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A definitive history of Hollywood's most iconic storied and scandalous hotel For nearly ninety years Hollywood's brightest stars have favored the Chateau Marmont as a home away from home An apartment house turned hotel it has hosted generations of gossip and folklore 1930s bombshell Jean Harlow took lovers during her third honeymoon there; director Nicholas Ray slept with his sixteen year old Rebel Without a Cause star Natalie Wood; Anthony Perkins and Tab Hunter met poolside and began a secret affair; Jim Morrison swu The Castle on Sunset Life Death Love Art and Scandal at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont by Shawn Levy is a 2019 Doubleday publication An absolutely fascinating and absorbing piece of history Everyone understands even through its many incarnations that Sunset Strip is an iconic part of Los Angeles Although the Chateau Marmont has been strategically located on the infamous strip since 1929 it has somehow managed to fly under the radar making it the perfect choice for anyone seeking premium privacy which of course attracted Hollywood types from actors to producers and later on rock stars who flocked to the storied hotel where they engaged in all manner of lurid and scandalous activitiesThe hotel has gone through many re inventions over the years rising and falling with several owners each with a plan or agenda for the hotel It has mostly been a ‘no frills’ place devoid of many of the pricey amenities offered by other famous hotels in LAYet it has been an oasis for many stars because they could live there for long periods and no matter what they got up to no one ever heard a peep about it It was a refuge for many deeply closeted gay actors in the fifties and sixties and was also the choice location for actors and actresses going through marital woes separations or divorces or who were between marriages and where they met up with their secret paramours The architecture is uniue and unusual also providing little cubby holes for clandestine activities But the bungalows with private entrances and exits is where a lot of the sordid activities transpired The hotel has occasionally shown up in films or was at the very least alluded to The people who passed through the hotel boggles the mind So many famous people resided there for months at a time and sometimes longer while others only passed through briefly However the hotel could not completely avoid the headlines as when John Belushi famously overdosed and died The hotel did have a hard time shaking off that bit of notoriety but still retained its reputation for the extreme privacy it provided its guests Although the hotel came precariously close to failure and closure on a few occasions it somehow miraculously fell into the right hands at just the right time to survive another day Today the hotel is thriving in an entirely new way but sadly with cell phones and social media it is harder than ever to maintain the same level of privacy it once boasted However than even in days past it is still one of the premiere choices by A list celebrities who find the hotel despite some of its lack of on sight luxuries the place to be The hotel can still be counted on to the provide their guests with the utmost secrecy and has managed to carve out a legacy all its own in the process The author had a monumental task telling the famed hotel’s history The hotel is nearing the century mark which is really uite amazing but that’s a lot of history to sort through I thought he did an amazing job with familiarizing the reader with all the owners the staff and the guests throughout history and managed to recreate the mood ambience and atmosphere of each decade and what the hotel meant to the generations of people who passed through its doors For me personally I enjoyed reading about the guest from the thirties through the fifties best of all The glamour and style of these decades disappeared never to return but it was a time when such great innovators and game changers gathered under the same roof where the party never seemed to end and the creative juices flourished and it was all done with great style and flourish The scandals were titillating but much was still left up to the public’s imagination not like today when there is very little of the myth or mystery left which helped create true Hollywood legends But hopefully the Marmont will survive whatever the next big curve in the road brings and will remain a steady keeper of secrets for Hollywood’s elite for decades to come

