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Old-World French Summer: Hôtel La Ponche in Saint-Tropez

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Old-World French Summer: Hôtel La Ponche in Saint-Tropez

July 14, 2021

Where would we stay if we were attending this year’s Festival de Cannes? In our imaginations, its Hôtel La Ponche, brand-new, old-world lodgings in nearby Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera. Though the hotel only opened in June, it has a storied history: In a past life, it welcomed the likes of Picasso, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir; And God Created Woman, starring Brigitte Bardot, was filmed on the beach out front.

Now, after eight months of renovations, and with new interiors by the designer Fabrizio Casiraghi, its 21 guest rooms are available for stays. Take a (virtual) tour:

Photography courtesy of Hôtel La Ponche.

OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez The sunny exterior. Hôtel La Ponche was once run by the parents of Simone Duckstein (this is where the fishermen of Saint Tropez gathered to celebrate the end of World War II), then by Simone herself, who welcomed movie stars who mingled in the guest rooms (&#8\2\20;only faithful to their room number,&#8\2\2\1; according to Simone). The spirit of the hotel remains intact; Simone continues on as its ambassador.
Above: The sunny exterior. Hôtel La Ponche was once run by the parents of Simone Duckstein (this is where the fishermen of Saint-Tropez gathered to celebrate the end of World War II), then by Simone herself, who welcomed movie stars who mingled in the guest rooms (“only faithful to their room number,” according to Simone). The spirit of the hotel remains intact; Simone continues on as its ambassador.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez The summery entry, with checkered floors and bright yellow light fixtures.
Above: The summery entry, with checkered floors and bright yellow light fixtures.

How to go about updating an iconic space? Casiraghi, the of-the-moment Paris-based designer, approached it with an entire narrative in mind, according to the lodgings: “Here it is: He is a man in his forties, living in Paris, in the 16th or the 8th district. He inherits his grandmother’s house. So he is going to make it a vacation home for his friends. He will hunt here and there for objects, armchairs, lights, without ulterior motive. Just thinking of the South, lazing about, la dolce vita. A bit of Capri, a little Positano. But above all, Saint-Tropez. The Pompidou years, the ’60s, the sea, vacations. Each object I choose is the result of a long and complex reflection, because the house speaks with them. In the bedrooms, there will not be more than one or two paintings and, most importantly, what we like at the end of the day: a good shower, a good soap, a nice towel.”

OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez The front desk has subtle Wes Anderson vibes.
Above: The front desk has subtle Wes Anderson vibes.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez The artwork throughout includes paintings by Jacques Cordier, Simone Duckstein&#8\2\17;s first husband, and original Picasso lithographs. The whimsical ceramic frame was a collaboration with French artist Victor Levai.
Above: The artwork throughout includes paintings by Jacques Cordier, Simone Duckstein’s first husband, and original Picasso lithographs. The whimsical ceramic frame was a collaboration with French artist Victor Levai.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez Casiraghi left original structures—archways and columns—intact, including here, in the hotel restaurant.
Above: Casiraghi left original structures—archways and columns—intact, including here, in the hotel restaurant.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez A new dining room features whimsically painted frescoes and dark flooring.
Above: A new dining room features whimsically painted frescoes and dark flooring.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez The room overlooks the sea and is available to book for private gatherings.
Above: The room overlooks the sea and is available to book for private gatherings.
Above: The hotel bar, The Saint-Germain-des-Prés, features dark, glossy walnut ceilings, checkered floors, and low lighting.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez In the tiled &#8\2\20;patio&#8\2\2\1; is a library of books on Saint Tropez as well as a game table.
Above: In the tiled “patio” is a library of books on Saint-Tropez as well as a game table.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez The guest rooms are left summery and simple, a nod to the white washed lodgings of the hotel&#8\2\17;s past.
Above: The guest rooms are left summery and simple, a nod to the white-washed lodgings of the hotel’s past.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez Each of the \2\1 rooms and suites is named after a well known guest (Inès de la Fressange, for one).
Above: Each of the 21 rooms and suites is named after a well-known guest (Inès de la Fressange, for one).
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez A wrought iron chair and vintage table in a guest room.
Above: A wrought-iron chair and vintage table in a guest room.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez The view.
Above: The view.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez At the La Ponche restaurant, guests can dine al fresco looking out over the sea.
Above: At the La Ponche restaurant, guests can dine al fresco looking out over the sea.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez Details of the tableware. The hotel, according to Casiraghi, is more like &#8\2\20;a vacation home by the sea.”
Above: Details of the tableware. The hotel, according to Casiraghi, is more like “a vacation home by the sea.”
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez The Spa by Le Tigre Yoga Club will also offer massages and morning yoga on the terrace.
Above: The Spa by Le Tigre Yoga Club will also offer massages and morning yoga on the terrace.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez A hand painted sign greets visitors.
Above: A hand-painted sign greets visitors.
OldWorld French Summer Htel La Ponche in SaintTropez The charming transportation.
Above: The charming transportation.

For more on the French Côte d’Azur, see:

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