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“magical setting”

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Hotel La Belle Aurore
Ranked #14 of 24 Hotels in Sainte-Maxime
Certificate of Excellence
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“magical setting”
Reviewed 10 May 2014

Of all the small hotels on the southern French coast, the setting of the Belle Aurore has to take a lot of beating - either from the restaurant or if you spend a little extra and get a room with sea view (almost pointless going here and not doing so). It truly has amazing views across the bay to St Tropez.
It is very good value for the area and considering the views. The restaurant is good - wasn't sure it lived up to quite the high levels they were advertising but undoubtedly a good place to eat.
The down side is the room size - they are tiny and worse, the noise from other guests coming and fro -ing up and down the corridor interferes with relaxation if you are a light sleeper. However, can't have everything for that money.
Lastly, the staff are nothing but charming - cannot do too much to help and are genuinely welcoming and that was a huge and refreshing change from other hotels.

Room Tip: sea view and the best you can afford...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cambridgelady2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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133 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2013

I'm partially reluctant to write this review because I'm letting the secret out. When traveling to St. Tropez last year, we chose to stay in St. Maxime to save money. The decision was one of our best! While St. Tropez was touristy (the ferry is quite speedy and a short walk away), this hotel in St. Maxime was a highlight of our stay. The pictures don't do it justice. The surf is *right* below you. Breakfast on our balcony with the waves breaking underneath us, or private drinks under the moonlight, or simply watching the sun put on a colorful display, right outside the french doors... superb. Room/bathroom was minimal, but that's to be expected in small European hotels. The infinity pool by the ocean was really cool, but it wasn't swimming weather at the time. We have traveled the world and this hotel ranks top for unique location/view. We will absolutely stay here (I'm keeping our room number secret, at least!) if we return.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1 Thank Countess_Nomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2012

Our friends in Ste Maxime had a full house, so they recommended we stay here for 3 nights. We liked it very much. it's clearly not a 5 star place, but we view that as a plus in this region - 5 stars here can mean bling bling and pretentiousness. At La Belle Aurore, you will have privacy and intimacy and romance. We found the service very good and warm, and while admittedly we had the best room in the hotel, it was large, chicly but simply decorated, with great (medium firm) bed and quiet, effective air conditioning. We would happily go back.

Room Tip: Face the sea, not the road.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bebe38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burke, Virginia, USA
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2012

Great location - right on the water, but getting into the sea is treacherous. Small, adequate pool. Beautiful views. Large, clean room with balcony. Great ($$$$) restaurant. Breakfast is not included, and it's pricey, too. Several steps to the pool and breakfast area. Has a 2nd floor, but there is no elevator. Staff spoke little English, but you can get by easy enough. If you bother to go to St.-Tropez, which is itself highly overrated, use the shuttle from Set.-Maxime. The coast road is a real goat path.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Tobindia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2011

The hotel is right on the water. The private hotel beach actually is on the rocks (we couldnt dive). Good view though. Room extremely small and needs to be renovated. No way we had breakfast there (20 eur per person - go to the boulangeries close by on the road). We went to st tropez (beaches and at night for dinner) every day but it was more difficult than we thought: by car it is a huge traffic jam (1:30 hours each way durin the day). At night the best option is to take the ferry, but it runs only until 1 am. Restaurant seemed very nice.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Julissaalmeida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2011

Any hotel that is so welcoming to dogs is always going to get a good review from me. Spent 3 nights at La Belle Aurore in July with my wife and pet dog and had a great time. They allowed me to bring my little pug (dont think they would accept a st bernard!) and were so kind and accomodating to us.

The hotel is right on the coast and our room had a small balcony with amazing views of the bay of St Tropez. Only minor criticism was that someone sitting in the far corner of the restaurant could see in to our room (room 6!) and on to our balcony (literally were only about 2 metres away!) which was annoying especially if you like to relax in your pants.

The hotel was very clean and although the room was a bit small for the price I paid I had no problems whatsoever. The view of the bay made up for everything.

One criticism of the hotel was that the free wifi only worked in the lobby, not in the rooms. In fact every evening there were always several people with laptops all sitting in the sofas in the lobby which would indicate that wifi does not work in the rooms.

The hotel also have a private "beach". It is very very nice but I wouldnt call it a beach. Its more like a couple of sandy terraces with 10 sun loungers. Its is right on the sea front and totally exclusive to guests of the hotel. Plus there is also a nice heated pool and seating areas. Had a lovely afternoon sitting out on the wooden jetty drinking champage (bought from the nearby carrefour! much cheaper than the hotel but they didnt mind us bringing in our own bottle!). The hotel were also happy for my pet dog to sit out with us and enjoy the view.