FREE DOWNLOAD Ú WIKIWEBDIR.CO.UK é Shawn Levy

The Castle on Sunset

Sic and media It appeals to the rich and famous not just for its European ambiance but for its seclusion Much of what's happened inside the Chateau's walls has eluded the public eyeUntil now With wit and prowess Shawn Levy recounts the wild revelries and scandalous liaisons; the creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns; the births and deaths that the Chateau has been a party to Vivid salacious and richly informed his book is a glittering tribute to Hollywood as seen from inside the walls of its most hallowed hotel The thing about being a kid in Los Angeles during the fifties is that in spite of the smog it seemed in many ways a fantasyland There were gigantic doughnuts a restaurant shaped like a hat and then there were what I thought of as castles one of these was the stately LDS Temple up on its hillside overlooking my neighborhood some five miles south On rare days when the smog blew out I could see it from the cliffs above the bean fields now the Hughes Center where I rode my bikeThe other was the Chateau Marmont which I glimpsed a few times as we traveled along Sunset then saw as a teen in the sixties and finally passed pretty much every day when I lived in Hollywood during the seventies I never ventured indoors too bad I learned from this book I might have even been able to rent there in the seventies; it was certainly cheaper than our crowded apt building with gangsters to the north of us and call girls to the southAnyway when I saw this title on NetGalley I grabbed it And I'm glad I did Shawn Levy has done a bang up job delving into not only the history of the building but the immediate area of Sunset Blvd around it all familiar to me Of course there's also plenty of gossip about the film music and other famous people who lived or visited there Levy appears to have not just collected a ton of great uips and uotes but done the legwork to track down the veracity of these uotes sometimes with interesting side storiesThere are also chilling bits such as the fact I had not known this that Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate were living in the Marmont before she at advanced pregnancy wanted her kid to be born in a house so they rented a place not far away from Doris Day's son a music producer who had recently turned down Charles Manson's wish to be in a band the man had been trying to develop Eually chilling was the story of John Belushi's crash and burn which was at the Marmont; I found myself skimming the latter portion of the book just because I'm not familiar with most of the big names of today whose claim to fame seems mostly to be drug excesses not interesting to me But that's nothing against the bookI enjoyed the vivid descriptions of early Los Angeles his word pictures of the area matched those of my spouse's grandmother who used to go up there often and how the place developed Levy divides the book into parts doing an excellent job of capturing the evolution of West Hollywood as overlooked by the Marmont over the decadesHe writes with sympathy of the many diverse characters who found a welcome there over the years While some guestsresidents got the boot these were nonpayment or destructive behavior and not unlike the other famous hotels of the area for skin color or preference in partnersLevy's style is breezy at times witty vivid packing uite a bit of information into the entertaining pages I really enjoyed the book and I think I've found a holiday gift for certain hard to shop for relatives and friendsCopy provided by NetGalley Hookup Master (Men of Lake Tahoe Series, just for its European ambiance but for its seclusion Much of what's happened inside the Chateau's walls has eluded the public eyeUntil now With wit and prowess Shawn Levy recounts the wild revelries and scandalous liaisons; the creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns; the births and deaths that the Chateau has been a party to Vivid salacious and richly informed his book is a glittering tribute to Hollywood as seen from inside the walls of its most hallowed hotel The thing about being a kid in Los Angeles during the fifties is that in spite of the smog it seemed in many ways a fantasyland There were gigantic doughnuts a restaurant shaped like a hat and then there were what I thought of as castles one of these was the stately LDS Temple up on its hillside overlooking my neighborhood some five miles south On rare days when the smog blew out I could see it from the cliffs above the bean fields now the Hughes Center where I rode my bikeThe other was the Chateau Marmont which I glimpsed a few times as we traveled along Sunset then saw as a teen in the sixties and finally passed pretty much every day when I lived in Hollywood during the seventies I never ventured indoors too bad I learned from this book I might have even been able to rent there in the seventies; it was certainly cheaper than our crowded apt building with gangsters to the north of us and call girls to the southAnyway when I saw this title on NetGalley I grabbed it And I'm glad I did Shawn Levy has done a bang up Dance Band on the Titanic job delving into not only the history of the building but the immediate area of Sunset Blvd around it all familiar to me Of course there's also plenty of gossip about the film music and other famous people who lived or visited there Levy appears to have not Chroma: A Photographer's Guide to Lighting With Color just collected a ton of great uips and uotes but done the legwork to track down the veracity of these uotes sometimes with interesting side storiesThere are also chilling bits such as the fact I had not known this that Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate were living in the Marmont before she at advanced pregnancy wanted her kid to be born in a house so they rented a place not far away from Doris Day's son a music producer who had recently turned down Charles Manson's wish to be in a band the man had been trying to develop Eually chilling was the story of John Belushi's crash and burn which was at the Marmont; I found myself skimming the latter portion of the book The Hokku or Epigram Versus of Basho just because I'm not familiar with most of the big names of today whose claim to fame seems mostly to be drug excesses not interesting to me But that's nothing against the bookI enjoyed the vivid descriptions of early Los Angeles his word pictures of the area matched those of my spouse's grandmother who used to go up there often and how the place developed Levy divides the book into parts doing an excellent Spank! job of capturing the evolution of West Hollywood as overlooked by the Marmont over the decadesHe writes with sympathy of the many diverse characters who found a welcome there over the years While some guestsresidents got the boot these were nonpayment or destructive behavior and not unlike the other famous hotels of the area for skin color or preference in partnersLevy's style is breezy at times witty vivid packing uite a bit of information into the entertaining pages I really enjoyed the book and I think I've found a holiday gift for certain hard to shop for relatives and friendsCopy provided by NetGalley

