Chateau Marmont

Rock-star casual, bohemian, buzzy

8221 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood 90046


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At a Glance

The Loire-style Chateau is essential Los Angeles, with sixty-three rooms, including four bungalows that seem to have been furnished courtesy of the Rose Bowl Flea Market.


Definitely not for everyone, the Chateau Marmont has its own distinct cool, casual style. The sixty-three rooms, including four bungalows (two with two floors), each uniquely decorated, seem to have been furnished courtesy of the Rose Bowl Flea Market, right down to the vintage O’Keefe & Merritt stoves in everything from junior suites on up. Bathrooms aren’t the marble palaces you may have come to expect; most are outfitted in the building’s original tiles and have clean white cotton curtains across the showers. Nevertheless, the Loire-style Chateau is quintessential Los Angeles, a local legend that began as an apartment house in the '20s and whose inhabitants have included Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Jim Morrison, Helmut Newton and John Belushi, who spent his last night here. Most admirably, the property is a holdout against plastic surgery of any sort, if you don’t include new elevators. The place reeks of time-stopped-here Old Hollywood charm and is another feather in hotelier André Balazs’s cap.

Most guests are repeat customers: generally the young international set who read the covers of Variety and Billboard posted daily in the elevators. There’s no spa, and the seventh-floor gym is strictly dungeon-like, with one TV. For exercise, follow the lushly planted stone paths to the Ping-Pong table and the lovely pool, framed by a lemon tree. It’s hard to believe that the Sunset Strip is just outside the gate. If you don’t check in, be sure to at least dine in the garden restaurant, which is alongside a Gothic colonnade and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your view may very well include the sight of a smoking, tattoo-covered rock and roller drinking Badoit and red wine with his smoked salmon and bagel. Chef Carolynn Spence, from New York’s Spotted Pig, serves fare loaded with seasonal produce, plus oxtail bruschetta and organic eggs any style. She also cooks at the perennially hip and extremely funky Bar Marmont, next door. Dinner reservations are a must.

Who Should Stay

Young travelers looking to forego luxe accomodations for a glimpse of old-world Hollywood

Written by Betty Goodwin

What's Nearby
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