Nestled high up on a hill overlooking the infamous Hollywood Boulevard, a place of high hopes and broken dreams, set slightly back amidst an exclusive enclave of high walls and tall trees and fiercely guarded by intimidating doormen, lies the infamous Chateau Marmont. Modeled after the royal residence in France’s Loire Valley, the Chateau has earned quite the name for itself, gaining a reputation as a Hollywood hangout – an adult Narnia for the stars, where anything can happen and everything goes.
Lindsay Lohan refused to leave. John Belushi died here. Greta Garbo called it her second home. Celebrities of various pedigree have sought refuge here, whether it be a discreet affair with another A-lister that was to be kept hidden from the public eye, or simply to escape the blinding and intrusive glare of the cameras that never stop flashing.
Whether you’re looking to get away for an extended period of time by checking into one of the private poolside bungalows or you simply want to get a taste of fame by sneaking into Bar Marmont for a quick drink, chances are you’ll rub shoulders with at least one or two big names and a famous face. The Restaurant at Chateau Marmont provides an intimate dining experience in an idyllic garden terrace, and don’t be surprised if Scarlett Johansson’s dog tries to jump into your lap as you reach for another serving of their delectable calamari (hey, it happened to us).
Unlike other hip Hollywood bars and clubs that change ownership and undergo quick makeovers every few years in order to stay relevant, Chateau Marmont has earned its spot as one of the most highly sought after locations in Hollywood that continues to draw attention and has an ever-growing list of people waiting to get inside. Reservations are highly recommended, and even then they might give you the onceover before letting you in (if you happen to know one of the regulars here, namedropping will only work in your favor).
Having frequented various bars and clubs in town, I find that I personally am drawn to the more laid back nature of the Chateau. There is no pressure here to try to make a scene or get noticed. In fact, people come here to do the exact opposite. It feels like you’re hanging out in someone’s private hillside estate – there just happen to be a lot of other people that are doing the same thing that you are. And if you are looking to mix things up a little, you’ve come to the right place. Come on the right night or come as the guest to the right person and you’ll end up having a night that you’ll never forget.
As Harry Cohn, the founder of Columbia Pictures famously said in 1939, “If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont.” And we couldn’t agree more.