St Tropez

Pampelonne Beach Clubs

The Ritchie Guide

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2018—July- NEWSFLASH:

So the Mayor of Ramatuelle “Bruno the benificent” finally did it, he culled and renegotiated some of the beach club licences. The winners who maintain their licences from 2019 to 2030 are: Tropezina;Tahiti; les Murènes; Polynésie; Cabane Bambou; Indie Beach; l'Esquinade; Club 55;  Tropicana; les Palmiers; l'Orangerie; la Toison d'or; Neptune; Kon Tiki Beach.

The licences which were revoked from 10 clubs including: Bagatelle & Plage Jumeaux.  Although it has to be recorded that the announcement was typically delphic and it did not name all the losers.  Some top names are inheriting slots so watch this space.



Brilliantly this year a well off yachty left a crew member on his power boat and had lunch on Pampelonne beach at a club.  The crew member had a BBQ on board, set fire to the boat and the whole beach watched as he jumped overboard and the gin palace sank in flames!  Well done sir.

Shellona opened this year. 



The Mayor of Ramatuelle plans to hold a beauty parade in 2019 top force the clubs to justify their existence!  If they fail they, are out—just like Voile Rouge!



Anthony Peregrine, The Telegraph: “This is the beach that has fuelled St Tropez’s fame since 1955. In high summer, it might welcome some 30,000 people a day. The three-mile stretch first came to 20th-century prominence as a key site of the Allied landings in August 1944. Subsequent landings by the great, the rich, the debauched and simply anonymous sun-seekers have been scarcely less hectic. They do not, on the other hand, delight ecologically-minded local authorities who reckon the premises are illegally installed and wrecking the balance of the coast. In 2012, after years of legal confrontation, they shut down and demolished one of the most notorious, the Voile Rouge. They want to sweep others away, moving them back from the beach behind protective dunes. Obviously, the owners are resisting – they argue that 800 jobs and a €40 million annual turnover are at stake. The local authorities, they say, know nothing of tourism. The conflict staggers on, from public inquiry to court-room and back, via the media. One real fear is that the commotion will let in international financial interests at the expense of the local families who established the clubs and still run them. The clubs fight on. Be sympathetic, or you’ll never get served.“



Bagatelle Opened.



The Mayor of Ramatuelle still plans to push the beach clubs back away from the sea to preserve the local bushes.  The clubs object.  Voile Rouge closed this year, sigh. 



Life time of visiting:

“I've visted Pampelonne beach many times over the last 30 years. The first time, as a student, illegally selling ice creams and refeshments to naked baking bodies!  It's a beach which means many things to many different people. For a start off, it's not actually in St Tropez. It's the other side of the headland just a few km away.
Although it is one long beach stretching over several miles, it is split into many different sections. It can be accessed from many different tracks of the D93 leading to often shaded car parks along the back of the beach. Certain sections are very chic & expensive, with diners coming ashore fron fancy boats moored in the bay. There are "private" sections and places where you pay handsomely for the sun loungers and parasols. There are also the infamous naturist sections, as well as many places where any Tom, dick or Harry can while away the day.
The waters are often clear, but strong onshore wionds can also lap up the waves from time to time and bring seaweed & kelp ashore in certain conditions.
I suppose the famous bits are Plage Tahiti to the North, but I prefer the quiet Southern extremity towards Cap Camarat. There's lovely camping at Les Tournels which gives a very pleasant stroll down to the beach amongst the vinyards.”



Knock out blow!

The Mayor of Ramatuelle is proposing to knock down all of the beach clubs and grant summer licences to rebuild temporary clubs to big corporations.  This is to be done in the name of protecting the sand dunes.

The clubs owners are up in arms.  Vive la revolution!


Joan Collins on Club 55

“The opposite of the Voile Rouge is the extremely chic Club 55, known also as “Cinquante Cinq” (or to some Americans as "Sank-on-sank"), where I am bound to see loads of people I know, and loads of people I’ve been avoiding all year. The food is simple and sublime: the best artichoke vinaigrette and salade nicoise. If it gets too hot, an automatic spraying device springs to life across the restaurant to cool the patrons off, which invariably makes me feel like a vegetable on display at Waitrose.“


Paris Hilton at Voile rouge

“Paris, 29 , who has been almost permanently seen in bikinis on her extended holiday, chose a striking multi-coloured one-piece with a mis-matched sarong. Her hair was tied back and she finished the eclectic look with a hippie-style headband. It was the perfect end to the day at the chic beach club the Voile Rouge at Moorea Beach and Paris and her friends attracted plenty of attention from glamorous partygoers. But the socialite, who is joined on the trip by sister Nicky, 26, wasn't too tired for a spot of swimming off the luxury yacht that's become her temporary home in the Med.” Daily Mail online.



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