And God Created Green Beaches

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Lanie Goodman   Contributor

La Reserve: Michel Reybier with Philippe Starck.

The inside scoop on Pampelonne’s new beach clubs.

Call it the end of an era: veteran beachgoers this summer may hardly recognize the 4.5-km stretch of sand in Ramatuelle, now that St-Tropez’s historic beach clubs (all municipal concessions, save a few privately-owned establishments including Club 55 and Nikki Beach) were razed to the ground and entirely rebuilt. Why? France’s strictly enforced environmental law—the 2006 Décret Plage—states the coastline’s rare flora were endangered in the tourist-trodden sand dunes of Pampelonne. Now scaled down from 27 to 23 beach clubs, with 900 less loungers clogging the shores, each was constructed with collapsible flat-pack sustainable wood that will be stored away next winter. And there’s more good news: an influx of Michelin-star chefs in the beachside restaurants, innovative design with natural fabrics and a zero-plastic policy.

Two outdoor group yoga classes in English take place Wednesday and Friday mornings on the iconic pontoon. Inside, unwind with a deep tissue signature massage, which combines Ayurvedic, Lomi-Lomi, Yogic and Californian techniques (60 min/€185). Open until October 14.

Among the stylish newcomers: Byblos Beach. St-Tropez’s Hotel Byblos’ inviting waterside beach club offers 100 loungers and a 120-seat restaurant, headed by chef Rocco Seminara, featuring ultra-fresh seasonal dishes from the grilled catch of the day to barbecued ribs in Corsican honey, plus a sublime tarte Tropezienne. Relaxed and family-friendly.

Verde Beach by Yeeels. Parisian restaurant group Yeeels takes Ramatuelle with La Table Varoise, headed by Ducasse-trained Michelin-starred chef Thibault Sombardier. The superb menu features Mediterranean-style dishes with extravagant touches like truffle pizza. After 5 p.m., expect a party atmosphere with live DJs.

Loulou à Ramatuelle. Sister restaurant of the upscale eatery Loulou inside Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs, this coveted spot on Tamaris Beach is the place for everything from Italian-style risottos and lobster linguini and caviar. White tablecloths, fifties nostalgia decor and a festive Beautiful People crowd.

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Lanie Goodman   Contributor

Born and raised in New York, Lanie Goodman is an arts and travel writer based in the south of France since 1988. She is a contributor to publications such as T-Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveller and Departures, and the author of Romantic French Homes . Formerly a Professor of French Literature at CUNY, she teaches courses in journalism and cinema at the SKEMA at  Sophia-Antipolis. Lanie covers arts , travel and lifestyle at Forbes Monaco.