Chateau Marmont

Hollywood, Los Angeles, United States Book from

Fabulous Hollywood landmark, lair and legend: 63 Golden-Age suites, bungalows and penthouses on the grounds of a Loire-style castle above Sunset Strip
The A-list actress - fresh from a break-up - is lunching with a new beau at the next table. Within hours, photos (snapped from a bush over my left shoulder!) break the story on the Web. Just a day in the life of Chateau Marmont. Jean Harlow and Clark Gable carried on a torrid affair here (during Harlow’s honeymoon). Howard Hughes holed up in a penthouse, binoculars trained on starlets at the pool. Led Zeppelin tore up the halls on Harleys. Scarlett Johansson may or may not have hooked up with Benicio Del Toro in the creaky elevator. The Chateau is Hollywood’s scrapbook, chronicling decades of flamboyance with lots of naughty detail.

Fashioned after a real French chateau, Marmont looks more like a Disney-leftover above the glitzy Sunset Strip. Movie stars come to party (their antics covered up by a tight-lipped experienced staff) and sometimes to disappear for months. Beyond the grandiose vaulted ceilings and fluted pillars of the salon, landscaped paths lead to a range of quarters (including bedroom, suites, bungalows and penthouses) straight out of a Golden Age soundstage.

Highs

  • A celebrity in its own right, Chateau Marmont delivers a palpable thrill; its scandal-tinged stories are irresistible fun, even if you’re not star-struck
  • A Hollywood Historical and Cultural Monument (#151); Gothic grandeur (complete with gargoyles) and Golden Age redux with cool vintage furnishings
  • Lush grounds studded with koi ponds and private nooks surrounding a large pool; manicured garden courtyard and colonnade with wicker chairs
  • Most accommodations have full kitchen, dining room and living room; some with fireplace, patio or terrace, private entrance and/or driveway - useful for families
  • Steps from the Sunset Strip; a short ride to world-class shopping Melrose and Rodeo Drive shops

Lows

  • Rarified, clubby atmosphere can wear on non-members; a great place to be a fly on the wall, but taking a photo will get you a dirty look
  • The hotel enjoys a 90% occupancy rate, recession be damned; you can’t request a specific room (the front desk is never sure when guests are going to check out)
  • Star sightings are likely, but not guaranteed; many celebs take the elevator directly from the garage to their rooms
  • Vintage furnishings have a tidy elegance that seems a bit bare-bones after all the hype; fans love details that are reminiscent of “Grandma’s house”
  • Mixed feedback - some see shabby décor and dark common rooms but others love the fab vibe and old-world glamour

Best time to go

Dry and mild, with about 300 days of sunshine a year, Los Angeles is at its best from early autumn to late spring. Winter rains are most likely from February to April. In the late spring to early summer, coastal fog - often called “May Gray” and “June Gloom” - can block the sun until early afternoon. Summers are sunny, but temperatures can cook inland, making the smoggy air unbearable. Hot, desert-driven winds called “the Santa Anas" sweep in during October and November, notching up the danger of brush fires.

Our top tips

Stay a night or two to, well, years. Bungalows and penthouses are the ultimate splurge for long-term guests. Robert De Niro lived here for 2 years.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Honeymoon
Spa
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Luxury Hotel
  • 63 rooms and bungalows
  • Restaurant + bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Daily paper
Room:

Rooms

Built as an upscale apartment residence (the first earthquake-proof building in LA) at the cusp of the Depression, Chateau Marmont has been a hotel for most of its life. All 63 rooms and residences are roomy and full of natural light, and decorated with vintage furnishings and appliances that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back to the 1930s or 1940s.

Even Junior Suites have full kitchens, dining rooms and separate sitting rooms. Grander Penthouses and Bungalows have formal dining rooms, some with wraparound terraces three times the size of a garden-facing bedroom. Others have private entrances and enclosed yards. It’s easy to see why people (with the means) “end up staying on”. See Rates for full details.

