La Ponche, St Tropez

Best Known For 

A five star luxury hotel set astride a peninsular in the old town of St Tropez. A beautiful maritime location which had its beginnings as a simple fisherman’s tavern in 1955 when the owners first took over the site.  Organically developing it through the Bardot et al heyday of St Tropez into a hotel that oozes with glamour and old school charm. “It is a legendary, fairytale place that will reconcile you with Saint Tropez if you ever felt like abandoning or detesting it” – we can’t disagree.

The Good Stuff 

Opulent, extravagant, perfectly thought through and executed, this is a hotel to stand with some of the best in the world. With late night bar and terrace downstairs frequented back in the day by Bardot, Picasso and all the usual suspects, the photos on the wall pull you back to this heyday of immaculate debauchery. Staff aware enough to know that it’s the cheeky aside, the arched eyebrow, the extra touches that make a hotel great and not just good. But it’s the small touches, the wry smile of the owner taking tea and chuckling wryly that the tour guides are telling made up stories to the cruise crew. 

The Vibe

Golds, creams, sea views, the beach a 20 second walk from your room. Luxurious, opulent, yet personal and cosy. On the walls, the artist Jacques Cordier’s works bring alive the landscapes of Saint Tropez at different hours of the day, in china ink, water colours and oils, perfecting the illusion of being in the home of a friend, the seeds of a museum

Inside the hotel – 10/10 

The rooms are well thought out, an unusual hotel layout stemming from starting live as an old tavern, and the owner gradually buying more of the outhouses and developing the hotel organically. 

Outside the hotel – 9/10 

A charming enclave of a charming country, it was the late 50s and 60s that saw this little part of France explode in worldwide popularity. In 2016, from the oiks, show offs, big boats, and bigger boobs of the port area to the gentle charm and hills of the old town, it’s genuinely a people watchers dream. So far so expected, but what I didn’t expect about the town was to be fully won over by it’s charm, service, food, drink, opulent history and plain romance of the town. Every other corner, and gate into an ancient sea walkway or cover you didn’t know, a back street bar willing you in for a early day Pastis and coffee. It’s really not without reason that St Tropez continues to be a place to see and be seen.

Image courtesy of La Ponche