Step by Step Guide: How to “buy-to-let” in Saint Tropez

Step by Step Guide: How to “buy-to-let” in Saint Tropez

Are you thinking about investing in a Saint Tropez villa to convert into a seasonal rental? Here’s what you need to know!  

The reputation of Saint-Tropez is one of prestige, glamour and exclusivity. Countless celebrities and renowned international events have called this small French village home over the years, making it one of the most sought after summer locations for those willing to spare no expense.  

Welcoming a staggering 6 million visitors per year and 30,000 per day in the summer months, it is no wonder that investors tend to look at Saint-Tropez as an attractive opportunity to buy for rent. With such a large influx of visitors, seasonal rentals become prized possessions in Saint-Tropez, especially those which fit the key criteria. 


The ideal property search:  What are the key criteria for rentals? 

There are a multitude of important questions to ask when searching for the perfect investment of a rental property. What do guests look for in their villa rental? What can send my villa apart for others?  Knowing exactly what type of guests are attracted to what properties, amenities and areas is essential when purchasing in Saint Tropez. 

These are some important factors to consider:

  • Sea View – the first request of most guests is “Does the villa have a sea view?” Whether it be panoramic or simple, a view of the glistening Mediterranean is key to guaranteeing bookings. It is important to remember however that a view of the sea can be difficult to find in many villas therefore it is essential to know other sought after criteria requested by guests.

  • Distance to the beach – the golden beaches and exclusive beach clubs are the most sought after destinations when visiting Saint-Tropez, therefore a villa’s proximity to these attractions is very important. The 3 main beach areas to be acquainted with in Saint Tropez are:
  • The illustrious 6km stretch of Pampelonne beach 
  • Beautiful Bouillabaisse beach, located at the entrance of Saint Tropez from Ste Maxime
  •  Wild Escalet beach, natural beaches located on the final section of Pampelonne beach                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Distance to Saint Tropez centre – in most cases a close proximity to the charming yet bustling centre is also requested. The famous restaurants, bars and people watching are worth a trip into the heart of Saint Tropez. Many villas are located within a 15 minute drive to Saint Tropez centre. If one wishes to walk into the centre, La Belle Isnarde road and Domaine de la Castellane (near the well known Route des Plages) would be the ideal place to look.         


  • Traffic – the small streets of Saint Tropez are unfortunately not well-equipped for the influx of visitors each year, therefore traffic must be considered when choosing a property. Guests who are well-acquainted with Saint Tropez know that during peak season it is very common to be stuck in large traffic jams. One of the worst things a guest can experience is wasting the day in the hot car rather than on the beach during their holiday. Choosing a property which is off the main roads and easily accessible even during the busiest of months is very important. Here is our guide to traffic in Saint Tropez and how to go around it: Shortcuts your GPS won’t know in Saint Tropez.

If guests wish to have easy access and exit from Saint Tropez, the best locations to consider are Les Parcs de Saint Tropez and Les Salins, near Tahiti. If their priorities lie in easy access to the beaches, guests would look to rent alongside Pampelonne or Gassin Sinopolis if they prefer to spend time on Bouillabaisse beach.


  • Security – private, secure, exclusive, gated, these are important terms to be acquainted with when searching for a property. Although many domains claim to be ‘gated’, most simply have a pin code pad and gate with no security guard. There are few veritable gated communities in Saint Tropez and it is key to be acquainted with them understand the pros and cons of each. Here is our guide through the Best Gated Domains in Saint Tropez: Villas for Rent in the Best Gated Domains of Saint Tropez


  • Wheelchair accessibility – oftentimes forgotten yet of utmost importance is the wheelchair accessibility of a property. This can give a villa an advantageous edge over many others if owners keep this important factor in mind when designing or renovating a villa for seasonal rental. Most villas will have at least one bedroom on the ground floor and many of them are equipped with walk in showers, these are important features to offer potential guests.


