Nikki Beach: A celebration of the ‘joie de vivre’ of Saint Tropez

Hannah Tan-Gillies hopped on a private jet to Nikki Beach Saint Tropez to celebrate 20 years of the original beach club. Even the word Saint Tropez immediately conjure up [...]

Hannah Tan-Gillies hopped on a private jet to Nikki Beach Saint Tropez to celebrate 20 years of the original beach club.

Even the word Saint Tropez immediately conjure up visions of yachts, swanky luxury boutiques, packed Mediterranean cafés and glamorous beach parties. Nikki Beach Saint Tropez, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is all this and more – epitomising the ‘joie de vivre’ of the South of France.

Nikki Beach Saint Tropez is the first European beach club of the Nikki Beach Group. To celebrate its milestone 20th anniversary this year, Nikki Beach is inviting some of the world’s biggest DJs and chefs to take over its idyllic Pampelonne location. This includes music legends like Bob Sinclair, Martin Solveig, Cerrone and David Guetta, and 3-Michelin Star Chef Glenn Viel.

Our visit to Nikki Beach, while missing those big music names, was satisfyingly hedonistic. Nikki Beach is the kind of place that transforms throughout the day and the day of the week. At lunchtime, Nikki Beach is a family affair – a perfect spot for a delicious meal while sipping on rosé from the nearby Minuty winery. In the early afternoon, fabulously talented singer Abel serenades guests in French, Italian, Spanish and even Arabic, getting Nikki Beach’s international jet set crowd on their feet and sometimes on tables too.

When the sun begins to soften, influencers, models and Saint Tropez’s glitterati begin populating Nikki Beach’s pool area, and Sandy Sax the saxophonist (yes – indeed that is his name) comes out to play sweet tunes accompanying an endless array of club hits. Soon – the pool area becomes the epicentre of the beach club with bottles of champagne (sometimes arriving by rocket – and other times arriving by treasure chest) come out with much fanfare. It is a transformation that is fascinating to see but even more fascinating to be a part of.

There is something for every kind of vibe at Nikki Beach and if the bass-thumping, fist-pumping day club atmosphere isn’t your scene, then head over to the newly-opened Butterfly Bar for a champagne tasting at the Salon Dom Pérignon. Sundays are reserved for Nikki Beach’s ‘Amazing Sundays’ brunch and offer a more relaxed atmosphere perfect for lounging poolside or sipping cocktails by the beach.

There is also an on-site masseuse to help soothe the aches and pains from the previous day’s festivities. All of the food at Nikki Beach Saint Tropez, whether you’re enjoying fresh sushi or partaking in the buffet of the Amazing Sunday Brunch – scores top marks. Crafted by Executive Chef Alessandro Pizza, who has been with Nikki Beach since day dot – there is something to impress even the most discerning foodies at Nikki Beach.

The staff at Nikki Beach Saint Tropez are excellent. First of all – everyone looks like they jumped out of a Ralph Lauren print campaign. Second, when they’re not making sure you have everything you need to enjoy a VIP stay in one of the pool beds or serving up some of delectable cocktails – you will find them dancing on the tables adding fun and excitement to an already excellent beach club atmosphere. Anything goes at Nikki Beach – and the thick tables were created for exactly this kind of blissful table-dancing debauchery.

Beyond Nikki Beach, St Tropez has plenty to offer for travellers looking for style, culture and gastronomy. A visit to the nearby Chateau Minuty is highly recommended. During our visit, we went on a private tour led by owner Jean-Etienne – who took us through the winery and shared some of his favourite bottles of rosé. Minuty is the rosé of choice for anyone and everyone in St. Tropez and it would be an absolute sin to not enjoy a glass or five during your visit.

A quick walk around Saint Tropez reveals plenty of marvels too. Every Saturday, there is fabulous market in the town square. Here, you will find everything from spiced saucissons, recycled silk kaftans to mid-century modern furniture. Surprisingly – the market draws a crowd that blends both locals and tourists alike. It is the perfect spot to immerse yourself in the daily hustle and bustle of Saint Tropez away from the curated glitz of its luxury hotels and restaurants.

Just across the market in Place de Lices is Le Café, a fabulous spot for an evening of romance, piano tunes and excellent Provençal cuisine. Opened in 1789 and still run by the Costa family, Le Café is one of the oldest, most beloved restaurants in St Tropez. Here, amidst a vibrant hodgepodge of low-hanging wicker lamps, rich Turkish fabrics and colourful ceramics, you will find a fantastic dining experience that celebrates local ingredients and time-honed Provençal recipes. At Le Café, you will come for the food and stay for the atmosphere – there is certainly plenty to go around.

After a day of sun, spritzes and sensational tunes – head back into the Byblos Hotel Saint Tropez to experience the very best of Mediterranean hospitality. Byblos has been a Saint Tropez institution since the 1960s, a true temple of pleasure originally conceived by Jean-Prosper Gay-Para. Over the years, this iconic hotel has hosted the likes of Cher, Mick Jagger, Jack Nicholson and Brigitte Bardot. Today, Hotel Byblos maintains this mythical quality.

From the fantastic Arcadia poolside restaurant to its cool Lounge Bar B – and of course the timeless and elegant suites – it’s easy to see why this is one of the most beloved hotels in St Tropez. In the evenings, head down to Le Cave du Roy, lovingly referred to as the ‘Temple of Tropezian nights’, for an unforgettable night of drinks and dancing.

After a few truly decadent days in St Tropez, we ended our Nikki Beach experience with a bang, flying back to the UK via private jet with Aero. Aero offers semi-private jet flights all over the world, creating an effortless and intimate flying experience between private terminals. All Aero jets have been meticulously designed and the service onboard is second to none.

Aero passengers also benefit from a personalised concierge service. Amidst the current chaos of UK flight cancellations – Aero brings the joy and luxury back to travelling. It was the perfect way to end our Nikki Beach Saint Tropez immersion, which was all about celebrating life and all its pleasures.

For more information visit https://saint-tropez.nikkibeach.com/

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