A Birthday in St. Tropez with Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Hotel Byblos
For its 50th birthday, the swagger of the famed Hotel Byblos in St. Tropez is matched only by the luxurious Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Hotel Byblos
There was an important birthday recently celebrated in St. Tropez, one important enough that the likes of Rolls Royce and Dom Perignon were in attendance. The birthday boy? Hotel Byblos, and his most epic headline gift? The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Hotel Byblos, an exclusive line of Royal Oak Offshore Summer Editions.
How Hotel Byblos Saint-Tropez got in bed with Audemars Piguet
Created in 1965 by a Lebanese businessman obsessed with Brigitte Bardot, Hotel Byblos was an inspired re-creation of Beirut’s Excelsior Hotel where Bardot was frequently a guest. Following two years of construction, Hotel Byblos was a resort-hotel the likes of which the world had never seen. Sited north of the Place des Lices and designed with its own Provençal village replete with signature alleyways, building aesthetics and of course, entertainment offerings.
Two years later, it was acquired by Group Floirat which made Le Byblos Saint-Tropez synonymous with the ultra-rich or the super-famous. Since then the world’s entertainment and financial elite have graced the Riviera either through long-term stays or almost marriage-ending wedding parties (as in the case of Mick Jagger and Bianca); it was a venue for the jet-set with clientele that was literally A-list.
Decades on, the Provençal village has flourished into a sprawling 17,000 sq m venue for debauched designer living and rooms for 91 guests. More notably, its database of guests and almost uncontrollable attraction to the ultra wealthy, has made Hotel Byblos the premier event venue for many luxury brands. But just because you are a luxury brand, doesn’t mean you get to appropriate the swagger of the Byblos brand.
Antoine Chevanne is CEO of Le Byblos Saint-Tropez, having served as General Manager at the legendary resort-hotel for five years before assuming the role, and he believes the secret of the hotel’s success lies in creating bespoke experiences for guests. Thus when he organised the 50th birthday celebrations, he made sure Hotel Byblos only worked with brands with the same philosophy and service standards- Goyard, Sisley, Missioni and of course Audemars Piguet. That said, Chevanne and Hotel Byblos’ association with the Le Brassus manufacture already began years ago.
“The cooperation began two years ago when I met with François-Henry at the Audemars Piguet manufacture in Le Brassus. I presented the Byblos Exclusive Series’ concept to him and he immediately loved it before deciding to rename it ‘B.A.P’ (pronounced Be Happy) for ‘Byblos – Audemars Piguet’.” – Antoine Chevanne, CEO, Hotel Byblos
Limited Edition: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Hotel Byblos
It is a partnership that has blossomed into a relationship Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias is proud to share, “Antoine and I got on really well from the moment we met. Not only is he a watch lover, but there was this instantaneous dynamic between the two of us with a similar vision of the future. We had to be a part of all this, you can’t miss Hotel Byblos turning 50 years young!”
The new Summer Edition Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore models launched for Hotel Byblos’ celebration were created in two versions: a women’s diamond-set piece in stainless steel and a men’s piece in 18kt pink gold. Both feature a caseback engraved with the hotel’s anniversary dates and its coat of arms depicting the myth of the Byblos: the abduction of Europa by Zeus.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Hotel Byblos collection is a limited edition run with 50 men’s and 20 women’s watches.