A night at... CHATEAU MARMONT
THE ICONIC ‘CASTLE ON THE HILL’ REMAINS LA’S CENTRE OF STYLE.
It’s 10.30pm, and guests in the Chateau’s garden courtyard are eyeing off the next move. Upstairs comes the call, so we head to an elevated suite – the LA home to an A-list Australian actor. Smokers head for the balcony – inhaling cigarettes and neon views down Sunset Boulevard, across West Hollywood and the muted, smog-wrapped lights of Downtown. Elsewhere, people gather to talk in the small kitchen while others fall into the smattering of mid-century furnishings that make up the open lounge. The door to the suite opens regularly – leggy blondes and brunettes enter, each eager to know if they’ve the right room, having heard of a party, even if none have previously met the evening’s host. It’s a scenario that plays out most nights at Chateau, a scene that’s informed countless movies – Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere more fact than fiction. This is what the Chateau’s been about since the ’30s – a secretive enclave, removed from paparazzo lenses (no unauthorised photos, videos, or online posts allowed while other guests are ‘in house’) and a constant muse for creative creatures, including F Scott Fitzgerald, Hunter S Thompson, Jay Mcinerney and Bruce Weber. This is where Led Zeppelin belted motorcycles though the lobby and Jim Morrison penned ‘LA Woman’. It’s also where John Belushi and Helmut Newton took their final breaths. Today, it’s where we stay when in town. For one, there’s the daily, doubletake celeb factor, though the attentive approach of staff is equally attractive – fancy a three-course meal at midnight or cheese toasty at 3am? On its way. It’s also about romanticised notions of old Hollywood glamour, the Don Draper-esque lobby bar (replete with open piano), the gothic-etched, personalised Chateau stationery and the French toast. Yes, the ‘Crunchy Almond French Toast and Berries’ could be a better breakfast treat than waking next to Margot Robbie. Further appeal sits with the seclusion on offer – as featured by the 63 rooms and accompanying garden cottages and poolside bungalows. Here, you’re in the action but also able to crawl away from it. Nearby sits the Australian-owned Eveleigh restaurant and bar (head for the patio and the grilled Monterey squid), a late-night hotdog at Carney’s (housed in a Union Pacific Rail Car) and a bar crawl that takes in the obvious (Saddle Ranch, Viper Room, Rainbow Bar and Grill, The Roxy, Skybar) and lesser-known highlights such as Maia and Pearl’s Liquor Bar. Need to shop? Roll down to The Beverly Centre, march along Melrose Avenue and drop by Opening Ceremony on La Cienega Boulevard. Then return to this hideaway on the hill – to a late-night courtyard session that’ll no doubt end up in someone else’s room.
From approx. $580 a night; chateaumarmont.com
LEAFY OUTLOOKS (FAR LEFT) AND CLASSICALLY STYLED COMMON AREAS (LEFT) ARE A WELCOME RESPITE FROM THE FRANTIC LOS ANGELES TEMPO (ABOVE).