Published on : Monday, July 19, 2021
After eight months of renovation, the legendary Hotel La Ponche, in the historic heart of Saint-Tropez, will unveil its new attire. Overlooking the small beach of La Ponche, the 21-room hotel (including 5 suites) has been given a makeover under the direction of interior designer Fabrizio Casiraghi. La Ponche belongs to the iconic hotels of the Riviera; it welcomed Françoise Sagan, Brigitte Bardot, Gunter Sachs, Romy Schneider, Michel Piccoli, Boris Vian, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir among others.
The management of the five-star hotel will be entrusted to Audrey Brémond, a native of Saint-Tropez, with Chef Thomas Danigo (Galanga, Monsieur George Hotel, Paris) at her side. The Hotel La Ponche has been entirely renovated but without touching the essential, its spirit. One finds the taste of la dolce vita mixed with idleness and the roll of the waves. Better still, a fresh breeze blows in a renewal carried by a new generation.
One that does not wish to shake up the codes, but to give back to La Ponche its relaxed chic, its carefree elegance. Moreover, as a testimony to a local institution, La Ponche will be open year-round, in order to prolong a sentimental adventure that has lasted for more than eighty years.
Fabrizio Casiraghi decided not to touch the structures and move forward without breaking too much, respecting the soul of the place. He found a common thread (the paintings and their lighting) and keot the spirit of the 21 rooms (from 17 to 45m2).
From the reception, the tone of the house is set with black-and-white marbled checkerboard floor, ivory walls, concierge, luggage room, and reception with traditional round brass keys. It will showcase the veranda and its zenith-like overhead lighting, inviting people to meet there in the company of the library and the game tables (chess and backgammon). More present than ever, the legendary terrace will be planted. From breakfast on, it will maintain the myth but also provide lively catering until late in the evening. On the side, a new feature: a dining room overlooking the sea has also been introduced. It can be privatized with prix fixe menus, announcing both the intimate dimension of the hotel (dark walnut parquet) and the artistic (frescoes on the walls and ceiling).
The rooms will be treated with lightness to remain in the spirit of the beginning when the walls were whitewashed and the beds covered with fresh and flowery cretonne. Today, there is an off-white American walnut woodwork, dark-stained, gloss varnish. The tiles are on the floor, the paintings here and there: works by Jacques Cordier, Simone Duckstein’s first husband; original lithographs by Picasso. Artistic collaborations by Victor Levai (ceramic frames), Elvira Solana (fresco), fabrics by Loro Piana and Pierre Frey (green, orange, yellow). The ultimate room is room 8, by Romy Schneider and Daniel Biasini. The terrace is as large as the room, overlooking the roofs of Saint-Tropez, the citadel, the bell tower, and the sea. All of the twenty-one 5-star rooms (including 5 suites) are named after illustrious visitors.
At lunch, the terrace will serve cult dishes of the house, while in the evening, the tables will be topped with linen and the menu expanded to more personal dishes by Thomas Danigo. Also of note, a refreshing “finger food” menu at the bar as well as all-night room service, true to the hotel’s five stars. The highlights of Hotel La Ponche will be played out in its bar, which is now also open to the outside world on a small street behind the hotel. And for good reason, the origin of the hotel’s success had a name: The Saint-Germain-des-Prés La Ponche with Boris Vian’s band, who between two trumpet blasts, liked to go behind the bar to serve his friends.
Fabrizio Casiraghi used a wall of mirrors behind the bar, housing shelves and backlighting on the bottles, American walnut wood ceilings, black-and-white checkered tiling, a fireplace, wrought iron coffee tables with glass tops, super comfortable free-standing armchairs, which can be moved around, like the ottomans. All this can b eenjoyed at all hours of the day and often late at night.
In addition, the Le Tigre Yoga Club will provide treatments adapted to the spirit of the moment: morning yoga on the deck facing the sea and yoga classes on request afterwards. There will also be body treatments and massages as an invitation to let go at the end of the day. Le Tigre Yoga Club regulars would also be delighted to know that massage therapist, Iris Vola will be in residence for the entire summer.