Review of the Pan Deï Palais. Relais et Chateaux in Saint-Tropez, Côte d’Azur , France
Room: Deva Suite
The big heavy wooden door of the Pan Dei Palais is closed and there is no apparent hotel sign. You could push the door open very easily but you wouldn’t dare: it looks too private. As soon as you do walk through though, you are no longer in the centre of loud Saint-Tropez with all the hustle and the bustle of the Côte d’Azur but in a calm and discreet Maharajah’s palace.
The Pan Deï Palais was built in 1835 by a French officer for his great love, the Indian princess Bannu Pan Deï. The Indian theme had been maintained in the decoration without being ostentatious. The Indian antiques, carpets, carvings, paintings and Asian furnishings have been tastefully chosen. This luxury Saint-Tropez boutique hotel is relatively small with just ten rooms and two suites.
As soon as I walk into the young Relais et Chateaux hotel I am greeted by a warm smile from the receptionist. The check in is efficient in a friendly way. The car park guy (so relieving to have valet parking in busy St-Tropez!) is one and all smiles as well and looks utterly happy to help us. Yes, it’s us today: Me, my wife and our three screaming jumping kids (actually they are really calm and cute but that sounds less dramatic, doesn’t it?!). We had a rough drive up here, we are tired and not in the greatest of moods. And there it is, the big difference between good and bad front desk staff: none of the staff of the Pan Deï look like we are bothering them coming in like this, without reservation, in casual jeans and with three children. The staff made us feel welcome and relaxed within seconds. We’ve had very different welcomes in other Saint-Tropez hotels so this was a real nice experience!
All of the staff was very friendly, except for the breakfast lady. She was not unfriendly really, more like uncaring. At some point I telephoned the reception because Wifi did not work right away. Within five minutes, not even, somebody was up in the room and the connection was working. That’s fast and efficient service!
We also got a tour through the Pan Dei hotel on arrival. Adjacent to the reception there is a very chill little library corner with a nice choice of books and magazines. There is a delightful pool at the back of the hotel in the relaxing garden. Here too discretion is very highly regarded.
What to say about the room. We had the Deva suite. The decoration was, like in the rest of the hotel, delicate and inspired. The room and the bathrooms were spotlessly clean. One of the two bathrooms has a bath and a separate shower. The other bathroom has only a shower. Both are immaculate and there are enough towels, soap and toiletries (Bulgari!).
And we all got gifts, yeah!! There was fresh fruit, mineral water and Porto waiting for us in our room but also a CD with a great choice of relaxing but modern music, a cap and even an attention for the children: bath toys. That was a great touch!
The Pan Deï has a well known gourmet restaurant with Asian meets Europe meets the rest of the world orientated food by chef Renaud Capelle. We ordered room service. We could not find something adequate on the menu for the children but it was absolutely no problem as they made pasta with tomato sauce for them. I had the filet de boeuf which was one of the most tender pieces of beef I’ve ever ate. My wife chose the steemed fish which was nice as well. As a dessert the chocolate soufflé was exquisite but we were not very excited about the chocolate spring rolls. None of us five. Bad luck, bad recipe or bad taste, I don’t know.
Breakfast is good with lots of fresh fruit but still a bit disappointing as I would have expected more from a hotel with so many detailed attentions. Check out is as easy and efficient as one would expect from this kind of hotel.
All together, I would certainly recommend the Pan Deï Palais. It is an impressive low key and intimate hotel in Saint Tropez. Big luxury, small scale. It is only closed from Mid-November till Mid- December, which is scarce in the Saint Tropez area. Most hotels close from October till easter in that region. Staying at the Pan Deï Palais is a very relaxing experience right in the centre of town.
Bien à vous,
The Mystery Guest