Hotel Byblos marks its 40th anniversary
with a celebration of legendary proportions
By Stephanie Wilson
“The hotel relies on human relationship. Byblos has been living for 40-years, and when you are a client, the Byblos spirit involves feeling that you are among friends.”
The term “luxury” is certainly over-used today. We here at Haute Living can even admit to contributing to the saturation of this word in the marketplace. But 40 years ago, luxury was not thrown around quite as haphazardly as it tends to be now. In fact, when Byblos opened their doors on May 28, 1967, and it was reported that the first luxury hotel in a peaceful fishing village in the heart of Saint Tropez had arrived, we can be rest assured that the terminology did in fact stand for five-star surroundings.
Byblos was, and still is, unlike other hotels. It was designed to resemble a Provençal village, built as a fortress-like enclave. Situated on a hill, Byblos is typically described as a village within a village, with each of the hotel’s 96 rooms and suites being unique, adding to the overall Mediterranean charm of the place.
The family-run Byblos was purchased in the 60’s by Sylvain Floirat, the great grandfather of current owner Antoine Chevanne. Chevanne is the third generation of his great family to be in charge of the hotel. While the location of the hotel provides for an idyllic trip into paradise, it is the spirit of Byblos that is responsible for the magic that has kept it on the forefront of international travel for all these years, a force concocted by the Chevanne family.
Chevanne explains the spirit behind Byblos: “The hotel relies on human relationship. Byblos has been living for 40-years, and when you are a client, the Byblos spirit involves feeling that you are among friends.”
The dedication to service is one that has allowed the resort to flourish over the years. Members of the staff have been at the hotel for twenty-five years. In fact, the current concierge is the son of the man who held the same position when the resort opened its doors in 1967.
Byblos has memorably been home to many a worldwide celebrity throughout the course of its existence. Mick Jagger wed Bianca Perez at Byblos in 1971, and the famous films such as Gendarme and Année des Méduses took place at Byblos. But discretion is the name of the game at this resort, and the details of vacations of the rich and famous are never revealed.
As Chevanne says, “Byblos means exclusivity and pleasure.” The exclusivity is evident upon learning that the hotel, which is open yearly from April through October, enjoys a 99% occupancy rate during the summer months. Many of the rooms book more than a year in advance, as people clamor to be a part of the world’s elite jet set as they congregate in the exclusive locale in the South of France.
The pleasure that abounds at the resort up to now has included restaurants Spoon Byblos and Bayader alongside the extremely exclusive nightclub Les Caves du Roy, frequented by the likes of Naomi Campbell, Bruce Willis, Jack Nicholson, George Clooney, Elton John, and others. These pleasures, in addition to the service and location, have been enough to keep the hotel at capacity for more than a generation.