The legendary La Ponche Hotel, Saint Tropez’s bohemian luxury ‘refuge’

Once a modest fishermen’s bar with 3 rooms, in the old village of Saint-Tropez in the early 1950′, the ‘large family home’ as its owner Simone Duckstein likes to call it, LA PONCHE HOTEL has undergone a gradual fairytale transformation, becoming throughout the years an exclusive and luxurious ‘refuge’, providing imspiration and utmost privacy and relaxation for iconic artists – painter Pablo Picasso actresses Brigitte Bardot, Romy Schneider and Jeanne Moreau; singer Juliette Gréco, actor Jack Nicholson, designers Kenzo Takada and Inès de la Fressange, writers Simone de Beauvoir and Françoise Sagan.

Each guest benefits from the ultimate personalized service – whether it is a rose hand picked from the garden and placed on the pillow at bed-time, each evening or the most detailed account of personal preferences, the discreet presence of Mrs Duckstein providing a sense of ’being in the right hands’. Louis de Funès and Catherine Deveuve would stay at La Ponche during several movie shootings. While shooting Princesse Marie movie in Saint Tropez, Catherine Deneuve confessed to Mrs Duckstein ‘You have helped me make peace with Saint Tropez’.

Brigitte Bardot at La Ponche Hotel in Saint Tropez 1960

Brigitte Bardot at La Ponche Hotel in Saint Tropez 1960

Like for most of its legendary guests, for famous French singer Juliette Gréco, it was at La Ponche that she found refuge after the death of the love of her life. She remembered ‘I used to work less and I would sing in Antibes but would always go back to my hybernation at La Ponche, this small hotel in Saint Tropez’.

From the early 50′s, fifteen luxury rooms and suites have been added (including an elevator), a gourmet restaurant  with sea view and terrace would complement the existing bar. La Ponche has maintained its five star luxury rating, keeping up to date with the requirements of a modern luxury hotel: individually controlled air-conditioning, sound-proofing, complimentary high speed wi-fi internet, heavenly comfortable beds with the finest Italian silk cotton linen etc.

Each accommodation is individually furnished, all with original paintings by famous French painter Jacques Cordier. Most suites have private terraces, which command magic views of the old village and the sea.The waterfront position of La Ponche boasts an exquisit private beach. The hotel is within steps from the port and luxury boutiques, closest being Missoni, Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli etc.

The roof-top Brigitte Bardot Suite is probably the most beautiful at La Ponche, with a large 14.50 m2 terrace with stunning views of the sea and the beach. The Suite has a separate sitting room giving onto its private terrace and an adjoining double room with private balcony linked to a tree lined courtyard with a view on Saint-Tropez’s steeple tower.

Oliver Petcu

Brigitte Bardot Suite at La Ponche Hotel, Saint Tropez

Suite at La Ponche Hotel, Saint Tropez

A dedicated photo gallery is available on our Facebook page.