Forget the marketing drivel - the Kube is not only very hip but also surprisingly likeable.
If terms like “hip”, “cool” and “cutting edge” ring your bells, then this is the spot you’ve been looking for. It recently hosted the world launch of a new perfume from Armani, for heaven’s sake. That tells you more about the place than I could possibly manage in one sentence.
Naturally, it comes accompanied by marketing guff, with “concepts”, “lifestyles” and “techno deluxe” to the fore. These places always do. Cutting edge hoteliers can’t help themselves. They don’t realise that phrases like “in line with the urban dynamic” are (a) meaningless and (b) likely to drive normal people to violence.
The extraordinary thing here is that the St Tropez Kube rises above the glossy magazine drivel. (I can’t speak for its sister establishments in Paris; I’ve never been.) Certainly, it’s cool but it’s also comfortable and rather friendly. Alongside the techno-hip elements, it has a twinkle in its eye and a sense of fun, which make it really very likeable. Being over 40 and as trendy as knitwear, I am absolutely not its target audience – and yet I felt very happy there, even in Reception.
This isn’t part of the main building, but posted at the garden entrance, like a glass hut for car-park attendants. You check in, then walk through to wait at the pool-side bar as formalities are attended to. Thus you have time to take in the surroundings – huge infinity pool, mature horticulture and the Med directly beyond.
Behind, the all-white hotel building itself resembles a clinic. Not surprising. That’s what it was before transformation and re-opening last year. There is, though, not much clinical left within. Up the steps, across the terrace and you’re straight into a bar of much light – both natural from the huge windows and artificial LED illumination. Like the musical ambience, this evolves to suit changing moods through the day and evening, as you’ve every right to expect that it should.
Further on, a very funky restaurant looks over more private gardens and a second pool. You can, though eat pretty much wherever you want – in the garden, the wine cellar or the kitchen – and absolutely whenever you want. Breakfast overlaps with lunch for late risers.
So to the 41 rooms - graded not “standard” through “luxury”, but “S” to” XL”. This is a clever idea, because they’re all similar, except in size. And very attractive they are, too. Tones are white and soft grey, with ample marble, blond oak and steel in evidence. Square-ish Ligne Roset furniture has been specially designed, and beds and bedding are hand-made. Splendidly soporific, too; if you can’t sleep here, cut out the caffeine.
Some have terraces, some sea-views and hammams, and all have Play-Stations, one or two TVs, DVDs and top-end coffee-makers. This is contemporary design at the service of hospitality, which is the correct way round.
Right at the top, there’s a roof garden and champagne bar, with views made more startling by a glass or two. And right at the bottom, on lower-ground, you may wrap up warm for a stint in the ice bar. I’ve never seen the point of these – but they’re apparently terribly popular at €38 a session, including four cocktails and hire of full thermal kit.
The Kube is a 25-minute coastal walk to St Tropez centre but you can take an electric scooter, the hotel’s shuttle-taxi – or simply stay right where you are. The place may not be like any home you’ve ever seen but, after a very short while, it feels surprisingly homely. And, anyway, St Tropez centre will come out to you. Given the Kube’s newness and all-round hipness, its bars, restaurant and pool are terribly fashionable right now. You might, then, find yourself at the centre of St Tropez action – and all you did was book a room.
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