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The Chateau Marmont to be converted to a members-only hotel

The Chateau Marmont hotel in West Hollywood
The Chateau Marmont hotel in West Hollywood.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The swanky Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, a famed hangout for celebrities and host to bashes for the rich and beautiful, will be converted into a members-only hotel over the next year.

A spokeswoman for the hotel owner, Andre Balazs, confirmed his plans to turn the 91-year-old building into a hotel where a select group of members buy into “a piece of a portfolio of the best real estate in the world,” and are offered extended access to the property.

Members will own shares of the property and pay regular fees to cover management costs. In exchange, they’ll get the use of a private dining area, a personal butler and the freedom to leave their belongings and come and go during extended stays, the spokeswoman said in an email.

“Members will be able to sell their shares back to the management company or other approved members, as they would with any other real estate investment,” she said, adding that the conversion would take place over the next year.

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The pandemic showed that safety was of the utmost importance to guests, and limiting the hotel to select members ensures that management knows all guests before they arrive, she said.

Balazs plans to expand the concept to properties “in key urban centers like London, New York, Milan, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, etc,” she added.

The famed hotel nearly operated as a members-only property, she said, given that before the pandemic 70% of guests were repeat customers.

Like other hotels, the Chateau Marmont has been hard hit by the pandemic, forcing management to abruptly fire most of its staff in March with no severance pay and only a brief extension of health benefits.

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A month later, the hotel launched an online store to sell Chateau Marmont merchandise to benefit laid-off staff.

The castle-like hotel was originally built as an apartment complex in the 1920s before it was converted to a hotel in 1931. It has been a favorite haunt of actors and celebrities including Greta Garbo, Hunter S. Thompson, Howard Hughes, James Dean, John Belushi and Lindsay Lohan.


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