- The celebrity-beloved
Chateau Marmonthotel in Los Angelesmay be turned into a private residential club, Craig Karmin reported for The Wall Street Journal.
- The owner, hotelier André Balazs, told the Journal that the
coronaviruspandemic had sped up his plans to transform the iconic Hollywood hotel.
- The proposed transformation is a sign of the uncertain future of the hotel industry, which has scrambled to adapt to the coronavirus era.
Chateau Marmont, an iconic Los Angeles hotel beloved by celebrities, may be converted into a private residential club by the end of the year, its owner told The Wall Street Journal.
Hotelier André Balazs said the coronavirus pandemic had sped up his plans to transform the hotel, which he’d been considering for three years.
Although Chateau Marmont has been a traditional hotel that can be booked online, its exclusivity means it wouldn’t be such a stretch to turn it into a members-only club, according to the owner.
“We have always screened our guests,” Balazs told the Journal. “Guests are never more than one degree of separation away.”
Chateau Marmont has built up a reputation as an iconic Hollywood destination. Over the years, the hotel’s guests have included writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Doors musician Jim Morrison, and countless other celebrities. Late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain once said the Chateau was his favorite hotel in the world.
In 2012, actress Lindsay Lohan was reportedly banned from the Los Angeles property after skipping out on paying a more than $46,000 tab following her 47-day stay.
Through his André Balazs Properties, Balazs also owns the Mercer Hotel in New York City, the Chiltern Firehouse hotel in London, and Sunset Beach, a beachside property near the the Hamptons. The hotelier told the Journal that depending on the response to Chateau Marmont’s transformation, he may open up members-only clubs around the world in places like Milan, Paris, Tokyo, and the south of France or a private island in Greece.
An uncertain future for hotels
The upcoming transformation of Chateau Marmont is just one example of the shifting landscape of the hotel industry, which has been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 20, seven out of 10 hotel rooms in the US were sitting empty and thousands of hotels were completely closed, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). Hotels have lost billions in room revenue since the start of the pandemic, and at least 70% of hotel employees were laid off or furloughed, per the AHLA. Advertisement
To make guests feel safe and attract desperately-needed business, the industry scrambled to implement creative solutions. Hotels started offering contactless check-in, limiting capacity, and cutting out daily housekeeping in order to reduce person-to-person interaction.
In the long-term, some top travel and hospitality CEOs expect the pandemic to prompt a shift toward smaller, boutique hotels. Hotel designers and architects predict that amenities like gyms will be replaced by in-room fitness offerings, meetings and conference space swill be reconfigured, and the hotel breakfast buffet will be no more, as Alesandra Dubin reported for Business Insider.