Shawn Levy é 1 FREE DOWNLOAD

Ng from the balconies once falling nearly to his death; John Belushi suffered a fatal overdose in a private bungalow; Lindsay Lohan got the boot after racking up nearly 50000 in charges in less than two monthsPerched above the Sunset Strip like a fairytale castle the Chateau seems to come from another world entirely Its singular appearance houses an eually singular history While a city an industry and a culture have changed around it Chateau Marmont has welcomed the most iconic and iconoclastic personalities in film mu This book is a history of the Chateau Marmont from its inception way back before the roads were even paved that it sits on It’s loosely modeled after the Chateau d’Amboise a royal retreat in France’s Loire Valley Its name comes from the small street that runs along the front with the main street on the side being Sunset Blvd It started out as an upscale apartment building when it first opened in 1929 It was soon found to be difficult to fill the regular apartments let alone the luxury penthouses with balconies a total of 63 altogether Opening a couple of years before the Depression happened didn’t help matters either The original investors gave it a couple of years then regrouped and said ok if things don’t improve in a year it’s time to sell and try something elseAnd that is what happened it was sold and turned into a hotel by the new owner It did ok under his ownership but it was during the next owner that it really flourished He had an eye for the long haul and added the bungalows a pool made it what it was really known for The book shares stories of some who were part of the Marmont’s history in all different types of ways All of them interesting It was also interesting hearing about another place across the street that was really wild The Garden of Allah A good read for anyone interested in old Hollywood history stories Schwab’s drugstore all of the different night spots to party at It’s filled with it The advance electronic copy was provided by NetGalley author Shawn Levy and the publisherMy review on BookZone


10 thoughts on “The Castle on Sunset

  1. says:

    The Castle on Sunset Life Death Love Art and Scandal at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont by Shawn Levy is a 2019 Doubleday publication An absolutely fascinating and absorbing piece of history Everyone understands even through its many incarnations that Sunset Strip is an iconic part of Los Angeles Although the Chateau Marmont has been strategically located on the infamous strip since 1929 it has somehow managed to fly under the radar making it the perfect choice for anyone seeking premium privacy which of course attracted Hollywood types from actors to producers and later on rock stars who flocked to the storied hotel where they engaged in all manner of lurid and scandalous activitiesThe hotel has gone through many re inventions over the years rising and falling with several owners each with a plan or agenda for the hotel It has mostly been a ‘no frills’ place devoid of many of the pricey amenities offered by other famous hotels in LAYet it has been an oasis for many stars because they could live there for long periods and no matter what they got up to no one ever heard a peep about it It was a refuge for many deeply closeted gay actors in the fifties and sixties and was also the choice location for actors and actresses going through marital woes separations or divorces or who were between marriages and where they met up with their secret paramours The architecture is uniue and unusual also providing little cubby holes for clandestine activities But the bungalows with private entrances and exits is where a lot of the sordid activities transpired The hotel has occasionally shown up in films or was at the very least alluded to The people who passed through the hotel boggles the mind So many famous people resided there for months at a time and sometimes longer while others only passed through briefly However the hotel could not completely avoid the headlines as when John Belushi famously overdosed and died The hotel did have a hard time shaking off that bit of notoriety but still retained its reputation for the extreme privacy it provided its guests Although the hotel came precariously close to failure and closure on a few occasions it somehow miraculously fell into the right hands at just the right time to survive another day Today the hotel is thriving in an entirely new way but sadly with cell phones and social media it is harder than ever to maintain the same level of privacy it once boasted However than even in days past it is still one of the premiere choices by A list celebrities who find the hotel despite some of its lack of on sight luxuries the place to be The hotel can still be counted on to the provide their guests with the utmost secrecy and has managed to carve out a legacy all its own in the process The author had a monumental task telling the famed hotel’s history The hotel is nearing the century mark which is really uite amazing but that’s a lot of history to sort through I thought he did an amazing job with familiarizing the reader with all the owners the staff and the guests throughout history and managed to recreate the mood ambience and atmosphere of each decade and what the hotel meant to the generations of people who passed through its doors For me personally I enjoyed reading about the guest from the thirties through the fifties best of all The glamour and style of these decades disappeared never to return but it was a time when such great innovators and game changers gathered under the same roof where the party never seemed to end and the creative juices flourished and it was all done with great style and flourish The scandals were titillating but much was still left up to the public’s imagination not like today when there is very little of the myth or mystery left which helped create true Hollywood legends But hopefully the Marmont will survive whatever the next big curve in the road brings and will remain a steady keeper of secrets for Hollywood’s elite for decades to come