Yes its expensive (200 euros a night) but its the cote d'azur so everywhere is expensive!

I dont get why some of these reviews are criticising the location. Google Street View can take you to the front of any hotel in Western Europe (and the US) so no excuses for slagging off any hotel location. Take a walk up and down the local streets via your computer screen and see whats what before you book the room. Take heed other trip advisers.

Overall, a great hotel. They were very nice and I enjoyed myself staying at the Belle Aurore. To get 5 stars from me the price would need to be a fair bit cheaper of the rooms would have to be a fair bit bigger!

Some advice.....

The hotel is in St Maxime NOT St Tropez. The town of St Maxime is lovely and lots of places to eat at night and buy tourist junk. The restaurants were all rather crappy and all seemed to serve production line slop for tourists. Went to a couple of the top rated trip advisor restaurants for St Maxime and was disappointed. Plus the beach in St Maxime is awful.

St Tropez is 8 miles away (as the GPS flies) by car. This next bit of advice is probably the most important I can give you: DO NOT DRIVE TO ST TROPEZ FROM ST MAXIME. The road is gridlocked with tourist traffic all day every day from early until late. DO NOT DRIVE. IT WILL TAKE YOU AT LEAST 2 HOURS DRIVE EACH WAY. You could walk it in the same time. Was a bit annoyed at the hotel for not telling me this (but they were so nice to my dog so I wont deduct a point).

Instead there is a regular boat service which leaves from St Maxime every 15 minutes. The boat trip doesnt cost much (10 euros, or a bit less I think) and only takes 10 minutes. Take this boat to visit St Tropez. Besides, you wont be that impressed with St Tropez. Basically there are a load of overpriced cafes and lots of Chanel and Burberry shops. All great if you have several thousand euros to spend!

If you want to go to the beaches I suggest you go to Pampilonne beach. You have to take the St Tropez road but use your GPS and take an early turn off from the traffic jam and drive through the towns of Gassin and Ramatuelle. Turn off the St Tropez Road on to the D14 and take the scenic route avoiding the St Tropez road. Is much longer but so much quicker. The easiest place to park is by Club 55 (3 euros all day). Note the parked ferraris and porches! We also saw an elephant.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank NigelTufnell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, BC
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2011

So here's my scoop - I agree with the other reviewers with respect to the rooms - quite small, even by European standards. There was literally no room to place our luggage and the bathroom is tiny and separated by the bedroom with a somewhat dingy curtain. It was clean, which is the most important thing to me but it also was just average and dated, there wasn't one thing in the room that I would say was especially nice.

However....the seafront patio (I had one of the more expensive rooms) was unbelievable and worth every penny and more. So if location and view is more important than luxury and space this is the place for you. The patio is large and the view to Saint Tropez is amazing.

The little 'beach' out front is just fine, there is sand, dock and rocks...whatever you'd like. And having an infinity pool on the ocean is priceless.

We didn't do breakfast as it was super expensive and didn't get a chance to try dinner either. I note that it says in their guest book that 'picnicking is strictly forbidden' which I found a bit off-putting since breakfast is so expensive and they didn't appear to offer any food during the day. Would have been nice to be able to have had my own breakfast on my patio or my own sandwich on the beach.

As I said, the location is right on the water, just a 10 min stroll from the centre of St. Maxime....the perfect distance after a lovely dinner in town. It is on a main road but I didn't hear it at all. What I DID hear, however, and is my greatest complaint, is the ear-deafening slamming of the neighbouring rooms' doors. I'm not exaggerating here...there is no way you could sleep through that. I don't understand why there aren't stoppers on the doors, like in hotel rooms, where it keeps it from slamming shut. I almost changed my rating to 'Average' because of this but would still return anyway because of the location. Hopefully this is something they'll consider recitifying...I can't imagine it would be that difficult.

Check in was friendly and helpful and the two owners? were very pleasant.

Wi-fi only worked in the lobby, a bit annoying. Again, it wouldn't seem that difficult to add another router to the area our room was in.

So, all in all a firm recommendation if you're not that picky about the room.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Angela F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel La Belle Aurore

Property: Hotel La Belle Aurore
Address: 5 boulevard Jean Moulin, 83120 Sainte-Maxime, France
Region: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > Sainte-Maxime
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 24 Hotels in Sainte-Maxime
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel La Belle Aurore 4*
Number of rooms: 17
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Hotel Belle Aurore

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