The Legendary Chateau Marmont, Part I

May 08, 2019


For this week’s blog, and the next, I read three books about the famous Chateau Marmont Hotel, located at 8221 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. All three books, (that I will list at the end of next week’s blog) were written at different times. This means the information goes from 1929 when the Marmont opened to the present day. Some things may have changed – but not many.

Chateau Marmont: The Castle on the Hill is home to 63 rooms, cottages and bungalows

My focus was this: look for incidents or facts that are historical, crazy, fun, offbeat, or newsworthy. It didn’t take me long to find examples in all five categories. For starters though, let’s take a look at two entities: Los Angeles first, followed by the Marmont.


The author Amy Homes (pen name A.M. Homes) writes that, “Los Angeles feels like one of the most American cities in America. It is a city of the future and the past. The American Dream thrives and the city remains a mecca for visionaries, romantics and dreamers. It is one of the most surreal places in America.”


From its very beginning the Marmont was a peculiar sort of folly. It was the brainchild of Fred Horowitz and designed by architect Arnold Weitzman who modeled it after the Château d’Amboise in France’s Loire Valley – believed to be the final resting place of Leonardo de Vinci.

It was Los Angeles’ first earthquake-proof apartment building and was converted to a hotel in the 1930s.


From the day the door opened onto the deluxe sprawling apartments, the Chateau was home to actors, directors, writers and musicians. It was “a bit like the Left Bank must have seemed to Americans coming to Paris in the 1920s,” notes screenwriter Gavin Lambert.


Chateau Marmont seemed far removed from the dizzying Hollywood scene. The fact that the hotel was “practically in the country” was of great concern to many incoming visitors who longed to be closer to the action.

Checking into the hotel is like stepping into a living history. One immediately calms down at the Marmont. “Or, as a longtime friend of the hotel, Eve Babitz, notes, “It doesn’t mind brilliant talent, romance or lunacy. Anything and everything can and does happen here.”

The hotel has an Old World vibe that is loved by New Yorkers and Europeans – the lobby is always cool and, at night it glows with an out-of-time quasi-bordello sensibility aided by the huge Victorian lamps

Photos of the hotel: Courtesy of Chateau Marmont

Film director John Waters says that, “It’s the place to stay for those who hate Los Angeles, meaning: If you’re from Europe or New York. The people who love LA don’t understand why you want to stay at this hotel. They think it’s horrible when they stay there.”


In the elevator at the Marmont there is a sign that says, “IN CASE OF AN EARTHQUAKE PLEASE REMAIN CALM.”

The massive 1933 Long Beach earthquake took place on March 10th at 5:54 pm Pacific Standard Time. Its offshore epicenter was less than 50 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. The first shock lasted 11 seconds.

Anthony Haden-Guest discusses his experience with an earthquake at the Marmont. He writes, “I was staying in a bungalow when I was upgraded to a posh fifth-floor suite. I was on the phone when I saw my hefty armchair in the far corner make a stylish imitation of the pirouetting hippo in Fantasia. The floor swayed like a wave and stopped.

The chair that the earthquake put into motion reminded Haden-Guest of the pirouetting hippo in Fantasia

I walked over to the window. Out on Sunset Strip people were strolling past the Body Shop – it was as though the earthquake simply hadn’t happened.

I left via the stairs and joined a gaggle of guests by the pool. “About five point one on the Richter Scale,” a veteran screenwriter said knowingly


Shaun Nelson-Henrick

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Blog

Australia in the Winter Months

August 12, 2020

I’ve never been able to pull it off BUT I’ve always wanted to go to Australia – everything I’ve heard about it fascinates me. That said I often watch those “survival” TV shows where a person takes a wrong turn in a desert, forest, mountain or the outback and is lost for days on end. Then an “outdoor survivalist” comes on and says, “If only they had done thus-and-so – they would have had food and water.”

Read More

“Come Fly With Me”

August 05, 2020

Over the years, the airline industry has experienced many twists and turns – and one of the most remarkable has been the evolution of the stewardess or airline hostess. That said I was stopped in my tracks by an article in Travel & Leisure, April 2020 titled “Taking Wing.” It featured a photo of a flight attendant’s dress from 1965 and was skillfully written by Ann Hood who has delivered a detailed on-the-scene report.


Read More

Favorite Spots, Five Boroughs

July 29, 2020

In a city like New York, that has a population of close to nine million, it’s great to know that there’s something for everyone. This gave me the idea to write about fun and/or favorite spots in all five boroughs, namely: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. So, in this blog we’ll cover places I’ve personally enjoyed over the years and spots mentioned in an article that ran in Condé Nast Traveler magazine in April 2020. Here are five slices of the Big Apple:

Read More

- Size Chart -


We use Italian lingerie sizing  for our bodywear and items tend to run small.

Because of the body-hugging nature of the fabric and our body conscious fit most women prefer to wear our layering tops as under-layers. If you are inclined to wear them on their own we suggest you size up. Please email us or give us a call if you have questions about your sizing. We're happy to help you get it right.



Relaxed fit. Wear alone or over any of our layering tees or camisoles.

Please email us or give us a call if you have questions about your sizing. We're happy to help you get it right.



Get info on sales, promotions, and new items. Plus $10 off your first order!