St Tropez may be known as a summer hotspot for the international jet-set but it’s also a fantastic fall and winter retreat. With sunny mild weather typical of the south of France, it’s a great place to visit once the crowds have packed up. I just returned from a short sojourn in St Tropez at the season’s end and found the lack of crowds a true breath of fresh air. My hotel of choice – a superb one, I later found out – was Pan Deï Palais, a 12-room luxury boutique property. Located at the heart of St Tropez, the historical mansion was originally built in 1835 by French General Allard for his wife Princess Bannu Pan Deï. In 2006, it was converted into a boutique hideaway, with colonial India-inspired decor and modern in-room amenities such as WiFi and flat screen TVs. Facilities include a heated outdoor swimming pool lined with day beds; a Turkish bath; a renowned restaurant serving Japanese-influenced French fusion cuisine; and a recently introduced Valmont Spa featuring the exclusive skincare line and treatments of this premier Swiss brand. I particularly enjoyed the sumptuous dinners prepared by Chef Sato and the delightful Princess Pan Deï facial treatment that left my face glowing for days.
Now, with the two packages they just released, Pan Deï Palais is making an off-season visit particularly appealing. The Colonial Sweetness package starts at approximately $565 per night (with a three-night minimum) and features accommodation in a Prestige Room; daily Pan Deï breakfast for two; access to the Turkish Bath; a massage treatment per person in the spa treatment room; and a dinner for two (beverage excluded). The Indian Escapade five-night package starts at about $410 per night and includes accommodation in a Classic Room; daily Pan Deï breakfast for two; access to the Turkish Bath; a massage treatment per person in the spa treatment room; a dinner for two (excluding beverages); a visit to a local winemaker; and a gift from Pan Deï Palais. Both packages are available from October 5 to November 3, and from January 4 to March 31, 2010. Regular high season rates start at $756 for a Classic Room and $1,240 for a Prestige Room so this off-season deal saves you some serious cash. Note that taxes and gratuities are additional for both packages. To find out more and reserve, visit www.pandei.com or call 33 (0) 4-94-17-71-71.