Embarking on a month-long summer holiday under the golden sun of the French Riviera presents a delightful yet challenging choice: the grandeur of Monte-Carlo or the chic allure of St Tropez? This decision is not an easy one, as each destination offers a unique set of experiences and ambiances, from the casinos and yachts of Monaco to the quaint cobblestone streets and top beach clubs of St Tropez.
St Tropez House offers an immersive and real-life comparison of these two top summer destinations on the French Riviera. We delve into the heart of each destination, exploring their distinctive atmospheres, cultural highlights, and must-visit spots. Whether you are drawn to Monte-Carlo’s world-class events and luxury shopping or St Tropez’s vibrant art galleries and iconic seaside cafés, our insights will help you tailor a holiday that perfectly suits your tastes and preferences.
What is the primary appeal of Monaco for summer tourists?
The stunning view of villa Gioia in Cap d’Ail
The primary appeal of Monaco for summer tourists lies in its unique blend of high-end shops, Michelin-starred restaurants, and lavish casinos, set against the backdrop of stunning Mediterranean scenery and an overall princely quality that offers an elite experience to its visitors. The legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo and the Prince’s Palace, steeped in history, are major attractions, drawing approximately 200,000 visitors to Monaco’s shores each year. The yacht-lined shores of Monaco and its clear blue waters also attract boating enthusiasts, serving as an ideal base for exploring the selection of top-destinations along the French and Italian Riviera.
What makes Saint Tropez a top summer destination to rent a luxury villa?
Saint Tropez stands out as a top summer destination for renting a luxury villa due to its perfect blend of exclusivity, scenic beauty, and iconic beach lifestyle. The town is renowned for its sandy beaches such as Pampelonne, lined with esteemed beach clubs such as Club 55 and Gigi Ramatulle and ideal for relaxation and water sports. Its luxury rental villas, often hidden in tranquil settings or overlooking the sea, provide privacy and opulence and come complete with amenities such as private tennis courts, gyms and spas. The charm of Saint Tropez is further enhanced by its picturesque old town, with cobbled streets and chic boutiques, as well as its bustling nightlife and high-end dining options and celebrity charity galas. These features, combined with the area’s warm Mediterranean climate make Saint Tropez an irresistible choice for those seeking a memorable summer holiday.
How do the beaches in Monaco and Saint Tropez compare?
The comparison between the beaches in Monaco and Saint Tropez is marked by distinct differences in their natural settings and atmosphere. In Monaco, the beaches, such as Larvotto Beach, are typically more urban in character. Larvotto, for instance, is a man-made beach lined with upscale restaurants and clubs, offering a luxurious, city-like beach experience. Saint Tropez beaches on the other hand have a more natural charm. Besides the famous Pampelonne Beach, known for its long stretch of white sand and trendy beach clubs, there is also the beautiful Plage des Salins. This beach offers a quieter, more secluded setting, with crystal-clear waters ideal for swimming and relaxation.
Is there a difference in the nightlife between Monaco and Saint Tropez?
The nightlife in Monaco and Saint Tropez provide different atmospheres, each with its unique appeal. In Monaco, one of the premier nightclubs is Jimmy’z Monte-Carlo, known for its extravagant parties and celebrity sightings. It’s a place where the world’s elite gather to enjoy high-end entertainment and a distinguished atmosphere. Another notable venue is the Twiga, which offers a luxurious clubbing experience with its waterfront location, attracting a glamorous international crowd.
Saint Tropez has a more varied nightlife scene. Les Caves du Roy, located in the famous Hotel Byblos, is one of the most iconic nightclubs in Saint Tropez, known for its lavish decor and high energy dance scene. Another popular spot is Nikki Beach Saint Tropez, a beach club by day that transforms into a trendy open-air nightclub, offering a blend of music, dining, and entertainment, with a more laid-back, boho chic vibe compared to the opulence of Monaco’s nightclubs.
Are there any differences in accessibility between Monaco and St Tropez?
Monaco is conveniently accessible by car, helicopter, or yacht charter. Saint Tropez, while also reachable by these means, is more secluded and can be less convenient to access by car, especially during the busy summer months. To maximise convenience and minimise travel time, it is often recommended to charter a yacht or hire a helicopter when travelling to Saint Tropez. A typical helicopter transfer from Monaco to Saint Tropez takes 20 minutes, a swift journey that can significantly save on valuable holiday time.
How does the dining experience differ between Monaco and Saint Tropez?
Monaco is known for its high-end dining options and Michelin-starred restaurants. Saint Tropez offers a mix of upscale restaurants and local bistros, with a focus on Mediterranean and seafood dishes. Both locations offer Michelin options and attract gourmet enthusiasts from all over the world.
Monaco boasts an array of high-end dining options, many of which are Michelin-starred. Restaurants such as Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris offer sophisticated menus prepared by world-renowned chefs. These establishments often come with luxurious interiors and top-quality service, catering to an upscale international clientele.
In contrast, Saint Tropez offers a more varied range of culinary experiences. While it does have its share of top restaurants, such as La Vague d’Or, known for their exquisite atmosphere and innovative cuisine, the town is also known for its charming local bistros and cafés such as Le Café in Place des Lices and Café Senequier on the port. These establishments serve traditional Provençal and Mediterranean fare, focusing on fresh seafood and local ingredients.
Overall, while Monaco offers a more polished and formal dining experience with a focus on luxury and exclusivity, Saint Tropez provides a blend of high-end dining and more casual, authentic culinary experiences, rooted in the local culture and flavours of the Mediterranean.
How do shopping experiences in Monaco and Saint Tropez compare?
