The historic Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont, a favourite haunt of celebrities for decades, is to be turned into a private members-only club, its owner has said.
Andre Balazs told the Wall Street Journal the coronavirus pandemic had accelerated existing plans and the conversion would take place by the end of the year.
The health crisis had led to a decrease in guests, the owner said, adding he believed customers would be comforted by the idea they knew who would be coming and going at the hotel.
“There is something to be said for knowing people,” Balazs told the newspaper. “You can chat with them; you know where they have been.”
Built as an apartment building in 1927 and converted to a hotel in 1931, Chateau Marmont looks out on Los Angeles from its perch on Sunset Boulevard and radiates old Hollywood glamour.
It was a favourite haunt of celebrities including Greta Garbo, Hunter S Thompson, James Dean and Howard Hughes.
The 63-bedroom property has featured in numerous films, including 2016 musical La La Land and the 2018 version of A Star Is Born.
Chateau Marmont is referenced in numerous songs, including Lana Del Rey’s 2011 single Off To The Races. The singer also has the property’s name tattooed on her wrist.
While Chateau Marmont is synonymous with glamour to many, it has also been the site of tragedy.
Comedian John Belushi died from a drug overdose at one of the hotel’s bungalows in 1982 at the age of 33.
Balazs also owns London’s Chiltern Firehouse hotel.