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Chateau Marmont

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L.A.'s Infamous Chateau Marmont to Become Members-Only Hotel: All About the Celeb-Favorite Haunt

By Benjamin VanHoose
July 29, 2020 01:21 PM
People.com
 
Chateau Marmont
Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

One iconic Los Angeles institution is about to reimagine its business model.

In a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, hotelier André Balazs, 63, said he is preparing to convert the Chateau Marmont into an exclusive, members-only property in a move that would break away from its traditional hotel structure.

Balazs explained that, while he's been mulling over the new concept, the strain on the hospitality industry brought on by the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic made him expedite the process. Under the new framework, guests could buy ownership stakes at the property when becoming members.

“There is something to be said for knowing people. You can chat with them; you know where they have been,” Balazs told the outlet of the intended appeal of membership, offering peace of mind to those weary of shacking up near strangers in an outbreak.

The operator said he plans to transition Chateau Marmont into the private hotel format by the end of the year, according to WSJ. The 63-room French-inspired castle, which has seen numerous infamous events over the years, is tucked into the edge of the Hollywood Hills and has been in businesses since 1929.

“We have always screened our guests,” Balazs said of the exclusivity of its patrons. “Guests are never more than one degree of separation away.”

A spokesperson for Chateau Marmont told the Los Angeles Times that members will pay fees that will get them a private dining area, a personal butler and the ability to come and go during lengthy stays.

“Members will be able to sell their shares back to the management company or other approved members, as they would with any other real estate investment,” said the spokesperson.

The Chateau Marmont has an at times sordid history with ties to a range of celebrities — from Lindsay Lohan’s well-documented eviction from Suite 33 for running up a $46,350.04 bill in 2012, to John Belushi’s death in Bungalow 3 in 1982.

Further back in Hollywood history, Jean Harlow is rumored to have had an affair with Clark Gable at the hotel in 1933 while on her honeymoon with her third husband. James Dean won his role in Rebel Without a Cause, in part, by jumping through the roof of Bungalow 2. Led Zeppelin’s drummer road his motorcycle through the lobby, as well.

As former Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn once said: "If you are going to get into trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont."

 

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3 hours ago, princess said:
“We have always screened our guests,” Balazs said of the exclusivity of its patrons. “Guests are never more than one degree of separation away.”

Explain Lindsay Lohan.....

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Haha 2

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I use to stay at this hotel a lot when I was in Hollywood in the 90s and 00s.  Going to Viper Room, Whiskey Go Go, Troubadour and other clubs and then crawling back to this hotel for some late night snacks, drinks and people watching.  This is where I motor boated Keanu Reeves.  Shared a conversation with Alicia Silverstone over a bathroom stall door.  Chatted with Sara Gilbert's girlfriend (wife?) about periods.  Sean Bean bummed cigarettes off me one night.  Olivier Martinez told me his dog only follows commands in French.

Great memories and lots of fun times.  And the location was perfect, the staff service was excellent (even for a non-celeb like me) and the food/atmosphere was top notch.  So bummed if they make this members only, even if it's been years since I've stayed there. :(

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Sounds like what I know as a timeshare model? I wonder if members will be able to “rent” to non members. 

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Sell to approved members sounds like a NYC co-op (I have never heard of other areas who do coops the way New York does - it's super weird and I don't understand fully, but have a good friend who has tried explaining to me over the years ;-)

And a bit of a country club ;-) I can't imagine that is a profitable model over the long run, but perhaps because it's such a small hotel (only 63 rooms) they can't be profitable enough as a regular hotel either these days?

 

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