Last year we stayed at Chateau Marmont on our visit to LA, and I was a little disappointed. More than any other hotel, the Chateau is the embodiment of Hollywood and the Rock n Roll scene of the 1960’s and 70’s. It retains a mystique that I wanted to explore by staying for a few nights. I hadn’t expected to walk in and find it full or Rock stars but what I did find was a very unassuming hotel that, on first stay, didn’t look like they cared about the guests.
With time I have come to appreciate the hotel and understand why it is unlike any other. In normal LA hotels, you’d expect a warm welcome and a real fuss made of you, but at the Chateau you are greeted, looked after and shown to your room. After that it is up to you to continue the story.
The room decor is very plain, the apartment we took had two rooms, a large living room and a kitchen/dining area. The walls had a few pictures, a few books in the bookshelf and some pots and pans. The corridors were plain white with no fuss. Room service is quick and you can pretty much ask for what you want, but don’t expect a lot of attention.
On reflection I think this is the charm of the Chateau and why it remains a ‘go to’ place for stars to stay. I expect the average stay at the Chateau Marmont is weeks or months, not just a few nights.
What the Chateau is providing you with is a blank canvas for you to create a stay in your own image. The combination of plain decor and discreet service means people can ‘move in’ and stay for a length of time bringing their own interpretation to the experience.
For me, the Chateau Marmont still retains the allure lives on. The movie ‘Somewhere’ by Sofia Coppola is extensively set in Chateau Marmont. It gives a good example of how the hotel is really that blank canvas for people to make their own.
What I am learning about LA, is that the stories go on behind closed doors. Nowhere more than the Chateau.