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BACKSTORY: The Chateau Marmont is located at 8221 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. Built in 1927 by local attorney Fred Horowitz, and modeled loosely after the Chateau d'Amboise, in France's Loire Valley it began its life as an apartment building. Named for the street running across the back of the property, The Chateau Marmont opened in February 1929, but high rents and the Depression kept renters away. In 1931 the building was changed to a hotel. The hotel was bought in 1990 and is currently owned and managed by Hotels AB, run by hotelier Andre Balazs. The Chateau Marmont was designed and constructed as earthquake proof, and has survived major earthquakes in 1933, 1953, 1971, 1987 and 1994, without sustaining any major structural damage. Nine cottages were built in the 1930s, next to the hotel, which were acquired by the hotel in the 1940s. Two of the four bungalows at the Chateau Marmont were designed by Craig Ellwood, in 1956, after he completed Case Study Houses.

The Chateau has been the site of many famous incidents with movie stars, artists, and musicians, most notably the death of John Belushi on March 5, 1982. Some of the other oft-told tales include Led Zeppelin riding motorcycles through the lobby, Jim Morrison jumping off a bungalow roof into the pool (or off a terrace onto the ground...the story varies!), and Natalie Wood, James Dean, and Dennis Hopper doing their script readings here in director Nicholas Ray’s cottage for “Rebel WIthout A Cause” (1955). Movie studios rented rooms for their stars so that they could “get into trouble” away from the watchful eyes of the gossip columnists and the law. The most famous quote about the Chateau comes from Columbia Pictures studio head, Harry Cohn, who told William Holden & Glenn Ford: “If you must get into trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont.” The two shared a room at the Chateau (paid for by Cohn) and took turns using it as a private getaway.

I HIGHLY recommend that you stay at the Chateau Marmont on your next visit to Hollywood/Los Angeles. Hands down it is my favorite hotel: EVER.

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