Judging from the wildly negative but also jubilant reviews here, staying at the Chateau Marmont seems a bit like going to a Bob Dylan concert: there may be glimpses of genius but it might just as well end in a depressing disaster...
I don't doubt the sincerity of most reviewers, but I'm surprised at the intensity of some of them lashing out at the Chateau. What misery! Some derogatory comments about phony wannabes and loud tourists detroying this 'once great place', remind me of the criticism of "selling out" directed at the rock and roll counterculture once it went 'mainstream'.
Maybe such strong emotions are the fate of a cultural landmark such as the Chateau, mired as it is in the mythology of Hollywood and the highs and lows of celebrity culture.
As for my own experience (but note, I'm just a tourist): it was one of pending disaster turning into absolute bliss, purely thanks to the graciousness of the Chateau staff.
We were checked into room 28 by the (very friendly) concierge on duty and were delighted by the suite, including the "old" and retro furniture, stove and tub. Also, everything from wifi to kitchen utensils seemed to be working fine..
That is, until the bathroom in the suite above us started to leak, after a noisy but unsuccesfull try at plumbing. And you know, when it rains in southern California, man, it pours... Within minutes the bathroom in our suite had become soaked and unfit to use.. That was a bit too retro even for us, who had by then already fallen in love with the grungy atmosphere of the Chateau.
But the darkest hour is, truly, right before the dawn. Without any complaiming or ado, the staff upgraded us to one of the penthouses! Staying the night there, looking out over Sunset, was... well, what can I say, a lifetime experience for us, humble but discerning tourists...
Thank you, Tony!
We also dined in the patio, chatted with concierges, visited the bar and pool... No bad experiences at all, at any time. And hey, we drove up in a Ford Escape..!
By the way, our change of rooms was so swift, that I forgot one of my suits in the closet of our old room. Needing it for a conference (I may be a tourist, but I'm a working tourist) we called in a day after we checked out and yes, the suit turned up safe and sound (I guess it enjoyed the room and wanted to stay over) and we picked it up once we were back in LA. Again, staff was very kind and helpful all the way through, adding much to the overall experience.
So, what's the deal at the Chateau? All I can say, is: as Bob Dylan concerts go, for us this one was a smashing success. Unforgettable.