Le Mas De Chastelas
Le Mas De Chastelas is a charming provencal style luxury boutique hotel near the beaches of Saint-Tropez. I reviewed this hotel in the summer of 2016.
Have you ever dreamed of spending the summer in the most perfect Provencal mansion, with grape vines growing up the walls and entwined around the pergolas in the garden? Does this villa have a beautiful pool and a peaceful patio with such comfortable seating that you can lounge into the evening with a glass of wine watching the stars, other guests and the odd bird that flutters by? Well you have been dreaming of Le Mas De Chastelas.
Le Mas De Chastelas is a serene escape just a few minutes’ drive from the buzz of Saint-Tropez. It is one of those word of mouth places and is so good that it hardly advertises itself. Instead, this luxury boutique hotel remains relatively hidden, being marketed mainly by word of mouth from guests that keep returning. In fact, I am not sure how I found out about Le Mas, but thank goodness I did because it is really rather special.
Le Mas De Chastelas
Le Mas De Chastelas is located up a hill off the main road to Saint-Tropez. In the immediate vicinity, there are tennis courts, expansive gardens, a few other luxury villas, a mini golf course and fields. The hotel is protected by a large ornate gate, much like you would expect from a house belonging to a film star in Beverley Hills. This gate, it should be noted, stays closed unless you are an expected guest. I love this level of exclusivity. Most hotels allow the general public to walk in and out, but here, like other very exclusive destinations (Aman Grand Canal Venice has a similar gate), entry is restricted to a select few.
Once you are beyond the gate you enter the fragrant gardens that belong to this 18th-century Provencal mansion. There are also two additional villas which form part of the estate and all surround a beautiful central pool. Inside the main house the feel is of a renovated country mansion. The main rooms have red brick and wooden flooring, and stylish white sofas fill every corner. A piano sits by the bar that is tinkled upon most summer evenings by live musicians. Head through the arched doorway out onto the marble terrace where you will find rattan bar furniture to relax on and wrought-iron tables set up for dining, all shaded by a mass of vines with purple flowers and all looking out over the pool.
We stayed in the one bedroom suite (No. 17) which had views towards the tennis courts and to the back of the house. The style of each room is Provencal chic, with white sofas and curtains, exposed stone floors with rugs and a beautiful balcony where you can enjoy the warm sunshine into the early evening. As I write this article in the sitting area of the suite, blue skies and colourful flowers wink at me through the large windows taunting me to come back outside and the grape vines that cover the house are twitching around the window frame in the breeze. Inside the rustic mix of historic furniture and utter peace makes me feel completely at home. The bathrooms here are large with red tiling and green walls that complement the red stone floors. This suite has a million more nooks and rooms, so many that the first time I tried to leave it took me 3 goes before finally discovering the main door; I tried to leave via a second toilet, a second bathroom and then attempted exit through a cupboard!
If Provencal chic isn’t to your taste you can also book a room in Villa Toscane which has been completely renovated with uber-modern finishings and open bathrooms. Whichever style you choose, expect the atmosphere and tranquillity to lull you into an exceptionally good night’s sleep.
Breakfast and dinner are taken on the terrace. This is also where you can enjoy a drink and a very generous portion of nibbles overlooking the pool. The breakfast can be taken until 12 (yey) and the spread is vast and fresh. In the evening the chef rustles up innovative French classics which are tasty and a selection of excellent deserts, but the highlight is eating in such beautiful surroundings.
Pool & Gardens
Days at Le Mas must be spent pottering by the pool, while the superb staff laugh with your children and seem to put up your umbrellas and set up your loungers just before you arrive (how do they do that?). Loungers nestle on the marble paving around the pool, some shaded by cypress trees and spaced out enough to feel secluded. There is a box of toys and floats for children to play with and yet the setting is so ultra-stunning that couples and families seemed to enjoy their corner of the poolside without bothering each other. Beyond the pool, you can play tennis in your speedos if you like- certainly one guest felt this was fitting attire and “Le Mas” does not judge. There is also golf at the private pitching green designed Nicklaus, the golf course design firm founded by Jack Nicklaus and a free shuttle service which is available throughout the day to transport guests to and from the Pampelonne beaches for the afternoon.
Le Mas De Chastelas has hosted French artists, thinkers and actors: Claude Berri filmed Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu here in his film Je Vous Aime. It is easy to see why “Le Mas” was chosen as the location for the shoot, as the property is simply stunning and the perfect refuge away from the crowds on the beach and in Saint-Tropez.
There are more glitzy hotels in and around Saint-Tropez, but for serene sophistication Le Mas De Chastelas is my number one choice for a luxury hotel in Saint-Tropez. The pool, the atmosphere, the staff and the rooms all exceed the other hotels in this area and from now on this will be my home in Saint-Tropez.
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