  2. says:

    45 Stars rounded up to 5Thank you to the publisher Doubleday Random House for providing an advance reader copy via EdelweissI was drawn to this book because of my passion for rock biographies I knew very little about the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Blvd in California other than a vague notion that some rock stars stayed there One of its biggest claims to fame is the fact that original SNL comedian John Belushi OD'd there It was an if these walls could talk situation I was hoping for and I wasn't disappointed In fact I learnt far details than I particularly wanted to knowI was a tad bored in the beginning because of the build up to the meat and potatoesthe dish on rock and movie royalty celebrities There was a great deal of background information on the persons who built expanded upon and refurbished this legendary edifice It was originally meant to be an apartment building and it was the brainchild of a Los Angeles lawyer named Fred Horowitz He had seen a Gothic castle while traveling in France and hoped to recreate that spectacle on an unpaved road on Sunset Boulevard Gables balconies turrets Gothic archwaysthis was what Horowitz had in mind for this most audacious folly that would be built in 1929 and christened the Chateau Marmont It was a hard sell renting out the apartments so it was later decided to run the place as a hotel As time went by Chateau Marmont was often patronized and appreciated by people in the entertainment industry Compared to the other hotels associated with movie royalty celebrities could feel as if they were enjoying a home away from home with much privacy As the years went by and the property changed ownership bungalows were added as well as a modest sized pool This Castle on a Hill of sorts afforded celebrities a comfortable refuge that was shabby chic and off the beaten path The Sunset Strip around the Chateau developed and changed over the years and the hotel came dangerously close to closing It somehow survived due to the love and ingenuity of its various owners The celebrities that found a home here are too voluminous to mention in this review They were actors actresses directors photographers rock stars and writers I often found myself performing internet searches on these celebrities at the Chateau as I read the book My advance reader copy did not contain photos but perhaps the finished product will The Chateau is an amazing vortex of entertainment history to be experienced and I highly recommend this thoroughly researched book


  3. says:

    We’ve all heard of Sunset Strip But how much do you know about the Chateau Marmont the iconic hotel overlooking the strip? I knew very little but the subtitle of Love Art and Scandal piued my interest and I was not disappointed The book details how the Chateau was built in 1929 to replicate the Chateau d’Amboise a royal retreat in France’s Loire Valley The hotel somehow survived through the Depression and the ups and downs of the economy and because of the unparalleled privacy provided to its guests it became the home and playground of the most famous Hollywood personalities The history these walls contain boggles the mind From the 1930’s to the present the list of celebrities and the scandalous stories that took place at Chateau Marmont are titillating and addictively readable From the glamorous Golden Days of Hollywood my favorite to the present the book is filled with juicy details of the stars of film music and other celebrities There are far too many personalities to list here but even a partial list reads like a Who’s Who Greta Garbo Clark Gable Judy Garland Coco Chanel Marilyn Monroe Anthony Perkins James Dean Paul Newman Robert DeNiro Jim Morrison Led Zeppelin and many many The short sad life of Jean Harlow the night leading up to John Belushi’s death in a bungalow at the Marmont and the fateful decision of Sharon Tate who was 8 months pregnant to move out and rent a home so her baby’s home wouldn’t be in a hotel are among the many stories I won’t soon forget I am as far from a fan of celebrity gossip as you can get but I could not put this book down and finished it in two days with my phone and laptop by my side to google the pictures and the stories Kudos to the author for compiling an incredible amount of research into such a fascinating narrative many thanks to Doubleday and Edelweiss for a copy of the book for review this was a buddy read with Marialyce one we both enjoyed and highly recommendFor our duo review of this and other books please visit


