Set back on a secluded, leafy country road, the new hotel and spa La Réserve Ramatuelle sits on a bluff overlooking the wild peninsulas of Cap Camarat and Cap Taillat, on the rocky coastline west of Saint-Tropez and the famous beaches of Pampelonne. Exquisitely designed by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the hotel offers a series of visual thrills that kick in the moment you step into in the luminous lounge, lined with a wall of bay windows and a mesmerizing vista of umbrella pines, olive trees, cypresses and the shimmering sea.
The sleek, spacious seven rooms and 16 suites are minimalist and deeply comfortable, decked out in a sophisticated array of muted sand-colored furnishings, somber polished woods and king-size beds with fluffy white duvets. Gleaming marble bathrooms offer double sinks, huge bathtubs and separate stall showers. (There are also 12 four-bedroom Provencal-style private villas available that date from the pre-Wilmotte era.)
If you can tear yourself away from the panoramic view as you relax on your private terrace, there’s also an inviting 98-foot outdoor pool and a 39-foot indoor pool with a jet lane, but the star attraction is the impressive 11,000-square-foot spa, with 13 high-tech treatment rooms and a fitness center. Sybarites can sign up for six-day programs, planned by a professional staff of doctors and nutritionists, that include hydrotherapy, scrubs, algae and Moroccan mud wraps and energizing massages. Programs can be designed for stress reduction, weight loss, detox or anti-aging. And the products are all from the top beauty line Crème de la Mer.
Even the original breakfasts are a joy, with fresh fruit concoctions and low-calorie cakes whipped up by chef Eric Canino, who trained with Michel Guérard. Canino has also devised appetizing Mediterranean-inspired menus for lunch and dinner. And when you’ve had your fill of utter peace and the soft symphony of thrumming cicadas, the action of Saint-Tropez is only a 15-minute drive away.
In 2012 the Hotel & Spa La Réserve in Ramatuelle was granted the “Palace” label by the national tourism jury under the auspices of the Atout France organization. This distinction held by only 12 establishments in the country is granted in recognition of an exceptional level of hospitality à la française.
Chemin de la Quessine, Ramatuelle, 04.94.44.94.44. Doubles from 400€. website
From the France Today archives, updated in May 2014
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