We liked the 1930s Spanish-style Garden Cottages which are clustered around a landscaped courtyard adjacent to pool. They’re tucked into the shadow of the Sunset Strip’s ubiquitous billboards, and are accessible through a private street entrance.

Expect all the luxuries: embroidered sheets, personalised stationery, bathrobes and hand-woven cashmere throws, iPod docking stations, flat screen TVs DVD and CD players, movie on demand and extensive DVD and CD libraries available, WiFi and multi-line phones with conference, fax and modem capabilities, hairdryer, and minibar with free bottled water.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Kitchenette
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Whip up breakfast in your own kitchen, order room service or grab the paper from your doorstep and head for the garden courtyard where breakfast is served. If the weather is bad, you eat in the marvellous nook off the salon with fancy brocade walls, antique mirrors and an antique chandelier.

Lunch is served in the salon, the garden, by the pool - anywhere you like! Throughout the day, the salon and garden courtyard tend to buzz with a Hollywood Who’s Who.

Dinner requires a reservation, and is served from 6-11pm. The hotel restaurant shares Executive Chef Carolynn Spence (formerly Chef de Cuisine at The Spotted Pig in New York) with the chi-chi Bar Marmont. Signature dishes include shrimp and avocado, truffled arancini with wild mushrooms and parmesan, and bittersweet chocolate cream pie. In the bar you could choose braised Oxtail bruschetta with parsley shallot salad, smoked trout cups with crème fraiche, or salted pistachio crumble.

The bar is open til 2am and serves a short list of bar snacks, salads shared and small plates.

You can cook for yourself but will have to buy groceries. Staff can pre-shop for guests on request so that food is available in the kitchen on arrival, they just need 24 hours advance notice. A full room service menu is available 24 hours a day; if you’d prefer to do the town, the concierge can get you a table at LA’s hottest restaurants at a moment’s notice.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Kitchenette
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • At the hotel: sunbathe on your private patio or terrace or at the hotel pool; linger over lunch or a cocktail in the garden courtyard; stargaze or commune with ghosts of Hollywood’s golden age; catch up on email or tweak your screenplay in the salon; indulge in a massage or facial in your suite or residence; test a new recipe in your vintage kitchen; play a game of ping pong; work out with your personal trainer in the attic gym
  • Shop: browse the designer boutiques on nearby Melrose Avenue, home to the boutiques of designers such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Paul Smith and Marc Jacobs; browse art and interior design galleries on Robertson Blvd.; catch a cab (or chauffeured sedan) to neighbouring Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive where window-shopping is fun (and easier on the pocketbook)
  • Hang out at the beach: head for Santa Monica and Venice, where 5.6km of freshly groomed sand await, as well as a historic pier with carnival rides and games; cruise the South Bay Bicycle Trail - stretching 35 km from Torrance to Malibu - by bike, motorbike or self-powered Segway
  • Visit the Getty Center. This acclaimed museum is as much visited for its architecture, gardens, and views as it is for its permanent collection of pre 20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; and 19th- and 20th-century American and European photographs. While on the culture trail, LA offers a variety of venues such as the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Hollywood Bowl

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being

Kids

Families with children of all ages are welcome. We think teens will love its rock'n'roll appeal and it's best for older kids who will appreciate it; the shabby chic decor and late night reputation might rule out parents of babies, although they are welcome.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

There's a huge range of accommodation offering different options for families of all sizes - see Rates for full details.

Babysitting:

Babysitting with a reliable agency is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

  • Cots
  • High chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Children are welcome in the restaurant (high chairs are available) and you have your own kitchen, making meals more convenient. Steamers/sterilisers are available on request.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool with shallow end
  • Children's DVDs
  • Ping pong table

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Santa Monica Pier
  • Disneyland
  • Universal Studios
  • Hollywood walk of fame

Families Should Know:

Small children should be supervised on balconies and by the pool. None of the stairs are gated. There is a doctor on call if necessary.

Distances:

  • Airport: 35 minutes
  • Hospital: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

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