  4. says:

    If you are at all curious about the lives of the rich the famous the stars and the denizens of Hollywood past and present Jan and I suggest you take a walk down the lane to the Chateau Marmount courtesy of the book The Castle on Sunset Hollywoodcan we ever really get enough of the lives of the stars and the ways in which they came to stardom fame and fortune? We find them alluring their stories their climb up the ladder of success fraught with some failures along the way with some losing the battle to win what others seems to always aspire toThis was a fascinating book that kept me riveted to its content The names of the past stars were there along with their stories sometimes tragic in their telling oftentimes scandalous as they all embarked on a career that would make them famous The stars of today also make their way to the Chateau and so many of the names we come to know have made their stay at the Chateau memorable and often scandalous think Lindsay Lohan John Belushiand yet the Chateau really is the star of the story for it houses many of the secrets many of the goings on many of the intimate details of the eras of Hollywood Imagine the stories these walls could tell The stories of hidden assignations of drugs of alcohol of sex of homosexuality of the stars being what they were and not an image of what Hollywood wanted them to beIt was the dream of the Fred Horowitz a prominent Los Angeles attorney to construct the chateau On February 1 1929 Chateau Marmont opened its doors to the public as the newest residence of Hollywood Through the vision of Mr Horowitz the chateau became something special a hideaway from the rigors of stardom a place where anything goes was a motto and where discretion was the key Down through it existence and it owners the chateau saw times of depression and though it suffered the ravages of neglect for a time today it stands as a Historical Cultural LandmarkI so enjoyed this story and do recommend it to those who love a story about a building its creators and it impact of the lives of others Take a walk through the chateau and you will not be disappointed Now if only walls could talk Thank you to Shawn Levy Doubleday Books and Edelweiss for a copy of this alluring story


  5. says:

    Before reading this book the only details I knew about the Chateau Mormont were the seedy ones like the bungalow where John Belushi OD'd Lindsay Lohan racking up 50000 in unpaid charges and other tales of addiction embezzlement and scandalI'm glad I read this book There is so much to the 90 year history of Chateau Mormont than scandals Shawn Levy tells the story of the Mormont from it's construction as upscale apartments in 1929 the conversion to a hotel in 1939 and its operations owners and history clear up to the present day I had to read this book in small sections There is a lot of information and references I read a chapter at a time and looked up many of the Hollywood stars films and events Levy mentions So much history The book is a nonfiction history of the famous hotel not an in depth look at scandals or Hollywood gossip I like the fact that the book doesn't dwell on famous scandals but gives the complete history of the famous hotel from it's glamorous years to falling into disrepair to its refurbishment in recent yearsInteresting readShawn Levy has written several other books on Hollywood including biographies of Paul Newman The Rat Pack Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis I'm definitely interested in reading of his books Levy definitely did an incredible amount of research to write this history of Chateau Mormont He presented the facts in an interesting manner telling the overall story not just the famous scandals That fact makes me want to read the biographies he has written simply because I can trust him to write about all aspects of the actors not just gossip I will definitely be reading by this authorI voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book from DoubleDay Books via NetGalley All opinions expressed are entirely my own


  6. says:

