The Chevanne family, which owns St.-Tropez's Byblos Hotel, is expanding beyond the French Riviera with an eco-friendly
, led by Antoine Chevanne, recently spent 5 million euros to refashion the three-star
in St.-Jean de Luz into a chic mountaintop resort. Unlike the Chevanne family's other
, La Reserve isn't limited to the rich and famous.
The pool at La Reserve Hotel in St.-Jean de Luz.
The boutique-style hotel was overhauled to create what feels like a private home with regal-yet-relaxed seating areas emblazoned with the Basque cross and other regional decorating finds. Outside, the all-green landscape is accented by a dramatic infinity pool and strategically placed loungers that ensure privacy. Views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Basque coast complete the picture.
The site has earned a European Union Eco-label, a designation issued to companies working to be more green. At the hotel, that translates into heavy use of repurposed paper, a mandated recycling program and the use of environmentally friendly fixtures like compact fluorescent light bulbs and low-flow water faucets.
Guest rooms are outfitted in cheery shades of yellow and powder blue with Hermes orange drapes that frame the arched doors that open to furnished balconies. Rooms start at 115 euros, or $160, a night.
The hotel is a 15-minute walk from the village of St. Jean de Luz, where visitors will find cozy architecture, antique shops and restaurants.
The hotel's Restaurant Ilura overlooks the resort's garden and ocean. Light flows into its dining room through floor-to-ceiling windows. The menu takes advantage of local seafood and farmer's markets to create specialties like txangurro crab, slow-cooked rabbit, and fish with artisan ham.
After dinner, guests can meet at Le Bar, a simple drinking space with eclectic white and wood décor and an outdoor terrace.
Dancing in Monte Carlo:
Every weekend, a new set of princes, hip-hop titans and hedge fund billionaires take their spots at Les Caves du Roy, the newly renovated disco inside the Byblos in St.-Tropez.
Groupe Floirat plans to recreate the success of its St.-Tropez nightclub in Monaco. This fall, the company will open the
, a club that will feature soul, funk and pop music. Unlike its St.-Tropez sibling, the Black Legend will serve tapas for lunch and dinner and offer entertainment all day.
The club will spice up a Monaco nightlife scene that's in desperate need of a high-end dance club. At the moment, dance-craving locals have only a handful of options.
The Black Legend and La Reserve give a glimpse of Groupe Floirat's future plans: to offer top-notch lodging and dancing in exclusive international markets. Next, the company will set its sights on France's Normandy region, where it will open another La Reserve Hotel.
Chevanne is already scouting a home for a potential Byblos Hotel spinoff. The U.S., Brazil and Spain are rumored to be possible locations.
Michael Martin is the managing editor of JetSetReport.com -- a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in In Style, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine, ITV and BBC.