Where the Beautiful People Go: Summer in the French Riviera

Everyone who’s anyone has stayed at the legendary Hotel Byblos (Avenue Paul Signac, St. Tropez, 04 94 56 68 00.) “The Byblos”, as it’s more often called, has been the choice of the rich and famous since it opened. The hotel is a stone’s throw from the center of town, and from the Place des Lices, where elderly gentlemen—year-round residents of the town—play bocce ball every day. Just down the street, on the Quai Jean-Jaurés, is the very French Sénéquier (15 Quai Suffren, Sur le Port, St. Tropez, 04 94 97 00 90,) the harbor-front café and pâtisserie where one’s view is often blocked by mega-yachts pulling in. When showing his new summer collection for Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld chose the aisles of Sénéquier as his runway. It is the perfect place for anyone—world-famous fashion designer or not—to read the morning newspaper, with coffee and croissant and contemplate the day.

Day quickly melts into night where the throngs who come here to party are only too happy to have the party start. Villa Romana restaurant (Chemin des Coquettes, St. Tropez, 04 94 97 15 50,) a mecca of Saint-Tropez nightlife, is where everything begins.  The elite who flock here every season know this is the place to meet, and has been for the past two decades. Tip back a glass of Moët and keep your eye cocked for George Clooney making way to his table. The raucous dining room and revved-up crowd prove that Villa Romana is not for the faint of spirit.

But it is the Caves du Roy (Avenue Paul Signac, St. Tropez, 04 94 56 68 00) that is the place to party in Saint-Tropez. The disco, on the second level of the Hotel Byblos, keeps the party going until the sun comes up.  House DJ, Jack E, has been spinning at the club every summer for a more than a decade. The hilarious and exuberant music man attracts the likes of Bono, Beyoncé and Jay-Z to the dance floor along with the minions who are all too familiar with his hypnotic work.