Zebras, aeroplanes, bicycles - and (for St Tropez) reasonable prices, too.
There are several reasons why I like the B. Lodge. For a start, it’s particularly well sited – at the top of the village, only a hop from the mainstream but out of the hurly-burly. The hill leading to the Citadel is just across the road.
Secondly, rooms in the old village house have had a contemporary make-over, but without teeth-grating excess. Tones tend to black and white, and dark wood. (There was a lovely picture of a zebra in my room, last time I was through. Also four black posts round the bed.)
More expensive rooms downstairs have all the space you could need, bare stone walls, nice lighting and little private terraces out front. Admittedly, the terraces give onto the street – but this is St Tropez: you can’t expect acres of tropical rain-forest. Bathrooms have that bare cement look which quite often accompanies ablutions these days. Plus showers à l’italienne. (That means they’re extensions of the bathroom, not closed-off cubicles.)
It’s all very comfortable and well thought-out and – third reason – quite reasonably-priced by St Tropez standards. Breakfast is taken in an exotic little adjunct to reception, and evening drinks in the scarcely bigger Barock bar. This is a cosy spot of varnished wood and aviation memorabilia, and so is understandably billed as “English-style”. So that’s five reasons.
The main one, though, is the sixth – and that’s the family welcome, especially if Mr Magnan Snr is around. If he is, and you are so minded, he’s unassumingly excellent company. He traces his local roots back 1000 years or more, so knows all there is to know about St Tropez – but also about the rest of the planet, thanks to a career as a round-the-world sailor. And an all-round sportsman. He still goes pleasure cycling with Eddie Merckx, Alain Prost or anyone else in town who can keep up with him. The B. Lodge is good anyway. It’s much better still for his presence.
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