Thursday, February 11, 2021

Happy Anniversary To Us!

 

As of today, February 11, 2021, it’s been 10 years since Experience The French Riviera first began and just over a week from when Gay French Riviera also started!

What started as a small idea to help those traveling to France from North America has grown exponentially to now serving people from every part of the world!

The six months before Experience The French Riviera initially started, in observance at the time, I had noticed some local key elements missing in what visitors were looking for in planning a trip to the French Riviera, and so after speaking with some close friends about some ideas I had in mind, the steps were taken for the journey to begin.


What really got the ball rolling was some friends who owned a villa in the perfume capital of Grasse and had been using the usual platforms at the time to try and get bookings for their holiday rental. A bit disappointed in how it was all working with those online platforms, they wanted more of a human touch.

This is when the importance of building a network came into place. Utilizing social media along with speaking with new and old friends, by word of mouth I managed to quickly book up their villa for the whole season.

They in turn told their friends about my more hands-on approach to help with their villa rental, who in turn told their friends and so on and so on...to the point we now have over 200 villa rentals throughout France and in neighboring countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece to where we expanded to The Villa.

To combine my initial ideas surrounding villa rentals, I thought it was important that a shared economy network also be set up and now it’s to the point we have now exceeded easily over 60 legal partnerships.

To be honest, the first couple of years were tricky learning how to navigate the bureaucratic system and getting people used to an idea of sharing work to benefit each other was no easy task but now as the years have moved forward, with many lessons learned, even during these Covid19 pandemic times, things seem to be have gone tremendously well so we continue to feel positive for the future.

Some of the key lessons learned is to stay focused, always move forward and be consistent and open to new ideas, take risks, don’t be afraid to meet as many people as you never know who will open a new door for you. It’s always important to expect change and to evolve in any circumstance.

Even though my small team and I feel we have a wealth of information and an extensive network of business partnerships in most any field imaginable. You cannot stop learning and growing.


If it’s tickets to a VIP event, private car service, charter jet and helicopter bookings, wedding and event planning, tours, yacht charters, hand-holding immigration services, holiday and long-term villa rentals, luxury real estate sales...whatever you require, including in the LGBTQ community, we can help you acquire. We have definitely seen and heard it all which makes every day different and most enjoyable.

From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of my team, thank you for all the ongoing support throughout the years and here’s to many more in the future!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Saint-Tropez Living

 

For some reason it seems a bit strange to be writing about Saint-Tropez in January as that’s the time of year the area goes back to the locals in a sense but it is a beautiful place to visit in any given season.

Living near Monaco, it can be tricky for me to get the opportunity to visit Saint-Tropez and the area as often as I would like, also because of my busy work schedule but it is one of those must visit places if you have never been.

If it is your first time traveling to Saint-Tropez, it should be noted that trains do not go into Saint-Tropez itself, however, you can take the train to Saint-Raphael train station, and from the Saint-Raphaël bus station (right behind the train station) where there are regular buses (more frequently in the summer) to the Saint-Tropez bus station which can take 1 1/4 hours (depending on traffic).

Alternatively, in the summer months there are ferries that can take you from places such as Nice, Golfe-Juan and Cannes to Saint-Tropez daily. Those trips can take at least two hours so plan ahead but it is a spectacular way of seeing the coastline with its varying colors and landscapes, you might even see dolphins.

If you are driving, also factor in your time. There is only a two-lane stretch to get right into Saint Tropez and at the height of the season, traffic can be a nightmare.

Saint-Tropez has a very long history and was a military stronghold and fishing village until the beginning of the 20th century, it was and still is to an extent a small town but surrounded by lush greenery in the hills.

It was also the first town on the coast of France to be liberated during World War II. After the war, it slowly became an internationally known seaside resort, renowned principally because of the influx of actors such as Brigitte Bardot (who still lives in the area) and Alain Delon amongst many others. Its laid back summer lifestyle helped make it became a resort for the European and North American jet set and tourists.

To this day St.Tropez is still a very much sought-after place. When the Covid19 restrictions were slowly being lifted after the first lock down here in France during the Springtime, it was the first area getting booked out by the nationals looking for a summer villa retreat through our own luxury villa rental business experience, with a stream of people from other countries clamoring to get there but couldn’t because of borders being closed.

To purchase a property there is also a great investment given the heated rental season.
But I digress...

The local beaches in the Saint-Tropez and Ramatuelle area are also a huge draw for everyone. Compared to other seaside places in the region, here places like Pampelonne and Tahiti beach offer miles of sand with the clear blue waves of the Mediterranean Sea enticing you in for a swim.

The beach restaurants are the places to see and be seen in the summer months and if yachting is your thing, here you will see yachts of every brand, make and model on show.

The town of Saint-Tropez is a highly regarded tourist destination. The colorful buildings at the edge of the sea are quaint and offer much charm. The port itself was once a very commercial destination but now is more of a place for tourists and for those with yachts to moor while they decide on their next destination or enjoy the local amenities.

Saint-Tropez is also an artist's haven because of the history and ever-inspiring natural beauty. Here you can step into an abundant choice of artist galleries to suit everyone’s tastes. Speaking of tastes, the town has an amazing selection of top-notch restaurants for your culinary delight.

Known for its glam component, for all you fashion fiends, if it is luxury goods you are after, every imaginable, highly regarded designer shop can be found here for you to discover and often behind the gates of magnificent mansions: Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Hermès, to name a few.
As for the nightlife, that is also ever-changing seasonally with the parties being all night events, filled with hedonism and eye candy, although there is no gay-scene per se, the area does attract those internationally from the LGBT community so if you play your cards right, a party can be had.
Overall, whether you want to relax and retreat or have a most enjoyable and entertaining time, Saint Tropez can’t be beat.