Inside the Cult of the Chateau Marmont

Kristen Konvitz

chateau marmont Inside the Cult of the Chateau MarmontOn a recent trip to the City of Angels, I revisited an old friend, the legendary/notorious/exclusive Chateau Marmont. Though countless “it” hotels have opened in the years since Chateau’s Marmont restoration in 1990, this bastion of old Hollywood glamour remains the preeminent destination for locals and visitors alike.
There is no other hotel in the world that you need an “in” to even traipse through the lobby. And if you don’t know someone who knows someone, you will likely be banished to the wee lobby bar, to be conspicuously hidden away from the important and beautiful.
During this particular visit, I went to eat/drink/be merry in the idyllic garden (aka hedonistic haven), a respite from the chaos on Sunset Boulevard (Pink Taco anyone?).
This place is a real gem and has retained every ounce of its infamous reputation. A relic of a bygone time. Legends were birthed here. Take a walk down one of the halls and you might just feel the haunted presence of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Rudolph Valentino, Erroll Flynn, Jim Morrison, or John Belushi.
The Chateau is a Parisian-inspired refuge in a city that couldn’t be less European. If you could smoke in the restaurant, the Europeans would never leave. Plus, there is always some French actress having a party in the Penthouse. Always—its like groundhog day.
After imbibing and absorbing some of the abnormally surreal atmosphere, indulge in some of the good eats. The black truffle arancini with wild mushrooms is a highlight. But who goes for the food? You go for the debauchery and hope that maybe this night will lead you somewhere than lands you in the annals of Hollywood lore. Who knows, there’s always the slight possibility that Lindsay Lohan will drive her car through the lobby.
As The Eagles said in their homage to the Chateau (aka “Hotel California”): “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” This place just sticks with you.
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