you would expect in a hotel used to entertaining the world’s and royalty. 

For cuisine and entertainment, Alain Ducasse is the celebrated Chef-patron of Rivea, but be prepared to party till the early hours at the legendary nightclub Les Caves du Roy.                                       

Bardot retired from showbusiness in 1973, after 21 years as France’s most famous sex symbol. She created the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, dedicated to animal protection, and is now known as one of France’s most prominent human rights campaigners.

If you’d like to explore Saint Tropez for yourself and discover why so many celebrities choose to visit this popular holiday destination, please contact us to discuss our holiday opportunities.

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