Chateau Marmont to be converted to members-only hotel

The Chateau Marmont Hotel is pictured, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Los Angeles. A Hollywood hotspot for nearly a century, it will be converted into a members-only hotel over the next year. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

LOS ANGELES - The Chateau Marmont, a Hollywood hotspot and hangout for nearly a century, will be converted into a members-only hotel over the next year, according to a newspaper report Tuesday.

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,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

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, according to a statement obtained by the Times.

“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,” the statement said.

The famed hotel in West Hollywood has nearly operated as a members-only property, she said, given that before the coronavirus 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, the newspaper said.

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 favourite haunt of actors and celebrities including Greta Garbo, Hunter S. Thompson, Howard Hughes, James Dean, John Belushi and Lindsay Lohan.

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