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What is Chateau Marmont?

The hotel that looks like a castle in Los Angeles, a symbol of celebrity culture and inspiration for fashion

What is Chateau Marmont? The hotel that looks like a castle in Los Angeles, a symbol of celebrity culture and inspiration for fashion

Theater of scandalous love affairs, extravagance of rock stars and macabre happenings: at the Chateau Marmont each of the 63 rooms has a story to tell. Few places in the world have such powerful fame and charm that they have attracted all the stars of the show-biz since 1929, the opening date. From Bette Davis to Lana del Rey via Helmut Newton and Led Zeppelin, many stars have chosen the building to stay for vacation or to live for a few months, making the Californian castle a symbol of celebrity culture.

The world of cinema is seduced by the allure of the Chateau and choose it as a location or inspiration for its productions: Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton and Sofia Coppola shot some of their best movies here.

Interior design, style and history

The hotel is the first earthquake-resistant property in LA with large rooms, cottages and bungalows. The Chateau is a real castle that stands out on Sunset Boulevard and with its strategic position, it guarantees not only privacy and confidentiality to a starry clientele in search of tranquility, but also the continuous flow of tourists intrigued by such a singular building.

The Gothic-like French aesthetic, in white and dark gray marble, is freely inspired by medieval castles such as the Château d'Amboise, located in the Loire, which stole the heart of the founder Fred Horowitz. The arched windows, the vaulted colonnade, the two sides of the building that fold into a green courtyard make the building a real luxury fortress, in full Californian style and taste. The interior design creates a sober and reserved atmosphere, in which one feels safe from prying eyes: the dim light of the hall falls softly on faux brocades and vintage-inspired sofas, selected by the staff to look like they have always been there. Damask ceilings and the harmony between greenery and ancient rock drag guests into the majestic European-influenced estate, halfway between Spanish esotericism and French aristocratic details, maintained by the new owner André Balazs. It is the welcoming common areas such as the lobby, the swimming pool and the lush garden that make the glam soul of an Old Hollywood difficult to imitate today.

Celebrity meeting point

The stories that hover around the Chateau contribute to the fatal and decadent charm of the hotel. "If you’re going to get into trouble, let it be at the Marmont" said Harry Cohn, director of Columbia Pictures in the 1930s, and he was taken literally. The Marmont hosted among the countless celebrities, a terrified of not making a career Grace Kelly in 1925, a curious James Dean who rushed into the bungalow of director Nicholas Ray to get the most-known"Rebel without a cause" role, discovering the clandestine liason with future underage co-star Natalie Wood, rowdy Led Zeppelin running around the hotel in motorcycles , an euphoric Jim Morrison who threw himself into the pool from the fourth-story window and excessive Red Hot Chili Peppers who spent weeks in the room doing drugs, in a very rock'n'roll way. Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate stayed here shortly before the murder of her by Charles Manson sect hands, and John Belushi died of an overdose in bungalow number 3 in '82, spreading a veil of mystery on the hotel, which expanded in 2004, when nude photographer Helmut Newton died while driving out of the hotel gate. Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan were both dismissed for misconduct, while Johnny Depp and Kate Moss claim to have made love in every room of the hotel. More recently Keanu Reeves, Amanda Seyfried, Joaquin Phoenix, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Fedez and Chiara Ferragni stayed there. Not all together. It’s impossible to write about the Chateau without name dropping, sorry.

Chateau Marmont in pop culture

Chateau Marmont is a catalyst of energy and for this reason art of all kinds is attracted by it: the music by Lana del Rey who wrote Born to Die in the room 79 of Marmont Strip and choose the hotel to shoot the Video Games video; movies by Sofia Coppola who shot Somewhere entirely in room 63. Photography of icons like Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weber and Helmut Newton, who took some of the most iconic covers of the century here, as well as the designs of Stephen Sprouse, Tom Ford, Christian Louboutin and Alessandro Michele. The latter, a regular guest of the hotel, chooses it as a primary source of inspiration for Gucci Resort Collection 2019. The symbol of the God Pan, half-man and half-beast symbolizing lust and sexuality was used as a mascot on cocktail snacks and towels now appears on the side of the iconic Jackie Bag, on t-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, watches and brocade dresses of the Tuscan fashion house. The imaginary of the Chateau fits perfectly with the fluid, rebellious and esoteric new idea that Michele has for Gucci: the collection with a first amazing success becomes a collaboration, now available to the concierge of the hotel and on the site [email protected].