Seeing Stars: The Hotels of the Stars..

8221 Sunset Boulevard,
West Hollywood, CA. / (323) 656-1010

Rising above the Sunset Strip is the Chateau Marmont, the legendary, castle-like hotel that made headlines in 1982 as the place where comedian John Belushi died, after injecting a "speedball" of heroin and cocaine.

That may have been the first time most people heard of the Chateau Marmont, but the little-known hotel has long been popular with show biz types who prize their privacy.

Built in 1929, the hotel has played host to such celebrity guests as Errol Flynn, Bob Dylan, Clark Gable, Paul Newman, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe, Boris Karloff, Carole Lombard, Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr, Jean Harlow, Sidney Poitier, Dustin Hoffman, William Holden, Jessica Lange, Led Zepplin, the Jefferson Airplane, Spike Lee, and Greta Garbo (who obviously wanted to be alone). Other stars have found the hotel an ideal spot for secret romances.

James Dean and Natalie Wood first met at the Marmont, during a script rehearsal of the classic "Rebel Without a Cause."

When actor Montgomery Clift was almost killed in a 1956 auto accident near her home, Elizabeth Taylor brought him to the Chateau Marmont, where she leased the penthouse as a place for him to recuperate. (She also saved his life immediately following the accident, by removing two of Clift's teeth from his blocked windpipe - with her fingers.)

Jim Morrison (of "The Doors") hurt his back here while dangling from a drain pipe, trying to swing from the roof into the window of his hotel room (as depicted in Oliver Stone's movie "The Doors").

And despite a little wear & tear, the hotel is still favored by some stars today, who treasure the Chateau not only for its Old World charm, but because it is relatively unknown to the public. Reportedly, Leonardo DiCaprio stayed in suite #54 recently. They've also played host to the like of Keanu Reeves, Elijah Wood, Jude Law, Matt Dillon, Ellen DeGeneres and Courtney Love.

Robert De Niro has secluded himself away here in the penthouse for extended periods. Dancer Tommy Tune was running down the stairs at the Chateau Marmont when a small 5.0 earthquake hit Bakersfield. Tune tripped, and broke his foot... On another day, Sting was spotted tinkling the ivories of a piano in the hotel lobby. Sandra Bullock is quoted by the L.A. Times as saying "No wonder people come here to have affairs - it's got that air of history, where you know a lot of people did things they weren't supposed to do."

Lately, the hotel lobby has seen the like of Britney Spears, Colin Farrell, Elijah Wood, Lindsay Lohan, Matt Dillon, Christina Ricci, Tobey Maguire, Jude Law, et al.

And adjacent to the hotel is the Bar Marmont, one of the hottest spots in town right now. Don't be surprised to see Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Ellen DeGeneres, or even Leonardo there.

The Chateau offers 63 suites, cottages and bungalows, from $520 to around $1,500 per night, or $4,500 for the penthouse (with a panoramic view of the city).

 Getting there: Chateau Marmont is located just above the north side of the Sunset Strip, just west of Crescent Heights. / From Hollywood & Vine, take Vine Street two blocks south to Sunset Boulevard, then turn right and go west (about 2 1/4 miles) to just beyond Crescent Heights. The hotel will be on your right (north) side.  

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