Monaco and Saint Tropez both offer high-end shopping experiences. Monaco shopping is centered around top designer brands, offering an upscale retail experience in a sophisticated urban setting. Saint Tropez provides a more diverse shopping experience that combines designer boutiques with the charm of local markets and artisan shops, reflecting its artistic and Mediterranean heritage.
Are there family-friendly activities in both Monaco and Saint Tropez?
Both Monaco and St Tropez offer a selection of family-friendly activities. Monaco has attractions like the Oceanographic Museum and Prince’s Palace, while Saint Tropez offers beach activities, boat trips, and exploring the old town.
Here are examples of family-friendly activities available for each destination:
- Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium: This is a must-visit in Monaco, especially for families. It offers an impressive collection of marine fauna and a range of interactive exhibits that educate and entertain.
- Prince’s Palace of Monaco: The official residence of the Monaco Prince is open to the public during certain times of the year. The changing of the guard ceremony is a particular attraction for families.
- Larvotto Beach: Monaco’s most popular beach, with a designated public area, is perfect for a family day out, offering safe swimming and beach amenities.
- Monaco Grand Prix: For families interested in motor sports, experiencing the Monaco Grand Prix can be thrilling. There are also specific events and viewing areas tailored for families.
- Beaches: Saint Tropez is famous for its beaches like Pampelonne, offering a great spot for families to relax, swim, and engage in water sports.
- Boat Trips: Families can enjoy boat trips around the Gulf of Saint Tropez, offering stunning views and a chance to explore the coastline.
- La Citadelle de Saint-Tropez: The historic citadel offers a glimpse into the town’s history and spectacular views over Saint Tropez. It’s both educational and entertaining for a family outing.
- Special Activities for children: visit the St Tropez House blog for a detailed list of kid’s activities in St Tropez not to be missed.
- Hiking and Cycling: The area around Saint Tropez offers numerous trails perfect for family hikes or bike rides, allowing for exploration of the natural beauty of the region.
Which destination has better beach clubs, Saint Tropez or Monaco?
When comparing beach clubs in Saint Tropez and Monaco, it’s generally agreed that Saint Tropez often comes out ahead in terms of the quality and variety of its beach clubs.
Saint Tropez is famous for its vibrant, chic beach clubs along the famous Pampelonne Beach. These clubs offer the internationally acclaimed Saint Tropez beach club experience with a mix of lavishness, relaxation, and boho-chic party atmosphere. They are known for their stylish designs, high-end dining options, and lively music, often with DJs or live bands. Some of the most renowned beach clubs in Saint Tropez include Club 55, Nikki Beach, and Loulou Ramatuelle, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience.
Monaco has a more urban beach setting and its beach clubs tend to be smaller and more exclusive. The beach clubs in Monaco are known for their elegance and sophistication, often featuring private cabanas, gourmet dining, and exceptional service. While they may not have the same party atmosphere as those in Saint Tropez, they offer a more refined, intimate beach experience.
Is it better to rent a luxury villa in Saint Tropez or Monaco?
When considering whether to rent a luxury villa in Saint Tropez or Monaco, the choice largely depends on your preferences and the kind of experience you are looking for, but it’s important to note a significant difference in the availability of such accommodations in these two locations.
In Monaco, the options for renting a luxury villa are extremely limited, if available at all. Monaco is a small, densely populated principality where space comes at the highest premium. The real estate market here predominantly consists of apartments and penthouses, with villas being a rarity. The urban landscape of Monaco, combined with its focus on high-rise luxury living, means that those looking for a villa experience might find it challenging to locate such an option within Monaco itself. Instead there are various options of luxury villas for rent in the surrounding areas of Monaco such as Cap d’Ail, La Turbie, Cap Ferrat, Villefranche and Cap Martin.
Saint Tropez, on the other hand, offers a wealth of options when it comes to renting luxury villas. The region is renowned for its stunning St Tropez rental villas, many of which feature manicured gardens, swimming pools and some with extra amenities such as spas and cinema rooms. There is also an exclusive selection of designer villas for rent which have been totally envisioned by top interior designers such as India Mahdavi. Overall, the atmosphere in Saint Tropez is more conducive to the villa rental lifestyle, with more space and privacy, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a luxurious and secluded holiday experience.
What are the top 3 family-friendly villas to rent in Saint Tropez?
Villa Voss is the ideal luxury villa to rent in Saint Tropez for families. Sitting on a vast 3,000m2 garden complete with its own football field, this chic villa features 6 bedrooms and is perfectly designed with the ideal layout and amenities for creating memorable family holidays in Saint Tropez.
Villa Parasol is a stylish, newly built property located only 2 minutes walk to the famous stretch of Pampelonne beach. This modern, ‘earthy luxury’ designed villa includes a number of special child-friendly features such as a fully-gated swimming pool, ping pong table, trampoline and home theater.
Villa Sassari is a newly renovated, 350m2 villa located within a stone’s throw from legendary beach club, Club 55 in Pampelonne. This elegant 6 bedroom villa features a billiard room, private cinema and beautiful outdoor living and dining areas overlooking the Mediterranean sea. It is the ideal property to enjoy fun under the sun with family.
What are the top 3 family-friendly villas to rent around Monaco?
Villa Gioia is a 4 bedroom, family friendly villa located on the edge of Cap d’Ail and La Turbie. This villa towers over Monaco, offering unparalleled views over the Principality and an ideal location only minutes walk from Monaco centre. The special features of this villa include a special grotto spa area with an indoor jacuzzi, hammam and sauna and two unique swimming pools overlooking the sea.
Villa Croisette is a stylish 300m2 villa for rent in a quiet residential area of Cannes. The chic interior designs and sunlit living spaces of this 5 bedroom villa make it a top choice for guests travelling to the South of France. Its extra features include a fully-gated swimming pool, ideal for children, and a boho-chic TV room with outdoor lounge area.