Countless Oscar parties, many scandals and guests ranging from Howard Hughes to Led Zeppelin have made the Chateau Marmont a West Hollywood staple since its debut in 1929.
But the recent closure of the coronavirus has knocked out many hotels and restaurants around the world, and the Chateau Marmont is apparently not immune. Numerous reports and a union statement for local workers indicate that the hotel has laid off almost all of its staff, leaving many employees without jobs.
Local 11, the Southern California hospitality workers union, claimed that hotel management notified employees on March 19 that they were being fired, starting the next day. Although accurate figures were not given, the union said almost the entire workforce was laid off.
Unlike many hotels and restaurants forced to close, Chateau Marmont workers were reported to be offered no severance pay, continuation of health insurance, or guarantees that they would be rehired when the coronavirus crisis ended.
For decades, the isolated Chateau Marmont has maintained its exclusive status. "If you should get in trouble, go to the Marmont, "said Columbia Pictures President Harry Cohn. The hotel has hosted Nicholas Ray, who cast and rehearsed the classic film. Rebel without a cause in your suite; Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, who lived there before her tragic death shortly after moving; and actor John Belushi, who suffered an overdose in one of the hotel's bungalows.