  • Design & Art – each and every villa is completely unique., taking on its own persona and style thanks to its architecture, design and adornments. The ways in which you decorate your villa and the colour palettes you choose have an enormous effect on the success of renting your property and making people feel comfortable during their stay. It is beneficial to also choose unique pieces of art which compliment the style of the villa, setting it apart from any other. Villa Las Brisas is an example of a villa whose exceptional choice of colour palettes and art make it an easy sell to any guest. 

A very important thing to keep in mind when reading through this criteria is most of the time it is impossible to ‘have it all’.  It is key to understand what features your clients will not give up on and which are simply a bonus. 


Keeping it real 

When thinking about investing in a rental property in Saint Tropez, one must consider that the most common purchase budget is between 5,000,000€ – 25,000,000€. Those properties which are listed about 25,000,000€ can bring great returns however in most cases also increased risk and expenses. 

Once you have completed your research, it is essential to form realistic expectations of your return on investment. The success of your rental property will depend not only on the fulfillment of the key criteria, but also on the quality of care and maintenance you give to the property. Choosing quality materials, furnishings and brand name appliances greatly increase the value and esteem of your property in the eyes of guests. 


What are the expenses to factor into a rental property?

Keeping a luxury villa up to standards is no small task and comes at significant expense, once you become the owner of a villa, these are the expenses to factor in:

  • Monthly and annual property tax. Yes, there are two taxes: taxe foncière & taxe d’habitation. One should budget approximately 5,000 – 10,000€ per year
  • Domain taxes/charges. There could be additional charges if the property is located within a private domain
  • Gardener service. 200-800€/month depending on the size and complexity of the garden
  • Pool maintenance. 200-500€/month depending on the size and type of engine system
  • Utilities. The cost of water, electricity and gas per month is difficult to say as it depends on the size of the villa
  • Property management. A company that regularly looks after the villa and preempts any damage and elevated reparation costs. Depending on your arrangement, anything from 500€/month and up 
  • Ongoing maintenance and reparation. Most notably when the property is frequently rented: Air conditioning maintenance, door lock repairs and replacements, ongoing damage, pool cover damage, curtains, furniture replacements etc.


What are important value-added amenities to include in your villa? 

There are a chosen few amenities which can significantly increase the rental potential on your villa and act as the perfect cherry on the top which turns a guests experience from good to great! 

  • Internet/Fiber Optic.  High speed internet (fiber), Internet in Saint-Tropez can be complicated. During the high season (July and August) the shortest way to describe the internet connection is frightening. Installing a high speed, fiber optic internet connection is key for guests needing to stay connected during their holiday in Saint-Tropez. A strong, reliable internet connection could make a guest’s decision to choose one villa over another
  • Cable TV. Most English speaking clients and any sport fans (and sportsmen) request full Sky TV and beIN and access to all sports channels. This is around 1,000€/year. The best prepared villas have it and save us a lot of hassle (last minute installations that always take over 10 days in high season)
  • Indoor & outdoor sound system. SONOS is an industry standard in villas today. Most clients already have the SONOS app on their phones and will ask to connect immediately upon arrival
  • Staff quarters. This is of growing importance with guests either travelling with their own trusted staff or requesting hired live-in staff during their stay
  • Professional Kitchen. Often times guests with travel with, or request the services of a Private Chef during their stay. Having a professional, fully equipped kitchen is a key amenity to have for top villas
  • Spa amenities. In top villas, guests would also expect a massage room, hammam and wet or dry sauna
  • Gym. An important value added to any rental villa these days is a gym. One dedicated room with Technogym (industry standard) – at least a running machine, rowing machine, weights and a few yoga sets

How can we help

Having had much experience working with owners and guests over the past 10 years, we are confident in offering guidance to those looking to invest in a rental property in Saint-Tropez.

Contact St Tropez House for guidance on how to choose and market the ideal rental property in Saint Tropez for this upcoming season! 


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