I spent a lovely three nights at Muse in June and would gladly have stayed longer.
It's a beautiful spot - on a hill above St Tropez - but the most remarkable feature is the universally positive vibe of the staff. Everyone was very pleasant and helpful and most were extremely so.
There's a beautiful pool area (love the detail of the loungers sitting over the water - there are shallow areas around the pool itself where the water runs around where you're sitting). The rooms are serene and stylish, with some intriguing items (loved the wobble-chess board so much I bought one [though one piece was missing from the one in our room]) and nice Hermes products.
The food is delicious and the gardens beautiful in an authentic (local, not over-irrigated) way.
Concierge services were great, and the staff made great recommendations of restaurants and beaches. The one booking I made myself - at the Vague d'Or - got lost by that (otherwise excellent) restaurant. Fortunately, Karim the manager went to great lengths and used some personal influence to secure us a table at the last minute, which is something I'll always be grateful to him for.
The hotel upgraded us on arrival to their best suite - a two-floor, two-bedroom one with balcony and garden with plunge pool. All lovely. The huge, open-plan bathroom area is great, and comfort and finish throughout is excellent.
Massages were great. It's great that they provide bicycles. Cool towelettes are frequently offered.
There are a few small snags at the Muse and it's a testament to how good the place is overall that they don't linger in the mind - I'm including them here as much to help them iron out a few kinks as to warn travellers. Here they are -
The 'private' garden isn't really private (at least, ours wasn't). It's open at the bottom to a path which is mostly used by staff, but could be accessed by anyone. And the fencing between the gardens is easy to see through. So don't expect privacy in the garden, which is a pity.
In addition, the neighbouring room's plunge pool was powered by equipment under our deck, and on two days a maintenance man arrived unannounced in our garden to work on it. In a hotel of this class, where the garden is part of the room and not a public area, one would have expected a phone call in advance and perhaps some token compensation for the intrusion (a bottle of champagne, say).
One really strange detail is that there is no control of air-conditioning in the room - you have to phone reception to have them adjust the temperature. This seems weird and a bit wasteful as you're less likely to moderate your energy usage if you have to control it this elaborate way. I felt bad every time we left the doors open to the garden and I realised after a while that we were essentially sending air-conditioned air out into the world.
Smaller things: the large wine fridge in the room is purely decorative. It doesn't cool the wine. There's no power to it. I wonder why have it then? It's a bit like having a decorative shower head or something....pointless and slightly frustrating, though of course you can order drinks from room service and they'll come right away.
Chilled bottles will come in a beautiful conical metal designer ice-bucket thing. But here's the snag – they'll put it directly onto the coffee table, where eventually it will create condensation on the oustide, which will drop down and flood the table. A little tray underneath would solve that problem.
The massage table on our balcony had its cushion missing, but the staff (especially the excellent masseuse Belinda) worked hard to find a replacement.
For my personal taste, the room design is a little stark. Beautifully finished and laid out, I (personally) would have added just one or two more organic-feeling elements. An original oil-painting, say, rather than the aluminium-mounted modern reprints of vintage fashion photos which felt less cosy and intimate and homely than they might have done (they felt like the kind of 'art' you'd have on, say, an ad agency office wall, rather than in the home).
So these small things could be improved quite easily by Muse and then they'd be a perfect hotel. As things stand they are very close to perfect and I wouldn't hesitate to go back.
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- Also Known As:
- Muse Hotel Ramatuelle