For an elegant take on down time in the heart of the French Riviera. Purple Summer’s Villa La Tourelle is for couples prioritising slick service, top-brass food and all the trappings expected of a haut Riviera hotel. Whether diving into nearby St. Tropez warren of boutiques and cafés, cycling through the bucolic countryside or simply relaxing poolside with wafts of lavender, this is an exquisite destination for an ultra-chic hen or honeymoon, with privacy and pampering service in equal measure.
Set the scene
In addition to the myriad of glamorous bistros and its super-yacht-lined harbour, St Tropez enjoys a privileged perch on the Cote D’Azur, with views spanning across the sea to the Maures mountains and famously generous sunsets. You can lose yourself wandering around the ochre streets, meandering through the local markets and art galleries. Or perhaps you might enjoy a seven-mile coastal walk and discover beautiful hidden beaches that recall the St Tropez before the film And God Created Woman thrust it into the limelight. Unlike other glitzy resorts, St Tropez has cleverly managed to preserve elements of its Provençal charm. With delicious, authentic Provençal cuisine and fabulous local wines and a spectacular setting, it’s easy to see why the rich and fabulous continue to flock here year after year.
Deceptive from the street outside, Villa La Tourelle occupies a hidden, quiet corner of St Tropez, a short walk from the main market square, Place des Lices. Formerly a 14th-century vicarage, La Tourelle was renovated by renowned Tropezian architect François Viellecroze, with no elegance or refined corner spared. Eccentric design features combine with a knockout collection of artworks. One of the villa’s most beguiling features is the mirror-edged swimming pool with its own pool house and bar (always fully stocked), surrounded by luscious palm trees, cacti and flowers.
From the moment you’re collected by your Purple Summer driver, you feel like an A lister. Expect a chilled bottle of Champagne ready to be popped en route, accompanied by a sumptuous selection of fine snacks (including freshly made macarons) from your private chef. This sets the tone and indeed it’s limitless Tattinger or Veuve Clicquot, fine wines, Prosecco, beer, soft drinks and gourmet teas and coffees from this moment forward.
Whether it’s a private sunrise yoga class by the pool, relaxing massages or exploring the coastline by boat, Purple Summer’s concierge team go above and beyond to make any wish or whim happen. We highly recommend a private wine tour with Beyond The Wine where guests are led round the illustrious Chateau Saint-Maur and Domaine Val D’Astier, with tastings and an afternoon spent strolling the medieval town of Grimaud, and its stunning flower laden streets.
Concierge can sprinkle in top restaurants such as Au Caprice des Deux and a mid-morning trip to people-watching spot, Christian Dior’s Cafe des Lices which overlooks the harbour. A short drive away, Ramatuelle has two of the Riviera’s most prominent beach clubs: Nikki Beach and the prestigious Le Club 55. Nikki Beach is the perfect hedonistic escape; you can lounge all day on one of their daybeds and enjoy world-class DJs performing until late daily. Legendary Le Club 55 is a chic, al-fresco seaside restaurant where you can relish in a long, lavish lunch with a side of celebrity spotting.
There are four en-suite bedrooms, sleeping up eight adults; two have independent access from the garden and offer some additional privacy, while the master suite in the main building has its own hammam and dressing room. The final bedroom is located in the top of the signature tower offering marvellous views of St Tropez. There are plenty of unique spaces to enjoy; you can relax on one of the peaceful shaded terraces or – for those who prefer to soak up the sun – the majestic pool made of natural stone. You can choose to dine either in or outside, and the main dining room has an impressive wall of water as its backdrop.
Food and drink
Villa La Tourelle is lucky enough to have its own private chef, former Croatian MasterChef contestant, Grgur Baksic. Breakfast is a veritable feast of local hams, cheeses, eggs, fresh pastries, yoghurts, and fresh fruits to indulge in. Three-course lunches or dinners are on offer each day – always a beautifully presented mix of fresh fish, grilled meats and innovative Mediterranean salads and vegetable side dishes – finely tuned with top-drawer wines.
Chef Grgur can take guests to the local fish market to peruse line-caught monkfish, scallops, calamari, seabass and tiger prawns. The resulting seafood platter is something to behold – envisage oysters, sea bass carpaccio with caviar and caperberries, and salmon tartare, followed by grilled tiger prawns, vegetables and Parma ham wrapped monkfish. Tart Tropézienne typically makes a star appearance for pudding and a photogenic cheese board shows off the country’s fromagerie prowess.
It’s almost impossible to find a villa to rent of this spec and service, but Purple Summer has combed the corners of Côte d’Azur, Mallorca, and Ibiza to find mesmerising spot and properties. This grew organically from the Méribel-based winter company, Purple Ski, with a loyal bunch who return year after year for the unrivalled service.
Villa La Tourelle couldn’t be more perfect for families. Younger children’s mealtimes can be tailored throughout the stay, and the Purple Summer concierge team can organise almost any activity including swimming and horse riding lessons. A small small annex room is ideal for those bringing a nanny along.
Villa La Tourelle is on a wistfully Provençal street, yet only 200m from St Tropez’ Place des Lices. The closest beaches are a 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk away. Nice airport is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes away by car, and Marseille airport is approximately 2 hours away.
Villa rental starts at £15,400 for four nights
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