    This book is a history of the Chateau Marmont from its inception way back before the roads were even paved that it sits on It’s loosely modeled after the Chateau d’Amboise a royal retreat in France’s Loire Valley Its name comes from the small street that runs along the front with the main street on the side being Sunset Blvd It started out as an upscale apartment building when it first opened in 1929 It was soon found to be difficult to fill the regular apartments let alone the luxury penthouses with balconies a total of 63 altogether Opening a couple of years before the Depression happened didn’t help matters either The original investors gave it a couple of years then regrouped and said ok if things don’t improve in a year it’s time to sell and try something elseAnd that is what happened it was sold and turned into a hotel by the new owner It did ok under his ownership but it was during the next owner that it really flourished He had an eye for the long haul and added the bungalows a pool made it what it was really known for The book shares stories of some who were part of the Marmont’s history in all different types of ways All of them interesting It was also interesting hearing about another place across the street that was really wild The Garden of Allah A good read for anyone interested in old Hollywood history stories Schwab’s drugstore all of the different night spots to party at It’s filled with it The advance electronic copy was provided by NetGalley author Shawn Levy and the publisherMy review on BookZone


  7. says:

    The thing about being a kid in Los Angeles during the fifties is that in spite of the smog it seemed in many ways a fantasyland There were gigantic doughnuts a restaurant shaped like a hat and then there were what I thought of as castles one of these was the stately LDS Temple up on its hillside overlooking my neighborhood some five miles south On rare days when the smog blew out I could see it from the cliffs above the bean fields now the Hughes Center where I rode my bikeThe other was the Chateau Marmont which I glimpsed a few times as we traveled along Sunset then saw as a teen in the sixties and finally passed pretty much every day when I lived in Hollywood during the seventies I never ventured indoors too bad I learned from this book I might have even been able to rent there in the seventies; it was certainly cheaper than our crowded apt building with gangsters to the north of us and call girls to the southAnyway when I saw this title on NetGalley I grabbed it And I'm glad I did Shawn Levy has done a bang up job delving into not only the history of the building but the immediate area of Sunset Blvd around it all familiar to me Of course there's also plenty of gossip about the film music and other famous people who lived or visited there Levy appears to have not just collected a ton of great uips and uotes but done the legwork to track down the veracity of these uotes sometimes with interesting side storiesThere are also chilling bits such as the fact I had not known this that Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate were living in the Marmont before she at advanced pregnancy wanted her kid to be born in a house so they rented a place not far away from Doris Day's son a music producer who had recently turned down Charles Manson's wish to be in a band the man had been trying to develop Eually chilling was the story of John Belushi's crash and burn which was at the Marmont; I found myself skimming the latter portion of the book just because I'm not familiar with most of the big names of today whose claim to fame seems mostly to be drug excesses not interesting to me But that's nothing against the bookI enjoyed the vivid descriptions of early Los Angeles his word pictures of the area matched those of my spouse's grandmother who used to go up there often and how the place developed Levy divides the book into parts doing an excellent job of capturing the evolution of West Hollywood as overlooked by the Marmont over the decadesHe writes with sympathy of the many diverse characters who found a welcome there over the years While some guestsresidents got the boot these were nonpayment or destructive behavior and not unlike the other famous hotels of the area for skin color or preference in partnersLevy's style is breezy at times witty vivid packing uite a bit of information into the entertaining pages I really enjoyed the book and I think I've found a holiday gift for certain hard to shop for relatives and friendsCopy provided by NetGalley


  8. says:

    This book is one of my favorite non fiction reads of the year Levy’s gossip filled tale of the Chateau Marmont and its storied life will entertain everyone who chooses to read it Originally opened as an apartment building but eventually converted to an exclusive hotel the Chateau has remained a fixture overlooking the Sunset Strip for nine decades While Hollywood and the entertainment industry have undergone numerous changes Chateau Marmont has remained a locale to which the rich and famous flock with the knowledge that most of what happens there will stay within the Chateau’s walls From John Belushi’s fatal overdose to Lindsey Lohan’s removal from the property for failing to pay her bill the Chateau Marmont has seen than its fair share of scandal and Levy chronicles it all in a highly readable and entertaining fashion A fabulous read from start to finishListen to my podcast at for fun author interviews For book reviews check out my Instagram account


  9. says:

    The writing style was generally dry and uninspired but I really wanted to know the history of this landmark So after about 40 pages of the print version I switched to the audio book and it was definitely worth the listen


  10. says:

    Review to come


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