Chateau Marmont

Two things I did not know about Chateau Marmont until recently: it was loosely modeled after a royal retreat in Loire Valley, France and, it was originally designed to be an apartment building.

Completed in 1929 and made into a hotel in 1931, Chateau Marmont is one of the few hotels in the world that has been lucky enough to age gracefully. Obviously it has been modernized but not mindlessly, not seemingly.

Slip off the busy Sunset Boulevard, enter the gardens of Chateau, and suddenly you are in your own world.

Everything in the hotel feels established, with layers and layers of history. Even the chia-pudding on the breakfast menu that, for sure, has not been there for decades. Talk about the art of creating the right atmosphere...

The rooms feel strangely casual, especially the suites that have bigger living areas, balconies and kitchens. I am not surprised that so many guests did not want to live but decided to live there somewhat permanently. The place quickly starts to feel like a home.

You are in a big city, next to a busy street, yet you are in a dreamworld. With all the lush trees and plants, the pool area, for example, feels totally secluded. You soak in the sun under the lemon trees, enjoy refreshing drinks, read your book, and forget time.

You will have so much privacy you want, but you are never alone. Just open the window or balcony door, or go downstairs to the living room, the bar, and you will have a gentle lullaby of conversation around you.

What I loved the most in Chateau Marmont were all those details that the mood is built on. Details such as, the atmosphere underneath the obvious “let’s dim the lights and put on some nice music” atmosphere. That is what defines if you really like a place or not.

Or the service, the wonderful staff. The fact that the people working there are not just good at what they do but so many of them genuinely on a good mood, happy to do the work they do, the work many of them have probably done for a long time.

Or the old sinks and bathtubs and showers, how great and brave it is not to change them. I know it was Sofia Coppola who filmed her movie here, but there is also something very Wes Anderson in the showering experience at Chateau.

You cannot force time and how things develop. The soul of any place will take its time, and once it is there, you want to caress it.

What I had in mind before checking in was the feeling of some type of glamorous ease. I was not disappointed. I dream of returning someday and staying in one of the cottages in the garden.

Have you visited already?

Chateau Marmont
8221 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046