Chateau Marmont versus Sunset Tower: Hollywood History
The Chateau Marmont: Perched on a hill overlooking Sunset Boulevard, the Chateau has been a bastion of Old Hollywood since it opened in 1929. Greta Garbo once lived at the hotel, F. Scott Fitzgerald had a heart attack here, Led Zeppelin rode motorcycles through the lobby, and John Belushi overdosed in a bungalow. With faded oriental rugs, deep velvet couches, beveled mirrors, and brass candelabras, the atmosphere is decadent, yet discreet. As Harry Cohn, founder of Columbia Pictures, famously told film legends William Holden and Glenn Ford, "If you're going to get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont."
Sunset Tower: This Art Deco Sunset Strip landmark has been a celebrity hot spot since the Hollywood golden age. Famous director and womanizer Howard Hughes put his girlfriends up in suites, and John Wayne once lived in the penthouse (and was rumored to have kept a cow on the balcony for fresh milk). The Tower became a star of the silver screen itself when it appeared in the 1944 film noir Murder, My Sweet. Since the 1929 building is landmarked, the exterior still looks like it did decades ago, and interior has been restored to its former Art Deco splendor.
Oyster's Take: Both hotels are exactly the same age, and both have seen their share of Hollywood scandals. The Marmont is a touch more notorious, it's true, but it's hardly enough to justify the huge price jump.