Hotel de Paris
A Saint-Tropez legend
In 1931, Hotel de Paris-Saint-Tropez opened, an immediate success. The Parisian intelligentsia took up residence, and the art world rushed to book in. Jean Cocteau, Sacha Guitry, Joseph Kessel and Coco Chanel became regulars. The painter Dunoyer de Segonzac moved into the hotel permanently. Ladies found themselves swooning over Clarke Gable. At the hotel restaurant, the Lei Muscardins, chef Louis Lions delighted this elite with his Grand Marnier soufflé.
The Bardot years
The sombre war years were hard times for the hotel. The Germans requisitioned the building, forcing the Arbour family to retreat into two small rooms. When France was liberated the Americans used the hotel to celebrate. It was then renovated and returned to its former glory. In the early 1950s, anyone who was anyone in Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés made a beeline for the hotel – Françoise Sagan arrived barefoot in her jaguar and Juliette Gréco, Boris Vian and Jacques Prévert left their poetic and musical legacies. In 1956, Roger Vadim filmed “And God Created Woman”, strengthening the legend of Saint-Tropez and creating an indelible link with Brigitte Bardot. Writing a list of all the stars of film and music who stayed at the Hotel de Paris would be like penning a Who’s Who of high society.
A new wave of young singers then came onto the scene. The hotel became the venue for awe-inspiring parties and the epicentre of Saint-Tropez nightlife. It held this position throughout the seventies and eighties, until it closed in 1992. For twenty years the beautiful building was abandoned and left to deteriorate. In 2001, millionaire Claude Dray bought the hotel to bring it back to life. Rebuilt by architect François Viellecroze and decorated by Sybille de Margerie, Hotel de Paris-Saint-Tropez has been restored to its former glory as a sublime five-star hotel.