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Et Saint-Tropez créa La Ponche,  Simone Duckstein, May 2015

Boris Vian, Juliette Gréco, Daniel Gélin, Brigitte Bardot... and a host of other stars took the National 7 road to forget the Cold War in a fishing port called Saint-Tropez, to this emblematic, and yet unknown at the time, establishment. 
In "Hôtel de La Ponche", Simone Duckstein tells the story of her family and its little fishing bar that became the quintessential Mediterranean holiday destination for Parisian post-Cold War intellectual and artistic celebrities.
Just as Venice reveals its treasures in plain sight to the crowds in St Mark's Square, Saint-Tropez keeps its secrets out of view of its quays bustling with tourists and yachts... Far from the raucous party scene that only lasts a few weeks a year, you will find one of the most beautiful villages in the world according to France's artists, writers, musicians, painters and actors. Simone Duckstein, who was born here, has transformed her mother's modest hotel into a refined 5-star establishment on the French Riviera, where the air is "so fresh, so crazy, and so joyous, that you feel a different person only after two days!" once wrote Françoise Sagan. Such a glowing review can only incite you to head to this little corner of paradise to discover its eternal beauty for yourself.
This book is a must-read. It is the story of a journey, in which you are guaranteed humour, emotion and poetry.

Press Hotel Saint Tropez located at Saint Tropez

Paul Vialar : " La Toile " 1951 Editions La table ronde

"It was a small and simple bistro, where the presence of foreigners was very rare. One would think that maybe some day it will become fashionable, some painter or writer will make it famous... There was a real zinc bar, a percolator and behind the bar was Armando, helped by his gorgeous wife with her clear blue eyes. She was Quindici's daughter. Quindici was a well-respected authority, head of one of the best established fisherman's family of the village. You could see, arranged in tiers behind the bar a variety of bottles, but there were merely there for show apart from the 'tomates' (pastis and grenadine syrup), the aniseed-flavoured alcohols, local marcs and 'rosés'. The customers, all fishermen with the same very decided tastes, hardly ordered anything else".

Françoise Sagan Press Hotel Saint Tropez located at Saint Tropez

Françoise Sagan : " Avec mon meilleur souvenir " 1984 Editions Gallimard

Sagan tells us her story for the first time and reveals her passions to us : speed, gambling, her friends, Saint-Tropez. She devotes an entire chapter to the village, the first part beginning : "It is mid-June... I am sitting at the terrace of hotel La Ponche in Saint-Tropez, at six in the evening, at the threshhold of summer..."

Press Hotel Saint Tropez located at Saint Tropez

N°1 -  Best book dedicated to holiday resorts and distributed in Europe

Simone Duckstein : " Hôtel de La Ponche, un autre regard sur Saint-Tropez " 2008 -Le cherche midi Editeur - The hotel La Ponche, the smallest and the most secret of Saint-Tropez'sfour star hotels, celebrated in 2008 its 70th anniversary in an original way : Simone Duckstein, its present owner, writes the story of this mythical establishment. Originally a simple fishermen's bar, it was transformed, thanks to the unbending will of her mother, into a true family home and a port of call for numerous artists such as Françoise Sagan, who was then a great friend of La Ponche. 

The number of rooms increased and Annabel Buffet, Juliette Greco, Daniel Gélin and, later on, Françoise Sagan herself, chose some of these in which to spend a part of their lives, their loves and sometimes their disillusions.

Press Hotel Saint Tropez located at Saint Tropez

Balade dans le Var, Sur le Pas des Ecrivains" Editions Alexandrines 2010

Whether globe trotters, wintertime or summertime residents, the writers in this book take us on a journey using the charm of their words, sometimes inviting us in their homes. Sur les pas des écrivains (on writers’ footsteps) gives us the special pleasure of discovering literature as well as places. Martine Sagaert is a professor of 20th century literature at Toulon’s university and a specialist on writer André Gide.

Juliette Greco Press Hotel Saint Tropez located at Saint Tropez

Je suis faite comme ça (I am made like that), Juliette Gréco, janvier 2012

Singer and actress Juliette Greco’s biography  relates her childhood, her spell in prison at the age of sixteen, her youth during the war and her entire family’s exile.
She tells us with emotion her meetings with great personalities who marked her professional and private life. She also evokes her stays at hotel La Ponche, decribed on pages 291, 292 and 293 of her book.

Press Hotel Saint Tropez located at Saint Tropez

Sagan et fils, Denis Westhoff (Sagan and son),, mai 2012

Françoise Sagan’s son reveals in this book the times past with his mother.
Deceased on 24th September 2004, this unorthodox mother liked to stay at hotel La Ponche. He relates their visits here on pages 56, 57 and 196 and her meeting with Pierre Pasolini.

Prix Villégiature 2011 Press Hotel Saint Tropez located at Saint Tropez

Guides and awards

  • Villegiature Awards 2011: The most beautiful hotels in Europe, remote islands and Africa. 
  • First prize for the book "Hôtel de la Ponche", dedicated to the holiday resort in Europe - Édition du cherche-midi.
  • Nominated for its interior architecture and its charm among the five top hotels in Europe.
  • Restaurant recommended by the Michelin Guide in 2012.
Press Hotel Saint Tropez located at Saint Tropez


"Il était une fois Saint-Tropez" - "Es war einmal Saint-Tropez"
Pierre Bouteiller and Bernard Martino Arte 2002

"Jet set in den sixties"
Film by Sabine Carbon & CordulaKabltz-Post arte 2010

"Saint-Tropez, ein mythos lebt"
Birgitta Ashoff Phoenix Television 2010

Des Racines et des Ailes : route Jacques Cœur et Nationale 7
Programme aired on 23 Mai 2012