Chateau Marmont - West Hollywood
The first time I stayed at Chateau Marmont, I was eighteen years old. My best friend and I worked retail jobs all summer and saved money to be able to stay at the hotel. We took a flight from Arizona to Los Angeles and arrived on Thanksgiving (this was in the late 90’s back when the Marlboro Man sign was still up in full view from the hotel). The hotel was slow and so we were upgraded to a suite on the 5th floor.. where our balcony neighbor was Keanu Reeves. Being young we thought nothing of it and knocked on his door and he obliged to take photos with us -photos that I still have. Our suite was a one bedroom with kitchen, living room and decorated with modern vintage furniture. Very minimal yet stylish as can be. There was a scent in our room that smelled something like COCO by Chanel parfum. The scent reminded me of something a very chic 80 year old might wear. I loved it.
My friend and I hung out all day by the swimming pool and spotted Michael Stipe of REM lounging poolside wearing speedos with a gorgeous man next to him. I couldn’t get the melody and lyrics to “Man on the Moon” out of rotation in my head. My friend and I had a small squabble over I-don’t-remember-what and she went up to the room on her own. A very attractive man who was probably in his 30’s but seemed old to me at the time, swam from one side of the pool to the side that I was on to try and talk to me. I guess he had noticed the argument my friend and I got into, and he was trying to comfort me.. and flirt as well. Later that evening, back in the suite, we received a chiding call from the front desk. They were upset that other hotel guests had been complaining that they saw me hanging from a window. I was trying to imitate Jim Morrison (silly 18 year old). The management almost banned us for life but luckily they accepted my profuse apologies.
In the years since I have stayed at the Chateau Marmont too many times too count and every time is a special experience. Knowing that F.Scott Fitzgerald stayed there, or John Lennon or Jim Morrison just adds to the energy of the place.
It’s not about the constant celebrity sightings.. that’s not the point, it’s just that the place has a unique energy which I have not felt at any other hotel in all the cities I’ve traveled to around the world. I would say that the Chateau Marmont is definitely my favorite place in Los Angeles.. and one of my top 5 favorite places in the world.