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Hotel Pastis: A Novel of Provence (Provence)

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  4,154 Ratings  ·  298 Reviews
With his national bestsellers A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence, Peter Mayle gave new meaning to the phrase "great escape." Now he has written a delightful novel of romance, adventure, and tongue-in-cheek suspense, set in the beguiling French region he has staked out as his own.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 8th 1994 by Vintage (first published May 27th 1993)
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Carolyn Yes! I thought it ended a bit abruptly. I wasn't surprised that he took on a new role, but I would have liked an epilogue to wrap it up better.

Community Reviews

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Jun 22, 2009 Alyssa rated it liked it
Picked this up for a $1 and read it on the plane - quick and fun. You can tell the author was an ad man (like the main character) as he provides a little too much detail about the main character and not enough about some of the other major characters - such as the girlfriend and the butler - (yes, there's a butler). The crime mystery takes up all of about 35 pages of the 380+ total - but its a fun addition (not the main story) and I have to admit that I did not guess the ending. I do have to war ...more
Jan 22, 2013 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Another Mayle hit! Maybe I'm a little biased being French, with family in Provence, but Mayle's work always puts a smile on my face. I've seen his characters, and enjoyed the same quirks in the dialect and attitude of Provence. I wish Hotel Pastis was a real place, and that I could go there right now!
Barbara Rice
Apr 25, 2009 Barbara Rice rated it it was amazing
My favorite of Mayle's novels. The main character is clearly based on Mayle's old life in advertising. The descriptions of food, the sun, the lavender all make me start speaking with a French accent and pretending this is only a temporary setback in my real life, and soon I will be back again in The South of France as a gorgeous blonde drinking wine at a cafe.
Aug 08, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hotel Pastis is a Peter Mayle novel, nothing more, nothing less. You're in for a bounder of a tale about Provence involving some English executive (who, in this case, is named Simon) who has had enough of the business world and falls in love with the south of France. Usually for the author, the most colorful characters are the French villagers the main character encounters, but Mayle turns this on his head, introducing us to a hardnosed American ad exec named Zielger (who, in my mind's eye, was ...more
R.S. Carter
Apr 08, 2014 R.S. Carter rated it really liked it
Not my normal read. It was okay, but not much of a plot. Just a whole bunch of my being jealous at the extravagant lifestyles of the rich and famous. Oh those poor dears. What horrific lives those poor, mistreated Madison Ave ad execs lead in the hills of Provence upon semiretirement. It's just brutal, I tell you. Here, let me chuck this tiny violin in your direction.
Sarah Shields
May 08, 2014 Sarah Shields rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
I didn't love this book. I didn't hate it either. I was a bit indifferent overall. I liked the story, but it wasn't a very deep story at all. Some of the characters and tiny little side stories just seemed like they were added after the fact, and had nothing to do with the story as a whole. I did like Ernest though, he was pretty fun. Overall, an ok book, just not much of a thought provoker.
May 08, 2009 Andria rated it really liked it
Very entertaining. Lots and lots of eating fine French food and drinking fine French wine (I was pregnant while reading this book and missing wine...). A rich British advertising executive gets fed up with his job and decides to restore an old ruined building and open a hotel in the south of France. He is aided in his project by his personal assistant Ernest and an attractive French woman named Nicole, whom he meets at an auto shop the first time he is down by his new property. Meanwhile, a gang ...more
Jun 16, 2017 Nd rated it really liked it
The only thing better would be a real trip to Provence. Every Peter Mayle book makes me feel as if I've been traveling and getting to see the French countryside. In this one, it's through British advertising mogul Simon Shaw, who has built his business until it's international in size. As the novel begins, the work that he has thrown himself into and excelled at is losing its luster and he is freshly divorced from a spendthrift he likely shouldn't have married to begin with. Ernest, butler/drive ...more
Apr 15, 2017 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Remember when people used to sit sipping afternoon champagnes and watch the sun gently recline upon the mountains in the afternoons? Soft simple pleasures with just enough quirky characters to keep the story in motion. This was 1993 when no one sat checking their teeth on their selfie images. Sweet to the end! Loved the butler the most.
Jan 03, 2017 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
A good summer beach read, optimally in the south of France. An advertising exec gets bored with his life and decides to open a hotel in Provence. All is not smooth sailing and he gets mixed up with some bad dudes. Fun, easy, fast with Provencal and French slang along with a penchant for the good life. What's not to like?
Jan 05, 2015 Pat rated it it was amazing
A wonderful light, fun read. If you are ready to take a break from the 700 page epics and you want a warm, lighthearted story, then this is the book to read. Peter Mayle is a magician with his words and story line. He doesn't get bogged down with the minutia of unimportant details but takes the reader on an almost whimsical escape from dreary London to sunny France. I plan on ready his first book "A Year in Provence".
Paula Paige
Jul 05, 2015 Paula Paige rated it really liked it
I read this over the first few days after moving into my new home. What a treat! It was perfect as my TV wasn't yet hooked up, I had no internet and yet my craving for entertainment was high. Mayle created a fun romp through the south of France, much different from his other stories. He did make me hungry (and thirsty) on every other page with wonderful descriptions of food and wine. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting a good summer read.
Apr 01, 2010 Christi rated it it was amazing
Love, love ,love Peter Mayles' writing! Yes, it's light and fun, that's the whole point of his books. He doesn't take him self that seriously and neither should the reader. What's so wonderful is that most light books aren't well written and his are. You don't feel guilty for reading them!
Tey are aslo quite useful for planning a trip to Provence!
Aug 13, 2016 Erin rated it it was amazing
Absolutely adored this book! I was legitimately sad when I finished it. Mayle created a warm, wonderful world of characters and painted such a loving portrait of Provence that it was hard to let go at the end. One of the best books I've read in a while.
Oct 25, 2012 Darla rated it did not like it
I enjoyed "A Year in Provence" so much..I thought this novel from Mr. Mayle would be another gem. For! The setting, the food wonderful but the characters and plot were flat. Do not waste your time with this one.
Sep 21, 2007 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My idea of the perfect beach read. A little wealth, some fun-in-the sun, a bit of how does one find the perfect career, mixed in with a plot to pull off the perfect bank robbery.

