Hotel Byblos: Jewel of Saint-Tropez

Hotel Byblos, a 5 star sprawling paradise of unimaginable delights, is everything its reputation suggests. Located in Saint-Tropez, in the South of France, the resort has a Mediterranean sleepy sea-side village appeal and its terracotta and stucco like exterior painted in brilliant colors of salmon, mint green, and gold are perfectly striking. Make no mistake; there is nothing “sleepy” about Hotel Byblos as there are more than enough amenities to keep guests totally engaged.

It must be said though, that upon arriving at the hotel’s address, anticipation turns into a few seconds of bewilderment, as the entryway does not signal “world-renowned” hotel. Surprisingly, after descending a very impressive staircase, large glass doors lead into a modern estate, which honors its architectural past. Expansive windows, wide corridors, and well appointed sitting areas welcome guests to their Saint-Tropez home.

hotel byblos exterior

The hotel opens from mid April to the end of October. Peak months are between May and September when the entire beach town area is in full fashion. There are endless parties, nights that last until morning, and people waiting to get into their preferred venues. Like Saint-Tropez, at this time the entire vibe of Hotel Byblos is electric with energy.

hotel byblos balcony

As with this trip, some travelers may prefer to visit during shoulder months April or October when there are fewer crowds and shorter ques. The atmosphere of Hotel Byblos also becomes serene but still enjoyable. There are many amenities to compliment the most discriminating of patrons: an exquisite pool with a poolside bar and lounge, spa, fitness center, two restaurants, onsite coiffeur, boutique shops and more. The signature customer service of the hotel has no rival. It includes complimentary shuttle service to and from nearby beaches. Why, the gym was immediately made available to a guest who arrived ahead of the scheduled opening time.

room at hotel byblos

The magnificent pool around which the Hotel Byblos is centered adds to the coastal feeling of being on the French Riviera. It is maintained at a comfortable 28 degrees Celsius so patrons may enjoy it at their convenience. Surrounded by beautifully appointed gardens, the pool becomes a private oasis, and can be a nice alternative to going to the ocean waves.

Dining options are made easy as the Byblos has two restaurants of high acclaim. Guests will surely want to begin the day with a scrumptious breakfast at the B, a Mediterranean inspired bistro with indoor and patio seating. The endless choices include: mini waffles, madeleine, chocolate croissants, artisan breads, and more; delectable jams, spreads, and cheese compliment the exhaustive list of fresh baked goods. A pâte à tartiner or “spread” made of chocolate and hazelnut is a hotel specialty. The B’s accommodation of casual and formal diners and the presence of alfresco seating contribute to “a top of the morning” flair.

Rivea at hotel byblos

The Rivea restaurant is among the enterprises of the critically acclaimed Chef Alain Ducasse. This place is busy all the time and for good reason. With a tapas style menu drawing on Provençal, Spanish and Italian influences, there is something for everyone. Starters such as the traditional charcuterie platter, pizzetta with rocket and Parmesan, and herb cannelloni are flavorful and light. Selections for main courses include meat, seafood and vegetarian options. The lamb chop and fillet with summer savory chickpeas and panisse is perfectly prepared. Delectable chickpea panisse fries, a play on French fries, are crisp and fluffy. A palate tantalizing dessert of candied and frosted lemon with limoncello sorbet is tart, refreshing and shocking with the flavor of citrus. The commitment to local, quality natural French and Italian resources is a staple in the success of Rivea. Take, for example, the Minuty Rosé 2013 that is lovingly served by the restaurant, its pale pink color and floral notes originate from the little-known Tibouren grape, grown at the Minuty Chateau located on the Saint-Tropez Peninsular.

fresh pastries at B

At what venue does everyone wait in the same entrance line regardless of status, economics, or fame? Of course, it is the internationally acclaimed nightclub, Les Caves du Roy, of the Hotel Byblos, in Saint-Tropez. Les Caves de Roy is one of the world’s most exclusive nightclubs and is a place to be seen for everyone from Hollywood stars, billionaire business tycoons and families on vacation who are lodging at the Byblos. During April to June and September to October, the venue is only open on the weekends.

Hotel Byblos is a destination for wealthy discriminating lodgers as well as those among us who occasionally splurge in life. Rent the Byblos’ private villa and live like French aristocracy. Hire the hotel’s luxury yacht for a day and cruise the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. Step into the award winning Marrakesh themed spa and be lulled away by the services. No matter the fantasy, this world-renowned luxury resort is perfect for the traveler who craves chic hospitality and unparalleled lavishness.

~ By Kaylah Burks, an athlete, who enjoys traveling the world while staying health conscious. Follow her on Instagram @jadenlie

Book your stay at Hotel Byblos on TripAdvisor

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Postcard Views of Portofino

Portofino is a small fishing village located on the Tyrrenian Sea in the Liguria region of Italy. Known for its picturesque harbor, it is a famous destination for vacationers and celebrity residents on the Italian Riviera.

portofino photo

Portofino does not have an airport or train station. I highly recommend arriving by boat or bus, although you can also walk or drive to it. Hourly ferries run from neighboring towns, ferry services from Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, Rapallo, Chiavari, Lavagna, Sestri Levante to Portovenere and Cinqueterre and to Genoa’s port. From the water, you can get an extraordinary 360 perspective of the colorful building along the harbor.

portofino

Although the port itself is quite commercial, the backdrop of colorful buildings leaning onto each other and the turquoise blue waters adds a magical appearance to the landscape. Some would call it a “tourist trap” as there are lots of expensive restaurants, bars and shops alongside the port. In my opinion, you go to Portofino to admire its beautiful architecture and scenery, not to get an authentic meal.

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Spend some time taking the stairs up to Castello Brown on one end and Church of St. Martin (Divo Martino) on the other. Walking through narrow cobblestone alleys with perfumed gardens are great ways to explore the old town and get away from the hustle and bustle of tourists. On the way, you will come across many photo opportunities.

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Another good walk is through the gardens of Hotel Splendido, located at the top of the hill in a cozy corner. Visitors can enjoy the view from the property for free, but if you want to stay around to have a lunch or cocktails, be prepared to bring your credit card.

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There are cheaper and local snacking options that are native to the region. When in Liguria, you have to try the Focaccia alla Genovese, a flat bread baked with olive oil, salt and herbs (such as rosemary). Although the flavors are simple, the freshness of the ingredients makes it hard to resist munching through many squares of the bread.

portofino6Paciugo is an Italian Riviera sundae found especially in Portofino. A few restaurants seems to carry this sweet concoction of vanilla ice cream and raspberry sorbet, mixed with fresh whipped cream, strawberries and stewed cherries. It’s definitely worth 12 Euros for a cup!

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Click here to read more on traveling in Italy.

Listen to the song Love in Portofino by Andrea Bocelli. 

Book your stay at Hotel Splendido