L.A.’S Greatest Landmarks: Chateau Marmont

No doubt, the Chateau Marmont looks, smells and feels like Hollywood.  You enter and are immediately swept up in a sort of old world, yet infinitely hip glamor. Every time I’ve gone there, whether it was for a languid drink, writing an interview, meeting a friend staying there for some pool action, or doing some sort of casting session, I’ve felt like I was in a movie myself. It definitely has it’s own mysterious magic.

Built in 1927, and modeled after a castle in the Loire Valley of France, it exudes a combination of mystery, naughtiness and serene beauty. It’s a famous hideaway for celebrities and bon vivants, shysters and artists. From the lobby, with it’s sweeping ceilings and intimate, nice living room areas, to it’s pool dappled with light, it’s breathtakingly beautiful and tawdry at the same time.
My first encounter there, years and years ago, was at a wild Friday night party, hosted by a gangsterish pretty boy from New Jersey. He had dreams of moving to California and financing movies….. starring himself. He rented the penthouse overlooking Sunset Boulevard and proceeded to throw one of the most debaucherous parties I have ever attended (before or since!). It involved many magnums of champagne, various illegal substances and before the night was over, at least two aspiring starlets had whipped off their tops to compare boob jobs. There was a vote. The winner took all. Later, as the sun was rising, the party ended with skinny dipping at the pool. Croissants never tasted so good.

More recently, I went there for dinner out in the garden with my honey Dan. It was dreamily sensual, amazing food, sun setting into candle-lit darkness. Quite stunning. Still delivered mightily in the glamor department.
The place definitely has Hollywood history. Greta Garbo holed up there, not leaving her room for days at a time, Helmut Newton hit the wall of the entrance and tragically died there. John Belushi kicked the bucket in one of the bungalows. Britney Spears is reportedly banned from the place for bad behavior… the list is endless. From the time it opened to today, it’s been a star magnet.  Some say the Eagles, “Hotel California” is actually the Chateau Marmont.  And like the perfect movie star, it never seems to age, always living up to it’s legend!

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