Picked this book up at a Library book sale.
Feb 18, 2013 Karen rated it liked it
Love understanding all the French slang and curse words. Nice to imagine the Luberon and the WARMTH of summer in the depths of this winter of my discontent and FLU.
Sep 15, 2009 Bettie☯ rated it liked it
Shelves: published-1994
mp3 My copy is actually a rip from dodgy-ish tapes, which transposed into 11 discs unabridged.

You can't read this without opening a frisky little red and slicing a cheeky cheddar - so I have.
Nataliya Stelmakh
Aug 07, 2012 Nataliya Stelmakh rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read! Reading the book is like eating honey with a big spoon, very romantic but yet lively & adventurous
Aug 11, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing
What a delightful book! I loved the characters, I loved the storyline and he his description of Provence was excellent! I've got all his other books on request from the library.
Literary  Chanteuse
3.5 stars
May 31, 2017 Olesya rated it it was amazing
One more delicious piece with a flavor of Province and long soft aftertaste. Every time I read Peter Mayle's books they bring a smile to my face and sleepless nights. It's impossible to put down his books, I love his simple style and entertaining plots. Once more time I catch myself missing Province and simple life only me and me. Peter Mayle is good for entertaining, for tough times to remember that life is full of surprises and for any time when you want a good friend to let you know that afte ...more
Zohaib Ahmed
Jan 20, 2017 Zohaib Ahmed rated it it was amazing
Hotel Pastis is one of the greatest novel i have read in a long time. God! it was beautiful, written with so much of passion. Reading it made me fell in love with Provence and Luberon and made me promise myself that one day i'll visit those refreshing places. The novel had a total unique theme, one of its own kind. The characters were amazing and I instantly fell in love with them, the description of characters and the places was awesome. The detailing of food, french cuisine was the best thing ...more
I'd even round this up to 3.5 stars.

The story is entertaining and the setting of Provence swept me away, much like it did Simon, the main character. This book has a nice little romance, some cunning thievery, interesting characters, delicious food and some good laughs. I thought the plot twist at the end was a little abrupt but overall it was a fun read.
Jun 04, 2017 Kathy rated it liked it
Recommended to Kathy by: Don't recall
Occasionally grew impatient with the sometimes plodding pace of the plot. The ending was slightly disappointing.
Mihai Savu
Dec 22, 2013 Mihai Savu rated it really liked it

Peter Mayle este un autor britanic contemporan, cunoscut în special pentru romanele sale legate de însorita regiune Provence din Franța. I-am citit mai întâi volumul "Viață de câine" și m-am îndrăgostit de stilul dezinvolt și de umorul său special. "Viață de câine" este o poveste relatată cu vocea unui câine abandonat care își caută un cămin. Trece prin multe peripeții, dar este foarte isteț și reușește să-i cucerească pe noii săi stăpâni cu privirea miloa
Oct 24, 2011 Dianne rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Simon Shaw is a highly successful ad executive in London, whose current marriage has dissolved in a cloud of resentment and recriminations. He is tired of his ex's constant grasping for more money and the shallowness of colleagues at his advertising agency; in fact he's tired of the whole spinning money-making machine (though not so much the money) and is ready for a change when he meets a savvy, French woman with an interesting idea.

Simon begins the process of disentangling himself from life in
Craig Dube
Apr 08, 2014 Craig Dube rated it liked it
Another book club suggestion, Hotel Pastis is the story of a rich, English, advertising Executive named Simon Shaw who works too hard and has too little fun. Things change for Simon when he takes a small vacation in the French countryside and meets a local woman named Nicole Bouvier. Although their initial encounter is brief, there is some obvious attraction between them both and over the next month they begin dating, at which point Nicole tells Simon her new plan for him is to build a new hotel ...more
Erik Moloney
Jun 18, 2015 Erik Moloney rated it really liked it
As fans of A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence may have suspected, Mayle's skills as a writer translate well into fiction. His first novel is as adroit, funny and charming as his previous works, and again it is set in his favorite region of France. Newly divorced, disenchanted and bored with his job as a director of a prestigious British ad agency, Simon Shaw is delighted when beautiful Frenchwoman Nicole Bouvier suggests that he rescue from bankruptcy a half-finished hotel in the drolly na ...more
Dora Okeyo
Mar 14, 2012 Dora Okeyo rated it it was ok
Quick and fun.
That's what Hotel Pastis is all about-first I liked the fact that Simon Shaw takes a break and decides that France is the place and goes to Luberon,some small village-given how fast paced his life is and how hard he works to please clients-the move was good. That was a good part in the story and as for the thieves-well, it I didn't like it that much, but how they sit down to plot their heist was fun to read-the French was also good-it makes you appreciate the culture and the people
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Peter Mayle (born June 14, 1939 in Brighton) is a British author famous for his series of books detailing life in Provence, France. He spent fifteen years in advertising before leaving the business in 1975 to write educational books, including a series on sex education for children and young people. In 1989, A Year in Provence was published and became an international bestseller. His books have be ...more
More about Peter Mayle...

Other Books in the Series

Provence (7 books)
  • A Year in Provence
  • Toujours Provence
  • Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France
  • Provence A-Z
  • Provence from the Air
  • A Chef In Provence

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